Let’s face it, owning multiple credit cards can be a great way to earn some extra cash for savings, but it can also be a pain. It would be nice if there was a way to make sure you do not exceed your credit limits and be forced to pay high fees. But there isn’t. So, how many credit cards do you really need?

As your income increases, you are able to afford more and more things. But, buying things with a credit card can feel like a gamble. Should you open up a new credit card just to keep an eye on it, or keep the amount of cards to a minimum?

I’ve been a credit card junkie for as long as I can remember, but I can no longer justify owning more than a few cards. I used to get cards as gifts and run up massive balances, then pay them off early to avoid interest charges and fees. I’ve started using a few free cards for convenience and found that I don’t need as many as I thought.. Read more about how many credit cards should i have reddit and let us know what you think.

How Many Credit Cards Should I Own

I’ve had a number of credit cards throughout my adult life… At this time, there are probably dozens!

My father was the one who urged me to obtain my first one so that I could begin using it responsibly and establish a solid credit history. But it wasn’t long before I discovered that utilizing credit cards had a more profitable side. As a result, I started to cycle between them on a regular basis, trying to take advantage of as many benefits as possible.

I’ve applied for nearly every major credit card you can imagine and received a variety of free travel incentives, gift cards, and cash. Despite the fact that I haven’t kept count, I believe the total worth of these prizes to be in the tens of thousands of dollars. And the majority of it happened in the last five years.

However, there have been occasions when the amount of cards I had open seemed a little excessive, and perhaps even dangerous.

This is when I started looking into the effects of having numerous credit cards on your credit score (also known as your FICO score). FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, and it is the score used by approximately 90% of lenders to evaluate whether or not you would be a responsible borrower.

Credit cards are still a relatively new financial tool for many individuals, and there is a lot of misunderstanding about how to use them correctly.

In this article, I’d want to clarify everything and assist you figure out how many credit cards you should have. We’ll also discuss why individuals open several credit cards, how this affects your credit score, and some strategies for avoiding debt.

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How many credit cards does the average person have?

According to a 2019 Experian Consumer Credit Review, the typical American owns around four credit cards in his or her name. The following states had the most cards per resident:

  • New Jersey is a state in the United States (4.1 cards)
  • Connecticut is a state in the United States (3.8 cards)
  • New York is a city in the United States (3.8 cards)

With 2.8 cards per inhabitant, Alaska has the fewest.

Why do people carry several credit cards?

My initial credit card had a simple design. It was a $500 spending limit student card with no incentives. I even got to choose the front design!

However, like the majority of individuals, I did not keep this credit card indefinitely. I soon realized that there were a number of alternative credit cards out there with much greater advantages and benefits once I became used to using them.

Whether you pay your bills on time or need assistance with an existing debt, there are products available today for almost every kind of consumer. Here are a few of the most compelling reasons to open numerous credit cards.

Rewards

One of the primary reasons I started to switch credit cards throughout the years was for the rewards. Every time you make a transaction with your credit card, you get points. These points may then be redeemed for a variety of things, including cash back, gift cards, and even free vacation.

When I was in college, I made my first big credit card reward score. There was a card designed specifically for students that provided a 5% discount on tuition payments. I recall using it once and earned $200 with just one transaction!

Today, you can find credit cards with incentives for almost every kind of transaction you make on a regular basis:

  • Gas
  • Groceries
  • Restaurants
  • Purchases made via the internet
  • Travel
  • Expenses for the company

These days, I have two cards that I use on a daily basis: Chase Freedom and Discover Cashback. They appeal to me since they provide five different reward categories, each of which pays out 5% and rotates every quarter.

For example, from January to March, one card could give 5% off petrol while the other focuses on grocery store purchases. I can maximize the amount of points I receive with each transaction if I use them wisely every month.

Before applying for your next credit card, take a look at your spending habits and discover which of these categories you use the most. Then choose a credit card that gives you the best rewards for those transactions.

Bonuses for Newcomers

In the past five years, I’d say introductory incentives have surpassed sign-up bonuses as my primary motivation for applying for and establishing new credit cards. A promo bonus is when a credit card gives you a large number of points simply for signing up and spending a specific amount of money during the first 3-4 months.

For me, it all started with a desire to learn more about travel hacking. I’d been hearing on podcasts about all these individuals who were touring the globe for almost nothing by taking advantage of different credit card deals. I was desperate to have a piece of the action and started researching how it all worked.

When Chase initially launched the Sapphire Reserve card in 2016, it was one of my greatest wins. This was a high-end credit card with a hefty annual charge of $450!

