cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What's the advantage of having many CC?

Highlighted
Frequent Contributor

What's the advantage of having many CC?

So I've been reading on here how people have 8, 10, 20 cards...what is the advantage of that?

 

I have 4 that I use: 

PenFed - gas, personal use $9.5k CL

USAA MC - joint expenses, $24k CL

USAA Amex - bills, $14k CL

Victoria's Secret - their stuff, $650 CL

 

So why do people have so many more?  Is it because the limits are much lower than mine?  What is the advantage of having so many store cards?  We shop at Express, Home Depot, Target, Walmart a lot - should I get their cards?  Would they give me so much more in rewards or something? Should we get an AMEX card as everyone seems to love them (beyond the USAA one)?

 

Isn't it harder to keep track of all those cards?  Do y'all spend a lot more than us? (We spend less than $1,500 a month, usually much less, on CC)

 

Just curious to hear from people why they want to app for so many and have so many cards... thanks!

Current Scores: EQ: 740 (2/7/13)


Starting Score: 799
Current Score: 762
Goal Score: 800

Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 1 of 38
37 REPLIES 37
Highlighted
Regular Contributor

Re: What's the advantage of having many CC?


@Peach8321 wrote:

So I've been reading on here how people have 8, 10, 20 cards...what is the advantage of that?

 

I have 4 that I use: 

PenFed - gas, personal use $9.5k CL

USAA MC - joint expenses, $24k CL

USAA Amex - bills, $14k CL

Victoria's Secret - their stuff, $650 CL

 

So why do people have so many more?  Is it because the limits are much lower than mine?  What is the advantage of having so many store cards?  We shop at Express, Home Depot, Target, Walmart a lot - should I get their cards?  Would they give me so much more in rewards or something? Should we get an AMEX card as everyone seems to love them (beyond the USAA one)?

 

Isn't it harder to keep track of all those cards?  Do y'all spend a lot more than us? (We spend less than $1,500 a month, usually much less, on CC)

 

Just curious to hear from people why they want to app for so many and have so many cards... thanks!


I personally have multiple cards for multiple reasons. I realized about a year ago when I had only one low limit card for emergencies and used my debit card for everything instead, that potential creditors saw that not as being financially responsible but as having a lack of experience managing credit. I had just purchased a home and had successfully paid off two auto loans in the past, and it seemed silly and a little insulting to me when I was denied by Citi, Discover and PenFed for lack of experience, but in order to improve my credit profile and benefit from it, I started applying for cards with rewards.

 

In addition to rewards, boosting my credit profile and having available credit for emergencies (big or small), it shows potential creditors that I can manage credit successfully and I have more options that will allow me to benefit from using credit, and not the other way around.  Almost every card I have offers me reward benefits for my normal everyday purchases.

 

Another benefit of having multiple cards are special offers like no interest for x months on purchases at places like Home Depot, Best Buy, NewEgg, Macy's, etc. It's nice to be able to purchase a new dishwasher or sofa and pay it off over 6 or 12 months instead of paying cash upfront, and still not pay interest on the purchase. To me, that's the biggest reason for having a store card because the interest rates are normally incredibly high compared to bank credit cards.

 

However, and this is a big however, I think I've got a little too much overlap in rewards in some cases now and you're right, it can be difficult to manage a lot of cards. For example, I have two cards that have different reward benefits in different areas, but both give 3% cash back on gas, so I have to decide which to use when I get gas. 

 

My advice is to only have what you need, and get the best cards for your situation. If you have 10 cards that all have different benefits that you will use and you can manage them all, great. If you can get what you need from 4 cards instead, even better. Every situation is different, so look at what you need in your life and go from there.

 

As for American Express, I happen to love them and the backdating on cards is great for your credit score. As you will see by looking at others' posts, not everyone loves AMEX Smiley Happy

Message 2 of 38
Highlighted
Frequent Contributor

Re: What's the advantage of having many CC?

I'm with you on that one. I have 2 cards - a USAA MC $14k CL and a Discover More $2.5k CL. I use the Discover for the 5% categories and online through ShopDiscover for the rewards. I run everything else through the Mastercard for cash back. I can't imagine trying to keep track of a dozen cards with different due dates. My long term plan is to pick up an AmEx Blue Cash for the awesome cashback rewards and use that as my primary. I'll probably get a BofA Visa at some point just to round out the collection with one of each network. And if I go somewhere only certain cards are accepted I'll be set.

 

I'm sure there are various reasons people have a ton of cards, some good reasons and some not so good  - I'll throw out a few and maybe people will chime in:

 

  1. Playing the balance transfer game shuffling between 0% offers
  2. Had cards from when they were younger and saw no need to close them so they accumulate, building AAoA
  3. Playing the rewards/benefits game. If I really wanted to max out rewards I could get a PenFed Visa for gas, a Citi Forward for dining, a Chase Freedom more more categories, etc. Maybe a CapOne for foreign travel. But that's too much work for me.
  4. Having multiple tradelines to improve credit score
  5. Pride. Having a lot of cards or prestigious cards make them feel important around other people. Also applies to spending beyond your means to impress people
  6. Addiction. Applying for credit can become an addictive behavior. Getting approved gives you a self esteem boost and can make you want more
  7. Ignorance - going around applying for every store card in existence to get a discount that day, not knowing the long term ramifications
  8. Desparation - getting credit wherever they can just to stay afloat, even if the debt is unsustainable
  9. ???

