How many credit cards should I have? This is a question that a lot of credit card holders normally ask themselves.
The fact of the matter is that there is NO limit to the number of credit cards one can have. However, it will be useless to have many credit cards that you do not use at all or do not benefit you in any way.
The tricky thing is, there’s no magic number for how many credit cards a person should have, says Bill Hardekopf, CEO at LowCards.com.
Does Having Many Credits Cards Have Any Advantage?
Yes, it actually does. More credit cards could actually help improve your credit score. As you probably know by now, a good credit score is very important for saving on insurance rates, getting loans, and even getting a job.
Another benefit of having many credit cards is higher credit limits and better debt utilization.
You will also get to enjoy the benefits and rewards that come with the individual credit cards.
Americans on average have 3.1 credit cards and 2.5 retail (store) cards, according to a 2017 state of credit report by Experian.
Is there a Downside to Having Too Many Credit Cards?
Yes. Besides being beneficial in some way, having multiple credit cards can also be risky. While simply the number of cards you have does not directly affect your score, there are other considerations you need to keep in mind.
1). Every New Card You Open Affects Your Credit
There are some people who are always in a rush to open new credit cards whenever they see attractive offers. Even though this may only result into a temporary drop of very few points, the new cards can also reduce the average age of your credit history.
These may appear like small hits, but they can add up and be the difference between you being approved for a major loan or not in future.
2). Maintaining Many Cards is Quite Difficult
It is imperative that you use each of your credit cards regularly if you do not want credit card companies to close them due to inactivity.
When the cards are too many, it can prove difficult to keep track of them and make sure that each one of them is used at least once every quarter of a year.
3). Many Cards Could Cause You to Overspend
You may end up spending more than you should especially when you are trying to meet the minimum spending requirements and chasing rewards.
Also, too many cards mean many bills, and chances of not paying one of those bills on time are very high.
However, if you spend responsibly and make sure that your bills are paid in full every month, the credit cards will not be hurtful to your finances. In fact, they could help your credit.
Recommended Article: Should You Cancel Your Unused Credit Cards?
The question as to how many credit cards one should have really depends on the comfort of an individual and the ability to handle and manage them well. For someone who is just starting out with credit or is rebuilding their credit, having only one credit card is a good idea.
Once you have successfully learned how to manage one credit card, you will be ready to take on the responsibilities that come with the additional credit cards. As you open new credit cards, make sure that consider your ability to pay and track those cards.