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Credit Cards- How many is too many?

mark3038
Established Contributor

Re: Credit Cards- How many is too many?


@AverageJoesCredit wrote:

@mark3038 wrote:

@Yasselife wrote:

@longtimelurker  He takes it as you mentioned, a game... I don't think he needs credit in the 1rst place and treats it like many members on here but on a higher scale, he's whale in this game; isn't that right, Mark? Thanks. 


I do this for fun. Card collecting is just that fun. No I do not need the cedit. I can pay for whatever I want with debit cards. I rather use CC's for everything though. And no, this is not fiction. My advice may be but my cards are not LOL.

And I want to say; So many are scared that a HP will destroy your credit. I have as of today 102 HP's combined from all three agencies. My scores are still today 809 to 825. It really depends on how thick your profile is and how old it is.

As of EQ today.

91 open CC's

Total credit lines $1,505,275

Credit used $21,615

Of course it is paid off each month in full as I never pay interest. Then I let other cards report the next month. I never allow any card to report a balance two months in a row or it may appear that I am carrying a balance.

I am careful to only have cards that do not carry an AF. However, I have three cards that have an annual fee. And one was a mistake lol

Barclays Luxury Card AF is $195 CL is $330,000

Aspiration Zero AF is $60 CL is $20,000 I did not realize this card had an AF when I applied

Prosper MC AF is $39 CL is $3,000 it is an orange card. I needed an orange card to complete my collectionSmiley Indifferent so I had to pay for it LOL

 

Does this scare off banks? just a few, most still give me more cards. I have never had any AA other then mass closings by one bank back in 2020 but as of now they have issued me all new cards. I wont talk about them or that LOL

Thanks

Mark


Imho you should not be saying your advice maybe fiction aa it defeats the purpose of this credit forum which is to help people and  share our experiences. Your siggy  itself doesnt help either. We all must take away what we will from post we read, and many of know how how to call BS when we read it,  but blatantly saying you are writing fiction doesnt help your cause of adding something of worth to the community. 

 

As for treating credit as a game thats up to the individual  and for those with high incomes its much eaier to play that way. My own advice to people looking to get multiple credit cards is just make sure you xan handle it. Game or not there are always winners and losersSmiley Wink


Fiction came about after some private discussions on here with certain people. 
I was told that giving advice is my option and my advice may not be true just because I intended it to be true. To comply with TOS of this site I added the clause. I do not like it either 

Thanks

Mark

Please note; My postings are my opinion only. You can accept them or reject them. Thanks, Mark
Message 21 of 45
Yasselife
Established Contributor

Re: Credit Cards- How many is too many?

@mark3038  A very easy way to keep cards active is to use Amazon reload. This was something new for me until two days ago; I have some recurring expenses that can be spread out spending $5 on each; Mark, you could easily use this method to keep your +90 cards active combined with Mint app... I like your siggy.


Message 22 of 45
mark3038
Established Contributor

Re: Credit Cards- How many is too many?


@Yasselife wrote:

@mark3038  A very easy way to keep cards active is to use Amazon reload. This was something new for me until two days ago; I have some recurring expenses that can be spread out spending $5 on each; Mark, you could easily use this method to keep your +90 cards active combined with Mint app... I like your siggy.


I rotate all my cards all are used for a day or two each month then get put away until next month. Between my rental houses and my franchised business I probably use 150k a month and $500k in December to pay real estate taxes

The store cards are used whenever but not out of use long enough to be closed 

Thanks

Mark

Please note; My postings are my opinion only. You can accept them or reject them. Thanks, Mark
Message 23 of 45
wasCB14
Super Contributor

Re: Credit Cards- How many is too many?


@mark3038 wrote:

@Yasselife wrote:

@mark3038  A very easy way to keep cards active is to use Amazon reload. This was something new for me until two days ago; I have some recurring expenses that can be spread out spending $5 on each; Mark, you could easily use this method to keep your +90 cards active combined with Mint app... I like your siggy.


I rotate all my cards all are used for a day or two each month then get put away until next month. Between my rental houses and my franchised business I probably use 150k a month and $500k in December to pay real estate taxes

The store cards are used whenever but not out of use long enough to be closed 

Thanks

Mark


Which cards do you use to pay the real estate taxes and beat the often 2%+ fee? Or you mainly like the convenience?

 

Whatever you're earning a SUB or retention offer on? Or just one of a few cards? Or any card that comes up?

