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I have four cards. Should I spend on each one each month?

SouthJamaica
Super Contributor

Re: I have four cards. Should I spend on each one each month?


@deadrealism wrote:

I have four credit cards: AmEx EveryDay Card, CSP card, Discover It card, and Titanium Card from Barclays.

 

I read somewhere that it's best to use one card primarily each month and let the others sit at a $0 balance so that's what I've been doing for a while. I use one card, PIF each month, and leave the other three sit at a zero balance. Is this healthy for my credit profile? Or is it best to make purchases on each card each month and then PIF?

 

I want to do all I can to strengthen my credit profile, which right now is rather thin...4 credit cards, one student loan, one auto loan.


Utilization is computed as of the statement balance.

 

So you should use the cards any way that you find them most useful.

 

But for score maximization purposes, you would let one card report a small balance while the other 3 report at zero.

Message 11 of 15
Chickenpotpie
Frequent Contributor

Re: I have four cards. Should I spend on each one each month?

IMO depends on what the goal actually is.  When I was going for my mortgage carried balances on 2 cards.  Did not affect my scores in a negative way (my scores went up!!)    the other 2 cards were at 0 and utilization was about 9-10%.    They pulled my final credit score at 763, 20pts higher than I started....so go figure...lol

 

Your card stack is good.  I love Discover, especially when I moved because I was living at Home improvement stores (still kinda am??)  When I had to drive the 1500+ miles to florida, I used it as the gas card.  because it was that darn 5% for gas!

 

Lodging I used BCE.  Its a personal preference for me to use it for loging.  Chase amazon is tied to  the car's transponder.  So it gets used when I have to pay tolls.  The one that sat empty and alone was CapOne and its mainly because they were'nt doing crap for me (no cli) 

 

You will figure out where you should use your cards the best, I wouldn't worry about it.  I have used 3 at a time but then you have to make sure you pay them.  (I get email alerts thankfully)

Message 12 of 15
SunriseEarth
Moderator Emeritus

Re: I have four cards. Should I spend on each one each month?


@deadrealism wrote:

I have four credit cards: AmEx EveryDay Card, CSP card, Discover It card, and Titanium Card from Barclays.

 

I read somewhere that it's best to use one card primarily each month and let the others sit at a $0 balance so that's what I've been doing for a while. I use one card, PIF each month, and leave the other three sit at a zero balance. Is this healthy for my credit profile? Or is it best to make purchases on each card each month and then PIF?

 

I want to do all I can to strengthen my credit profile, which right now is rather thin...4 credit cards, one student loan, one auto loan.


As many others have said, letting only one balance post is useful for optimization.   Do you have a particular reason that you need to optimize?   Are you going to apply for new credit soon?  Then it's good to optimize.   Some people like to remain optimized at all times as a "just in case" measure, but that might be too much of a hassle for some.   I'm not currently "optimized" and don't have a reason to do so.  

 

IMHO, I'd suggest using your CCs in a way that makes most sense for your spending needs.   If you have a need to optimize, you should.  



Start: 619 (TU08, 9/2013) | Current: 795 (TU08, 10/14/20)
AMEX Cash Magnet $59000 | BofA BBR #1 $43900 | Discover IT $39000 | BoA BBR #2 $31100 | Venmo VS $30000 | NFCU More Rewards AMEX $25000 | Macy's AMEX $25000 Store $25000 | Cash+ VS $25000 | Altitude Go VS $24500 | GS Apple Card WEMC $20000 | Sony Card VS $19750 | Cap 1 QS WMC $17250 | Freedom Flex WEMC $15000 | Disney Premier VS $15000 | FNBO Rewards VS $15000 | Target MC $13500 | WF Cash Wise VS $12,000 | Cap 1 SavorOne WEMC $10500 | Amazon VS $10000 | Blispay $7500 | AARP VS $5800 | Cash Back World WMC $3000 ~~
Message 13 of 15
Thomas_Thumb
Senior Contributor

Re: I have four cards. Should I spend on each one each month?


@SunriseEarth wrote:

@deadrealism wrote:

I have four credit cards: AmEx EveryDay Card, CSP card, Discover It card, and Titanium Card from Barclays.

 

I read somewhere that it's best to use one card primarily each month and let the others sit at a $0 balance so that's what I've been doing for a while. I use one card, PIF each month, and leave the other three sit at a zero balance. Is this healthy for my credit profile? Or is it best to make purchases on each card each month and then PIF?

 

I want to do all I can to strengthen my credit profile, which right now is rather thin...4 credit cards, one student loan, one auto loan.


As many others have said, letting only one balance post is useful for optimization.   Do you have a particular reason that you need to optimize?   Are you going to apply for new credit soon?  Then it's good to optimize.   Some people like to remain optimized at all times as a "just in case" measure, but that might be too much of a hassle for some.   I'm not currently "optimized" and don't have a reason to do so.  

 

IMHO, I'd suggest using your CCs in a way that makes most sense for your spending needs.   If you have a need to optimize, you should.  


^ Agree with the above. The one card only is a hassle and non value add for me.

 

As an standard operating practice I allow charges to report on statements and then pay in full before the due date. The additional float time provides a better financial benefit than paying before statement cuts. Using all cards periodically and then paying in full can help build credit history. However, you do not need to use all cards every month.

 

I have a couple primary cards that are used every month and the others I use at least once every 3 or 4 months. You can pay balances on "all but one" just before statements cut so the show zero balance on statement. That really does not strengthen your credit profile compared to PIF of balances after statements cut but, can improve point in time credit score.

 

 

Fico 9: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 8: .......EQ 850 TU 850 EX 850
Fico 4 .....:. EQ 809 TU 823 EX 830 EX Fico 98: 842
Fico 8 BC:. EQ 892 TU 900 EX 900
Fico 8 AU:. EQ 887 TU 897 EX 899
Fico 4 BC:. EQ 826 TU 858, EX Fico 98 BC: 870
Fico 4 AU:. EQ 831 TU 872, EX Fico 98 AU: 861
VS 3.0:...... EQ 835 TU 835 EX 835
CBIS: ........EQ LN Auto 940 EQ LN Home 870 TU Auto 902 TU Home 950
Message 14 of 15
BrutalBodyShots
Super Contributor

Re: I have four cards. Should I spend on each one each month?

OP, one thing to keep in mind is that not using a card at all during a cycle to yield a 0 balance is very different than using the card and paying in full to report a 0 balance.  By not using a card at all you aren't accomplishing anything really as long as you are in fact paying in full each cycle.

 

I'd suggest throwing a single purchase on any cards that you otherwise don't plan on using that cycle.  Doesn't matter how much money, could be a simple $7 pack of batteries or a $30 trip through the express line at the grocery store.  When you get home, go online and just pay it off.  Done deal, you'll show the CC company utilization and not ever have any risk of your account being closed for non-use.

 

 

Message 15 of 15
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