Here's the skinny. I can get answers out of a variety of the question threads here, but putting it all together is a bit of a different matter.
Bought a house 18 months ago. Put 20% down, got a 3.5% rate, really happy with that.
Main vehicle was on its last legs, I bought a used car to replace it in May of last year. Has like a 2.2% but the net financing cost (5yr) is going to work out to 20% of the purchase price. It's our only car now.
Have the following cards:
- BOA - Had this one for over 10 years. Credit limit ~20k
- Discover - Around six years I think? Credit limit ~16k (just went up)
- Chase - Had this one nearly 10 years, credit limit started/stayed at 5k. I've only really used it for balance transfer offers
- Costco AMEX - About two years, limit 10k
- Store card (Capital One) - We only use this for same-as-cash purchasing, about 3k on it with 10k limit
Basically, I'm using the Discover for daily activity, but I know the reward rate is pretty meager (I'm probably getting a net of $250 Amazon credit a year maybe?). I was thinking I might apply for an airline card. So, two questions:
Should I wait to apply for the card until it's been a year or longer after the car loan? I've never missed a payment on anything, but I know that after getting the mortgage, my low-800 score took a big hit and when I got the car my score was somewhere closer to 690 (going off memory, could be wrong). Haven't checked it since then.
Should I close the Chase card before/after I apply? I know that closing it will make my overall utilization go up (see below) but I don't want to appear over-extended.