A responsible credit card holder with enough financial savvy to never carry a balance should ideally find that one credit card is sufficient. Opting for a card with a generous cash back scheme puts the card holder in a position to maximize their rewards at no cost by putting the bulk of the monthly spend on the card, whilst accruing interest on their checking account until the card balance becomes due.
However, in order to ensure that no more than 30 percent of available credit is used it may be necessary to hold two cards to provide enough of a credit facility to utilize just 30 percent of available credit, the optimum recommended figure to keep ones credit score high. Having a second card can be handy if the primary credit card provider suddenly decreases the existing credit limit. Additionally it benefits ones credit score to retain the credit card with the longest credit history, which may not necessarily equate to the card which offers the most benefits to the user.
If opting for a second card it pays to ensure that it offers as many benefits as possible. It is worth comparison shopping for a card which offers extended warranties, 90 day insurance cover on damaged or stolen purchases, and any other useful benefits such as travel insurance or auto assistance. It may be worthwhile considering an additional card if there is a special rewards feature which is worth utilizing, such as additional cash backs on gas purchases.
There are also a number of credit cards which offer inviting statement credits for initial use. It is worth considering applying for the benefit of the statement credit offer, and if it proves worth retaining as the rewards are higher than ones current card, cancelling the existing one in preference for the better deal. Providing one doesn’t make too many credit card applications to take advantage of good offers it can be a good way to make a profit at the expense of the credit card providers, as long as not too many cards are kept open.
Astute card holders never carry a balance thus all borrowing on credit remains interest free, making the interest rates immaterial. However card holders who are not disciplined enough to clear their monthly balance in full should seek out a card with a zero or low introductory rate, whilst apprising themselves of the terms and conditions that could result in a penalty rate being applied.
Consumers who are already mired down in credit card debt should look to transfer their existing balances onto a zero or low interest rate balance transfer card, whilst closing down all other credit cards. The new card should only be used for paying down debt and all other credit card usage should be stopped. If credit card debt has become a problem it is sensible to be realistic and accept that using credit cards is no longer in ones best interest.
Far too often people have opted for numerous credit cards due to the ease of obtaining credit. Spending on them across the board can lead to the confusion of differing interest rates and due dates. It is far easier to balance less credit and concentrate spending on the card which offers the maximum returns in rewards.
No one needs a wallet full of credit cards and the days when plastic could impress are long gone. The simple rule to how many credit cards is enough is to keep the number low and prioritise card usage for the personal benefits, whilst endeavouring to avoid the fees and interest charges which make credit a loser’s game.