Credit Cards

5 signs that you should have several credit cards

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Would it be too much for you to handle multiple cards or just the right thing to do?

Key points

  • There are many credit cards available for consumers to choose from.
  • Different cards offer their own unique perks or benefits.
  • Taking advantage of the benefits of one cardholder and keeping spending under control are some signs of a person who may be better off with multiple cards.

Choosing a credit card can be a complicated process, but it’s important to choose it wisely so you can take full advantage of the benefits that different card issuers offer.

For some people, it actually makes sense not to stick with just one card, but to get multiple cards that are used for different purposes or offer different valuable benefits. To help you decide if you’re one of these people, here are five signs that using multiple credit cards might be the best option for you.

1. Your expenses tend to be all over the place

Many credit cards reward specific types of spending more than others. For example, some offer bonus rewards for grocery store purchases, while others offer bonus rewards for travel-related spending.

If you tend to spend most of your money on the same types of expenses, then you can find a great card that rewards you for spending the most. But if you have a wide range of different expenses and want to earn bonus rewards for several different expenses, you may need multiple cards to make that happen.

2. You use the cardholder benefits provided

Some people make the most of cardholder benefits, while others don’t use these extra features much.

If you are going to use all the benefits offered by several different card companies, then it may be worthwhile to opt for several cards. For example, if you fly regularly and stay in hotels, you may want a travel card that offers free lounge access and carry-on luggage, as well as a hotel card that offers free nights and early check-in.

3. You feel comfortable keeping track of different rewards programs

It goes without saying, but if you have multiple credit cards, you need to manage all of them. This means keeping track of which card gives you the most rewards for which types of purchases, as well as understanding all the different rules of each program.

If you find yourself confused or annoyed trying to figure out which card to use for each purchase, then you’re probably better off choosing a card that offers the best rewards rate overall so you don’t have to be strategic with your spending. But if you love trying maximize the points, miles, or cash back you can earn with each purchase, then multiple cards might be right for you.

4. You don’t worry about your spending getting out of control

The more credit cards you have, the more debt problems you can have if you don’t manage your spending wisely.

Carrying a balance on your cards usually means paying interest that dwarfs any potential rewards you might earn. If you’re worried about overspending, you don’t want multiple cards that allow you to build up a high balance. But if you’re confident you can live on a budget and pay all the cards you have in full each month, then you may be the ideal candidate for having multiple credit cards in your wallet.

5. Load enough on your cards to redeem rewards with multiple card issuers

Finally, you need to make sure you’re actually charging enough to make it worthwhile to have multiple cards. Otherwise, you will not be able to take full advantage of any rewards program.

If you spot any or most of these five signs, it probably makes sense to sign up for multiple cards. Just be sure to research cards carefully to find the right ones, and avoid applying for too many cards too soon so you don’t damage your credit.

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