Q. Carter from Villa Hills: Is there a ‘perfect’ number of credit cards that someone should have and use? How many is too many?
A: There is definitely no perfect number. Credit bureaus really don’t care how many you have because what really matters is how you’re using them. For instance, the typical American has about two to three credit cards according to Experian. But let’s say you have eight. If you’re paying all of them off every month on-time and in-full and you’re not using more than 10 to 30% of your total credit limit, you might very well have a better credit score than someone with fewer cards.
But of course, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Because constantly having to keep track of eight credit cards could get a bit overwhelming and tiresome, potentially increasing your risk of missing a payment or overspending.
The Simply Money Point is that you should have as many credit cards as you feel comfortable responsibly using. Perhaps consider a couple of cards that come with different kinds of rewards or cash back programs and that use different merchants (Visa, Mastercard, etc.). This way, you’re diversifying your options and optimizing the potential benefits.