Credit cards, if used wisely, are useful financial products that give you multiple discounts and offer to help you save money on your daily spending on fuel, food items, shopping, and bill payments. Though one credit card can cater to all your payment requirements yet, at times, you may need more than one card to accommodate your specific necessities. Often people are on the fence trying to decide how many credit cards they should hold. Here is how to decide on the number of credit cards you should have.
When Do You Need Just One Card?
It depends on how you manage your expenditures. Many people prefer to pay only through their credit cards as handling cash for everyday expenditures could be inconvenient. However, you may decide based on your requirements and usage. If you use a credit card for the first time, you may not have a credit history. It means you may not be eligible to apply for exclusive or premium credit cards based on your income and spending.
In such cases, you must first apply for a credit card based on your income and spending requirements. Use this card regularly and repay the bill on time to build a good credit score and eventually become eligible for a higher category credit card for more benefits. If you are still learning the tricks of the trade and rarely use a credit card, one card could be enough to start your financial journey. When financially mature, you can acquire more cards according to your requirements.
Benefits Of Having Multiple Credit Cards
Every credit card has its distinctive features and benefits. For example, suppose a credit card is offering you some discounts on travel ticket booking, and another credit card may be offering you a discount on online shopping or facility of multiple airport lounge access. To avail of such benefits, you may hold multiple credit cards.
Adhil Shetty, CEO, Bankbazaar.com, explains, “Holding multiple credit cards could get you a higher overall credit limit. If the limit on one of the credit cards is exhausted, you can use another credit card. While using multiple credit cards, you can distribute the spending to your different cards and easily lower your credit utilization ratio, thus improving your credit score. You can get credit cards with different due dates and thus use credit cards for which the statement date has just ended to enjoy the benefit of a maximum interest-free credit period.”
Tips For Selecting Multiple Credit Cards
You can choose multiple credit cards based on your financial habits and lifestyle. You can get co-branded credit cards according to your spending pattern. For example, if you often travel in flight, you can get an air miles credit card, if you stay in hotels regularly, you can apply for a travel credit card, and if you often shop online, you can apply for shopping credit cards and so on. Before you apply for multiple cards, you must identify your spending habits. Jot down your monthly spending from top to bottom in descending order. Now, identify the top three regular spendings of every month. You can get credit cards offering discounts for items on top of your spending list.
Get multiple credit cards for your regular spendings. Avoid getting cards to cover just one-time expenses. When getting multiple cards, you can get them from different issuers like Amex, Visa, Rupay, Master Card, etc. This strategy can help you avail of multiple offers and discounts.
Ideal Number Of Credit Cards You Should Hold?
Let’s come back to the most important question. How many credit cards should you have? The number of cards should depend on factors like your spending habits, your lifestyle, your efficiency in managing multiple cards, etc. If you have a lifetime free credit card offer that can help you earn more benefits when you spend money, you can apply for it. You should hold 2 or 3 credit cards, depending on your usage. Having too many credit cards may be difficult for some people to manage financially. You can forget their due date and end up spoiling your credit score. Hence, you must carry only as many credit cards as you can comfortably and financially handle.
Tips For Credit Card Users
“It is generally a good idea to follow strict financial discipline while handling multiple credit cards to avoid financial hardship later. Set up an auto-debit facility in your bank account for the credit card bill payment. It can help you avoid missing the bill payment,” suggests Shetty.
Keep your credit cards in safe custody. Nowadays, most credit card companies allow the facility to turn off and on card usage through their apps. You can lower your card utilisation when you are not using it regularly. Also, set the daily usage limit on credit cards you plan to use regularly to avoid misuse. Finally, depending on your requirements, you can also turn on or off the international usage of your credit cards. Following these simple tips can be beneficial and help you enjoy the maximum benefits on your credit cards.