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This morning, I went to open up an account with a certain bank.
During the procedure, I was asked “how many credit cards do you have?”
I wondered why I was being asked such a question. Is this really necessary? So due to curiosity, I confidently asked why they needed to know. All she said is that “its important to know how many credit cards one has.”. How many credit cards should one have?
This automatically forced me to make my own research and I had to inquire from different people and different sites so as to get a good answer.
I am not on any payroll by any financial institution to make this article.
Rather I do it on my own for the good of the readers. I assure all the readers that this will give good first class information about our question.
Very many people have different views on how many credit cards one should have.
According to my research, the number of credit cards you should have entirely depends on the individual and what you want to use them for.
If you do not find any need for more than one credit card, why would you go in for more than one?
This therefore means a person should never have more than they can handle.
So according to me, I think the number of credit cards a person should have entirely depends on the necessity of the cards.
Therefore, there is not specific number of cards one should have.
While the number varies by generation, credit score and other factors, the average American has three credit cards and 2.3 retail store cards, according to a 2021 survey by the credit reporting agency Experian.
How many credit cards should one have?
You should have at least two credit cards, each from a different financial institution or a different network like Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. This is because different network lines offer different offers therefore to enjoy the various different kinds of rewards, its better when you get from different network lines.
Is it possible to have more than one credit card from the same network line?
The answer is yes it is possible. Credit card issuers will not limit you from getting another credit card on their network as long as you meet the qualification criteria.
And, if you’ve always managed your current credit card well, that makes it easier for you to get approved for the new credit card.
But, this doesn’t mean you will automatically get another.
Different issuers have different conditions. Therefore, you may think they will give it to you easily yet their conditions change because the credit card issuer will approve your application based on your current income and credit standing, which may have changed since you applied for the first card.
So you need to inquire from them before you even think it is possible.
But as I said earlier, this entirely depends on you. Some experts just direct you to the similar answers. Therefore, to ensure a mix of credit cards and keep your credit score climbing, credit expert John Ulzheimer suggests asking yourself two questions about the cards in your wallet:
- Do you have cards across more than one network? If you have three cards, but all of them are MasterCard’s, this could be a problem if you run into a merchant who only takes Visa.
For example, Costco only accepts Visa now, though you can use your MasterCard on the wholesaler’s website.
- Do you have a low credit card utilization ratio? Your average balances across all your cards for the past 24 months “should represent no more than 10% of your overall credit limit,” Ulzheimer says.
What is a credit card?
A credit card is a small plastic card issued by a bank, building society, etcetera, allowing the holder to purchase goods or services on credit. It is normally thin and rectangular in shape.
It can also be used by holders to borrow funds. Credit cards impose the condition that cardholders pay back the borrowed money, plus any applicable interest, as well as any additional agreed-upon charges, either in full by the billing date or over time.
An example of a credit card is the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
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Never the less, there are other cards that may also look like credit cards and you may mistake them for being credit cards for example insurance cards and debit cards.
They are also in the same look like credit cards but they are entirely different. In some instances, they also do some of the work a credit card does.
Types of credit cards
Most major credit cards which include Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are issued by banks, credit unions or other financial institutions.
Credit cards are also categorized into different types, which we are going to explore.
You can further categorize them like I do below;
1. Rewards credit cards.
The main goal of credit card issuing institutions is to attract customers in every possible way.
The best way to do this is by offering incentives to attract customers.
The incentives offered include airline miles, hotel room rentals, gift certificates to major retailers and cash back on purchases.
These types of credit cards are generally referred to as rewards credit cards.
2. Store credit cards.
To generate customer loyalty, many national retailers issue branded versions of credit cards, with the store’s name emblazoned on the face of the cards.
Although it’s typically easier for consumers to qualify for a store credit card than for a major credit card, store cards may only be used to make purchases from the issuing retailers, which may offer cardholders perks such as special discounts, promotional notices, or special sales.
Some large retailers also offer co-branded major Visa or MasterCard credit cards that can be used anywhere, not just in retailer stores.
3. Secured credit card.
Secured credit cards are a type of credit card where the cardholder secures the card with a security deposit.
Such cards offer limited lines of credit that are equal in value to the security deposits, which are often refunded after cardholders demonstrate repeated and responsible card usage over time.
These cards are frequently sought by individuals with limited or poor credit histories.
4. Prepaid debit card.
Similar to a secured credit card, a prepaid debit card is a type of secured payment card, where the available funds match the money someone has already parked in a linked bank account.
By contrast, unsecured credit cards do not require security deposits or collateral.
These cards tend to offer higher lines of credit and lower interest rates vs. secured cards.
Back to our question, “How many credit cards should one have?” I referred to Reddit for answers to this question and this is what a few of its users had to say;
“3 seems fine. It’s revolving credit which is important to have as you build credit. Just keep a few things in mind:
- Applying for another card will count as a hard inquiry on your credit report (this will affect your credit score negatively)
- Approval of another credit card will increase your overall revolving credit limit, which should lower your credit utilization % (should improve credit score)
- Approval of another credit card will lower the overall length of your revolving credit history (will lower your credit score)
All of these factors are of course temporary, but in the long run will improve your overall credit history/score as long as you continue to use your CC’s responsibly.”
Having one more credit card than you can handle responsibly is too many. That point is different for every person.
For some it is one card, for others it is 100 cards.
The benefit of having good credit is you can use it to get the best reward cards out there. As long as you pay your balance in full each month and you stick to your budget, save money where you can.
You should have exactly the number of credit cards needed to maximize your rewards. Get the amazon prime card or you are throwing money out the window when you buy stuff on amazon.
But firepebble14 replied
Unless you are doing more than $500 a year at amazon you are not throwing money away.
Prime is not what it used to be. The Majority of people have 2day shipping be default now due to Amazons massive warehouse footprint.
The ONLY thing Prime does is put your order at the head of the queue. Amazon music/movies/drive are all crap services that no one uses.
The bottom line is everyone is free to have any number of credit cards they wish to have.
My advice to you is to make sure you get the number that will work for you in terms of your earnings. Get credit cards whose payments you can fulfill.
You do not want not one that will work against you because the less the credit cards the easier to monitor you’re spending.
Conclusion: How Many Credit Cards Should I Have?
I advise you to take on only 2 credit cards. As I have said before, you probably don’t need three or four credit cards especially if you are not making enough money.
With few credit cards, you can monitor your spending and it is much easier for you to make your payments regularly.