Within a week of starting to my new job, I am planning to open a lot of (5, maybe more) no-fee credit cards in order to lower my credit utilization. I am not planning to use any of these new cards at all. I am actively using only one credit card. I'm also not planning to get a big loan such as a mortgage within 6 months.

Is this a smart move for building my credit score in the long run? (I live in Canada.)

  • Not unless they're offering sign-up bonuses :-) – jamesqf Jun 1 '19 at 16:34
  • Also just to be clear, is it safe to assume you don't have much of a credit history (length)? – perennial_noob Jun 1 '19 at 16:44
  • @perennial_noob Yes, it is under 2 years. – user86676 Jun 1 '19 at 16:57
  • Also, united states? That may make a difference too. – perennial_noob Jun 1 '19 at 17:04
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    It is unlikely that banks will leave these new card accounts open if they never see even a single transaction. – Ben Voigt Jun 1 '19 at 19:21

Given your history is of all but 2 years, the likelihood of your credit score dipping (upon adding new cards) because the overall/avg length of credit history dipped is low. Or at least the effect of that can be nullified soon and fast because they all age together and in a few years you'll see a good increase in the age.

The overall utilization may come down but it won't help with any specific card or its balance. And some lenders look at the avg utilization but may also look at if you have maxed out 1 or 2.

If you have a balance and would like to spread even your utilization then make sure you have 0% APR on 1 or 2 new cards and low/no balance transfer fee. (Unlikely this was what you were looking for.)

All that said, you shouldn't get 5 cards at the same time. You could easily achieve something similar with 2 or 3 cards (assuming you have 1 or 2 already). In fact it'd be good to have one of each of Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Amex (Assuming USA).

Also over time, you may evaluate credit card offers and may want to take up some that give you good bonuses and ongoing rewards. Getting 5 at one time now may tie your hands down in the immediate or mid-term future. Lenders don't like to see that kind of spike.

  • Can't upvote, not enough rep, sorry :( – user86676 Jun 1 '19 at 17:08
  • @user86676 - that's alright. Soon. But importantly, happy to put in my $0.02 if it helped. – perennial_noob Jun 1 '19 at 17:12
  • If he wants to take advantage of credit card offers in the future for bonuses or rewards, then the more cards he has with a long history, the less impact a new future account will have. – Ben Voigt Jun 1 '19 at 19:20
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    @BenVoigt - yes, I was merely highlighting that going for 5 cards at once means that within the coming year it may be difficult to get a tempting offer that may show up. Spreading out the acquisition of cards over a year and half may seem slow but gives that alternate advantage of a wait and see approach. – perennial_noob Jun 1 '19 at 19:29
  • Also you may very well not get 5 different credit cards in a very short amount of time. Each of the credit cards you apply for will pull the credit score and see that you recently applied (and possibly been granted) the other cards. – xyious Jun 4 '19 at 15:29

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