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How many cards


How many cards

How many cards should I have open? It's sort of a long story as to why I'm asking that I posted in the relationship section. My gf just doesn't like how many credit cards I have. I feel comfortable with them and don't plan on using them much. Anyway do y'all think I should close any? My information is as follows.



SSFCU 1k CL Opened 9/2009 APR 12%is

NFCU 5kCL Opened this month APR 15%ish

Capitalone Platinum(no rewards) 500CL Opened 06/2011 APR 19%ish

JCrew 930CL Opened 11/2011 APR 24.99%

CareCredit 500CL Opened 10/2011(Parvo sucks) 0 till june '13 on one purchase



Citi Forward 500CL Opened 9/2009 and Closed about Oct 2010 by them.


Baddies on my credit:

60 days late and 90 days late from the citi. The 90 was actually from me making a payment but not realizing it wasn't the minimum.


All will be paid off tomorrow except for the NFCU. I know it will really only effect me util wise now.

I couldn't care less about carecredit. Only reason I'd need it is for an emergency and I've never heard of a 500 vet emergency.

I've gotten tired of Jcrew. Too expensive and i guess 25 back for every 500 spent is good but its per season. So I have 3 months to spend 500 for a measly 25 bucks and I don't get much for 500 there. Only thing I like about them is they did auto cli from 500 to 930 about 5 months ago. And the interest is so high so if something happens and I don't pif the 25 back is basically just paying for th interest and not anything extra.


I know it's different for everybody but what is the ideal number of cards to have open? And which one's do y'all think I should close.

Message 1 of 12
Valued Contributor

Re: How many cards

I think you have a nice portfolio of cards there.  With the exception of the Cap One that won't grow, I'd keep them if there is no annual fee.  If you have a fee, then I'd keep it till the new AF is about to post.  Me personally- I'd look to getting possibly one more card that can grow.  Maybe an Amex or Chase after gardening 6 mo to a year.  Should be able to acquire a nice starting limit then.

Starting Score: 642
Current Score: EQ 773, EX 780, TU 777 (All FICO)
Goal Score: 800+

Cards: NFCU Flagship 50K, DC 30K, BCP 28.6K, Arrival+ 25K, Citi DP 22.8K, CSR 20.5K, TotalRewards 25K, QuickSilver 20K

Message 2 of 12
Senior Contributor

Re: How many cards

It's a personal decision. I'd recommend asking for a CLI w/your SSFCU CC. It's been open 3 yrs and you're only at $1k.

You might want to look at adding an Amex. I'm not sure if you'd qualify for a BCE, but it has really good rewards. You might want to start w/Zync for only $25/yr AF. Then in a year, app for BCE. Also, this way all future Amex will be backdated to your first Amex. The benefit of that is that usually when you get a new CC, your AAoA takes a hit. With backdating, your AAoA actually gets a boost, which helps your FICO.

Beyond that, I'd think about what you're looking for in terms of rewards. Navy is actually pretty good, IMO. Some have higher % for certain categories, but I like Navy for my all-purpose card. It's a straight forward 1% cash back and you only need to accumulate $20 in rewards before you can redeem.

You might be able to qualify for Chase Freedom, which has different 5% categories each quarter.

I don't think you have too many cards at all. You might want to close your Cap One at some point if there's an AF, since your CL probably won't ever increase.

EQ FICO 750 | TU FICO 761 (Walmart) | EX FAKO 767 | Goal: 800+

Edits, funky spacing and spelling due to my iPad not getting along with the forum editor!

Message 3 of 12
Established Contributor

Re: How many cards

If it makes you feel any better, i have 10 cards. I don't think you have too many.

Starting Score: EQ 609, EX 633(Fako), TU 700
Current Score: EQ 699, EX 758, TU 733
Goal Score: 720 across the board
Garden Club Member-GC Challenge: App free since 10/31/12 Smiley Wink
Message 4 of 12
Valued Member

Re: How many cards

I would close Cap One & J Crew (based on ur usage?). As many suggest go for prime cards Amex Zync or BCE and a Chase card. It will make your portfolio to look more nice.


