How Many Credit Cards Should I Have? Reddit Responds

Ad Disclosure: This article contains references to products from our partners. We may receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You help support My Millennial Guide by using our links. (read more)

Learn from the Reddit community's real-life experiences and make the most of your credit card strategies

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the question that plagues many individuals seeking financial stability and optimal credit scores: “How many credit cards should I have?”

We understand that striking the right balance is crucial, and we'll provide expert insights to help you make informed decisions regarding your credit card portfolio.

Let's explore the benefits and potential pitfalls of owning multiple credit cards while aiming to help those who are searching the term “how many credit cards should I have Reddit.”

How Many Credit Cards Should You Have According to Reddit

timelessblur commented on a Reddit thread stating that 3 credit cards is a good number:

Getting more credit cards is not how you build your credit score super fast. The big way to build your credit score is nothing more than time with a good payment history.

More credit cards can in theory help you by lowering your utilizations by more limit but there are dimensioning returns fast. Plus if you have a lot of available credit can cause some places to run from you but that is not score based.

As a general rule I believe in 3 credit cards. Primary, backup and then one do carry. That last one is for the just in case you lose your wallet you still have access to money while everything else is getting replaced. After that point your score is not helped and more you are looking at using the credit cards for their rewards.

I have a credit score north of 780. The only reason I have more than 3 credit cards is for reward purposes and because I am married my wife is the emergency backup card carrier as we do not have total overlap but beyond that I used to only carry 2 cards. A primary good cash back card (Amex) and backup card which was my Amazon Visa. My emergency backup was just another non rewards visa that I just kept in a desk drawer when I single for the just in case lost my wallet which yes I have had to use for a few days while my other cards were getting replaced.

However, welchplug, disagrees:

I disagree a bit. I have 6 credit cards that I have automatic payments for bills on each. My credit is in the 830s and I have never financed a car or house. The credit cards are my main focus of credit history.

What's my personal opinion?

In my opinion, the number of credit cards I should have depends on my individual financial situation and responsible credit management abilities. I understand that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Personally, I might find it manageable to have multiple credit cards, while others might prefer to have just one or two.

It's crucial to assess your own financial habits and needs before deciding on the appropriate number of credit cards for you to have.

That being said, there are pros and cons to owning multiple credit cards.

Best for luxury benefits
The Platinum Card® from American Express
5.0
INTRO OFFER: Earn 80,000 points (worth $1,600)
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
Apply Now

The Pros and Cons of Multiple Credit Cards

The Advantages

  1. Enhanced Credit Score
    When managed responsibly, multiple credit cards can contribute positively to your credit score. A diverse mix of credit accounts demonstrates your ability to handle various financial obligations, signaling reliability to lenders and credit bureaus.
  2. Higher Credit Limits
    Owning several credit cards may increase your overall credit limit. This elevated credit ceiling offers greater financial flexibility and can be beneficial during emergencies or when making significant purchases.
  3. Specialized Rewards
    Different credit cards often offer unique rewards and perks. By strategically choosing cards tailored to your spending habits, you can optimize cashback rewards, travel benefits, or discounts on specific purchases.
  4. Utilization Rate Optimization
    Maintaining multiple credit cards can help lower your credit utilization rate. This ratio compares your credit card balances to your total credit limit and affects your credit score. Lower utilization rates are generally favorable.

The Drawbacks

  1. Temptation to Overspend
    An increased number of credit cards can tempt individuals to overspend, leading to accumulating debt that becomes challenging to manage.
  2. Complex Budgeting
    With multiple cards come multiple due dates and billing cycles, making budgeting more complicated. Missing a payment can harm your credit score.
  3. Potential Fees
    Some credit cards may carry annual fees or penalties, which, if not managed, can offset the benefits of card ownership.

Assessing Your Financial Situation

Before determining the ideal number of credit cards for you, conduct an honest assessment of your financial situation. Consider the following factors:

  1. Income and Stability
    Evaluate your income stability and job security. Having a steady income source can instill confidence in managing multiple credit cards.
  2. Credit History
    Analyze your credit history and current credit score by getting your free credit score or by using free credit score apps. Individuals with a strong credit history are more likely to be approved for additional credit cards.
  3. Financial Goals
    Define your short-term and long-term financial goals. Align your credit card strategy with these objectives to make informed decisions.

