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What is the ideal number of cards to have

Super Contributor

What is the ideal number of cards to have

I think I have 19 credit cards. I want to slowly bring them down to 5 or 6 cards. What is the idea number of cards to have? What is the best way to start closing down the cards with out having rapid drop in my scores? Any suggestions?
Message 1 of 18
17 REPLIES
Established Contributor

Re: What is the ideal number of cards to have

Thats what I'd like to know too..too many.
TU 662 EQ 644
EX 643
Message 2 of 18
Moderator Emerita

Re: What is the ideal number of cards to have

Here's FICO's answer (= not very many):

http://ficoforums.myfico.com/fico/board/message?board.id=ficoscoring&thread.id=12673
* Credit is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. * Who's the boss --you or your credit?
FICO's: EQ 781 - TU 793 - EX 779 (from PSECU) - Done credit hunting; having fun with credit gardening. - EQ 590 on 5/14/2007
Message 3 of 18
Moderator Emeritus

Re: What is the ideal number of cards to have

I doubt there is an exact answer to this. What seems to be more important is not having too many CC TLs with balances. I have 8 cards and soon only two will report very small balances.
Message 4 of 18
Super Contributor

Re: What is the ideal number of cards to have

Hi fused, balances on my cards are very less. I do PIF every month and some times every week through bill pay. So statement balances are very low. I want to cut down the cards that have AF on them. HSBC/Orchard with $400 CL and both are due for renewal in March. I dont want to pay AF. If they dont waive the AF, I have to close those cards. Also I have cards from Dilards/Target/Macy's with $200 CL each, I want to slowly get rid of these cards and keep 5 or 6 cards with good CL and good rewards. As the renewals comes, if they dont waive AF, I'll start closing those cards. No point in keeping these cards. They served their purpose.
Message 5 of 18
Community Leader
Legendary Contributor

Re: What is the ideal number of cards to have

Its not usually a good idea to cancel any credit cards, as this will lower your overall average date of credit, and also decrease you total credit limit.  Dont listen to those stupid FICO score expolanations that scold you for having too many cards.  That is BS.
Just remember that, in addition to %util, FICO also  looks at having more than half your cards with monthly balances, so try to pay off at least half in full each month.  I simply woud NOT cancel any of your current cards unless they are very recent, or require an annual fee that you dont want to continue to pay.


Message Edited by RobertEG on 02-02-2008 06:36 PM

Message Edited by RobertEG on 02-02-2008 06:38 PM
Message 6 of 18
Established Contributor

Re: What is the ideal number of cards to have

Concorduser how did you end up with so many cards? Now u have the AMEX platinum! Wish I had it like that. I'll get rid of the 1's with the AF and keep the rest. If u don't mind me asking what is your total credit limit for all of your cards
Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.
Message 7 of 18
Moderator Emeritus

Re: What is the ideal number of cards to have



RobertEG wrote:
 
1.) Its not usually a good idea to cancel any credit cards, as this will lower your overall average date of credit, and also decrease you total credit limit. 
 
2.) Dont listen to those stupid FICO score expolanations that scold you for having too many cards.  That is BS.
 
3.) Just remember that, in addition to %util, FICO also  looks at having more than half your cards with monthly balances, so try to pay off at least half in full each month. 


1.) Not true. Open and closed (as long as in good standing and a $0 balance) CC are
weighed equally in FICO scoring.
 
2.) I agree!
 
3.) Again, I agree!
Message 8 of 18
Frequent Contributor

Re: What is the ideal number of cards to have

My ideal number of cards is three to five, depending on the CL's.  Right now I only have three.  I want to have three cards that have high enough CL's that I can use one of them for a whole month and still keep utility, both individual and total, below 10%.  One card offers good cash rebates, Chase, one offers decent balance transfer offers, Citi, and the third is a place holder, BoA.
 
Eventually, the total CL's should also be high enough to offset my HELOC, keeping overall utility low, which right now they don't do.  When we draw on the HELOC completely my overall utility will be about 50%.  Thankfully I have AU's that will help out in this area for awhile, I'm in no hurry for FICO 08!
 
Over the next couple of years I'll be working on CLI's.  If I can't get them the easy way, I'm currently thinking about opening up new cards from each of the three companies and combining the accounts at a later date.
 
 
Message 9 of 18
Super Contributor

Re: What is the ideal number of cards to have

Hi I9, my total CL is close to $49K at this time on all the cards. I want to bring the cards down to 4+4. Four Major one each Visa/MC/Discover/Amex and 4 Good Store Cards I like and use most often. I want to keep the cards with enough CL on each card and get rid of the rest of the cards, especially the ones with AF and low limits.
Message 10 of 18