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Tim Cook presenting Apple Card at Apple's March 2019 Event

The release of Apple Card is imminent, and people are just waiting for an announcement in their inbox that Apple Card applications are open. While we still are waiting on an actual release date, Apple reiterated at WWDC 2019 that the card will be released this summer, so we can expect it in the next few months. Since its release is getting closer, it's a good idea to make sure your credit score is solid so that you have a good chance of being approved.

One mistake that people make when applying for, or after getting approved for a credit card, is to close other credit cards that they have. Closing a credit card can make sense in certain situations. Perhaps you're trying to avoid debt, you just have way too many cards, or you're upgrading to a different card that serves your needs better. While these are all valid reasons, closing a credit card can have a negative effect on your credit because of two things: utilization and length of credit history.

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Credit card utilization and length of credit history are two of five things that make up your FICO credit score. Closing a credit card will increase your credit card utilization since you will have less overall credit limits. Depending on how much this utilization increases by, your credit score could decrease. This, of course, would be temporary if you eventually either pay down your credit card debt or open a new credit card. The other is the length of credit history, which is also important to the credit bureaus as it shows them you have responsibly held credit for a long period of time. If you, for instance, close the credit card that you've had open the longest, your length of credit history will go down and also potentially pull down your credit score.

wallet holding a few credit cards and cash

While no one needs a heap of credit cards hanging around forever, keeping a few credit cards open at the same time, for a long length of time, has its benefits. For one, you'll continue to grow your credit score as long as you keep your accounts active, your balances low, and your payments on time. You also can focus on a few cards that you've identified as the best cards for your financial plan that will get you the best rewards possible. While Apple Card is bringing some fantastic rewards and solid money management features, it doesn't do everything. Do some research to find out the cards that you already have that best pair with your Apple Card. Together, you'll have the best of both worlds.

Our favorite card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With its sign-up bonus having just jumped to 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months, now's the time to add the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to your wallet. Even better, future travel and dining purchases earn 2x points per dollar spent and it includes valuable travel benefits like primary car rental insurance. All of these extras make its $95 annual fee easy to justify.

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