actorpat wrote:Is there a time-frame of how long I should wait to apply (for my credit reports to reflect not having any debt)?
However long it takes for your creditors to report and for the CRA's to update. A week after statement end is probably safe. If you want to be sure you can use a CMS to verify reported balances. Or wait longer.
actorpat wrote:I'm very interested in applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, but of course want to get the best interest rate and limit I can.
CSP is a fixed 15.99% currently though your limit can definitely be affected by your utilization.
actorpat wrote:Is there a "best time" to apply for certain cards?
Yup. When one's credit is in best shape. Is utilization your only problem?