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Should I be carrying a balance on all cards?

Valued Member

Should I be carrying a balance on all cards?

I used to push my day to day transactions through my Juniper iTunes Visa and Chase Freedom cards.  I'd pay them off every two weeks or so.  Given the way the statement closes work each would often report a small balance. 
 
Now that I have my Amex Gold Rewards I have been pushing 100% of my transactions through that card and paying it off bi-weekly.  My three other CCs (iTunes,Chase,Orchard Bank) now have $0 balances.  I'm wondering if I should be carrying a vary small balance on each of these just to show utilization?
 
If so, how do others do this?  Do you just charge a small item and then set up a bill pay schedule to make very small payments? 
6 REPLIES
Valued Contributor

Re: Should I be carrying a balance on all cards?

The consensus here is that it's best to carry a balance on each of your cards at least once every three months. The balance can be tiny...just make sure it's actually reported (whatever balance lists on your statement is what reports, in the vast majority of cases). And, of course, pay it on time. But you don't have to carry a balance on all cards every month...and most of us feel you can squeeze out just a few extra FICO points by leaving some of your cards zeroed out.
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in a credit-scoring postnuclear Stone Age...
Valued Contributor

Re: Should I be carrying a balance on all cards?

I have 15 revolving accounts, including store cards. I allow to report small ballances on 3 accounts at the time, so each card reports ballance every 5 mos. People say that no more than a half of accounts should show ballance.
IN VINO VERITAS.
Established Contributor

Re: Should I be carrying a balance on all cards?

Once you get over about 4 accounts with balance of type you start getting dinged for too many aacounts with balances
People say "Only apply for credit you NEED"

I say "apply for credit you have PRATICAL use of"

I don't have AMEX card because I don't want a card that suffers from PMS
Established Contributor

Re: Should I be carrying a balance on all cards?

Are you sure you mean "carrying a balance" or "letting a balance report?" If you don't have to, why carry a balance and run the risk of paying finance charges if you don't have a 0% introductory offer? Letting a balance report on your statement is fine. Just pay it off well before the due date.

My consensus is -- DON'T pay any finance charges/interests fees if you don't have to.

Starting Score: TU 723, EQ 708
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Starting Score: 708
Current Score: 743
Goal Score: 800


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Valued Contributor

Re: Should I be carrying a balance on all cards?

Don't charge no more then 10% of the limit then pay it off at the end of the month.

Starting Score 3-31-08: EQ 582 TU 577 EX 625
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Regular Contributor

Re: Should I be carrying a balance on all cards?

yup - FICO-wise, you get credit for card usage if you let the statement cut. So if you're worried about not getting credit for your usage, there's no worry. What more people are worried about, I think, is getting too *much* credit for their usage, especially when they have high income and low credit during a rebuilding phase (so they don't want to let it report that their credit is near maxed out a great deal) and they pay before the statement cuts.