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Regular Contributor
BOSScredit
Posts: 116
Registered: ‎11-29-2013

How many credit cards is too much?

I want a higher credit limit (so more cards) a good balance of rewards cards, and to have a strong history with several lenders down the road. How many cards are too many? I should add that I always pay in full. Can too many cards ruin your chances of a 800+ score?

Community Leader
Valued Contributor
myjourney
Posts: 23,556
Registered: ‎02-07-2013

Re: How many credit cards is too much?


BOSScredit wrote:

I want a higher credit limit (so more cards) a good balance of rewards cards, and to have a strong history with several lenders down the road. How many cards are too many? I should add that I always pay in full. Can too many cards ruin your chances of a 800+ score?


As many as you can manage 

The number of cards doesn't affect your score it's the hits to AAoA when appying that do ...time gets 800 scores 

"Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education"
I will be gardening until a better offer/bonus comes along
Last escape 06/06/13 Bronze 7/6/2013 Silver 9/6/2013 Gold 12/6/2013 Palladium 3/6/14 made it
Senior Contributor
longtimelurker
Posts: 4,138
Registered: ‎04-22-2013

Re: How many credit cards is too much?


BOSScredit wrote:

I want a higher credit limit (so more cards) a good balance of rewards cards, and to have a strong history with several lenders down the road. How many cards are too many? I should add that I always pay in full. Can too many cards ruin your chances of a 800+ score?


It all depends, no set number!  First question is why you want an 800+ score?   A good score allows you to get good products and/or rates, so not much point unless you use it.   

 

Very high scores will require optimization, i.e. making sure that only one card reports.  With lots of cards, that becomes harder but certainly not impossible.  Basically, get the number of cards that:

 

1) Give you all the rewards you want (so cover your important spend categories)

2) do not overwhelm you with managing them.

 

Both of these depend on the individual.  You will see people happy with 2 cards and those happy with 30.


From highest to lowest: Amex BC (42K), Cap One , CSP, Fidelity Amex, Cap One, Penfed Plat Rewards x2, , Citi TY Pref, Citi TY Premier, Citi Plat Select AA, US Bank Cash Plus, Chase Amazon, Chase Freedom, Amalgamated Bank MC, Citi Forward, BCE, Sallie Mae (5K)

Regular Contributor
BOSScredit
Posts: 116
Registered: ‎11-29-2013

Re: How many credit cards is too much?

"Very high scores will require optimization, i.e. making sure that only one card reports.  With lots of cards, that becomes harder but certainly not impossible.  Basically, get the number of cards that:"

 

Why is it important that only one card reports?

Regular Contributor
BOSScredit
Posts: 116
Registered: ‎11-29-2013

Re: How many credit cards is too much?

And I want an 800 score for when I get a mortgage, loan for grad school, and loan for my office. All within the decade.

Community Leader
Valued Contributor
myjourney
Posts: 23,556
Registered: ‎02-07-2013

Re: How many credit cards is too much?


BOSScredit wrote:

And I want an 800 score for when I get a mortgage, loan for grad school, and loan for my office. All within the decade.


The same terms you get with a 720 score are the same terms an 800 gets FYI 

"Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education"
I will be gardening until a better offer/bonus comes along
Last escape 06/06/13 Bronze 7/6/2013 Silver 9/6/2013 Gold 12/6/2013 Palladium 3/6/14 made it
Regular Contributor
BOSScredit
Posts: 116
Registered: ‎11-29-2013

Re: How many credit cards is too much?

I like to go above and beyond!

Valued Contributor
user5387
Posts: 1,065
Registered: ‎07-01-2010

Re: How many credit cards is too much?

For score optimization, 2-3 cards is considered ideal.  More cards won't hurt the score, assuming you manage them properly.

 

For presenting a "thick file" to potential lenders, you probably want more than this, say around 5-8, with substantial CLs.

 

Your ability to manage cards is a big deal.  If you can't manage a lot of cards, and end up with late payments and so on, then an 800 score goes out the window.

 

Frequent Contributor
efranklin23
Posts: 1,461
Registered: ‎11-14-2013

Re: How many credit cards is too much?


myjourney wrote:

BOSScredit wrote:

And I want an 800 score for when I get a mortgage, loan for grad school, and loan for my office. All within the decade.


The same terms you get with a 720 score are the same terms an 800 gets FYI 


+1 The only time it really matters is if you're applying for an business loan or commercial property (tend to ask for 740+)


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Starting Score:621/Current Score:689/Goal Score:750
Established Member
K9Veteran
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-03-2013

Re: How many credit cards is too much?

More than ONE card,  from DIFFERENT LENDERS with decent limits is very important.

 

I have 4 VISA / MC) cards, 1 with USAA, 1 with PenFed and 2 with Navy Federal.

 

Here is why it is important to keep diversity in your card portfolio.

 

In the crash of 2008 many people saw their credit lines cut and in come cases their cards canceled, without notice, due to no fault of the card owner. YES, banks can panic too.

 

If you are traveling, especially outside the USA, you need a backup card in the event your primary card is accidentally FROZEN by the security dept for ¨Unusual¨  charges. Have you ever tried to reach your banks security department on Saturday afternoon from Europe, Asia or S. America ?

 

You are traveling and your card is lost or stolen, you will need a backup card until your other card can be replaced.

 

Hope the info helps.

 

CHEERS !

 

 


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