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Quantity of Credit Cards

Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

For me it started out as rebuilding.

And as @Mv350  states it has become a hobby.

And as @coreysw12 said.

Because of so many accounts. My scores are largely unaffected by closing or opening CCs now.


I can open two or three at a time.

Scores may not move at all.


Also as others have said, 3 is all you need to build credit.

Ultimately the choice is yours whether to add or close tradelines. 


As long as your scores continue to rise and debt stays in check. Doesn't matter if you have 3 or 80.

All that matters is, you take interest in maintaining it. 

Message 11 of 71
Mega Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

@Citylights18 wrote:

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.

Called that by who!   I don't know if those stages are true for many people, but I think a number of us start at your last stage, collecting for the perceived perks, without having gone through the first.

Message 12 of 71
Mega Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

@Mouse78 wrote:

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.

You can also do both: providing your SUB spend is on purchases you make anyway (or MS if needed!) you can still save.   You can easily double your investment in the stock market except when you can't, and at least on paper a 50% decline in the value of your investments is much worse than forgetting to pay a bill (which you don't do because they are set on autopay to PIF on due date)


Also, a late fee is less than $50 in most cases, and a few days interest will be at most a few dollars, so even if you do miss one, it certainly doesn't wipe out even one decent SUB.   So no need to knock one method in favor of another.  There is room for all.

Message 13 of 71
Super Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

Generally 3 cards are a good foundation for building your credit history. There is not a credit scoring reason to have more than 3-5 cards. Many people enjoy having a dozen or two dozen or more cards to maximize rewards/benefits and if you're keeping on top of everything, no harm done. Your score is not penalized for too many accounts.


The one thing to keep in mind is that the more accounts you have, you tend to dilute your benefit/rewards, and it becomes harder to earn any substantial reward on one account. Some people don't mind this, but something to keep in mind.

Message 14 of 71

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

I dont have "that many" opened accounts by standards here, 13 or 14.

My rewards are not diluted, because of my spend. Never racked any debt, and I doubt I ever will

I currently have at least three cards on 0%, without balances, because 0% wasnt why i got them. 


@Kinglord  whenever this question is asked, you get two kinds of answers, one being "I have as many as I want, works for me", and "No one needs more than 2-3 cards, look at the real world etc"


If people in real world knew what they were doing, they would have more than 3, but probably not 15.

There is no right or wrong answer, and no number that's going to work for everyone. 


I dont see it as a game or hobby. To me, it's a financial tool, and I treat it as such. 


Message 15 of 71
Super Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

For me, it started as building my credit scores up, then became about nice SUBs and catback. I hit a spot 2 years ago where I came very close to getting maximum catback for my spend, and stopped getting more. Half a percent or even 1% more isn't enough incentive to get a new tradeline at this point.


I might eventually cave for a really big SUB, but only if I can easily do the required spend.


Never did the BT shuffle, and hope to never start. I do take advantage of the occasional 0% offers or no fee purchases.

Message 16 of 71
Frequent Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

I have a spreadsheet that has the next 5 years planned out to get the cards I want while my closed auto (only installment) is still reporting, tracking AAoA and assumed INQ's hitting all 3B to stay under Chase's 5/24 and spaced out to not trigger AA


7 more cards, 1 mortgage and 1 auto. Then I won't "need" anything.


Diversifying credit between lenders so as to futureproof from possibility that one lender might go under, or slash limits, or close all accounts (5/3, synch, etc recently reported by others)


Goal: Mortgage/Chase Trifecta

Message 17 of 71
Valued Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards



Different networks (Amex, Disco, Visa, MC)

Different rewards (gas, dining, travel, groceries, etc.)

0% Promos


Eggs not in same basket



Rebuild started in 2014  -  $100k unsecured credit in 2017  -  $375k unsecured credit in 2020.


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 Else - Flagship             1% Cancer Charity - Fifth Third             0% Finance Promos - PenFed & Capital One

Message 18 of 71
Mega Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

And here I though most myFICO'rs were shooting to be diversified like the fortune 500 indexSmiley Surprised


I do need to edit this: Quality over QuantitySmiley Wink

Message 19 of 71
Valued Contributor

Re: Quantity of Credit Cards

I don't consider myself a very senior contributor here, but to answer the question, I have 13 to 16 cards, depending what you count.


13 bank cards in my name

+1 store card

+1 authorized user card

+1 corporate card


I wasn't able to get everything I wanted early on, so I got the closest thing I could, and in some cases, I now have duplicative cards that I plan to close eventually. This applies to Delta Gold and, in a sense, Hilton Aspire.


Also, I got an Apple Card that I regret opening, because of the SP approval. I'm a big fan of how they approve cards, but, the card itself serves no purpose for me, so I'm planning to let it go over 12 months and then close it.


And, I have a card from my local CU (Coastal) that I opened because it was the only Visa Signature I could even sniff at the time, but today, its benefits are mostly replaced by the Costco card. I may keep it simply due to my relationship with the CU or I may close it, haven't decided. One thing I will say on this card's behalf is that at the end of 2019, I got a "loyalty payment" that looked suspiciously like a match of my cash back for the year. If that's the case, it wouldn't be a 3-2-1 (gas/warehouse/everything) card, but a 6-4-2 card ... if so, it's better than my Costco card AND equal to my PPMC, but if the loyalty payment is fixed, that's not the case. I need to figure that out.


I have a Navy Federal card that I don't really need that I opened as a ploy to help me get a NFCU Flagship card in the future.


So, that is five of my 13-16 cards. As for the other eight, I have them mainly because they fill niches in my spend. The exception is Amex Platinum, which I have for status/lounge access (or for 2020: paying for streaming services). I don't get cards only for the SUB, though that is a plus.

Young profile, but no derogs. In March of 2019, I had no open accounts, a charge-off, two collections, and scores in the low 500s. The only thing in my signature that was on my CRs then was the old closed Exxon card. I am a MyFICO monthly paying customer. One might think my perspective would be welcome here, but ...

Authorized user / Corporate / Auto loan

Card CLs total $81,100, not counting the AU card. In March 2019, card CLs totaled $0. In April 2019, card CLs reached $500. Since then, I received a lot of great advice on this board, as well as a lot of advice I didn't take, that is good for most situations, but not mine. Bronze spade on July 3.
Closed but still on reports: ExxonMobil, $950, 10/08-02/11 (Equifax only) | Citi secured, $200, 04/19-09/19 | Capital One secured, $300, 04/19-08/19 | My Jewelers Club, $5,000, 05/19-08/19 | Green Dot Primor, $300, 05/19-08/19 | Self Lender secured $500 loan, 04/19-01/20 | Unsecured personal loan from Coastal, $1,000, 06/19-08/19.
Message 20 of 71
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