How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply

How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

0
3
3%
1
6
6%
2
17
16%
3
17
16%
4
16
15%
5
5
5%
6
6
6%
7
8
7%
8
6
6%
9
3
3%
10
2
2%
11 or more
18
17%
 
Total votes: 107

Topic Author
INTRESIS
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:39 pm

How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by INTRESIS »

How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?
User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 5317
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by lthenderson »

I have one main card that I use all the time and one backup card for those times when the card companies freezes it due to what they suspect may be fraudulent charges. Happened last week and probably six times in the last couple years. Last week, my wife went to the local grocery store we have been shopping at for the last three years and forgot an item so made back to back purchases, which of course the credit card froze the card. Since she wasn't carrying the spare card, she had to stand there while I telephoned the credit card company and get things straightened out.
mptfan
Posts: 6261
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:58 am

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by mptfan »

This question was already asked recently...

https://bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=154877
Topic Author
INTRESIS
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:39 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by INTRESIS »

mptfan wrote:This question was already asked recently...

https://bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=154877
That 6+ option ruins that poll. Also, no 0 option.
Sidney
Posts: 6751
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:06 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by Sidney »

We have three. Each of us carries one that is not carried by the other in case a wallet is stolen, we would have one good card.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.
User avatar
Frobie
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:56 pm
Location: Houston

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by Frobie »

I have three.
  • My main one from the place where I do my banking.
  • A backup from the bank I used to use. I'd like to close it, but it's the oldest thing on my credit record so I'm reluctant to do so.
  • Another backup from a local credit union that I'd prefer to sever ties with, but that one has a ridiculously high (to me at least) credit limit, so I've avoided closing it as well.
First-world problem, I guess.
rakornacki1
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:02 pm
Location: South Carolina

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by rakornacki1 »

My wife and I only use 3 cards with only 2 criteria:

1. Cards must have an attractive loyalty program whose rewards we value,
2. We strictly use only 1 card for all online purchases to minimize chances of fraud.
gofarhaveacigar
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:20 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by gofarhaveacigar »

20+ I'd say. Would take a while to count them all.

I play the miles and points game, constantly getting new cards and meeting sign on bonuses.

Allows my wife and I to travel first class for (almost) free all over the US and internationally.
Bill M
Posts: 438
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by Bill M »

One for everyday use.
One backup for the times that one gets hacked/stolen/etc.
One separate one for everything on the web, which frequently gets hacked/stolen/etc (usually once/year, typically through PayPal).
And one just to collect the airline miles signup bonus (charged their min amount to get the bonus, and will close in a few months).
hoopy
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:26 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by hoopy »

Four US credit cards. And four Canadian credit cards. A foot on both sides of the border.
drawpoker
Posts: 2809
Joined: Mon May 19, 2014 6:33 pm
Location: Delmarva

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by drawpoker »

Am guessing around 20-22. Most of that number sits in desk drawer, however.
Never intended to have so many but sometimes you have no choice. For ex, Sears used to be just a plain old charge account good only at Sears. Then it morphed into a regular MasterCard from Citibank. Other stores did the same, I seem to recall.
As for the shopping channels, you just about have to open up credit cards with them to take advantage of express ordering - stuff can easily sell out because of extra time and steps it takes to enter regular (non-QVC or non-HSN) card. :x Also, sometimes they will say free shipping only if you use their card.
I also collect all dept store cards for my area and try and use them occasionally so they will send me the loyalty coupons in the mail. Peebles, for ex, sends "$10 Off Any Purchase, $10 minimum" coupons 3 or 4 times a year. Which is just like getting free money. Boscov's also gives special deals to its charge customers.
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23158
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Four or is it five? - each has a different cut-off date, yes I maximize use of my cash flow and play the credit float game from time to time. :wink:
Actually, it's more like which card has the best rewards discount going on that particular month and at which stores. Otherwise, I use one card as my main card, a second one is the back-up, the others I've had so long I don't want to close down the cards with the longest credit history to negatively impact my credit score. :)