Obviously not everyone fits into these categories and there are certainly other reasons. I'm interested to see what others say.


Starting Score: 690
Current Score: EQ 780 EX 814 TU 783
Goal Score: 800

Take the FICO Fitness Challenge
Message 3 of 38
Highlighted
Valued Member

Re: What's the advantage of having many CC?

I have a pretty fair amount of credit cards. I have 2 VISA, 2 Mastercard, and 7 store cards. While I am certainly not a credit expert, I can tel you that my FICO scores have been going up like a rocket in the last 6 months since I started to rebuild and have these many cards. Since Im just starting out rebuilding it gives me alot of positive trendlines, and no ones going to give me a high credit limit so having these helps increase the amount of availible credit I have. Both my EQ and TU have gone up just over 100 points since Feb.  

 

So I can see the advantages of having many credit cards when you are starting out or trying to rebuild, as long as you do not spend more than you would without them.

Auto Loan (2/11, $4,400), Statefarm VISA (3/11 $500CL), Amazon (3/11, $700CL), ChevronTexaco (3/11, $1600CL), Macy's (4/11), Credit Union VISA (5/11, $500CL), Walmart (5/11, $1300CL), CapitalOne (6/11, $500CL) Old Navy (6/11, $600CL) Paypal Smart Connect (6/11, $1300CL) Shell/Citi (7/11 $200CL) Orchard Platnium MC (7/11 $300CL) Gap (7/11 $350CL) Lowes (8/11 $900CL) JCPenny (9/11 $1500CL) BB Mastercard (3/12 $300) Target (4/12 $200)


Message 4 of 38
Highlighted
Frequent Contributor

Re: What's the advantage of having many CC?

Personally, I think too many cards is an invitation to financial disaster. I had probably 20 cards at one time and it is ridiculous. I got rod of most and now have the following: AMEX platinum for personal expense (average 20-25K per mon), and AMEX platinum Corp for my primary business, and MC world elite CHARGE card (yes, BofA has a charge version) which I use for my secondary business (30-35K per month). I have a BOfA VISA with a 22000 limit, and a MERRIL Lynch visa credit card with a 250,000 limit hat I use for emergencies (both are PIF 10 out 12 mons of the year) and everying else I use a Merrill lynch signature visa deferred debit card . I got rid of the AMEX centurion personal and business, 6 MBNA MC, and a few misc store cards, all of which I closed.
Message 5 of 38
Highlighted
Valued Contributor

Re: What's the advantage of having many CC?


@flyingmd wrote:
Personally, I think too many cards is an invitation to financial disaster.

I wouldn't say it's the number of cards as much as it is the amount of credit.

FICO Scores Updated 07/15 EQ08 748 EX08 748 TU08 818
Message 6 of 38
Highlighted
Frequent Contributor

Re: What's the advantage of having many CC?

Here, here. Well said. Using what you have responsibly is they best way long term to to keep your credit and scores healthy.
Message 7 of 38
Highlighted
Valued Contributor

Re: What's the advantage of having many CC?

I had 8 but have slowly narrow it down to a total of 4 now.

 

1. Chase Freedom Visa

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred MC

3. Discover More

4. Amex SPG ------> currently PC to Blue Cash Everyday

 

 

 

Message 8 of 38
Highlighted
Contributor

Re: What's the advantage of having many CC?


@tntexans72 wrote:

I had 8 but have slowly narrow it down to a total of 4 now.

 

1. Chase Freedom Visa

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred MC

3. Discover More

4. Amex SPG ------> currently PC to Blue Cash Everyday

 

 

 


I have 35 but soon to have 33. BBRZMC & Orchard Cards are getting the boot! Smiley Very Happy

Message 9 of 38
Highlighted
Legendary Contributor

Re: What's the advantage of having many CC?

In the past I was a fan of having a 100 different credit cards but now I carry 1 Amex, 1 Visa!

However when it comes to Store cards you have to way out the benefits and how often you really shop at the store.

Home Depot - Offers 6-12 months interest free almost all the time, sometimes they offer you 10% off.

Target - I do my grocery shopping here and now with the 5% always and 10% on wine over 6 bottles... That all adds up VERY quickly!

Express - I get a coupon DAILY from them on my i-Phone, through e-mail, in store... seems a lot of times additional 15% with Express Card, they will allow you to break up your transaction into 20 if you wish to try to use a coupon for each transaction... Last time I spent just over $350, I saved over $250!!

Walmart - Allows you to get cash back at register and it won't cost you a cash advance, it goes in as your regular purchase just increasing your total... the biggest news lately is if you sign up for paperless statements they will give you your TU Fico monthly... otherwise I would say not as useful of a card as the others.

Message 10 of 38
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.