Credit scores are influenced by several factors, including how often you apply for new credit. When a hard inquiry (meaning a lender views your credit history in response to your application for credit) shows up on your credit report, your score can drop by a few points. If you are approved for the new card, though, your credit score can rise. That’s because if you have existing credit card debt, your utilization ratio will go down when the new credit limit is reported (assuming you don’t add new debt).
Damage caused by an inquiry diminishes over time, and after one year, the inquiry is no longer factored into your score. Damage from a single credit application is usually negligible. If you apply for a card once every 12 to 18 months, you may not notice the effect much or at all. On the other hand, if you apply for several cards within six months, you could see a significant drop in your score. Also, many credit card issuers may deny your application if your report shows more than two or three inquiries in the past six months.