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Quantity of Credit Cards

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Contributor

Quantity of Credit Cards

As I am in the recovery/rebuilding process I am struggling to understand the goal of obtaining massive amounts of credit cards.  Some of the more senior contributrs here have staggering amounts of extremely high profile credit.  Is this done to obtain the initial sign up offer and then have the CL help their overall utilization? Is there another reason for obtaining such a high number of them?  Is it strictly just for fun, I know the feeling of approval Smiley Happy

 

Please share, thank you!



Message 1 of 71
70 REPLIES 70
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Super Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

At 18 cards, it starts with wanting a SUB or a set of perks. Then I end up keeping a card for some very narrow purpose.

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, ED, QS
Upgrade/downgrade games: BCP
Mostly earning MRs and cash back as I use up hotel and airline points spread across several programs.
Message 2 of 71
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

Its called the credit card app hamster wheel.

 

Once you start taking out cards and racking up debt then all of the sudden 0% APR cards sound attractive to pick up.

 

In the aftermath usually then more cards are added to round out the lineup. I got into Chase, realized they had a 5/24 rule and decided to add cards that I knew would increase point potential after time.

 

Then its onto the perks and trying to squeeze as much of those as possible. When you get to this level that is when you really understand the cards.

Official travel point totals as of 3/21/20 (Goal Free Flights)
Chase Ultimate Rewards 163,976
British Airways Avios 11,332
AA Advantage 10,841
United MileagePlus 4,550
Expedia Points 2,523
Southwest Rapid Rewards 1,000
Hilton Honors 481
Delta Sky Miles 123
Marriot Bonvoy 0

Official cashback as of 3/21/20 (Goal Fund Roth IRA)
Acorns 418.87
Retail Me Not 85.12
Top Cashback 39.08
DOSH App 32.64
Raise Cash 27.49
PEI App 24.28
Club Overstock 23.87
Mr. Rebates 14.65
Rakuten 0.00

Other Point Category
Freebird 3,500
Samsung Rewards 2,750
Open Table 1,400
Message 3 of 71
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Frequent Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

Typical person has 3 credit cards, 1 of which are decent daily driver cards. They keep them mostly around for a "large purchase". These people get themselves into trouble and start racking up interest. Racking up interest however is okay limited quantity. It becomes problematic when it starts to become something you can't pay off for 6 months or more.

 

To me what I see with the people on here is they take their finances more seriously so they want the best cards and products possible. Its not a competition thing its about hunting for products. Trying to get tips. I list my point earning on here as a way to keep track of my points. All I care about is what I have, not how it compares to others.

Official travel point totals as of 3/21/20 (Goal Free Flights)
Chase Ultimate Rewards 163,976
British Airways Avios 11,332
AA Advantage 10,841
United MileagePlus 4,550
Expedia Points 2,523
Southwest Rapid Rewards 1,000
Hilton Honors 481
Delta Sky Miles 123
Marriot Bonvoy 0

Official cashback as of 3/21/20 (Goal Fund Roth IRA)
Acorns 418.87
Retail Me Not 85.12
Top Cashback 39.08
DOSH App 32.64
Raise Cash 27.49
PEI App 24.28
Club Overstock 23.87
Mr. Rebates 14.65
Rakuten 0.00

Other Point Category
Freebird 3,500
Samsung Rewards 2,750
Open Table 1,400
Message 4 of 71
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Established Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards


@Kinglord wrote:

As I am in the recovery/rebuilding process I am struggling to understand the goal of obtaining massive amounts of credit cards.  Some of the more senior contributrs here have staggering amounts of extremely high profile credit.  Is this done to obtain the initial sign up offer and then have the CL help their overall utilization? Is there another reason for obtaining such a high number of them?  Is it strictly just for fun, I know the feeling of approval Smiley Happy

 

Please share, thank you!


The reasons are as varied as are the people. I try and maximize cash-back options. Since there's no "perfect card," it may take many as well as multiple rotating category cards for full-year coverage. Additionally I chose a travel rewards/points system (Chase UR), but some participate in multiple. There are also low APR & Balance Transfer cards. I tend to try and avoid getting cards solely for a SUB, but if the bonus were tempting enough, I can't rule out ever doing that. My reasons are likely similar to some and vastly different from others. Bottom line, I try and make my credit work for me rather than just me working for credit. Hope that helps a little, but you'll get opinions that widely vary, only you can decide what's best for you.













Message 5 of 71
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New Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

I'm likely in the minority.  I have 4 cards with $106,700 in credit.  I only had 1 through last summer but it was a pain to use when I was in Canada last summer.  It had FTF and wasnt accepted everywhere I would have liked.  Once I got back I decided to look into a Visa.  In August I got the Chase Boundless since I'm pretty dedicated to Marriott hotels.  Followed that with Chase Sapphire Reserve in September for the travel benefits.  I dont travel much but my husband does.  Then in October I picked up the Amex Blue Cash Preferred for the groceries and gas cash back.  

 

There are other cards I'd like to have but I'm not a SUB chaser and I don't  carry a balance so getting cards for  BT isn't a thing for me.  I also dont have the desire to shuffle a bunch of cards around and keep them all straight.  

 

The only cards left on my list to maybe get one day are WF Propel and Chase Freedom Unlimited.  

 

Message 6 of 71
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New Visitor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

I guess I'm also in the minority with 3 cards with ~90k credit limit. Even that is a lot, and one could easily be fine with 2 cards.

 

Don't spend time trying to earn an extra 0.5% or a signup bonus by applying for too many cards. All of that is lost the minute you forget to pay a bill because you have too many cards.

 

Save up $10,000 cash, put it in mutual fund or ETF investments and you'll easily make several times what you can make in sign up bonuses in a few months. Long term, you can easily double your initial investment in 3-4 years.

Message 7 of 71
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Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

This is a great question. I think i was up to about 15 cards early this year. I mostly go them for the sign up bonuses or to expand my relationship with a new lender. 

This year, probably due to the economic crisis, I decided to reassess. I've started closing cards that had annual fees and have actually applied for a couple of new cards with no annual fees - before this change I was paying about $2k/year on annual fees, I know, ridiculous! I've started focusing on 5% cash back cards and have 4 that have rotating categories and complement each other really well. My current goal is to maximize the amount of cash back from transactions - I am then putting that revenue into paying down debt (car loan, heloc), saving and investing. 

Message 8 of 71
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Established Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

For someone rebuilding, it seems that 3 is the magic number. Your scores will benefit a lot from having 3, versus only 1 or 2. More than 3 doesn't benefit a rebuilder much unless they carry a balance and want to lower their utilization.

 

Most people who have more than 3 cards, got each one for a specific purpose. Often, that purpose is collecting points or cashback, signup bonuses, or getting certain other benefits like discounts at stores. People who chase these rewards are often the ones who end up with 15+ cards. There's not really any other reason to get so many cards, it doesn't typically help your score much - you can still get an 850 with only 3 cards.

 

One other benefit from having tons of credit accounts, is that your average account age will be largely unaffected by opening new ones or closing old ones. Someone who only has 3 cards will have to really think hard about whether or not they want to take the massive hit to their AAoA by opening a new account or closing one of their existing ones, whereas someone who has 45 cards couldn't care less.

    Combined Loan Balances: $35k / $70k
    Combined CL: $26.9k
Goal cards:



7 settled c/o accounts reporting until 2024 Smiley Sad
Message 9 of 71
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Valued Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

It went from rebuilding to a hobby. It's fun for me. The more hobbies I have, the more sanity I keep intact. 




Message 10 of 71
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