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Readers Respond: How Many Credit Cards Should a Person Have?

Responses: 15

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I once heard someone say you need at least four credit cards - a VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and an American Express. Some people say you should only have two credit cards, a major credit card and a retail credit card. What's your opinion? How many credit cards should one person have?

At least 2.

At least 2. When I applied for mortgage they required at least 2 credit lines that were open for at least 2 years
—Guest moe

If you're responsible....

the number of cards doesn't matter. I have 18 credit cards, but pay them off every month. I never spend more than I can afford to pay, unless it is a planned large expense, then I use no interest offers. The number of cards that someone thinks is too many is subjective, it all depends on your personal level of responsibility. I have a friend that has over 30 cards and is very responsible. I also have a few friends that have only a couple and they are maxed out with no chance of paying them off. So the answer depends on you.
—Guest Eric

responsibilty matters more than numbers

I have 9 credit cards. 8 major and a Kohls. I always have below 20% utilization and I pay them off in full most of the time (with exception of when I make a large purchase, like a TV). Having a large amount of cards and being responsible with them is a good sign to creditors and the big 3 that you have your big boy pants on and they can trust you with their money. I made HUGE mistakes in my early adult life and I'm still remedying them in my early 30's. My advice: get rewards cards ONLY. Chase Freedom, Discover, Capital One Quicksilver, etc. Use them instead of your debit card and immediately pay them off. Gain cash back and increase your credit score. Win/Win.
—Guest Novo Libertas

one of each is perfect

It was always my goal to have 1 each of the major 4 (Visa, MC, Discover and AmEx.) I achieved that and I am happy. I don't have the desire to have anymore. With so many many rewards options that come with the major credit cards, I never understood why people feel the need to have a bunch of retailer credit cards.
—Guest guest Will

2 Cards

I have 2 Visa cards, both with about $30,000 limits. I use 1 for ALL my personal spending and the other I use only for work related expenses. I have them linked to the same rewards program and usually earn enough air points to fly with my wife around the world usually 1 time a year. I also pay them in full each month. If a person only spends what they can afford on their card(s) and pay in full monthly it doesn't matter what the interest rate is, it only matters what perks and benefits you can receive from them.
—Guest Greg

22+ cards according to Credit Karma

Credit Karma gives you a "credit report card". I have accounts that are over 20 years old, and have never had a late payment, so I was surprised when I created my free Credit Karma account and found that I got an F on the "Total Accounts" section of my credit report card. To get an A on that "low impact" section of your credit report card, you should have 22+ accounts. If you really want to see where you stand, I strongly suggest creating a Credit Karma account. As their commercials claim, there is no bait and switch, no tricks. They make their money by recommending cards to you on their website. Their recommendations are decent, but by no means your absolute best choices. They do not employ any tactics to charge you for any of their services. There are no upgraded accounts, or even any opportunity to pay them for anything they offer. The Trans Union score they give you isn't 100% accurate, but it's close. My real score is 777, my Credit Karma score is 767.
—Guest Rich

Depends on the perks

I have six cards- master, visa and then four store cards for the stores I shop at most. I pay all off in full monthly. I save literally hundreds of dollars a year from card member discounts at the stores and 1-3% cash back on everything else. Whats that? You want to let me you use your money to save money? No brainer. Just do not ever think of that credit as your money and never spend more than you can pay in a month.
—Guest Anthony

Solution: Keep your cards paid off.

I like the American Express Blue Cash card for 3% cash back on all grocery purchases. I also have a Visa, a lot of places don't take American Express. Also, American Express is the only card that costco accepts, so if you use Costco, you need to use debit card, an Amex card, cash or check. I just use the Amex for convenience. If you travel at all, the Amex has a good rental car insurance option that covers loss of use. You probably already have regular insurance for you car, but it won't cover loss of use. I have a third card that gives some nice rewards for travel when buying airline tickets. I have Amex Blue, Freedom Chase Mastercard and Visa Sapphire Preferred. I guess i could cancel either the Sapphire or the Chase Freedom, and may ultimately do that. I dont like this article, or part of it, "Ideally, your credit utilization should be less than 30%." Ideally, you keep your credit cards paid off every month, whether it is 1 or 5 or 9
—Guest devin

Two Is Enough

I think 2 major cards like Visa or MasterCard with nice limits is enough. This will allow you to stay out of debt, because if you don't have the money to pay them off at the end of the month then you're in trouble. You have to use common sense. Just because the world has all this credit to offer you doesn't mean you need all you can get; don't dig yourself in a bind. Two cards is sufficient for back up access.
—Guest Nichele

Depends on Your Paycheck

If you are paid weekly you should have 4 credit cards so you can pay one off each week. If you are paid monthly have two to stagger payments
—Guest Anthony Barnes

It Depends

I have one credit card that I pay off in full every single month. However, it helps to have a back-up, in case you break/lose a card, which happened to me during a move last winter. I have one of each major credit card--it helps me keep expenses separate when traveling or doing purchasing for a group pool. I recommended two in general--one card you use all the time and a backup in case the first card can't be used for some reason, but it really depends on what you feel comfortable managing, as after all, you're going to be the one responsible for any charges you make on any of those cards!
—Guest Maggie

2 Major Cards is Plenty

After speaking with a mortage broker, and being at the bottom of the barrell with my credit score I increased my credit score by around 100 points in a matter of months, not years, as long as you are on time with full balance payoffs each month you can get out of the rut you are in with credit scores holding you back.
—Guest john

It depends...

If you are someone who is prone to give in to temptation, only have one. If you are responsible but want to make your finances easy to manage, go with something like a Visa and Mastercard from the same bank. If you are diligent about paying them off every month and keep a low balance, don't be afraid to have more than 5. Find ones that give you the best rewards, (i.e. 5% on gas, 2% on everything, ect) and use them to maximize your rewards.
—Guest Leslie

One is Enough

One all-purpose card should be enough, whether it's Visa, MasterCard or similar type of credit card. I don't believe consumers need multiple cards, especially specialty cards like for department stores, gas stations companies, etc. They all take Visa and MasterCard. Having one card minimizes your ability to get into unnecessary debt.
—Guest Jennifer

how many credit cards should a personh

i think each person should have at least two credit cards. so that its easy to manage the payment.
—Guest susan

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