This is the fourth post of a series that will walk you through the steps to multiple credit card applications to earn miles and points. This post will review how my credit score was affected by applying for multiple credit cards. The first post covered the basics on preparing for the application process and double checking your credit health to ensure that everything is up to par before applying for credit cards. The 2nd post of the series will cover how to evaluate what cards to keep and what cards to cancel before applying for more. The 3rd post will focus on the best strategy to choosing the top offers, the ones to apply for, and the results of my round of credit card applications.

When it comes to multiple credit cards, inevitably you are going to have hard inquiries posted to your credit score. The idea behind applying for multiple cards on the same day is that if the credit card companies pull from the same credit bureau, they will be combined into one. This minimizes the number of hard credit inquiries posted on your report, which will in turn have a smaller effect on your credit score.

On my recent round of card applications I was approved for six new cards and earned a total of 370,000 miles/points. I applied for all of these cards on the same day to minimize the impacts to my credit. Let’s take a look at how my credit score changed after my recent round of credit card applications.

How many points did my credit score drop/climb?

Before applying for the new cards my credit score was 763, after the credit inquiries and accounts were opened my score dropped to 743. So I saw a 20 point decrease in my credit score from applying for six cards.

A 20 point drop, then a 25 point increase within a month

A 20 point drop, then a 25 point increase within a month

The interesting part is that soon after, my credit score rebounded to 759, and then climbed to 767 in the month following my credit card applications. This is what I normally see during a round of credit card applications–a small dip in my score, then it quickly returns to around the same score as before.

A small blip in March on the Credit Karma graph of my credit score

A small blip in March on the Credit Karma graph of my credit score 

How many hard inquiries posted to my credit score?

Only two hard inquiries posted to my Credit Karma account, but since this is just a free monitoring service and not an actual credit report I am a bit wary that there were only two. Either way, the impacts to my credit score were small and my score quickly returned to the same score as before (within a month).

My Credit Karma inquiry chart

My Credit Karma inquiry chart

The Bottom Line

Overall my credit score reacted like it normally would during a round of credit card applications. I saw a small short-term drop in my score, then a quick rebound back to about the same score prior to all of the applications.

The proof is in the pudding–although everyone has a different credit history, applying for multiple credit cards will most likely not have a large or long-term impact to your credit score. As seen in my recent round of credit cards, it may even improve your score slightly after the credit line increases post to your credit report.

Do you have similar experiences with your credit score? How much does it drop when you apply for cards–let us know!

* If you found this post useful, why don’t sign-up to receive free blog posts via email (max of 1 email per day!) or in a RSS reader …be sure you’ll never miss another update!

About the author

Rand Shoaf

Introduced to traveling at a young age, Rand has since traveled to over 45 countries. Learning how to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses in college has allowed him to earn millions of travel miles and points. Using the same tips and tricks he writes about here has ultimately allowed him to explore the word for pennies on the dollar.