It did, however, come with a fantastic offer of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points and $300 in annual travel statement credit. Credit card users soon recognized that this was a fantastic return on their investment because:

  • If you booked trip via Chase’s Travel Portal, those 100,000 points might be redeemed for $1,500 in travel.
  • If you received the card in July and used your travel credit twice (one per calendar year), your statement credit might total $600.

According to CEO Jamie Dimon, this promotion was so successful that it resulted in a $200 million loss. Although the Sapphire Reserve card is still available, the bonus offer has been decreased considerably.

Chase isn’t the only credit card that I’ve used throughout the years. There have also been a slew of additional incentives that have resulted in payouts of $500 to $1,000. Even now, I’m constantly on the lookout for the next one.

Balance Transfers and Low APRs

If you’re planning a big purchase, looking for a card with a low or 0% APR introductory period may be very beneficial. The credit card firm typically charges you this special interest rate for a period of 6 to 24 months.

When I’m ready to make a pretty big purchase, I’ve done this numerous times at shops like Home Depot or furniture stores. They offered a 48-month no-interest deal when we purchased a bedroom set for our present house. As a result, we were able to reduce the monthly payments to less than $100 and pay it off as if it were cash.

Similarly, if you have current credit card debt, you may be able to perform a balance transfer and transfer your debt to one of these other kinds of credit cards. This will decrease interest accumulation considerably, allowing you to make more sensible purchases without accruing large sums of interest.

Benefits for Cardholders

Aside from the instant payment of rewards, credit cards may also provide a variety of additional benefits. Access to airport travel lounges, early concert ticket access, and other concierge services are examples of these.

The Amex Centurion card (formerly known as the “black”) is one of the most extreme instances of this. You have elite status with almost every airline, hotel, and car rental business you can think of if you have one. It does, however, come with a $5,000 yearly charge and a minimum of $350,000 in transactions each year – no thanks!

On a much lesser scale, I recall having a credit card that was only for Delta. We were given complimentary checked baggage, which saved me about $120. Score!

Emergencies

People often keep additional credit cards on hand in case of an emergency. There are a variety of circumstances in which you may need fast, simple access to funds that you would not usually have (or have time to wait for). Medical expenses or situations prohibiting you from returning home while abroad are examples.

Though a credit card might provide you the money you need quickly, bear in mind that if you weren’t able to pay it off right away, you’d have to face with the consequences of interest. This is why, in order to be really prepared, I would suggest maintaining a 3- to 6-month emergency fund instead.

Is it True That Having Multiple Credit Cards Aids in Credit Building?

It does, in fact, fit the bill. When we examine the major variables that influence your FICO score, we can see that having several credit cards may benefit you in a variety of ways.

Your Credit Card Usage

Your credit score is calculated in part by the amount of money you spend on your credit card. This is determined by a figure known as your credit usage ratio.

The amount you owe divided by the entire available credit line equals your credit usage. Most experts agree that this percentage should never exceed 30% for any billing cycle.

When you regularly use your credit card, this is something you should be aware of. As an example,

  • Let’s assume you have a $10,000 budget.
  • If you spend $3,000 a month, you’ll be right at the 30% mark, which you don’t want to go over.

Even if you maintain your spending at 25%, you’ll be on the verge of crossing the 30% threshold. The objective is to reduce this figure as much as feasible (without going to zero).

Multiple credit cards may help you accomplish this. Here’s an example of how it’s done:

  • Let’s suppose you have three credit cards, each with a $10,000 credit limit, instead of just one.
  • You may now spend $1,000 on each credit card, lowering your credit usage to 10%.

One of the reasons I enjoy having several credit cards is because of this. If I check my spending and it’s approaching 20%, I may go to another card and spend there instead.

History of Payments

Your FICO score is based on your payment history, which accounts for 35% of your total score. The more payments you make that match the minimal criteria and are received on time, the higher my score will be.

As a result, you might argue that paying with several cards is preferable than paying with only one. This is because there will be numerous records of on-time and complete payments, demonstrating to lenders that I am capable of managing many cards responsibly.

Credit History Length

Your FICO score is based on the duration of your credit history, which accounts for 15% of your total score. This contains your oldest and newest cards, as well as the average age of your whole collection.

If you’re the kind of person who only uses one credit card at a time, your credit age will always be low. If you have several cards, though, this will raise their age and most likely add points.

What Are the Consequences of Having Several Credit Cards?

While the benefits of collecting a lot of rewards points and building a good FICO score are appealing, having several credit cards has some disadvantages. If you’re not cautious, there are a few things that might go wrong.

There’s Even More to Keep Track Of

Making sure that all of your credit cards are paid on time is one of the most difficult aspects of having numerous credit cards. It’s extremely simple to make a mistake and miss a payment if you do everything manually. Not only will this have a bad impact on your credit score, but it may also result in the accumulation of late fees and interest.

