How Many Credit Cards Should I Have In My Wallet?

I have advised a friend of mine to open a new credit card which has a great sign- up bonus (I was helping him plan a great free vacation). He told me that he can’t open the card since he already has too many credit cards. “How many credit cards do you have?” I asked him. “I already have two credit cards,” was his reply. “ Two credit cards is too many?!?” I wondered out loud.  (If you care to know, I personally have more than 30 credit cards on my credit report with 17 of them open today.) Here in this post I will explain the best amount of credit cards a person should have and how many are considered “too many”.

Starting To Build Credit

Let’s go back a few steps by starting to discuss someone who is still a newcomer to building credit.

I recommend a person who is starting to build credit that he should not rest until he gets at least two approved credit cards. (Read my post with my four strategies of how you can get approved for a first credit card)

Once you get approved for two credit cards, you can calm down and give it about six to eight months. Then go ahead and apply for a third credit card, and then, once approved, slow down for about a year.

Use all your credit cards at least once in every two months. It may seem a little overwhelming at first, but don’t worry it will eventually become a part of you. (I manage my 17 open credit cards and my wife’s 12 open credit cards, and it is not my nine to five job.)

Going Further With Credit Cards

After the year has passed, you can apply every six months for up to two new credit cards. As long as you don’t apply for more than two new credit cards in every six months, then your credit should never be affected badly by opening a new credit card. So, back to our first question of how many credit cards are “too many”.  As long as you do it right you can have even 30 credit cards and still have a perfect credit score.

Please note: This post is written regarding the Fico scoring model which is the most commonly used. Vantage scoring models have a little bit of a different way of calculating your credit score and based on a Vantage scoring model your score may be affected by having too many cards. But again, I don’t care about Vantage since they are rarely used in lending decisions.

For any questions comment or suggestions please email me at sam@helpmebuildcredit.com

Thanks for being with me!

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