Will Signing Up for a Credit Card Hurt my Credit Score?

I was just about to check-out during a recent visit to Amazon.com – when an ad popped up. It said that if I opened up an Amazon credit card, I could get $40 credit added to the card. This meant that I could get my purchase for free plus have an extra $30 left over!

“What could be better than having Amazon pay for my purchase AND give me some extra cash?!” I thought to myself.

It’s not that good of a deal

Well, I didn’t end up accepting Amazon’s offer. In fact, I know by now (in my 37th year) that things are often times not as they appear.

I came upon a resourceful article by SmartMoney.com entitled, “5 Things That Can Hurt Your Credit Score“. Among them? You guessed it – signing up for a store credit card.

Landing a 15% discount on that new winter coat — just for signing up for a Banana Republic store card — can be really tempting. The problem, though, comes when the collection of cards in your wallet look like the store directory at the mall.

The article related that when a person has too many lines of credit open – it is seen as a negative to the credit bureaus.

The negative impact on your credit score will most likely outweigh those one-time discounts at the store..

Is it worth it?

Ultimately you will have to weigh this one on  your own. If you already have a pretty good credit score, I don’t know if I would risk it with a 10% off coupon or even $40 cash-back.

As a Dave Ramsey adherent, we’re told not to worship at the “Almighty FICO” score. I would agree. However, to operate in this economy, having a good credit score is a great asset. And, I would just treat as such. An asset that can serve you well.

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