I used to have 10 cards, when collecting cards was a game between my friends and I. How many cards can you get approved for or get a free t-shirt/Frisbee from? Before the Consumer Protection Bureau made that non-permissible on college campuses.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
User avatar
gas_balloon
Posts: 1039
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by gas_balloon »

9 Active Cards:
2 Amex cards (Everyday cash & Fidelity branded), 2 Mastercards (Citi Preferred & Barclay/Sallie-Mae), 4 VISA (2x Chase Freedom, 1 Chase/Amazon, 1 BofA), 1 Discover-it card. Most of these were opened because of good signon bonus and/or good rewards (example Barclay/SalleMae card give 5% on gas, grocery, and bookstores including Amazon).

All are active, and I purchase a small item (chewing gum or candy) once a year on the cards I don't use (BofA, Amazon, Citi Preferred) to keep the automated systems from flagging the card as inactive.

I plan to convert the Citi Preferred into their Double Cash card at some point.
If a rotating category on Chase Freedom or Discover-it card has good rewards for what I am purchasing, I use that.
For Amazon.com and grocery purchases I use SallieMae mastercard.
For restaurants & Costco purchases I use Fidelity-branded Amex card. If a restaurant does not accept Amex, I use Amazon.com card.
This way, at minimum, I get 2% cashback on most purchases; 5% on grocery & amazon.com; and occasionally higher rewards if Discover has good cashback deal with a particular merchant.

Next on my wishilst are Citi DoubleCash & some travel card... but I am going to wait another year since I already have several hard pulls on my credit for now.
User avatar
Meg77
Posts: 2646
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 1:09 pm
Location: Dallas, TX

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by Meg77 »

Business Amex for rentals
Amex for 6% cash back on groceries and 3% back on gas
Citicard 2% cash back on everything (my daily go to card)
Nordstrom MasterCard I keep because I shop a lot there and it's one of my oldest cards
Banana Republic I rarely use but keep because it's one of my oldest cards
CapitalOne card with 1.5% cash back that I keep open because it has NO international fees or exchange fees.
BestBuy card - oh yeah I forgot I have this too (I said 6 cards in the poll). My oldest card that they've never shut down even though I almost never use it. Came in handy when we needed new appliances though. 0% financing for 18 months.

My HSBC got closed due to non-use, as did another retail card.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin
sawhorse
Posts: 3590
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by sawhorse »

I want to close one of my three credit cards as I barely use it now, and it has an annual fee. But it's the oldest of only 3, and it accounts for about 40% of my credit limit. I'm afraid it might hurt my credit score. Any truth to that?
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23158
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Meg77 wrote:Business Amex for rentals
Amex for 6% cash back on groceries and 3% back on gas
Citicard 2% cash back on everything (my daily go to card)
Nordstrom MasterCard I keep because I shop a lot there and it's one of my oldest cards
Banana Republic I rarely use but keep because it's one of my oldest cards
CapitalOne card with 1.5% cash back that I keep open because it has NO international fees or exchange fees.
BestBuy card - oh yeah I forgot I have this too (I said 6 cards in the poll). My oldest card that they've never shut down even though I almost never use it. Came in handy when we needed new appliances though. 0% financing for 18 months.

My HSBC got closed due to non-use, as did another retail card.
A sign your financial life is too complicated, when one forgets to use their cards and it get's closed due to non-use. :D
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23158
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

sawhorse wrote:I want to close one of my three credit cards as I barely use it now, and it has an annual fee. But it's the oldest of only 3, and it accounts for about 40% of my credit limit. I'm afraid it might hurt my credit score. Any truth to that?
I use a credit simulator for one of my cards, it says if I close one of my oldest cards my score will drop about a point. Yes, there's some truth to it.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
User avatar
gas_balloon
Posts: 1039
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:55 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by gas_balloon »

sawhorse wrote:I want to close one of my three credit cards as I barely use it now, and it has an annual fee. But it's the oldest of only 3, and it accounts for about 40% of my credit limit. I'm afraid it might hurt my credit score. Any truth to that?
Yes - average age of active credit does play a role in FICO scoring algorithm. The algorithm is proprietary, so I don't know "how much" of a role it plays, but it is somewhat significant based on what I have read online.
Which card is this? Is the issuer able to convert it to another card? I know folks who have opened cards with annual fee which were waived for first year, and they converted it to another card with no annual fee with the same issuer (example Amex green to Amex everyday).. Converting the card will retain your original date and account number - only the card number and plastic will change. You might want to call up the number at the back of your card and ask the CSR..
sawhorse
Posts: 3590
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by sawhorse »

