How to Boost Your Credit Score Quickly So You Can Earn Rewards | (2024)

How to Boost Your Credit Score Quickly So You Can Earn Rewards | (1) Holly Johnson

Updated On: June 14, 2023 5 Minute Read

Financial Tips

Earning cash back or travel rewards can be a dream come true, but it’s a dream that’s out of reach for many. The reality is, rewards and travel credit cards are only available to consumers with good or excellent credit. The rest of the world is forced to miss out, relying on boring credit cards with few perks or benefits.

If your credit score has you sitting on the sidelines, you may be wondering what it would take to get you in the game. What kind of credit score do you need to get your own rewards credit card? And how can you get started working toward that goal?

We’ll go over those questions and more in this guide. If you have bad credit but wish you were earning cash back or travel rewards, keep reading to learn more.

What Kind of Credit Do You Need to Earn Points and Miles?

First things first. You should check your credit score to see where you’re at. It’s possible your credit isn’t quite as bad as you think, but either way, getting a free look at your credit score can help you determine how much work you’ll need to do.

Since most credit card issuers look at your FICO score, we’ll rely on for details on how good your credit needs to be to get a rewards credit card. According to the myFICO website, consumers with “very good” or “excellent” FICO scores, or scores of 740 or higher, are most likely to get approved for loans and other financial products with the best rates and terms.

Consumers with scores that are considered “good,” or in the 670 to 739 range, are usually considered “acceptable” but may or may not be approved.

5 Ways to Boost Your Score Fast

To have the best chance at getting approved for any rewards credit card you want, you should strive to get your credit score as high as possible while keeping these ranges in mind. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to accomplish this goal in less time than you think. Here’s where you should focus your time and your energy.

Make On-Time Payments

Late payments can lead to costly late fees, but they can also wreak havoc on your credit score. Make sure you’re paying all your bills earlier than normal as you work to improve your credit in the short-term and over the long haul. If you need to take dramatic steps to avoid paying bills late, set up your bills on automatic payments, mark your calendar with payment due dates, or set alarms on your phone.

According to, your payment history makes up 35% of your FICO score — that makes it more important than any other factor they consider.

Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report

Errors on your credit report can also pose a huge problem and cause your score to drop, but you may not know they’re there unless you look.

Take the time to look at a free copy of all three of your credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion using the website If you find false negative information or any reporting errors, follow the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) guide to disputing errors and have them removed.

Pay Down Debt

The second most important factor that makes up your FICO score is the amount of debt you owe in relation to your credit limits, also known as your credit utilization. The higher your utilization, the riskier you seem to credit reporting agencies and creditors. Therefore, you’ll be a lot better off if you can pay down debt and reduce your utilization percentage.

Most experts suggest keeping your credit utilization below 30% of your available credit limits, with utilization higher than that having the potential to hurt your score.

Pay down debt and you may see your credit score rising in a hurry. Just remember to stop using credit cards for purchases while you focus on debt repayment.

Don’t Open or Close Cards

A few other factors that help determine your FICO score include the average length of your credit history and any new credit you apply for. However, both of these factors are ones you can influence with smart credit management.

Since the average length of your credit history can be shortened any time you open a new card or close an old one, for example, it’s best to simply stick with the cards you have while you’re trying to boost your score. This is why many experts suggest keeping old cards open — even if you don’t use them. The fact you’ve had them a while is likely lengthening your credit history, and that’s a good thing.

Opening new cards should also be avoided unless it’s absolutely necessary. New credit also makes up 10% of your FICO score, and any new loans or credit cards you apply for will result in a hard inquiry on your credit report.

Get a Secured Credit Card First

Here’s an exception where it can make sense to get a new credit card while you improve your credit score. If your credit is so bad that you can’t seem to boost it through other methods, picking up a secured credit card may be your best bet.

Unlike unsecured credit cards that extend a line of credit without collateral, secured credit cards require you to put down a cash deposit to get approved. This deposit is then used to secure your line of credit, letting you use your card for purchases and pay them off as normal.

Secured credit cards report your credit movements to the three credit reporting agencies, however. This lets you build credit where you may not be able to otherwise, potentially improving your score along the way.

Also remember that, with a secured credit card, you’ll eventually get your cash deposit back when you close your account in good standing or upgrade to an unsecured credit card.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Information in these articles is brought to you by CreditSoup. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles. The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted; however, all credit card information is presented without warranty. Please check the issuer’s website for the most current information.

How to Boost Your Credit Score Quickly So You Can Earn Rewards | (2024)


How to immediately boost credit score? ›

You can:
  1. Pay your bills more frequently. ...
  2. Pay down your debt but keep old credit accounts open. ...
  3. Request an increase to your credit limit.