- Syed

Scores: 723 (EX CITI Pull 11/09/13), 669 (CK 11/21/13), 680 (EQ Duck Card Score 11/11/13) 664 (Walmart TU FICO Nov '13)
Duck Card - 12K | Amex BCE - 2K | Amex Costco - 1.2K | CITI TY Pref - 6.5K | Chase Freedom - 3K | DCU Visa - 5K | Genisys CU Visa - 2K | Discover More - 4.5K | Cap1 Q Silver - 1500 | Cap One Hassle Free - 1500 | Amazon Store - 1900 | Walmart Store - 800 | Kohls - 300 | Macys - 800
Message 5 of 12
Frequent Contributor

Re: How many cards

Get rid of the toy limits and department store cards.  You can manage with:





Hopefully you have $0 balances so it doesn't mess up your utilization.  Get yourself a 3rd card, probably a Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or AMEX BCE/BCP and call it a day.

My Wallet:
AMEX Platinum | Discover It $20.3k | Chase Sapphire Reserved $16k | Chase United $12k | AMEX SimplyCash Plus Business $11.6k | AMEX Schwab $9k | AMEX BCEP $8.2k | Citi Costco Anywhere Visa $8k | Chase Amazon Visa $8k | Chase Sapphire Preferred $7k | Chase Freedom $5k | Citi Simplicity $5k | Paypal Extras Platinum $5k | Wells Fargo $5k | Citi Best Buy $4.2k | Citi Visa Signature $3k | Care Credit $3k
Message 6 of 12

Re: How many cards

Thanks for all the input guys. I feel a little better now. Haha. I will close the cap1 probably next year right before the AF comes up.


Razues I'd love to do that. The only thing stopping me is my lates. I do have a balance on NFCU, which really was a balance transfer from jcrew and ssfcu, that I'm paying over the next couple of months. All other cards will not have a balance. The lates would also be at their two year mark at about the time the card will be paid off.

Message 7 of 12
Established Contributor

Re: How many cards

Answer to your first sentence: as many as you need. There is no magic number or range like there is with utilization. In my line of work I have seen guys with 830 FICOs that have 3 cards and I have seen 830 FICOs with those who have 20 cards.
AMEX SPG $30K | Citi TY Premier $20k | PenFed PlatRewards $25k | Barclay Arrival+ 40k | Chase Freedom $20k | BofA AMEX $15k | Discover IT $20k | | NASA Platinum-Advantage $20k | CapOne Quicksilver $15k | Amazon Card $10k |

My Journey from Sub-600s:
Message 8 of 12
Established Contributor

Re: How many cards

You can 180 cards, doesn't matter if you're responsible. I would hold off with the AMEX everyone's recommending, your baddies are still too recent in my opinion.

Starting Score: TU 686 EX 641 EQ 690
Current Score: TU 779 EX 767 EQ 740
Goal Score: 800 Club

BCE $12.5K, 5/3 Sig $10K, Wally Discover 10K, Cash+ $9K Sam's Discover 10K, Freedom $6K, Zales $5.5K, More $5K, Cap one $5K, Barclay 2.5K, Household Plat $1.5K, Household Gold $1.5K, Credit One $1K, First Premier Plat $.675K First Premier Gold $.65K
Message 9 of 12

Re: How many cards

JonStur wrote:

You can 180 cards, doesn't matter if you're responsible. I would hold off with the AMEX everyone's recommending, your baddies are still too recent in my opinion.

Not certain on this, we had a report a few months ago about someone with 20ish cards, who closed several, and got a non-trivial FICO boost.


While I can't say this isn't YMMV, I don't think the "have as many cards as you want" is a good plan: I think if you're more than something akin to one standard deviation outside the national averages, expect to have a more significant look taken at your credit report by any lender's underwriting.  No different than showing a bureaucrat what they're expecting to see in my opinion.



Starting Score: EQ 5 561, TU 98 567, EX 2 599 (12/30/11)
Current Score: EQ 5 771, TU 4 741, EX 2 776, EQ 8 809, TU 8 774, EX 8 822 (1/1/18)
Goal Score:    EQ 5 771, TU 4 750, EX 2 776, EQ 8 809, TU 8 774, EX 8 822 (01/01/19)

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Message 10 of 12