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
sawhorse wrote:I want to close one of my three credit cards as I barely use it now, and it has an annual fee. But it's the oldest of only 3, and it accounts for about 40% of my credit limit. I'm afraid it might hurt my credit score. Any truth to that?
I use a credit simulator for one of my cards, it says if I close one of my oldest cards my score will drop about a point. Yes, there's some truth to it.
Was the card you closed down your oldest and a lot of your credit limit?
User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 42244
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by nisiprius »

Two, between my wife and I. I'm not sure why we'd need more--two is enough to have a backup e.g. when traveling if there's one of those temporary glitches or if one is compromised or stolen.

My wife and I find that it is extremely important to our spending regulation to maintain constant "situational awareness" of how much money we have on our credit cards, and that's really really really hard to do if you have more than one or two.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
Jack FFR1846
Posts: 12837
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am
Location: 26 miles, 385 yards west of Copley Square

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

If they give me money, I'll use their card. If someone comes up with more % on a category, I'm there. Rotating categories? Tape a paper with the categories and % right on the front.

Lately, it seems that the cc companies are cutting each other's throats to get new customers. If they offer me $100 to spend $500 and keep the card a year with no fee, why not?

To get the best % back, I do use a lot of cards

Probably 10 that are very active and 15 total that are active
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid
Grt2bOutdoors
Posts: 23158
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:20 pm
Location: New York

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

sawhorse wrote:
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
sawhorse wrote:I want to close one of my three credit cards as I barely use it now, and it has an annual fee. But it's the oldest of only 3, and it accounts for about 40% of my credit limit. I'm afraid it might hurt my credit score. Any truth to that?
I use a credit simulator for one of my cards, it says if I close one of my oldest cards my score will drop about a point. Yes, there's some truth to it.
Was the card you closed down your oldest and a lot of your credit limit?
I never closed it - I used a computer simulated program offered by card company to determine the effect if I did close it. Initially, the card was a high percentage of overall credit, but now it is amongst the lowest. The card company reduced the credit limit based on my nominal usage (I'm fine with that).
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions
AJS
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 6:56 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by AJS »

Two - one Visa and one Master Card
The sea was angry that day my friends...
davebo
Posts: 928
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:02 am

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by davebo »

I have 4:

1) Discover card that I use for 99% of personal purchases.
2) Discover card that I use for 99% of business purchases.
3) Mastercard that I use for everything else.
4) Kohl's card that my wife opened up.
daave
Posts: 224
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2013 7:28 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by daave »

1) Citi Double Cash MasterCard (for everything but groceries)
2) Amex Blue Cash Preferred (for groceries)
3) Discover (don't really use it, it was an early offer while I was building credit, so it helps my score to keep open)
4) Commonwealth Bank of Australia MasterCard (holdover from before I moved to the US, keep it for the occasional trips home)

I'm thinking of adding the CapitalOne QuickSilver Visa, since I travel to Europe a lot, and though the Discover doesn't have foreign fees, there's many places that it's not accepted.
Drew777
Posts: 616
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:53 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards Do You Have Open?

Post by Drew777 »

Me:
1. American Express Platinum
2. Barclays AAviator Red
3. Capital One Quicksilver
4. Chase British Airways
5. Chase Hyatt
6. Citi Double Cash
7. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve

Wife:
1. American Express SPG
2. Barclays AAviator Red
3. Barclays Arrival Plus

Planning on applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred next month. The signup will be enough to cover the rest of our Hawaii trip in September.
Post Reply