Is It A Good Idea To Have Too Many Credit Cards?

How many credit cards can you have before it becomes a hazard to your healthy credit-improving hike? Well, there’s no simple answer to that. But, yes, the number of cards you can have depends on your financial situation, money-handling habits, and overall credit trustworthiness. 

While applying for a new credit card is usually simple, it is still a significant matter. Depending on how you handle your money, a new account might have beneficial and bad implications on your financial life.

  • For instance, if your Equifax credit score is not in a good range, multiple cards might help you improve your credit quickly.
  • However, on the other hand, if you struggle with clearing your credit balance timely, having more than one credit card might backfire!

That’s why, before applying for a new card, you should work out how many credit cards are too many? So here’s what you need to know:

What Is The Ideal Number Of Credit Cards To Have?

There is no right or wrong choice when it comes to counting the ideal number of credit cards you should have. Instead, consider whether you can responsibly utilize multiple cards or if owning one is preferable.

  • On average, Canadian credit card statistics revealed that most Canadian residents own at least two credit cards to deal with their financial matters.
  • In comparison, Experian consumer review revealed the credit card numbers to be 4 in the US.

Some people believe that a limited number of cards (one to three) is adequate, while others open several card accounts throughout time due to new offer incentives they receive in the mail or online. However, how you manage the multiple accounts and the conditions under which you open them are more important than the number of credit cards you have.

Considerable Credit Factors To Make The Decision

There are a lot of financial factors that can help you figure out how many credit cards are best for you. Of course, it all comes down to your financial condition, but your preference also matters. 

  • For example, some people opt not to use a credit card to prevent being tempted to spend finances they don’t own. 
  • Some use one card for multiple purposes (Do groceries, online shopping, and daily transactions).
  • Others prefer multiple cards to enjoy different experiences (travel, food, big purchases like TV, etc.)

If using one credit card works for you, perfect, keep doing that! However, having more cards is not necessarily bad if you believe you tend to overspend or exceed your optimal utilization ratio. 

  • If you have bad credit and want to improve your credit score quickly, you might want to consider multiple cards. Paying the balance in full on two or more cards can positively impact your credit rating.
  • However, if you analyze that having multiple cards is putting your financial security at risk or getting you in credit debt, you might want to ditch the option.

One thing to understand here is that multiple credit accounts can’t always directly impact your credit score. However, it might hinder or improve your credit, depending on how you use them.

Is It A Good Idea To Have Too Many Credit Cards?

You may consider having a second credit card if you can pay your first credit card balance timely every month and keep your credit utilization low. Having numerous credit cards offers up endless incentives for many credit strugglers.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated, but you get the point, eh? So, to prove our ‘mark,’ here are some nifty advantages to having too many credit cards, as per a CNBC report:

  1. New Rewards, Bonuses & Similar Perks

Credit cards offer a variety of advantages and bonuses. For example, some cards reward members with travel incentives, while others provide cashback or no-interest purchases for a specific duration.

However, you probably must have got basic benefits with minimal features or rewards when you acquired your first credit card.

  • So, yes, you can have better offers and bonuses if you apply for a new card while maintaining your current one excellently.
  • Whatever your objective, having one credit card for your distinct spending requirements can help you achieve your credit goals.

Furthermore, when it comes to selecting the ideal credit card mix, it’s important to consider where you spend the most of your income. This way, you’ll know you’re applying for a new credit card to meet a valid need.

  1. A Chance To Increase Credit Limit

Your credit limit improves with each additional credit card you obtain. This is a crucial aspect in determining your credit utilization ratio. Moreover, a good utilization rate is critical in increasing your credit score, so having a larger credit limit and a lower credit balance is better.

In fact, having multiple credit cards is better than looking for payday loan alternatives when your financial condition worsens. An increased credit limit can also save you from maxing out your credit card, thus making matters even worse!

  1. It Can Help Split Big Transactions

Having multiple credit cards enables you to pay for routine and unexpected needs. If you have one card, all your emergency, daily, and occasional expenditures are put on that card, but you can divide the expense when you have multiple cards!  

  • When you have an unforeseen emergency expense, you can use your first credit cover to cover it.
  • And, if you have to cover your daily needs, you can use your other card.

So with two credit cards, you can avoid damaging your credit score, credit limit, and credit utilization ratio. For example, when you split the cost of a large expense, such as health expenses, insurance, or occasional gifts, between two credit cards, you use up less of one card’s credit limit.

