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How much to use each card?

Established Member

How much to use each card?

I have a few credit cards all with different credit limits.  Last year I got a rewards Chase card which has become the only card I use on a regular basis because of the cash back rewards I get.  Overall I spend about $2500/month, and I always pay off the balance in full every month which I have done ever since I got my first credit card 10 years ago.   However because this is a new card, it only has an $8000 credit limit, so I'm charging over 25% of the limit every month - although like I said I pay it off in full every month.  I have another card which used to be my primary that has a $50,000 limit, however because there are no cash back rewards I stopped using it (I kept the account open since I've had it for a decade though).  SO, when they look at my credit spending as a percentage, do they compare my spending vs. my TOTAL amout of credit available from all my cards, or do they only consider the amount I spend vs. the credit limit on that specific credit card.  I'm trying to figure out if I'm hurting myself credit wise by using the card with the lowest credit limit but the best reward system, and if I should spread the spending amongst my credit cards that don't have rewards.  That would suck as the cash back rewards are nice, but I'm just wondering.  It makes much more sense if they compared my spending to the total amount of credit I have available to me (around $70,000 total), but I've learned that much of the credit score process does not follow what I consider to be conventional logic.

Message 1 of 6
Valued Contributor

Re: How much to use each card?

9% of your total credit available is 6300.


I don't think where you spend it matters unless

you max out a card. 


The number of cards reporting balances will

affect your score.  When I went from 2 to 3 accts

reporting my EQ went down 8 pts.

If you pif each month it does not matter how much

you spend.


EQ  802

EX 782 

Message 2 of 6
Senior Contributor

Re: How much to use each card?

FICO, looks at total utilization, and the highest utilization.    So if you need the maximum score for a new application, you should make sure all cards are <9%,   Otherwise, why worry about it?   


I suggest you put use on the other card, so it does not get cancelled for non utilization.   Perhaps a small monthly bill or 2.    

Message 3 of 6
Valued Contributor

Re: How much to use each card?

WELL as quoted on this forum.  "understanding fico scoring is an oxymoron".


When I used 25 % on one card they did not ding me.

Smiley SurprisedSmiley Very Happy


Message 4 of 6
Regular Contributor

Re: How much to use each card?

Z--you raise good questions and it looks like you have given this some good thought.


A couple of ideas:

  • Check into a product change on you $50K card--perhaps you can change it  to a rewards type card
  • Also check into product-changing the others, if possible
  • If you cannot, do a single (small) charge on your non-rewards cards and pay the balance before the statement cuts
  • Charge all else on the Chase card and pay it off twice during the month--once to clear off most of the charges and then the second time to pay the statement.

Your utilization, both per card and total, will be the best possible and you will not have sacrificed rewards for charges.  Others on the forum have recommended this strategy and I have used it successfully for the last 18 months.

Starting Score: TU 766 EQ 788
Current Score: TU 788 EQ 811
Goal Score: TU 800 EQ 800

Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 5 of 6
Established Member

gteRe: How much to use each card?

Ok thanks for the suggestions everyone, I will definitely keep the other cards open with a bill or two and see if I can get the card with the high limit transferred to some kind of rewards deal.

Message 6 of 6