This is why, whenever I receive a new credit card, one of the first things I do is set it up for automatic payments. That way, I’m certain that I’ll always pay on time and in full.

The Allure of Excessive Spending

Unless you’re already budget-conscious, having several credit cards may provide you the chance to spend much more than you’ll be able to repay on time.

Some individuals have the tendency to stack cards one after the other. This is a very risky method to use credit cards since you are unlikely to be able to pay it off in one payment cycle. This implies you’ll have to deal with daily interest buildup on several cards, not just one.

Fees for a Year

Some credit cards have fees associated with them. A lot of them will demand an annual fee ranging from $95 to $450, depending on which ones have the most attractive rewards schemes.

I’ve had many of these cards, and the only way to prevent getting charged more than required is to make sure you have a system in place to keep track of them. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of all of my active cards and to alert me when I’m about to have to pay the yearly fee again.

If I get a new credit card, should I cancel the old one?

No. This is due to the 15 percent of your FICO score that is determined by the “length of credit history” component. Every time you cancel one card and start a new one, the clock resets and your age is reduced.

A better strategy is to keep your oldest card (or cards) open forever (as long as you don’t have to pay an annual fee). Any additional cards you get will be in addition to those already in your possession.

This is something I’ve done with my Discover Cashback card. I acquired it over 20 years ago and have no plans to close it since those 20 years of use contribute positively to my FICO score.

What is the Optimal Number of Credit Cards?

Surprisingly, the majority of experts believe that there is no optimal amount of credit cards for any individual. This is because the amount of cards you have is not a variable in your credit score computation.

Consider Walter Cavanagh of Santa Clara, California, if you don’t believe that. With 1,497 credit cards in his name and a $1.7 million credit line, he holds the Guinness World Record!

Mr. Plastic Fantastic, as he’s known, also has a near-perfect credit rating. Despite the fact that he has a lot of credit cards, he only uses one and takes sure to pay it off every month.

how many credit cards is too many

Is it possible to have too many credit cards?

Even while there is no hard and fast rule about having too many credit cards, there are instances when having too many may be detrimental.

Serious Inquiries

A hard inquiry occurs when someone does a credit check on you and gets your credit report. When you apply for a new loan or credit card, the lender will do a hard credit pull to review your whole credit record and determine if you are a dangerous borrower.

If you perform too many of them within a 12-month period, your credit score may begin to suffer.

Keep in mind that this may have an impact on more than just your ability to get a new credit card. It may also prevent you from getting a mortgage, car loan, bank account, or even renting an apartment.

5/24 Rule by Chase

The 5/24 rule is one of the most well-known and dreaded regulations among credit card rewards aficionados. This is a Chase regulation that states that if you’ve applied for more than 5 credit cards in the past 24 months, you won’t be accepted for a new one.

If you want to apply for the famous Chase Sapphire Preferred card but have already opened five other credit cards in the last two years, you will almost certainly be rejected. Those 5 more credit cards may be from different companies, such as Citi, Capital One, or American Express.

7 Fantastic Methods for Managing Multiple Credit Cards

As someone who has juggled hundreds of credit cards over the years, I can tell you that if you’re not cautious, it can rapidly spiral out of control. If you’re not cautious, you might end yourself forgetting to make a payment or being charged interest on an account that you don’t need.

Here are some of the ways I keep out of debt when managing several credit cards.

1. Organize yourself

My preferred method of ensuring that no credit card slips through the cracks is to have a summary or report on hand at all times. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of all of my current credit cards.

This spreadsheet isn’t fancy or complex in any way. It’s just a simple list where I keep track of key information like the current amount, due date, and any other useful reminders.

2. Keep a running tally of your total spending.

Overspending is a very real risk when you have more than one credit card at your disposal, as I previously said. To make sure you’re looking at your spending as a whole, I suggest downloading a free budgeting software (like Mint), connecting it to each of your credit cards, and using it to track your transactions to make sure they don’t exceed the monthly budget you established for yourself.

3. Enable Automated Payments

Automatic payments are now available on almost every credit card. After entering onto your dashboard with a new credit card, the first thing you should do is enable autopay. Make sure it’s set to pay the “Statement Balance in Full” so you don’t have to pay any interest.

4. Be aware of important dates.

Even if you have autopay set up, it’s a good practice to keep track of when each of your credit cards has a payment due. That way, you can always be confident that your bank account has enough money to cover the payment and that it will not bounce.

5. Limit yourself to one or two credit cards for everyday purchases.

Whatever your rationale for holding several credit cards, carrying just one or two of them with you is usually a smart idea. This will not only help you limit your spending and keep it to a reasonable amount of cards, but it will also make losing your wallet or pocketbook less of a hassle.

