You don’t need to carry around every credit card you own, especially if you’ve got a lot. You only need the cards that earn you the most of rewards. This guide will discuss the cards that are worth carrying around most and How Many Credit Cards You Should Be Carrying.
How Many Credit Cards You Should Be Carrying
With new offers continually being presented to you, it’s tempting to want to take advantage of all of them and that would seem crazy.
Not just one person. At a time, Walter Cavanagh of Santa Clara have done something like that. He holds the Guinness World Record for having the most collection of credit cards. He has 1,497 credit cards in his wallet.
With $1.7 million credit, he keeps the cards in the world’s longest wallet of 250 feet.
Everyone do not have to be like Walter Cavanagh to be successful with credit cards. That is why this article will share some statistics on how many credit cards the average American has, how many you should have, and some other things to consider before loading up your wallet.
How many credit cards the average American have
According to the 2017 Experian State of Credit report, it was reported that an average American has 3.1 credit cards.
We need to let you know that because 3.1 credit cards are taken as an average, that doesn’t mean it should be the same for you. There are many other factors to consider (especially your financial situation).
How Americans are using their credit cards
Another interesting decision is how consumers are using their credit cards. According to a report from Ellen Sirull of Experian,
“…when it comes to paying with credit cards the most popular choice in the U.S. are cards with EMV chips (47 percent), followed by swiping a card (34 percent) and contactless cards, which are used on smartphones and watches (five percent).”
TransUnion which is one of the major three credit bureaus in America said this about recent credit card usage:
“The number of credit card accounts rose 2.6 percent in the last year to 416.5 million in Q1 2018, up from 405.8 million in Q1 2017. In that same timeframe, the number of consumers with access to a credit card also increased by 2.1 percent to 174.9 million from 171.4 million one year ago.”
With the adoption of payment methods like Apple Pay, a substantial part of the population may walk about without physical credit cards one day.
Sirull states that:
“…there will likely continue to be a growing number of options for consumers with the evolution of mobile wallets such as Google Pay and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin still making the news.”
How many credit cards you should have
Like I was saying, it really depends on the situation. Consider your present condition or the state you might run into. Below is my recommended number of credit cards for some situations.
If you are new to credit, start with a single credit card that has a low credit line. This will not only build your credit but help you get used to using a credit card for the first time. Also in the case you are rebuilding your credit, maybe you’ve experienced bankruptcy, charge-offs, or some other type of adverse credit event, I’d recommend you start with one secured credit card.
For small business owners, I’d recommend having a credit card that you can use primarily for your business expenses. This will make things much easier for your business at tax payment time.
If you’re doing a balance transfer, I’ll assume that you already have one credit card with a balance you want to pay off. You should have at least one other card that you can get an excellent balance transfer promotional rate on to move the balance. Bear it in mind that balance transfers are just promotions. You need to have a good plan at hand to eliminate the debt.
I think the average of 3.1 credit cards will be good for someone who uses credit cards for everyday purchases. A Reward hunter should consider 4-5 credit cards. Just consider not opening them all at once. Try to include a cashback credit card, a travel rewards card, and a store card in order to maximize your rewards when shopping.
Now let us consider the different types of rewards credit cards.
The different types of rewards credit cards
In case you want to earn the most of rewards available, there are three kinds of credit cards you should consider having.
Bonus rewards card
The first kind of credit card is used just for spending where you receive some sort of bonus rewards.
Considering the Chase Sapphire® Preferred. It offers 2x points on all dining and travel, so if you have dinner often, or have a lot of travel expenses, you’ll want to use your Sapphire card only a lot. Try tailoring your card to where you spend most. Other cards can offer bonuses on gas, groceries, office equipment, among other supplies. In addition, there are also cards that provide you bonuses at specific stores or travel spots.
Some types of bonus spending are the sign-up bonus. In case you receive a sign-up bonus from a new credit card, you’ll want to use it more often.
High ROI on everyday purchases
The second kind of rewards credit card that offers a high rate of return on purchases is the High ROI on everyday purchases. For example, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card which offers 1.5 percent cash back on almost all purchases.
If your preferred card for non-bonus spending is an American Express, you may also have a Visa or MasterCard to use wherever Amex is not allowed.
Personally important perks
There are credit cards which offers valuable cardholder benefit. Many airline credit cards will provide you with bonuses such as a free checked bag and/or priority boarding.
Cards you keep and cards that you carry
If you’re really into earning credit card rewards, you may end up having ten or more credit cards. It is unwise to carry all of those cards with you at a time. You might end up having headache if you you’re your wallet.
Based on a lot of factors, I know you’ll want the following cards:
- An everyday spending card that you use for non-bonus spending.
- Bonus credit cards for your most frequent purchases
There’s no need to carry airline and hotel cards that you only serve specific travel benefits. Consider keeping those cards at home, and carry them only when you’re traveling.
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