You may believe that opening a new credit card will cause your credit score to automatically plunge.
Reality check: Opening a credit card will only drop your credit score by a handful points. If you have a score resting comfortably in the 700s, this is no big deal.
If you’re in the 500 to 650 range, then you should focus on improving your score, and you likely won’t be eligible for many of the better credit cards, anyhow. Instead, you may need to focus on getting a secured card first, to help improve your score.
One exception to the rule: If you’re applying for a mortgage or another loan, you should hold off on applying for any forms of credit, or doing anything that may cause even a small dip in your score. The higher your credit score when applying for a loan, the lower your interest rate will likely be.