What brings your credit score up the fastest? ›

4 tips to boost your credit score fast
  • Pay down your revolving credit balances. If you have the funds to pay more than your minimum payment each month, you should do so. ...
  • Increase your credit limit. ...
  • Check your credit report for errors. ...
  • Ask to have negative entries that are paid off removed from your credit report.

How to raise credit score 50 points in 30 days? ›

  1. Pay credit card balances strategically.
  2. Ask for higher credit limits.
  3. Become an authorized user.
  4. Pay bills on time.
  5. Dispute credit report errors.
  6. Deal with collections accounts.
  7. Use a secured credit card.
  8. Get credit for rent and utility payments.
Mar 26, 2024

How to increase credit score 100 points in 1 month? ›

Here are 10 ways to increase your credit score by 100 points - most often this can be done within 45 days.
  1. Check your credit report. ...
  2. Pay your bills on time. ...
  3. Pay off any collections. ...
  4. Get caught up on past-due bills. ...
  5. Keep balances low on your credit cards. ...
  6. Pay off debt rather than continually transferring it.

How to get a 720 credit score in 6 months? ›

To improve your credit score to 720 in six months, follow these steps:
  1. Review your credit report to dispute errors and identify areas for improvement.
  2. Make all payments on time and avoid applying for new credit.
  3. Lower your utilization ratio by paying down balances, increasing credit limits, or consolidating your debt.
Jan 18, 2024

How can I instantly get my credit score? ›

There are a few main ways to get your credit scores.
  1. Check your credit card or other loan statement. Many major credit card companies and other lenders provide credit scores for their customers. ...
  2. Talk to a nonprofit counselor. ...
  3. Use a credit score service.
Oct 19, 2023

What is #1 factor in improving your credit score? ›

1. Payment History: 35% Making debt payments on time every month benefits your credit scores more than any other single factor—and just one payment made 30 days late can do significant harm to your scores.

Should I pay off my credit card in full or leave a small balance? ›

It's a good idea to pay off your credit card balance in full whenever you're able. Carrying a monthly credit card balance can cost you in interest and increase your credit utilization rate, which is one factor used to calculate your credit scores.

Is 650 a good credit score? ›

As someone with a 650 credit score, you are firmly in the “fair” territory of credit. You can usually qualify for financial products like a mortgage or car loan, but you will likely pay higher interest rates than someone with a better credit score. The "good" credit range starts at 690.

How fast does credit score go up after paying off a credit card? ›

How long after paying off debt will my credit scores change? The three nationwide CRAs generally receive new information from your creditors and lenders every 30 to 45 days. If you've recently paid off a debt, it may take more than a month to see any changes in your credit scores.

How to repair credit fast? ›

How to improve your credit score
  1. Check your credit report for errors. ...
  2. Prioritize paying on time. ...
  3. Work to pay down your debts. ...
  4. Become an authorized user. ...
  5. Request a credit line increase. ...
  6. Handle debt in collections. ...
  7. Consider opening a secured card. ...
  8. Get credit for other payments.
Apr 30, 2024

How to boost FICO score fast? ›

Paying your bills on time Is one of the most important steps in improving your credit score. Pay down your credit card balances to keep your overall credit use low. You can also phone your credit card company and ask for a credit increase, and this shouldn't take more than an hour.

Can I pay someone to fix my credit? ›

Yes, it is possible to pay someone to help fix your credit. These individuals or companies are known as credit repair companies and they specialize in helping individuals improve their credit score.

What credit score is needed to buy a house? ›

The minimum credit score needed for most mortgages is typically around 620. However, government-backed mortgages like Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans typically have lower credit requirements than conventional fixed-rate loans and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).

Can I increase my credit score in one day? ›

Paying your bills on time Is one of the most important steps in improving your credit score. Pay down your credit card balances to keep your overall credit use low. You can also phone your credit card company and ask for a credit increase, and this shouldn't take more than an hour.

What is the fastest way to get a 700 credit score? ›

Pay on Time, Every Time

Your payment history is the most important factor in determining your credit score. Making on-time payments every month is crucial to getting your credit score above 700. If you have some late payments on your credit report, it may make it more difficult to build your credit score.

How to raise your credit score 200 points in 30 days? ›

How to Raise Your Credit Score by 200 Points
  1. Get More Credit Accounts.
  2. Pay Down High Credit Card Balances.
  3. Always Make On-Time Payments.
  4. Keep the Accounts that You Already Have.
  5. Dispute Incorrect Items on Your Credit Report.

How to remove hard inquiries in 15 minutes? ›

If you identify an unauthorized hard inquiry, here's a detailed approach on how to remove hard inquiries in 15 minutes:
  1. Dispute with the Credit Bureau: Initiate a dispute online or via mail. ...
  2. Contact the Creditor: Engage with the lender or creditor responsible for the inquiry. ...
  3. Safeguard Your Credit:
Oct 10, 2023


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