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How many credit cards is too much?

Regular Contributor

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?

Message 1 of 13
12 REPLIES
Super Contributor

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 

Before you app think...
Have you done your research of the CC?
Does it fit your spending?
Do you have a plan for the bonus w/o going into debt?
Can you afford the AF?
Do you know the cards benefits? Is it worth the HP?
Message 2 of 13
Super Contributor

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.

Message 3 of 13
Regular Contributor

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?

Message 4 of 13
Regular Contributor

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.

Message 5 of 13
Super Contributor

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 

Before you app think...
Have you done your research of the CC?
Does it fit your spending?
Do you have a plan for the bonus w/o going into debt?
Can you afford the AF?
Do you know the cards benefits? Is it worth the HP?
Message 6 of 13
Regular Contributor

Re: How many credit cards is too much?

I like to go above and beyond!

Message 7 of 13
Valued Contributor

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.

 

Message 8 of 13
Valued Contributor

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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Message 9 of 13
Established Member

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 !

 

 

Message 10 of 13