 

BBP is great but has the $50k cap. There's AOD for 3%, BofA for 2.625%, and CFU/EDP/Business Platinum for 1.5x. DC for 2x. Some cards will give greater status with lots of spend.

 

I could never do 91 cards because I feel like my BofA PR, Amex Gold, and Amex Business Platinum would make half of them (or more) redundant.

Personal spend: Amex Gold, Amex Schwab Plat., BofA PR+WWFCR, Costco
Business use: Amex Bus. Plat., BBP, Lowes Amex AU, CFU AU
Perks: Delta Plat., IHG49, Hyatt, "Old SPG"
Mostly SD: Freedom Flex, Freedom, Arrival
Upgrade/Downgrade games: EDP, BCP
Closing soon: Discover

Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 24 of 45
mark3038
Established Contributor

Re: Credit Cards- How many is too many?


@wasCB14 wrote:

@mark3038 wrote:

@Yasselife wrote:

@mark3038  A very easy way to keep cards active is to use Amazon reload. This was something new for me until two days ago; I have some recurring expenses that can be spread out spending $5 on each; Mark, you could easily use this method to keep your +90 cards active combined with Mint app... I like your siggy.


I rotate all my cards all are used for a day or two each month then get put away until next month. Between my rental houses and my franchised business I probably use 150k a month and $500k in December to pay real estate taxes

The store cards are used whenever but not out of use long enough to be closed 

Thanks

Mark


Which cards do you use to pay the real estate taxes and beat the often 2%+ fee? Or you mainly like the convenience?

 

Whatever you're earning a SUB or retention offer on? Or just one of a few cards? Or any card that comes up?

 

BBP is great but has the $50k cap. There's AOD for 3%, BofA for 2.625%, and CFU/EDP/Business Platinum for 1.5x. DC for 2x. Some cards will give greater status with lots of spend.

 

I could never do 91 cards because I feel like my BofA PR, Amex Gold, and Amex Business Platinum would make half of them (or more) reduntant.


I use a vaious cards. One card or charge per property. Since (excluding my house) the real estate taxes run from around $700 for a condo up to $8,400 for a single family house it is never a problem. It is just a lot of small transactions. The taxing agencies charge around 2% fee for using a credit card. I prefer to pay this way as it makes a paper trail in case I ever need one. CC statements are excellent proof of payment along with the receipts. It is not about just covering the CC fee of 2% as I use my Charity Card often to pay taxes and the 2% goes to a charity of my choice. I do not need the 2% returned to me, they send it to the ASPCA on my behalf (I must be Betty White in disquise) LOL 

Thanks

Mark

Please note; My postings are my opinion only. You can accept them or reject them. Thanks, Mark
Message 25 of 45
CreditCrusader
Valued Contributor

Re: Credit Cards- How many is too many?

This is the ultimate YMMV Q & A.

 

One thing I have learned in my 4+ decades in the credit game is that credit card users, like those who issue the cards, are not monolithic. They have different needs and goals. Accordingly, their decisions will usually align with those goals.

 

For example, DW is what I call a "volume credit user". She has no need for unicorns or "prime" cards that some people treasure...and quite frankly, she has no use for high-maintenance CCCs who dissect your work and financial life in order to satisfy their particular risk-assessment policies. She has dozens of INQs and a few dozen cards. Her scores are in the 700s because we NEVER miss a payment, usually PIF (unless we're using a deferred-interest offer) and stay in a safe UTIL range.

 

As for me, I target a few useful lenders who are extremely low-maintenance. That is, they offer me great cards and lines with benefits I can use. Everyone else can pound sand, AFAIC...and you would be surprised how many come a-knockin' with mail offers. Smiley Very Happy

 

And yet, DW and my experiences are not really the "norm"...especially on this site. There are legions of supporters who LOVE AMEX, Miss Disco, Citi and Chase. For them, pursuit and attainment of those cards is a justifiable and useful goal. I know someone personally who geared his entire credit strategy in order to secure two cards: The Meijer MC (and the gas discount/rewards that accompany it) and an AMEX with no pre-set limit. Once he had those cards, he shut every other account down iand used the heck out of those two drivers.

 

Moral of the story: There really isn't a number you can point to relative to "too many" cards. It all depends on your personal endgame...and depending on the arc of your financial life, that could change. Reading the wisdom on this site will help you enormously. That's always a great place to start. Smiley Happy

In my wallet: Apple $5,000, local CU $10,000. In my sock drawer: A few other cards Smiley Happy

Current scores (EQ, EX, TU): 767, 768, 770
Message 26 of 45
SouthJamaica
Mega Contributor

Re: Credit Cards- How many is too many?