Finding Your Credit Card Sweet Spot

1. Start Slowly

If you're new to credit cards or unsure about managing multiple cards, start with one. This allows you to understand credit card basics and build a solid foundation.

2. Gradually Increase Cards

Once you feel comfortable managing a single credit card, consider expanding your portfolio. Introduce a second card that complements your spending habits and offers unique benefits.

3. Monitor Your Credit Score

Keep a close eye on your credit score as you add more cards. If your credit score remains stable or improves, it indicates responsible credit management.

4. Limit New Applications

Avoid applying for multiple credit cards in a short period. Multiple credit inquiries within a brief timeframe can temporarily lower your credit score.

5. Avoid Unnecessary Cards

Only apply for cards that align with your financial goals. Owning credit cards just for the sake of it may lead to financial complications.

Managing Your Credit Cards Wisely

1. Set Up Payment Reminders

To avoid late payments, set up reminders for due dates. Timely payments are crucial for a healthy credit score.

2. Keep Utilization Low

Maintain a low credit utilization rate by paying off your balances regularly. Strive to keep your utilization below 30% of your total credit limit.

3. Review Your Statements

Regularly review your credit card statements for errors or unauthorized charges. Reporting issues promptly can save you from potential financial losses.

4. Avoid Minimum Payments

Paying only the minimum amount due can lead to mounting interest and prolonged debt repayment. Whenever possible, pay off your balance in full.

The Best Credit Cards

The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for Good Credit

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a top choice for individuals with good credit. It offers premium travel benefits like airport lounge access, annual travel credits, generous rewards points, global assistance services, and no foreign transaction fees.

Cardholders also enjoy statement credits for everyday expenses and exclusive Amex Offers. Overall, it's a highly appealing card for frequent travelers seeking luxury and rewards.

Best for luxury benefits
The Platinum Card® from American Express
5.0
INTRO OFFER: Earn 80,000 points (worth $1,600)
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
Apply Now

Discover it® Cash Back: Best for Fair Credit

The Discover it® Cash Back credit card is a top choice for individuals with fair credit for several reasons. It offers a cashback rewards program, providing the opportunity to earn rewards while building credit.

With no annual fee and the potential for credit limit increases, it's a cost-effective option that allows users to improve their credit utilization ratio. Cardholders can monitor their FICO® Credit Score for free, enabling them to track their credit progress.

Additionally, in the first year, Discover matches all cash back earned, boosting rewards potential. The card may also feature an introductory 0% APR period for purchases and typically does not charge foreign transaction fees, making it suitable for travel. As with any credit card, responsible use remains vital for positive credit growth.

Our Pick
Discover it® Cash Back
5.0
0% for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers. No annual fee.

- INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

- Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.

- Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

- Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.

Apply Now

By following these insights and recommendations, you can confidently navigate the world of credit cards while optimizing your financial well-being. Remember, responsible credit card management is the key to a successful financial journey. You can view our list of the best credit cards here if you wanted to see our full list.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the ideal number of credit cards varies based on individual financial situations and goals. While multiple credit cards can offer advantages such as enhanced credit scores and specialized rewards, they require responsible management to avoid debt traps and negative impacts on credit. Start with one card, understand your financial capabilities, and gradually expand your portfolio. Always prioritize responsible credit card usage, and remember that quality financial decisions pave the way to a brighter financial future.

Best for luxury benefits
The Platinum Card® from American Express
5.0
INTRO OFFER: Earn 80,000 points (worth $1,600)
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
Apply Now

About the author

Brian Meiggs
Hi, I'm Brian Meiggs! A personal finance expert, entrepreneur, and the founder of My Millennial Guide. My drive is to help others unlock the wealth of freedom and pave the path to financial success. With my bachelor's degree in finance, I help millennials follow the smart money in order to increase their earning potential and start building wealth for the future. I write regularly about side hustles, investing, and general personal finance topics aimed to help anyone earn more, pay off debt, and reach financial freedom. I have been quoted in major publications including Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, NASDAQ, Discover, GoDaddy, BiggerPockets, Fox News, Debt.com, Quick Sprout, Money Geek, MSN Money and many more!