Are you thinking about getting a new credit card but not sure if if adding another card to the pile is a good option? The relevant question is probably “what is the ideal number of credit cards a person can have without hurting their finances or credit score? ». Oh well! There is no universal answer to this question.
It is true that having multiple credit cards can improve your credit score and it is also true that your credit score has a big influence on your creditworthiness. However, the opposite is also true. Unless you are a moderate and rigorous spender, too many credit cards can generate small debts that, over time, can seriously get you into trouble or even bankrupt Managing multiple credit cards is therefore not an easy task.
Combien de cartes de crédit devrons-nous donc avoir ? To answer this question, let’s start by assessing the advantages and disadvantages of having several.
- The main advantage of owning several credit cards is the reward. Each credit card has its own unique reward system. While some cards offer rewards for food shopping, others offer discounts on travel and accommodation bookings. If you know how to use the system to your advantage, then take the opportunity.
- The ease of using your card for online or in-store purchases is another reason to have multiple credit cards. Having multiple credit cards allows you to have a backup plan in case a store does not accept all types of cards or if your card is rejected.
- Having only one credit card can also make you vulnerable to online fraud and identity theft. But if you have multiple cards, you can book one with relatively limited online transaction capacity to minimize your exposure to fraud.
- One of the most widely known advantages of using multiple credit cards is that they allow you to build a good credit rating, which may be necessary to obtain cheaper loans, save on insurance, etc.
- A high number of credit cards certainly makes managing your finances more complicated: you’ll have to deal with more monthly bills, worry about paying them on time, not to mention the stress of maintaining a credit card usage ratio for a better credit report.
- If you’re a big spender, chances are you’ll easily run up against small debts with each of your credit cards. These small debts could accumulate into a large debt. And not paying your credit cards in full each month could plunge you into the vicious circle of revolving credit at rising interest rates.
- Opening several consumer credits accounts one after the other can affect your credit history.
- Given the advantages and disadvantages of having several credit cards, it could be said that having several credit cards is not an evil in itself, but rather that it is the use we make of it that is decisive.
The impact of multiple credit cards on credit ratings
Another pressing question in the mind of any credit card holder is whether having multiple credit cards has an impact on a credit rating?
The answer is yes: indeed, there is a complex relationship between credit cards and credit scores.
The number of credit cards you have may not be a big factor in your credit report. On the other hand, your payment habits, the total amount of your debts, the balances of your accounts, have an influence on the calculation of your credit score. Other factors that come into play are the length of your credit history and the types of loans you have, such as mortgages, car loans, and of course, credit cards.
However, a high number of credit cards means a high usage limit, which is another factor in the sum of your credit usage
On the other hand, several credit cards could harm you. If you’re planning to take out a large loan, keep in mind that opening new credit accounts can reduce the average age of your credit history and may result in the loss of some points on your credit score.
Know how to detect alarm signals
Having several credit cards can be a sign of financial expertise or an impending disaster. Please take into account the following warning signals to determine the path to take.
- Do you have a very high level of debt in relation to your income?
Have you ever had to calculate your debt-to-income ratio? If so, where is it located? A debt-to-income ratio of 36% or less is considered healthy, but above 50%, consider closing some of your credit card accounts.
- What is your credit history?
Credit history accounts for 30% of your credit score. This is the ratio of your total debt to your credit limit. To maintain a good credit score, you must ensure that your debt-to-income ratio is below 30%. For example, if your credit card has a limit of $10,000, make sure your monthly expenses do not exceed $3,000 in order to maintain optimal credit usage.
- What about other types of credits?
The different types of credit you have are among the other factors that influence your credit rating. The fact that your credit report contains only multiple credit cards and not other types of credit will slightly affect your credit score.
It all boils down to your financial needs, your consumption habits, your discipline, and your efficiency in managing your personal finances. If you are able to pay off your debts in full each month based on your bank statements, taking an extra credit card may not be a problem.