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People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's

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Established Member

Re: People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's

I now have 47 credit cards. I only pay an annual fee on one of the cards, the Barclays Luxury Card.  I keep a steno book with each card listed for the due date and the closing date. Once a card statement closes. I use that card for a day, sometimes three cards in a day. It then goes back away until next month. It is a very easy process but can be time consuming.

Message 11 of 33
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Valued Contributor

Re: People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's

I use a big spreahsheet. lol

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Message 12 of 33
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Valued Contributor

Re: People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's

Great question! I've wondered the same thing. I barely squeeze into the criteria you set. With a total of 19 cards I have a spreadsheet where I keep opening date, SCL, and track CLI. Unfortunately, once a HP is removed I delete the CB. My highest CL is my AmEx at $29.5K.

 

I utilize my lesser cards by for streaming channels. Other cards for Wi-Fi, cell phone, and utilities. Those cards get taken out now and then for a tank of gas or a lunch. 

 

I'm not one to try very often for a CLI. My total CL is approximately $184K. I check my balances once a week on Monday. 

 

For those with 30 cards and more, I give you credit for maintaining your cards! No pun intended.

Message 13 of 33
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Frequent Contributor

Re: People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's


@Knice86 wrote:

I see people with 15-40 credit cards all with high limits.  That is my goal but I wonder if there is a secret on being able to use them all in a rotation of sorts to ensure you get healthy CLI's whether automatic or manual.  Basically, how do you have such a large volume of credit cards all with high limits and manage to use them to the point where your credit limit never decreases, rather increases.  


Constant cli opportunties vary with the lender, and I would say they're all different.  Some will let you build up limits (BOA, Am Ex) to their "limit threshold".  Others will, after some history, may give a generous line (USB, Chase).  Speaking for myself, I'm topped out with most of my card accounts, with Discover still growing.  Unless my income and/or spend increases, I'll be at my siggy limit.  Congrats to the higher achievers, there are quite a few here.

Am Ex | BOA | Chase | Citi | Disc | PenFed | USB | 400K Club
Message 14 of 33
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Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's

I have 17 cards, not a ridiculous TCL (around $65k), and I carry my Gold charge, BCP, CU Visa, and Disco cards daily. The rest are accessible for when their intended uses arise. The ones I listed are my daily used cards, where the vast majority of my spend goes. I use all of my cards at least every couple months though, except Firestone which I used today for an oil change on one of my cars but which hadn't been used in five months (statement cut today and thankfully it is still open). 

Like another poster up above, I use a spreadsheet to track everything. I track balance, limit, available credit, aggregate and individual usage percentages, statement and due dates, CLI dates and amounts, a running tally of how much my total required payments are at any given moment, and reward balances. The spreadsheet calculates everything based on balance and limit, including a separate table that shows the balance on each that equates to a scoring threshold, and one that shows the paydown amount needed to cross the next lower threshold. (I'm an engineer, can't help it - I like numbers). It even color-codes cells based on how soon payments are due, usage, whether or not that month's payment has been made, etc. 

All that being said, I typically pay as soon as the statement cuts on the 2-4 cards per month that post a balance, so the requirement is handled immediately, and then I'll throw extra money at them before the due date as the month goes on. The majority are all paid to zero before the statement cuts. It makes it pretty easy to manage it all as long as my spending stays under control and I don't start to amass balances on multiple cards, which I used to do (hence all the calculations and such in the spreadsheet), but which is a thing of the past as of this year. My reported usage stays between 4-6% now, typically under 5%. 



Rose Gold NPSL | BCP | Delta Gold | Hilton Surpass | Hilton Honors | IT Cash | IT Chrome | GHSFCU Visa Plat | Quicksilver | Target | VS | Home Depot | Lowes | Firestone | Wayfair | Overstock | Kohl’s

5/24, 1/24, 76445/24, who cares #HappyWithAmex





TCL $64,850 | Agg. Util under 5%
Message 15 of 33
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Valued Contributor

Re: People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's


@staticvoidmain wrote:

I don't have a lot of credit cards, but I use an online spreadsheet that I can access anywhere. It's very easy to expand and add more cards/accounts to it. If you have a table of all your cards and their balances, then you'll know which ones you're not using. I do log all my spend though. When it comes to rotation, it can get tricky if your spending is too few (i.e. you don't pay for, or purchase a lot of things)


I basically do the same thing. I also total the balance of all cards so that I know what's remaining to move to a MM account or brokerage account before paying cards in full each month, which basically is used to earmark for payment (CC balances are like check amounts that haven't cleared my checking account). I make sure all cards get activity every month, except for Lowe's, to minimize CLDs or closures. It's very easy to see on the spreadsheet which cards have activity and which ones do not. Each transaction turns green when I make an entry. 

