Depending on how you use them, credit cards can help you build your credit and manage your finances — or leave you with expensive, long-term debt. You’ll need to balance your credit card use wisely, including having the number of cards that’s right for you, to get the most benefit from your cards.
While no one can definitively tell you how many cards you should or shouldn’t have, here are some tips on how to find the right number for you.
How many credit cards should you have?
The answer is different for everyone. And the number of cards that’s right for you could change throughout your lifetime.
For example, when you’re a student or young professional, you might want to avoid cards from retailers — which can have higher interest rates — and just stick with one major credit card. As you grow in your career, it may make sense to have a second card that you use for business expenses.
To determine how many credit cards are ideal for you, consider these factors.
- Your spending habits — If you have a budget and stick to it, multiple credit cards can be a good thing. But if you’re more of a spender than a saver, they may cause you to overspend.
- Your income — You’ll need to pay off your credit cards in full every month to avoid interest charges and debt. Figure out if you have sufficient income to do so while also paying all your other bills, like your mortgage and auto loan.
- Your current credit status — If you have a good credit score, you’re more likely to lock in favorable rates on a new credit card and won’t have to pay as much to use it. On the other hand, if you have fair or poor credit, you may be stuck with higher rates that make using credit cards more expensive.
- Your financial goals — Ask yourself why you want more than one credit card. Since multiple cards give you access to a larger credit limit, you may build credit if you maintain the same level of spending. If you want to maximize rewards and perks like cashback, airline miles and gift cards, multiple credit cards may also make sense…Read more>>