shippy wrote:My question, is it wise to have multiple cards with the same bank, or does your credit primarily depend on the available balance?
They're not really mutually exclusive as your question makes them out to be. Scoring is based on the usual suspects:http://www.myfico.com/crediteducation/whatsinyourscore.aspx
It can be wise to have multiple cards with the same bank but there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer that applies to everyone out there. Whether it's wise for you depends all on your particular situation/needs/wants. If the multiple cards aren't beneficial to you and one of the cards is beneficial then it sounds like a good decision to consolidate the limits and close out the unwanted cards.
shippy wrote:Main question is, is it bad to close out/consolidate cards that I have open with a single bank?
Again, it's not universally one or the other. If your particular needs and goals lead to closing them then that may be what you need to do. The primary detrimental effect of closure comes from increased utilization due to losing the credit limit(s) but if you're reallocating the credit limits then that doesn't matter. AAoA won't be affected immediately. Closed accounts in good standing remain on your reports for 10 years.
Rather than asking "Is X bad or good? Is Y bad or good? Is Z bad or good?", I highly recommend reading up on credit scoring and considering the impact(s) of potential decisions using that information. What may be "bad" to one may be "good" or "necessary" to the next. It's not just about the impact on scoring but, again, one's particular situation/needs/wants/goals/priorities/preferences/etc. I've made a number of choices this year that have negatively impacted my score but get me headed in the direction that I want to go in. In the long run my score will recover and I'm not applying for anything while my score is in recovery anyway.
shippy wrote:Do credit companies only look at how diverse your credit is, and only care about the ratio with avail/bal versus how many cards you have open.
Again, not mutually exclusive. Credit is based on a number of factors. Utilization plays a significant role. Diversity matters but, as stated above, credit cards are credit cards. Diversity comes from having different types of credit. That said, number of accounts does play a role as well.