Scores, HPs/24 mos. (updated 4/08/20):
    Experian FICO Score 8 = 827, 2/24
    Experian FICO Score 9 = 834, 2/24
   TransUnion = 832, 1/24
    Equifax = 834, 0/24

Total 2019 rewards, incl. offers/deals = $1,709.07
Avg. rewards rate, incl. offers/deals = 3.92%

Total CL: $264,500

Cards (hover over for CL | interest rate | Date Opened):
Message 16 of 33
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Valued Contributor

Re: People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's

It can be a lot to manage.

I have almost $400k TCL.

I started closing and combining low CL cards before Covid.

Right now I am not closing anything and rotating cards for purchases so they don’t close for me.

GL!

Rebuild started in 2014  -  $100k unsecured credit in 2017  -  $400k unsecured credit in 2020.

DON'T WORK FOR CREDIT CARDS ... MAKE CREDIT CARDS WORK FOR YOU!

5% Rotating - Discover                         5%-20% - Amazon & Lowes                   3-6% Groceries - NFCU & Amex Preferred
3-5% Gas - NFCU & Ducks Unl            4% Dining & Entertain - Savor               3% Travel & Hotels - Flagship, Propel, & Uber
2% Everything - Flagship & Syncrony






Message 17 of 33
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Super Contributor

Re: People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's

It's not as difficult as you might think. Just throwing a $1 charge on each card every couple months is enough to keep the card open and you can accomplish that through Amazon gift card reloads. 

For CLIs, sometimes that $1 is enough. Comenity shot me down for not using my card, I put a $1 on it on Amazon, got a 2X CLI the next month. A buddy of mine has over $90K in limits with Comenity and he only does $1 charges on his cards every 6 months. Synchrony gave me almost twice my income in limits with less than $200 spend a month averaged across all of my cards. Capital One and Discover are the only two that shoot me down for not using my cards enough but I have high limits with both of them close to my income anyway.

 

The real key is to make sure that you have a calendar reminder to sit down and do keep alive charges for cards in the SD. 



Message 18 of 33
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Super Contributor

Re: People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's


@Saeren wrote:

It's not as difficult as you might think. Just throwing a $1 charge on each card every couple months is enough to keep the card open and you can accomplish that through Amazon gift card reloads. 

For CLIs, sometimes that $1 is enough. Comenity shot me down for not using my card, I put a $1 on it on Amazon, got a 2X CLI the next month. A buddy of mine has over $90K in limits with Comenity and he only does $1 charges on his cards every 6 months. Synchrony gave me almost twice my income in limits with less than $200 spend a month averaged across all of my cards. Capital One and Discover are the only two that shoot me down for not using my cards enough but I have high limits with both of them close to my income anyway.

 

The real key is to make sure that you have a calendar reminder to sit down and do keep alive charges for cards in the SD. 


Credit so casually extended may also be quickly withdrawn. If you add up the waves of Comenity and Synchrony shutdowns over the last few years, I expect a fairly significant chunk of the "$100k Club" have gotten significant AA.

 

Just anecdotally...not keeping statistics here.

Spend: BofA PR + WWFCR, BBP, Schwab Platinum, Freedom x 2, Costco, Discover
Perks: IHG49, Hyatt75, Delta Platinum, "Old" SPG95
SD/AAoA Ballast: Arrival, CFU, DC
Upgrade/downgrade games: BCP, EDP
Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 19 of 33
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Super Contributor

Re: People with lots of credit cards, how do you maintain utilization on all of them to ensure CLI's


@wasCB14 wrote:

@Saeren wrote:

It's not as difficult as you might think. Just throwing a $1 charge on each card every couple months is enough to keep the card open and you can accomplish that through Amazon gift card reloads. 

For CLIs, sometimes that $1 is enough. Comenity shot me down for not using my card, I put a $1 on it on Amazon, got a 2X CLI the next month. A buddy of mine has over $90K in limits with Comenity and he only does $1 charges on his cards every 6 months. Synchrony gave me almost twice my income in limits with less than $200 spend a month averaged across all of my cards. Capital One and Discover are the only two that shoot me down for not using my cards enough but I have high limits with both of them close to my income anyway.

 

The real key is to make sure that you have a calendar reminder to sit down and do keep alive charges for cards in the SD. 


Credit so casually extended may also be quickly withdrawn. If you add up the waves of Comenity and Synchrony shutdowns over the last few years, I expect a fairly significant chunk of the "$100k Club" have gotten significant AA.

 

Just anecdotally...not keeping statistics here.


Yes both Synchrony and Comenity are "easy come, easy go" lenders. Although to be fair, despite having almost 5X my income in credit limits, I haven't experienced any AA and in fact got a CLI from Target, Comenity, Synchrony, and also got my AOD card since April. It really is profile dependent. My buddy has never had Comenity touch his accounts despite the fact he has multiple cards around $30K and never puts more than a few bucks a year on them. Its totally profile dependent.



Message 20 of 33
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