@increasingmyfico wrote:

I am looking to add a few more cards to my arsenal, but I want to be strategic about it. I don't want to apply for too many within a short time frame and throw up red flags. My question is how many is too many? My oldest are two that I opened in March of 2018. Last year I added three in OCT (Amex, Amex and Apple) and one (FNBO) in Dec. There are six more that I want. I was thinking maybe three this year and three next year. I just worry about red flags from accumulating credit too quickly. Especially seeing that FNBO can be sensitive. What do you experts think?


There's no hard and fast rule. The less applications and the less new accounts, the higher your scores will go and the more likely lenders will want to approve you for something.  The only hard and fast rule is that if you go 12 months without adding anything new, you move up to a better scorecard and higher score.

 

One way to think of it is to think of it as going through 2 phases. The first phase is adding credit accounts that you would value. During that phase, you will not get great scores, and some lenders might be wary.  The second phase is to sit back, try to avoid new applications, and watch your scores grow if you succeed.

 

In your case, I would wait at least 3 to 6 months in between applications.


Total revolving limits 689000 (587000 reporting) FICO 8: EQ 718 TU 714 EX 695

Message 27 of 45
SoCalGardener
Valued Contributor

Re: Credit Cards- How many is too many?


@increasingmyfico wrote:

I am looking to add a few more cards to my arsenal, but I want to be strategic about it. I don't want to apply for too many within a short time frame and throw up red flags. My question is how many is too many? My oldest are two that I opened in March of 2018. Last year I added three in OCT (Amex, Amex and Apple) and one (FNBO) in Dec. There are six more that I want. I was thinking maybe three this year and three next year. I just worry about red flags from accumulating credit too quickly. Especially seeing that FNBO can be sensitive. What do you experts think?


I wouldn't call myself an expert, but here's my $0.02 worth! Smiley Happy

 

When it comes to how many cards is too many, it really depends on the individual. Take me and Mark as examples--I detest the effort involved with juggling 15 cards, while he relishes making a game of keeping 90+ cards open. I'm thinking of closing some of my cards, he's thinking of opening some more new ones!

 

The best answer for you is: whatever you're comfortable with. If I could re-do my credit history, I'd definitely do certain things differently. Based on that, I can suggest choosing each card very carefully--really be sure that its features/APR/AF (if any)/rewards/perks fit what you're looking for, and that you plan to keep it and use it for a long time. I do not, ever, open a card simply for its SUB; when I get a card that has a nice sign-up bonus, I take it as a nice plus, not as the reason I open the account. If the benefits of the card itself don't make sense for me in the long run, I don't open it.

 

There are other considerations, too, such as how much total credit you want to have, how much you plan on spending every month on credit, how well set you are to pay any bills you incur, and so on. Speaking from vast experience, I can say that the sky can fall at any moment! If you've gotten in over your head and then something catastrophic happens, like serious illness and the loss of income and big medical bills that go with it, that's not the time you want to realize you have too much debt.

 

I would look at every potential card and analyze it on its own merits, i.e., which bank issues it, what their reputation is, what benefits the card has, etc., and also compared to other, similar cards. Then pick and choose carefully. And make good use of this site! If you're considering a certain card, feel free to ask for opinions and personal experiences with it. You'll get lots of good info!

Amazon Prime Store CardAmerican Express Blue Cash Preferred CardAmerican Express Everyday CardBank of America Customized Cash VisaCapitalOne Quicksilver MastercardCapitalOne Quicksilver VisaCapitalOne Walmart Rewards MastercardChevron Texaco CardCiti Double Cash MastercardDiscover More CardJCPenney Gold MastercardOverstock.com CardSportsmans Guide Rewards VisaSynchrony Home Card
Message 28 of 45
wasCB14
Super Contributor

Re: Credit Cards- How many is too many?


@SoCalGardener wrote:

@increasingmyfico wrote:

I am looking to add a few more cards to my arsenal, but I want to be strategic about it. I don't want to apply for too many within a short time frame and throw up red flags. My question is how many is too many? My oldest are two that I opened in March of 2018. Last year I added three in OCT (Amex, Amex and Apple) and one (FNBO) in Dec. There are six more that I want. I was thinking maybe three this year and three next year. I just worry about red flags from accumulating credit too quickly. Especially seeing that FNBO can be sensitive. What do you experts think?


