Ok, let's just rip the band-aid off and get straight to it - How many credit cards is too many? There's no exact number of credit cards to have, and it varies for every credit cardholder. It’s certainly good to have one, but it wouldn’t be bad if you had two (or six!) credit cards sitting in your wallet today. What really matters is how you use it. It's a frustrating answer, right? But don’t worry – I can explain…. The cool thing about credit cards is the benefits, and there are so many to choose from! There are store credit cards, cards specifically for air travel, and more credit cards offering cool rewards and perks like cash back or discounted rates at your favorite restaurant. Having options of which credit card to use before making a purchase can feel like you’re 100% covered where you have the flexibility you need for the unexpected. Especially if you're not carrying large amounts of cash. "But how many credit cards is too many?!" As an undergrad, this was my question when I received multiple credit card offers in the mail. It was sooo tempting to apply because the offer meant more credit power at my disposal if approved. But I also had other questions that came with that: What would multiple credit cards mean for my credit score? Would it hurt or help my score and history? Is there a penalty for having too many credit cards? Could I wind up incurring more debt? What should I do with my current credit cards? These are all excellent questions to ask when you’re thinking about applying for another credit card and if you already have two or more. Understand there is a risk of having multiple credit cards and there are benefits but it depends on a few factors.
Selecting a credit card isn’t always easy. There are plenty of cards out there provided by tons of different lenders, so it’s easy to ask yourself “Which credit card is right for me?!” Before you make that decision, it’s important to understand credit cards fall into 2 different buckets - secured and unsecured. Between unsecured and secured credit cards, one has higher approval odds even if you have a low credit score, and the other offers lower interest rates with great reward perks. Can you tell which one offers which? Luckily, you won’t have to guess! Since I’ve had my fair share of experience with credit cards, and I’ll share the key differences between the two and what to prepare for so you can determine which card is right for you.
Having a financial cushion in place to cover expensive purchases and sudden emergencies is what a credit card is great for. But having a credit card or multiple credit cards with a hefty balance or a super-duper high-interest rate on top can be too much to bear.
“How can I track my credit card expenses?” We’re asked this question all the time, which is understandable since you have every right to have and be in control over your credit card spending. Keeping track helps you stay on top of fraud as soon as it occurs and helps with sticking to a budget and maintaining a low balance.
Having a credit card has a lot of benefits including building your credit, getting rewarded for spending with cash back or travel points, and increasing your buying power. These perks are really great when you keep a low to non-existent balance every month, but it’s hard to enjoy its benefits if your balance is constantly building.