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Is It Better to Have Many Credit Cards or Just One?

Electronic payments provide several advantages: no need of carrying much cash when going outside, fast payment experience and no time loss when dealing with changes. When it comes to credit cards, there is also the additional advantage of being able to pay also in case of temporary unavailability of money on the bank account, even if it is still good to use credit cards wisely and avoid excessive spending.

A credit card

A credit card

Having Many Credit Cards or Just One?

When it comes to dealing with credit cards, one of the most popular questions is if it is better to have many credit cards or keep a single one (maybe with a high plafond) for personal expenses. Each solution provides different pros and cons one should evaluate before making a decision.

A single credit card means a better management

The most evident advantage of owning only a credit card is that you can better track your expenses and have everything under your control more easily. The more credit cards you have, the most difficult it is to make sure you do not overspend, your bills get regularly paid (even if, in this case, using direct debit is surely the simplest way to be always regular with payments even with owning many cards) and you have an effective convenience from each card. If you prefer to have the highest control of your expenses with the lowest level of stress and without the need to keep several banking apps installed on your smartphone, having only one credit card is surely the best solution.

Having multiple credit cards may improve your credit score

Is it surely better to have many credit cards instead of just one if your main use of them is for building a good credit score. In fact, one of the parameters that improve this is the total availability of credit with also the average amount of credit used. For example, having a single credit card with €1500 plafond and €1000 of average monthly expenses means you are using more than half of your credit. If you had 10 credit cards with the same plafond and managed to spend €100 with each card, that would mean having a total higher plafond (€15000) and an expense of €1000 split on multiple cards. This eventually results in a much lower percentage of credit used and so in a better credit score.

Credit score can be improved also by wisely using a single credit card

Keep in mind that owning multiple credit cards and using a little part of the plafond of each one is not the only good way to improve your credit score. Also owning a single credit card and using it for no more than a third of the total availability may work, still you need to take in consideration two aspects of this choice:

  • If you have a low plafond, in order to keep a good credit score, you will need to keep your spendings low (for example with a €1500 availability it may be good not to exceed €300 of expenses so that you still maintain the low percentage of credit used that contributes to a good score).
  • You may try to ask for an increase of your total plafond, but this may not be always easy: it depends on the bank, on your income and many other parameters. In general, having more credit cards may be easier than asking a single bank to trust you so much they should give you a high plafond.

Having more credit cards may result in more perks

One of the advantages of credit cards is that they may offer some perks when used. By owning multiple credit cards you can enjoy different rewards that may suit for various situations. For example you may own a card that provides free travel insurance and extra miles for booking of flights and keep it for when you travel. You may own an additional card that offers more rewards when used at a supermarket chain. You may finally have an additional credit card that gives discounts on museums or cultural attractions. If you kept only one of these examples of cards, you may have missed the opportunity to earn additional perks when used in other places. It is surely better to have more credit cards over one if you are always looking for maximizing your profit by earning the different rewards that each one may offer, of course by also paying attention the costs of these cards do not exceed the value of the perks you may get.

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A travel card and some tickets. There are several credit cards providing perks for frequent travelers.

A travel card and some tickets. There are several credit cards providing perks for frequent travelers.

Conclusions

There are pros and cons in having multiple credit cards and the same applies with having just a single one. The choice between the two alternatives has to be made basing on how do you use credit cards and what are the aspects you most enjoy of this payment tool.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Alessio Ganci

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