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How Many Credit Cards Should You Have?

Learn more about how many credit cards you should have at once.

When you look in your wallet, how many credit cards do you see? One, a half dozen, more? Is there a right number of credit cards to have? Or is it a personal choice?

These are all excellent questions surrounding credit cards because there’s often a conversation about applying for cards, getting approved, improving your credit score, and the like, but not much focusing on the number of cards.

If you want to learn how many credit cards you should have, you’ve come to the right place.

Weighing The Pros and Cons of Your Credit Cards

Adding credit card approvals to your list can happen quickly. There’s always a new promotion or creative card that allows you to earn rewards, get cashback, pay 0% interest, and more, but do you need different types of cards to maximize your spending power?

It depends on your spending habits and the terms of the card.

  • If you don’t use your card often and it comes with a hefty annual fee, you might be losing more than you’re gaining. Our cards have no annual fees.
  • If you use it every day and it doesn’t have any benefits or has a high-interest rate, then you’re missing out on what you could be earning and probably paying significantly more than you should for your purchases.
  • If you collect cards and run their balances up each time without paying them off, you’re damaging your credit.

Adding a new credit card can have many benefits, such as increasing your available credit, which will decrease your credit utilization ratio if you use it wisely.

When weighing the pros and cons, you want to compare the card benefits to how you’re spending and decide if you’re making the most of what the card offers.

Determining How Many Credit Cards You Should Have

Now, determining how many credit cards you should have is personal.

To build a good credit history and maintain it over time, you want to have at least one credit card in your wallet that you regularly use, pay off on time, and maintain a utilization rate below 30%.

Each month that you pay your credit card on time and maintain a low utilization rate, you report positive credit information to the three credit bureaus.

Your payment history is the most crucial factor in determining your credit score. Ensure you maintain a positive payment history, so you don’t negatively impact your credit score.

Two common conditions to consider that impact whether you should get a new credit card include your utilization rate and the benefits you earn.

Utilization rate

If you need to lower your overall credit utilization rate, having multiple credit cards can help you, as long as you maintain a low balance on all cards.

Earn rewards

Based on your spending habits, if you find that you can benefit from the rewards offered by your card, you can take advantage. These rewards might be cashback, gift cards to your favorite store, or even 0% interest for a period to transfer your balances and pay off debt quicker.

Is There a Good Number of Credit Cards, Or Is It Based On The Person?

The number of credit cards you have is not as significant as how you manage them.

As long as you maintain good spending habits, like the ones below, you can have as many cards as you want because it will show that you can handle credit accessibility without mismanaging your accounts.

  • Pay your bill on time every month
  • Keep your utilization rate at or below 30%
  • Don’t close your accounts unless you’re doing so because you can’t practice good spending, or the annual fee isn’t worth it based on your spending habits.
  • Only apply for credit cards every six months, so you don’t show too many applications.

How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?

You’ll find the answer to this question by looking at your spending habits.

If you find that you’re struggling to maintain good credit with your current cards by missing payments and running up your utilization rate, you shouldn’t get any more until you’re able to manage your credit better.

If you find that your annual fees on your cards aren’t worth the money or you can’t afford them, you might want to downgrade your card to one without an annual fee, such as one of these credit card options offered through Listerhill.

If I Have Too Many, Should I Close My Card?

If you think you have too many credit cards or aren’t taking advantage of them as you should and are considering closing them, you want to do your research first. Closing your credit cards might impact your credit, so you want to consider how the decision will affect your credit in the long run.

Learn more about whether closing a credit card hurts your credit.

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  • The Great Giveback Official Rules

    1. Eligibility: No purchase or obligation necessary to participate and win. All participants must be 19 years of age or older at time of contest participation. Employees of Listerhill Credit Union are not eligible to register for the contest.

    2. How To Enter the Contest: All Listerhill members who have consumer loans in good standing, (subject to limitations below) are automatically entered. Anyone who takes out a new loan with Listerhill Credit Union, or refinances a loan from another lender with Listerhill Credit Union (subject to limitations below) will automatically be entered to win. Limit of one entry per loan.

    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY: To enter the contest without a loan, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Listerhill Credit Union, P.O. Box 566, Sheffield, AL 35660, Attn: Great Giveback Contest Entry. Limit one entry per person. Written entries must be received no later than July 3, 2021.

    Listerhill Credit Union will not be responsible for incomplete, lost, late, misdirected or illegible entries or for failure to receive entries. All entries become property of Listerhill Credit Union and none will be returned. Any questions regarding the number of entries submitted shall be determined by Listerhill Credit Union in its sole discretion, and Listerhill Credit Union reserves the right to disqualify any entries by persons determined to be tampering with, violating, or abusing any aspect of the contest.

    3. Contest Entry Requirements: In the event the Credit Union, in its sole discretion, determines that any Entry contains content that does not comply with these Official Rules or does not otherwise comply with regulatory guidelines, Credit Union reserves the right to disqualify the entry.

    4. Determining the Winner: A Credit Union employee will select at random four (4) $500 winners (one per day July 12-15) and one Grand Prize Winner from all entries received on July 16, 2021. You do not have to be present to win.

    5. Prizes: $500 Cash Prize: the Credit Union will award four (4) members with $500 cash each. Grand Prize: The Credit Union will pay up to $25,000 toward your loan with Listerhill Credit Union, or combination of loans. No loan payments will be made to loans with any other lender. No cash equivalent provided, and the total prize amount may be less depending on the outstanding amount of loan balance(s) with Listerhill Credit Union. In no event will the prize awarded exceed the total amount of the winner’s outstanding balance of qualifying loans with Listerhill Credit Union. Federal, state and local taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner. IRS regulations require the Credit Union file a 1099 on behalf of the winner.

    A Credit Union employee will call the prize winners and the prize winners will be called up to five times during regular business hours at number provided on entry form and will leave no messages. Failure to reach winner during these calls may result in disqualification of winner, forfeiture of his or her interest in all prizes, and selection of a substitute winner drawn from the drum. Winner will be required to schedule a time, at least 48 hours in advance, to visit Listerhill Credit Union, located at 4790 2nd Street, Muscle Shoals AL, 35661 in person, during regular business hours within seven (7) days of being notified to claim prizes by providing proof of eligibility for prize won and completing and signing an affidavit of eligibility and a liability and publicity release. Failure of any Winner to timely contact the Credit Union, visit the above Credit Union office in person and sign and return any required affidavit and release, or to claim a prize or comply with any term or condition of these Official Rules, will result in drawing Winner's disqualification and the forfeiture of his or her interest in the prize. Winners may waive their right to receive prizes. Prizes are non-assignable and nontransferable. No substitutions allowed by winner.

    6. To be eligible to win, all loans must be in good standing (not more than 30 days past due at the time of drawing. Eligible loans are limited to auto loans (no indirect dealer loans), personal loans (no loans secured by real property, such as mortgages, 2nd mortgages, and Home Equity Lines of Credit) and recreation loans made to consumer borrowers (not business or commercial loans).

    6. Participation. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Contest. Except where prohibited, acceptance of any prize constitutes winner's consent to the publication of his or her name, biographical information and likeness in any media for any commercial or promotional purpose, without limitation the Internet, or further compensation. Prizes not won and claimed by eligible winners in accordance with these Official Rules will not be awarded and will remain the property of the Credit Union.