Last week I looked into my wallet and realized that it needed to be cleaned out. There were old receipts, an expired Metro card, and lots those cards from stores where I shop. There were also 3 credit cards and 2 debit cards (from 2 different accounts). Which got me to thinking…
HOW MANY CREDIT CARDS DO I ACTUALLY NEED?
Having gotten into trouble when I was younger (I was a notorious over-spender), I get this flutter of fear that I could easily slip back into my old spending habits…especially carrying three credit cards with me.
DOES HAVING MORE MEAN BETTER CREDIT?
Or am I just fooling myself into feeling like I’ve got a buffer of protection should anything major happen?
IS THERE A MAGIC NUMBER?
I know that I really only need one credit card, as I tend to use cash or my debit card for just about everything these days. As a travel writer, I know that using a credit card vs my debit card when I check into a hotel means that there is no hold on my CASH, but rather on my credit card.
I DID A LITTLE SNOOPING AROUND
I learned that there really isn’t a GOOD NUMBER to have. Making payments on time is what you should be concerned with. It turns out that 35% of your FICO score is BASED on those payments, along with other loans like your automobile, home, etc. So, if having too many cards means that you’re making TOO MANY payments…payments that can put a burden on your day to day expenses, then you may have too many.
I’VE TAKEN THE EXTRAS OUT OF MY WALLET
I figure that if they’re not accessible, than I won’t use them. Now I only carry ONE credit card and ONE debit card.
I carry one credit and one debit too, plus my work credit card. What you are saying is so smart, Zipporah. I’ve been tempted and sometimes have gotten one more card to get that 20% off some big purchase (hello, Macy’s) but I eventually come back to where you are. I do it mostly, though, because it is simple, and I love simple in the few areas of my life where I can find it, don’t you?