Will Banks Give Me a Second Credit Card if I Already Have One With Them?

Your credit card issuer knows a lot about your financial habits.

When shopping around for the best credit card, you’ll no doubt notice that most banks offer many different types of cards. There are bank cards with 0% APR introductory rates on new purchases, credit cards that are loaded with travel perks and others that accumulate reward points. There are bank cards that are perfect for racking up gas miles and other credit cards that work well for people with poor credit.

A credit card savvy shopper knows that using a combination of credit cards — especially ones with big score sign-up bonuses — is one of the best ways to make the most out of those credit card offers. But many people get caught up on the question of whether their bank will even give them a second credit card. That doubt leads them to avoid applying for one, which means they’ll then miss out on really taking advantage of their credit.

The relationship you have with your current bank is crucial for you to get approved for a first or even second credit card. Read on to find out whether banks will give you a second credit card if you already have one with them.

The Truth About Getting a Second Credit Card With the Same Bank

Your credit card approval odds are definitely affected by already having an existing credit with a bank. In fact, if you are responsible with your monthly payments and keeping tabs on your account, it is actually easier to get a second credit card with a bank where you’re already a customer than it is to get a credit card at a new bank.

Reasons Banks Approve a Second Credit Card Application

There are no guarantees in life, but as long as you’ve been managing your current account properly, you’ve got every reason to assume that you’ll easily get approved for the second card. In addition to your present account standing and history that you have with the bank, a credit card issuer is likely to look at a few other factors including:

  • Your current income
  • Your current credit score
  • Your debt utilization
  • Your late payment history

These things make up the majority of your credit profile so to speak.

Related: Best Cash-Back Credit Cards

Debt-to-Income Ratio

In addition to seeing that you are paying back debt responsibly, banks want to see that you’re using your credit wisely and not spreading yourself to thin. In other words, they’re looking for a healthy debt to income ratio. What does this mean? If you have a lot of debt against a limited income, your debt to income ratio, also called DTI, will be higher. In general, you’ll want to keep your DTI below 36 percent, with no more than 28 percent going towards your mortgage if you have one. Naturally, the lower your DTI, the better.

For example, if you spend $1,000 a month on your mortgage, $500 on a personal loan and $500 on your credit card payments, then altogether you’re paying $2,000 worth of debt each month. If your income is $8,000 each month, then your DTI would be 25 percent, which is solidly below 36 percent.

Credit Utilization

Your credit utilization works in a similar way. Credit utilization is the ratio of your current credit card balance against your overall credit limit. A healthy credit utilization score is a low one, ideally 30 percent, so if you do carry a balance each month, make sure to keep it within this range. Having a good credit utilization ratio will positively impact your credit score.

Don’t Abuse Your Credit Cards

All that being said about low credit utilization, not spending at all or closing out the credit card account won’t benefit your credit score either. Banks want to see that you are using your credit responsibly, which means using it regularly and paying off your balance in a timely manner. This is a good sign of healthy financial behavior and one that can increase your credit card approval odds. In fact, building your credit is one of the best reasons to get a second credit card.

Read: 9 Tips to Build Your Credit and Get Approved

What You Need to Know About Having a Second Credit Card

It’s a great choice to get a second credit card from the same bank as your current card, because often times banks will approve you without even pulling your credit report if you’re a loyal customer.

Before you sign up for multiple credit cards from the same bank, there are a few pointers to keep in mind, such as:

  • Pay attention to due dates: Due dates for your new credit card may not be the same just because they’re from the same issuer, and you don’t want to get caught off guard and end up missing a payment because of it.
  • Keep payments organized: Make at least the minimum payment for each card each month. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of triggering a late payment penalty fee for both credit cards.
  • Read credit card terms carefully: If you’re signing up for another card because of a hefty signup bonus, read the terms carefully. Some card issuers won’t allow you to cash in on multiple signup bonuses.

Read: Best High-Limit Credit Cards

Use Your Credit Cards Wisely to Build Better Credit

Regardless of whether you’re signing up for a second credit card from the same bank or a different one than your current card, one thing you should ask yourself is whether or not you can handle another card. One of the worst things you can do for your credit is overload yourself with multiple credit card debts, especially if you’re carrying other debts like an auto loan or mortgage.

Make sure you have the money to cover the expenses you are charging, and always spend responsibly. This will ensure that your credit remains healthy and available for you when you need it.

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