I choose which cards to include in my rotation based on their potential for rewards. For example, if I have one that I know would pay 5% cashback on petrol or groceries, that’s the one I’m bringing with me for the month.

6. Review all of your accounts on a weekly basis.

I check my credit cards weekly using the spreadsheet I described in tip #1. This is for checking items that aren’t covered by autopay.

For example, I typically go through the transactions from the previous week. This is just to ensure that I am familiar with all of the transactions and that nothing untoward is occurring.

My credit usage ratio for each credit card will also be examined. If I’m dangerously near to or even above the suggested 30 percent level, I’ll usually make an early payment to decrease it before the cycle ends. That manner, the number will be reduced before it is reported to the credit bureaus.

7. Discard any cards that are no longer required.

You’ll have to cancel some credit cards at some time. Maybe you don’t want to be charged an annual fee, or maybe you simply don’t want to bother with keeping track of them all. In any case, there are a few things to bear in mind when doing so.

When you’ve decided it’s time to let one go, contact the credit card company’s customer service department. After you cancel your account, they will usually give you a confirmation (via email or letter).

It’s also a good idea to do rid of the actual credit card. Plastic cards may simply be cut into little pieces and discarded. Metal cards (such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred) may need to be returned to the credit card provider for appropriate disposal.

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Final Thoughts

There are many advantages to having multiple credit cards. From maximizing incentives to improving your FICO score, effectively managing several lines of credit may provide a slew of advantages.

Giving out several credit cards, on the other hand, comes with its own set of dangers. Never take up more credit cards than you can afford to pay off in a timely manner.

Your cards will be easier to monitor this manner, and the temptation to overspend will be much reduced. The greatest thing you can do is remain as organized as possible and constantly consider your purchases in context (using the help of a budgeting app).

The greatest piece of advise I can offer you as someone who has successfully handled numerous credit cards over the years is to automate the process and remain informed. Ensure that each account pays itself in whole and on time so that you are never charged interest. Check in on a frequent basis to ensure that you’re on track and that everything seems to be in order.

If you can keep your spending under control and stay disciplined, you’ll be able to take advantage of a slew of benefits, including hundreds of dollars in cash back and free vacation. It’s my reward for excellent credit card management.

Continue reading:

  • How to Begin Using Credit Cards the Correct Way
  • The Credit Commandments: Three Easy Steps To Mastering Your Credit Cards
  • How to Avoid Ruining Your Life Due to Credit Cards

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How Many Credit Cards Should I Have? appeared first on How Many Credit Cards Should I Have? The post Minority Mindset appeared first on Minority Mindset.

For many, it seems the way to have all their financial needs met is to open up multiple credit cards. But as the saying goes, too many credit cards are like too many horses. Having an abundance of credit cards can be a very bad idea, since your credit score will suffer and it will be impossible to track your expenditures, unless you dedicate a separate credit-card-payment system to it.. Read more about how many credit cards can i have and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 3 credit cards too many?

Experts recommend 0-3 cards for daily use.

Will too many credit cards hurt my credit?

Yes, carrying multiple credit cards can hurt your credit score. And typically, many credit card issuers are hesitant to issue multiple credit cards to consumers with bad credit and under limited income and financial resources. “It’s not uncommon for one American to have six cards in their wallet, says Stephanie Condon, spokeswoman for Consumer Reports (emphasis added): One American may have six cards in their wallet — the card they get as a high school graduation gift, perhaps, and then the cards they need to purchase various insurance policies, get a cell phone plan, and fund a kids’ 529. Sometimes consumers, reluctant to give up multiple benefits on each card, must shoulder the cost for added account fees, card replacement costs, and other burdens could as a result. credit cards Will signing up for an affinity credit card hurt my credit score? There’s a lot of conflicting information out there regarding the impact of signing up for an affinity credit card on a consumer’s credit score. While some credit scores will have an immediate impact, the reality is that your credit score will take time to improve, and the gap between your new card and any insurance applications may become a permanent factor. The Wall Street Journal suggests that when you apply for a service credit card, it could push down your credit score by as many as 40 points for as much as 18 months. There are many other factors the credit report is impacted by, such as the following: Payment history How you manage debt Stopping credit inquiries Limiting lender inquiries As far as opening an affinity card, here are some ways you power up your credit: If an affinity card shows high interest rates, get a low-interest credit card. If an affinity card is good for a bonus but you got a rate of 30 percent, get a rate of 18 percent. If an affinity card using your status as a professional, get a mileage credit card.

Is it bad to have 4 credit cards?

Answer 4 is bad to have because you might get tempted to whip out the card frequently when you don’t want to. If needed, it’s better to have 2 to 3 credit cards and use them equally.

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