Why do people have multiple credit cards?

For just about anything you want to get off your chest about credit cards.
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Postby DoingHomework » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:56 pm

I'll speak for myself, but I don't think I am that unusual. I carry only 3 cards, an Amex platinum and two visa cards affiliated with travel (airline and hotel). I have these for the benefits pure and simple. I use the Amex for almost everything. The airline card gets me free bags and several other benefits that are easily worth the annual fee. The hotel card.gets me elite status at the hotel brand. That's worth the $40 or whatever I pay per year. I almost never use that card. I think of the annual fee as a charge for elite status. I am thinking about getting another card affiliated with a high end hotel chain just for the status level. But just thinking about it so far. One of my visa cards says it is no spending limit but also says I have a credit limit of several tens of thousands. The other visa card is from teh same issuer and has a limit 1/10 of the other.

I recently bought a house. When my credit was checked it came in well over 800. But I had "negatives" because they don't think I carry enough cards. So go figure.

I think most people can get by just fine with 1 or 2 cards. But there are some cards out there that give great rewards if you can take advantage of them. And, if you need a high credit limit it is hard to get that on a single card. So lets say you want to put $25000 a month on cards. Some people spend that much. If you want to make sure your utilization stays below 10% you'd need a total limit of $250000 even if you pay in full every month. You'll need several cards to get to that even if you have excellent credit. I think if you are in a situation where you need many cards you would have a good understanding of credit. There are also better options for people like that including private banks and other approaches.

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Postby Terry » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:37 pm

Since I stopped using cash and started using rewards credit cards I have found that cash back for responsible spending is extremely rewarding. Making everyday purchases on the card that offers the most rewards and paying in full EVERY MONTH has put me in the position of an excellent credit score and monthly rewards that only this practice can offer. Credit cards in the hands of an irresponsible person is a recipe for disaster, where as, credit cards in the hands of a responsible person can yield rewards that paying by cash cannot offer.
AMEX Green Card - NPSL [Member Since 1995]
AMEX Everyday Card ($25,000)
Chase Visa Signature ($17,000)
Citi Visa Signature ($16,000)
Discover IT ($17,500)
Sam's Club MasterCard - ($20,000)
Wells Fargo Personal Line of Credit - ($15,000)

FICO's - 803 EX, 805 EQ, 799 TU [01/2017]

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Postby Snowman » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:27 am

Gabe, there are many reasons for having multiple cards. I personally have six, and I probably will add one or two more and close my PRG since I don't use it to have the annual fee make sense for me. But here is the reason why I have the cards I do:

BOFA (Gas)
Forward(Food, all school related things)
Discover (Cash back)
PRG(large purchases+Gas every now and then)
Freedom (Cash back and every day spending)
Southwest (large purchases, I fly Southwest and AA every now and then. So I got the Southwest for now, easy way to get points.)

So that's really it for me. All in all, it depends on what your needs are and why type of spending you do/spender you are.
Bank Of America: BankAmeriCard Cash Rewards-4.2k
Citi: Forward-4.5k American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard 9/6/15-4K
Discover: More-7k
Amex BCE.2k- Amex SPG-5k
Chase: Freedom-5kSouthwest Rapid Rewards Plus- 3.6k
Capital one: Venture one-10,000, Visa Signature.

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Postby lennyj17 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:20 am

I have to agree. I don't like managing or rotating a large number of cards myself. I was fun and interesting back when I was new to Rewards/Points schemes of things. Now I'm over it all, I have 10 cards total but only 3 that I use consistently.

Citi Forward - Everyday Spending Card, always PIF before statement cuts to have $0 report to CRAs.

Capital One QS - Bill Pay Card, don't carry this card with me at all, its strictly for Auto Paying monthly bills (Wireless, Cable, Netflix, Gym, etc.) for the 1.5% Cash Rewards. Again PIF before statement cuts.

Citi TYPreferred, Discover IT- Balance Transfer Cards.....TYP has a 15 month 0% and Discover has an 18 month 0% combine both are carrying 7K in BTs.

Chase Ink Classic - Big Ticket Spending Card, Currently not in use, my highest limit of 23K.

PNC Cash Rewards - No Purpose other than to serve as a Overdraft LOC to my Checking. Not in use otherwise.

Walmart Discover - Baby Sister (AU) using to build credit while at college, she spends I pay the bill... UGH....She's excelling in school and has been responsible with it thus far, so I'm happy to do it.

PayPal Extra's MC - Emergency Card, 10K CL, Keeps my overall Utilization in check.

Amazon Rewards Chase - Used to pay for my Amazon Prime, 7K CL, Keeps my overall Utilization in Check.

Chase Amtrak Guest Rewards - Dust Collector - Used when I needed to use Amtrak for commuting - 10K CL - May see about PC'ing to a CSP in the future.

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Postby Midori » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:18 pm

I went for a roadtrip once, and didn't notify the credit card company in advance. They presumably locked the card when they noticed my husband using it back home, and me using it hundreds of miles away. (Their excuse was, "Uh, there was this mysterious $2.07 charge for digital prints that looked really suspicious.") #1, I had DH make me a joint user that night, and #2, I became really grateful for having a backup card after that first card was frozen.

I went for 10+ years with two cards, sometimes as an AU and sometimes as a JU. Then I tried applying for a Lowes card for business purposes, and got turned down for lack of revolving credit. So I picked up three more cards, not because I particularly needed them, but because I didn't want to be turned down in the future when I wanted something meaningful.

I like getting rewards back in exchange for my spending. I would prefer to have one really super-awesome card that gives me everything I want, but since that's not happening, I take advantage of the different rewards categories on different cards, and split my spending up accordingly, pay in full each month, and let time take its course.

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