How many credit cards should I have?

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Having more than one credit card is a personal decision and should not be taken lightly. The thing is, having multiple cards requires you to keep track of multiple balances, monthly payments, and due dates, making it easier to overspend or fall behind.

There are other considerations to keep in mind when using multiple cards, such as whether you pay multiple annual fees and whether the cardholder privileges you receive are even worth it.

In the end, the correct number of credit cards varies from person to person and will depend on how you use credit and what kind of cardholder privileges you want. If you’re thinking about getting a second, third, or fourth credit card and wondering if it’s worth it, read on to find out all the things to consider first.

If you have multiple credit cards?

Before you apply for another credit card, it’s important to keep in mind the benefits you can get from having just one. For example, having one credit card makes it much easier to keep track of your spending throughout the month, as you can only log into one account and view it at any time. Having one card can help you earn significant rewards for your spending, especially if you use your card for most of your regular purchases and bills throughout the month.

On the other hand, having multiple credit cards can help you achieve other goals. For example:

  • Multiple credit card registrations can help you earn multiple credit card registration bonuses.
  • Having multiple credit cards can help you earn more rewards in certain spending categories.
  • Having multiple types of credit cards can help you earn different types of rewards, whether it be cash back, points or miles on a hotel or airline loyalty program.

How many credit cards should you have?

Before you decide how many credit cards you need to have, you should think about what you really want most – simplicity or the ability to get more cardholder rewards and perks.

The following scenarios show situations in which you may need one or more cards, depending on your needs.

You want to receive various types of rewards

Maybe you are someone who wants to earn Air Miles and Cashback, or Hotel Points, Air Miles and Cashback on certain types of purchases. In this case, having several different credit cards can help you earn multiple types of rewards and diversify your earning potential.

You want to gamify your rewards experience

Having multiple credit cards can also help you maximize rewards on certain types of purchases. For example, you can get one cashback credit card that offers more points on groceries and gas, and then another that gives you reward points on flights, hotels, and other travel purchases you make.

You want to access a wide range of cardholder benefits

Maybe you need several different types of cardholder benefits that are not necessarily associated with the same card. For example, you can choose a cashback credit card that provides consumer protections such as an extended warranty and purchase protection against damage or theft, and then a travel credit card that offers car rental coverage, cancellation and trip interruption insurance, and other perks. travel related.

You want to access more than one credit card network

If a merchant won’t accept cards from your network (most commonly with American Express and Discover cards), your network is having trouble processing payments, or one of your credit cards isn’t accepted for unexplained reasons when you make a purchase, this can help. have a card from another credit card network that you can use. This is especially true when you are traveling away from home and may not have easy access to cash or an ATM.

Have you had trouble keeping track of your expenses in the past?

If you’ve had problems with credit card debt in the past, having just one card can improve your situation. With only one credit card balance to track, you can keep a close eye on how much you owe and reduce your chances of late bill payments.

You only want cashback

If you’re someone who only wants money back for your expenses, then having more than one credit card might not make any sense. In that case, you’re probably better off with a cashback credit card that offers the highest reward rate you can find on anything you buy.

Are you new to credit?

Credit newbies who are learning the basics for the first time are usually better off with one credit card until they get the hang of it. After all, having one card allows you to add depth to your credit history and develop positive credit habits without falling into financial traps like overspending and long-term debt.

Things to Consider When Using Multiple Credit Cards

If you find yourself drawn to the benefits of having more than one card, make sure you’re set for success. The following tips will help you get the most out of multiple credit cards while avoiding the biggest pitfalls:

  • Check your expenses at least once a week. In order to successfully juggle multiple cards, you need to know exactly how much you have spent on each of them over time. Checking each account once a week can help in this regard.
  • Consider using a budgeting app. You can also use the budgeting app to keep track of all your expenses and purchases in one place. The Mint app is a good free option that allows you to connect credit cards and other accounts.
  • Keep credit usage below 30 percent at all times. If you want to keep your credit score in good shape, you should avoid credit utilization rates that exceed 30 percent on all your cards. This means that for every $10,000 of available credit, you always owe $3,000 or less.
  • Avoid overspending to earn more rewards. Finally, make sure that having multiple cards doesn’t encourage you to spend more than you planned. This tip is especially important when you want to get multiple credit card signup bonuses and need to hit multiple minimum spending thresholds at the same time.

bottom line

How many credit cards you must have doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your cards offer you benefits and rewards that best suit your needs = (which may change over your lifetime). And, of course, you need to make sure you don’t juggle so many cards that you can’t keep track of all due dates.

Editorial disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective judgment of our contributors and is not based on advertising. It was not provided or ordered by credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to our partners’ products.

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