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New Member
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-06-2010
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Seeking Advice on Adding Cards to Boost Credit Score

I recently posted in the General Credit section seeking advice on increasing my credit score. One bit of advice I received was that I could potentially up my total credit card accounts to 3-4 to boost my overall total number of accounts. It was also recommended to me to bring that discussion here since this is where all the CC experts are.

 

I currently have an Equifax FICO score of 705. I have 4 open credit accounts, 1 student loan ($4k left), 1 auto loan ($20k, 0% interest) and 2 credit cards. My CCs are a Capital One Orbitz card with a $1k limit that was my first card and I only keep around for when a merchant doesn't accept Amex. My second card is the American Express Blue Card with a $2k limit which I have been using for all my purchases for the past 10 months. I do about $1k-$1.2k worth of transactions on the Amex, so that gets me up to the 1.25%/5% reward zone for a little over half the year.

 

I am at approximately 70% of my CC utilization since I was under the impression that I was supposed to be carrying a balance to boost my credit score (and the Amex is still at 0% APR until next February) but I have since learned that I should be keeping my CC utilization under 10% so I will be paying that off promptly. Don't know if that's relevant or not, but I thought I'd include it to be thorough.

 

Basically, I am wondering if I should add a 3rd or 4th credit card to my wallet to boost my total number of accounts, even if I only use them once every three months to keep them open on my credit report. A higher overall credit limit would make my life a bit easier in terms of keeping my utilization under 10% since I currently have to pay off my account about twice a week to keep it that low with my current $3k total credit limit.

 

The one thing that I am worried about is the effect this will have on my average age of accounts. That number is currently close to 3 years, and should be hitting the 6-year mark around October of 2013. I calculated that if I added two new accounts this month my AAoA wouldn't reach 6 years until June of 2014. Only an extra 8 months, but it's not insignificant if I happen to be in need of a mortgage around that time (no idea at this point, so I'm not terribly worried)

 

So, what do you guys think? Should I add another card (or two), and if so, which cards should I be looking at? Does it even matter if I'm only going to be using them as account builders? Perhaps I'm able to get higher credit limits with certain companies?

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Epic Contributor
Posts: 23,791
Registered: ‎10-23-2007
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Re: Seeking Advice on Adding Cards to Boost Credit Score

1.  I would start by asking Amex for a CLI, you can ask for as much as 3x current CL.

2.  I might add a Citi Forward or other citi card to boost your CL's, they are very good about starting CL's and CLI.

Fico Scores: EQ- 662., TU 684 Barclay, EX 700 (3/21/15)

You will have to put up Electric Fence to keep me in the garden!
Highest Limit: Navy Federal Cash Sigi Visa $50k (AU)
Lowest Limit: Target $200
72 Cards and Counting :smileytongue:
New Member
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-06-2010
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Re: Seeking Advice on Adding Cards to Boost Credit Score

Thanks for the advice Creditaddict.

 

What's the best way to go about requesting a CLI from Amex? I couldn't find anything about it in their help section. Should I just contact their general mailbox?

Epic Contributor
Posts: 23,791
Registered: ‎10-23-2007
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Re: Seeking Advice on Adding Cards to Boost Credit Score


wants wrote:

Thanks for the advice Creditaddict.

 

What's the best way to go about requesting a CLI from Amex? I couldn't find anything about it in their help section. Should I just contact their general mailbox?


If you can't locate online, I would just call and do it over the phone with customer service...

Fico Scores: EQ- 662., TU 684 Barclay, EX 700 (3/21/15)

You will have to put up Electric Fence to keep me in the garden!
Highest Limit: Navy Federal Cash Sigi Visa $50k (AU)
Lowest Limit: Target $200
72 Cards and Counting :smileytongue:
Regular Contributor
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎10-23-2010
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Re: Seeking Advice on Adding Cards to Boost Credit Score


Creditaddict wrote:

wants wrote:

Thanks for the advice Creditaddict.

 

What's the best way to go about requesting a CLI from Amex? I couldn't find anything about it in their help section. Should I just contact their general mailbox?


If you can't locate online, I would just call and do it over the phone with customer service...


If you call the 800 number on the back of your card, there's an automated process to request CLI.


Starting Score: EQ 737--TU 742
Nov/2010: EQ 737--TU 742
Nov/2011: TU 753
Goal Score: EQ 800--TU 800


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New Member
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-06-2010
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Re: Seeking Advice on Adding Cards to Boost Credit Score

The 800 number on my card did the trick! Got my credit limit increased 3x with the click of a few buttons.  Should I expect to see a hard credit inquiry show up on my credit report from this?

 

I think I'll look into that Citi Forward card next. Thanks again for all the help.

Epic Contributor
Posts: 23,791
Registered: ‎10-23-2007
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Re: Seeking Advice on Adding Cards to Boost Credit Score


wants wrote:

The 800 number on my card did the trick! Got my credit limit increased 3x with the click of a few buttons.  Should I expect to see a hard credit inquiry show up on my credit report from this?

 

I think I'll look into that Citi Forward card next. Thanks again for all the help.


Woot Woot, super congrats.... and no it will be a soft.

you might want to wait until next month for your new much larger CL reports, could help you get higher CL with citi.

Fico Scores: EQ- 662., TU 684 Barclay, EX 700 (3/21/15)

You will have to put up Electric Fence to keep me in the garden!
Highest Limit: Navy Federal Cash Sigi Visa $50k (AU)
Lowest Limit: Target $200
72 Cards and Counting :smileytongue:
New Member
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎12-06-2010
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Re: Seeking Advice on Adding Cards to Boost Credit Score

Ahh good point, I think I'll do that. Thanks.

New Contributor
Posts: 59
Registered: ‎11-22-2010
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Re: Seeking Advice on Adding Cards to Boost Credit Score

You could apply for a 20k limit on PSECU's PSL/V (Personal Service Loan & Visa).  The card is a hybrid line of credit/credit card with only a single 20k available limit, however, it reports as 40k (or double whatever limit you are approved for) on your credit report for utilization.  You can join the credit union by becoming a member of the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society for a one-time donation of $20.00.  The membership fee is $1 and the minimum share account deposit of $5.  Another benefit of this credit union is that you'll receive your Experian FICO score for free on a montly basis, a report you cannot obtain anywhere else except an actual credit pull for a mortgage.

FICO (11/22/10): EQ 531 TU 559 EX 590
Short Goal FICO: 640+ x3
Long Goal FICO: 760+ x3
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