Having multiple credit cards should depend on your needs and more importantly your ability to manage multiple credit accounts without running into debt. Credit card experts generally recommend having at least two credit cards, one for everyday use, and another for emergency purposes. They recommend emergency cards should have a zero balance and be kept safely in some place other than your wallet.
Arguably the biggest reason persons go for multiple credit cards lays in the multiple advantages these cards tend to bring. The convenience of holding two or more credit cards means you wouldn’t get stranded when the first credit card is declined. Persons travelling away from home also have the advantage of a backup card should a card network prove to be unpopular in a foreign country. It could also mean you don’t get stranded when your wallet gets lost or a credit card is stolen or damaged.
Yet another reason to hold multiple credit cards bothers on safety. With nearly one-quarter of the US population falling victim to Identity Theft, consumers are better off having a credit card dedicated to online spending. Asides from limiting the damage caused, separating cards this way makes it easier to notice fraudulent activity.
Asides from the safety it brings, card rewards are perhaps the second biggest advantage of holding multiple credit cards. By choosing credit card reward you’ll earn points per dollar spent. These points are then used to redeem travel benefits, merchandise, cash, discounted purchases, gift cards, and freebies. Some consumers who want to take advantage of travel rewards, for example, will charge all travel expenses to the travel card for benefits.
One flaw of reward cards is that these cards max out after a certain amount of accumulated purchases over the year. Another issue is that interest rates on reward cards are usually higher so it’s best to keep outstanding balances on these cards to a minimum.
Improving your Credit Score
Contrary to popular belief having multiple credit cards does not affect your credit score negatively. In fact credit experts tell us that creditors cherish well managed multiple credit accounts and this may positively impact your credit score.
Staggered Monthly Payments
This issue of staggered monthly payments is one problem for persons having multiple credit cards. When you’re disposed to paying outstanding monthly balances on held on various credit cards you’re more likely to forget and incur a late payment fee or worse begin to accumulate debt on these accounts. Persons with multiple credit cards should negotiate with their creditors so the repayment date on these cards falls on the same day.
Truthfully, there is no one answer or one-rule to determine the number of credit cards a consumer should hold. It’s all based on individuality, your ability to manage multiple accounts successfully and pay up on time.
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