I wouldn't call myself an expert, but here's my $0.02 worth! Smiley Happy

 

When it comes to how many cards is too many, it really depends on the individual. Take me and Mark as examples--I detest the effort involved with juggling 15 cards, while he relishes making a game of keeping 90+ cards open. I'm thinking of closing some of my cards, he's thinking of opening some more new ones!

 

The best answer for you is: whatever you're comfortable with. If I could re-do my credit history, I'd definitely do certain things differently. Based on that, I can suggest choosing each card very carefully--really be sure that its features/APR/AF (if any)/rewards/perks fit what you're looking for, and that you plan to keep it and use it for a long time. I do not, ever, open a card simply for its SUB; when I get a card that has a nice sign-up bonus, I take it as a nice plus, not as the reason I open the account. If the benefits of the card itself don't make sense for me in the long run, I don't open it.

 

There are other considerations, too, such as how much total credit you want to have, how much you plan on spending every month on credit, how well set you are to pay any bills you incur, and so on. Speaking from vast experience, I can say that the sky can fall at any moment! If you've gotten in over your head and then something catastrophic happens, like serious illness and the loss of income and big medical bills that go with it, that's not the time you want to realize you have too much debt.

 

I would look at every potential card and analyze it on its own merits, i.e., which bank issues it, what their reputation is, what benefits the card has, etc., and also compared to other, similar cards. Then pick and choose carefully. And make good use of this site! If you're considering a certain card, feel free to ask for opinions and personal experiences with it. You'll get lots of good info!


Over the years, I've definitely gone from "Can I get it?" to "Do I want it?" to "Is it worth keeping?".

 

I see the credit card world as one of frequent change, at least on the travel side:

Card rewards/benefits/perks change.

AFs change.

Award charts change.

My travel habits change.

 

What I like about SUB chasing is that I can close the card at any time (or at least after a year or two to avoid SUB clawbacks) and still be comfortably ahead. A big SUB provides some degree of insurance against nerfing.

 

That said, I do have ample cash reserves both personally and on the business side so utilization and carrying balances aren't really concerns.

Personal spend: Amex Gold, Amex Schwab Plat., BofA PR+WWFCR, Costco
Business use: Amex Bus. Plat., BBP, Lowes Amex AU, CFU AU
Perks: Delta Plat., IHG49, Hyatt, "Old SPG"
Mostly SD: Freedom Flex, Freedom, Arrival
Upgrade/Downgrade games: EDP, BCP
Closing soon: Discover

Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 29 of 45
Citylights18
Established Contributor

Re: Credit Cards- How many is too many?

I'm a fan of scaling up to higher level products rather that collecting a metric ton worth of credit cards.

 

store/credit builder to rewards cards

rewards cards to business rewards cards

 

If I want to pump up my credit line I'm going to look the direction of business credit for that so its not on my personal credit report. I'd also rather have the AF on my business credit report rather than my personal because I can write it off.

 

I also like to think about how to design a minimalist wallet where you can keep a lot of your cards operating in the background. 

 

An ideal wallet I see at this time:

 

Chase Freedom Flex for 3x dining/5x cat (supported by a CSP in the background to transfer points).

Capital One Venture X as a general purpose travel card (no foreign transaction fees).

Coinbase Debit Card 4% XLM rewards (backed by your own cash)

 

This way you can have one card to drive travel with the premium priority pass the Venture X. Buy it all through their travel portal instead of wasting time with 3rd party sites. Use Chase for scalping flights on Soutwest/United here and there. Use Coinbase in place of gas/grocery swing card. It doesn't work well for returns but is okay for non-returnable spending.

 

Otherwise I'd point my lineup toward the business side. I have Business Amazon, Business Marriott, Business Chase etc. to build a thick business credit profile. 

Official travel point totals as of 4/17/22 (751,998 Total Points)
Chase Ultimate Rewards 289,441 | AMEX Membership Rewards 142,038 | World of Hyatt 91,479 | Citi Thank You 90,313 | Marriott Bonvoy 84,039 | AA Advantage 15,244 | United MileagePlus 13,316 | British Airways Avios 11,333 | Jet Blue TrueBlue 8,277 | Hilton Honors 2,267 | NASA Platinum Rewards 1883 | Navy Federal Rewards 792 | Southwest Rapid Rewards 762 | Expedia Points 529 | Delta Sky Miles 175 | Virgin Atlantic Virgin Points 100 | Hotels.com Rewards 6/10 ($135.99)
Message 30 of 45
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