I had a zero balance reported on my discover card and a 38/750 balance from my first progress card. The total utilization was only I think 6% . I thought I need to show a small balance on all cards??.
No sir. You want to show a balance on less than 50% but more than 0% of your cards, which with your 3 card portfolio only works with 1 card (33%) reporting a balance. Since you allowed 2 cards to report balances you came in at 67% of your cards reporting balances which while better than 0% is worse than being in the 1%-49% (ideal) range. As soon as you let one of those 2 cards with a reported balance report $0, your 7 points will come back immediately.
Thanks everyone for all the info and advice. I'll make sure there's only one balance from one card from now on. And I'll rotate cards each month to make sure there is activity on all
You don't need to change which card reports the small balance every month. In fact, it's probably easiest if you keep it consistent and use the same card so that you don't mess up. "Activity" is defined as any use of the credit line, so as long as you are making purchases on all of your cards you are showing activity. Activity does not have anything to do with a reported balance, do don't feel you ever need to report a balance on a certain card to constitute it being active.