@diane11, Have you thought about checking your CapOne card for a CLI? Also, CapOne loves customers with good established history & may very likely issue you a second card if you have had your current card at least 6 months. You can check their pre-qual site for any new offers and/or login to your CapOne acct (or call) & see if you're eligible for a CLI on your existing card. My credit grew fairly rapidly with them. In less than 2 yrs, I went from a $3k limit to a $15k limit on my 1st card. Best of luck!!!
The LL Bean card is probably worth skipping. I say this as someone who spends a few hundred there every year.
Costco is an excellent card (if you can get approved for it). You can even use it for price protection if LL Bean stuff goes on sale shortly after you buy it!
Congrats on getting things going!
I'm of the opinion that it's better to have two cards that fit your spending than five that you got just because. A good place to start is to honestly assess your normal spending habits. Then look for a card that fits what you already do. It will really help you narrow down the field.
Once you do that, make the rounds of the prequal sites, and see what comes up. It may be that you find something in there, or you may just have to take a shot in the dark at something you'd like to have.
Congratulations on the nice approval, @diane11.
Your lates are the main problem with your scores. As long as you have open student loans, you don't need additional installment loans. You don't need a lot of cards. Most say three is plenty; some say five.
It's important to note that your first card will likely cause an immediate score increase. Your second card might too. Starting with possibly card #3 — and definitely with card #4 — your score will decrease before it eventually increases.
We frequently see situations where people see the quick gains for their first couple of cards. Then they spree on half a dozen, expecting similar increases. They wonder why the bottom dropped from under their scores, and we have to tell them to garden for a year.
I'm a fan of one card every six months, i.e. a card in month 1, month 7, month 13, month 19, and month 25. This keeps new accounts and inquiries in check. You're always in compliance with Chase's 5/24 rule. And you're not trying to meet multiple sign-up bonuses simultaneously.
Based on that, I'd grab a card when your Capital One card reaches month 7 in age. The main thing is to focus on a card that's useful to you. In other words, you can be a bit picky.
In month 13, consider Chase if their cards appeal to you. They tend to deny when one's oldest card is less than a year old, so don't bother with them until this point.
For what it's worth, I'm not particularly pleased with my LL Bean card. The LL Bean benefits are great. The problems revolve around Citi and the lack of basic card features that are taken for granted with other banks. For instance:
Summing it up, the card is hard to manage.