  1. A Credit Backup For Bad Times

According to credit fraud statistics, in 2019, credit fraud cases peaked at 44.7%. The number of reports also touched the mark of 300 million in 2020. Sadly, where the improved technology has provided people with endless perks and benefits, it has also opened doors to hacking, spam attacks, and data breaches. 

If you ever suffered from fraudulent activity and had to lock your credit card, you’ll understand the struggle. So, it’s good to keep two or more cards to deal with such situations. 

On the other hand, having multiple credit cards isn’t always a good idea! With that said, it’s time to see the other side of the coin:

How Many Credit Cards Are Too Much?

Because everyone’s scenario is different, there is no magic number to answer that question. However, there’s a good case for having at least one credit card to benefit from the ease, security, and other perks that come with it. 

You can find the answer to the question by figuring out if you need the extra credit lines to manage your monthly budget or want to use your everyday shopping to gain various types of rewards.

  • For instance, if you have a low-wage job and struggle to make ends meet, having two credit cards may be too much for you, depending on your finances. 
  • But on the other hand, if you have various passive income streams and can pay your credit balance timely, it’s good to carry three, four, or more cards. 

However, having too many credit cards might not always be good. Yes, it also comes with some downfalls. Let’s discuss some of these: 

  1. Managing Multiple Deadlines Is Not Everyone’s Cup Of Tea!

When managing multiple cards, you also have to deal with their due dates while enjoying the perks. And, if you miss the payment of even one card, it can badly impact your credit score. However, one good thing is most companies might allow you to change your due date as per your availability. 

  • You can also automate your payments to manage your multiple credit cards
  • You can ask your credit card company to change the due dates so that you can sync the payment day of all the cards

It is important because otherwise, your payment history can be compromised, which obviously you don’t want. On-time payment history not only benefits your credit score but also helps you avoid service charges and penalty interest rates.

  1. It May Push You Into A Credit Debt Hole!

Using multiple credit cards for everyday purchases has several advantages:  several reward schemes, for example, can allow you to maximize your earnings. Furthermore, some credit cards provide benefits that other companies do not, so having many cards in your hand can ensure that you receive all of the benefits you desire.

Yes, it can be alluring to have more credit available to meet your lavish or daily needs. However, this might lead to overspending, leading to further credit debt. So, if the idea of having more than one or two cards makes you nervous, or if you have trouble controlling your spending, restricting your card numbers might be the best option for you.

Does Having More Credit Cards Hurt Your Score?

Can multiple credit cards hurt your score? Can having more than two credit cards cause a dip in your credit score? These are a few questions that come to mind whenever someone advises having multiple credit cards. The simplest answer to these and similar queries is: YES! According to Holly Johnson, having many credit cards isn’t always bad for your credit score; in fact, it can occasionally be beneficial.

However, if you have more credit cards than you can successfully handle, your score may suffer significantly. Therefore, it’s necessary to understand how your credit score is calculated before grasping how having many credit cards can affect your credit score. For example, credit score calculation is broken down as follows:

  • Payment history: 35%
  • Total amounts owing: 30%
  • Credit history length: 15%
  • Credit mix: 10%
  • New line of credit: 10%

So, the multiple cards directly fall into the last category but can also impact all of the others.

  • Basically, lenders want to know if you’ve used credit before and if you’ve been successfully managing your debt.
  • In other words, when you apply for a new credit card, the more open and great financial accounts you have, the more creditors will trust you to repay any new credit you receive.

The number of credit cards you have isn’t the most important factor in determining your credit score; rather, it’s your entire credit history, successful transactions, and other elements.

However, having numerous cards is a consideration that goes into calculating your credit score, so it’s crucial to understand how it works and how it can affect your credit.


  1. Does Having Multiple Credit Cards Increase Your Credit Score?

If you have 3 or 13 credit cards, your credit score will fall if you accumulate debt you can’t pay off. On the other hand, having additional credit cards can help you improve your credit score if you use them to make purchases that you immediately pay off.

  1. Is Having 5 Credit Cards Too Many?

It is contingent on your ability to manage 2 credit cards, then 4, and so on. Therefore, while five credit cards may be excessive for one person, someone else may be capable of managing even 7 or 12 credit cards.

  1. Is Having Multiple Open Credit Accounts A Good Thing?

There is no such idea as owning an excessive amount of credit cards is bad for your credit score, yet having more cards than you can handle may cause more harm than good. 

On the plus side, having multiple cards can help you avoid overspending, put something in a savings account, or earn cashback rewards.

Bottom Line

Credit card optimists have figured out how to make the credit scoring methods work for them. Of course, opening several credit cards has advantages and disadvantages, but having three or four cards can be helpful if you can responsibly manage multiple credit card accounts.

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