How Many Credit Cards Should I Have: Beginner’s Guide

How Many Credit Cards Should I Have

Owning a credit card is a great way to build your credit score. A high credit score will allow you to borrow money at a lower interest rate, making large purchases more affordable. But how many credit cards should you have?

This guide will teach you about the benefits of credit card ownership and how to find the right card for your needs.

What Exactly is a Credit Card?

A credit card is really just a bit of plastic that allows you to borrow money from a lender. The amount of money that you can borrow is limited by the credit limit on your card. When you use your credit card to make a purchase, the lender pays the vendor for you and you then have to pay the lender back over time, with interest, which is how credit card companies make the big bucks. The more efficient you are at paying off your credit card bill, the better your credit score will be.

A credit score is the key to your success with a credit card. It’s a number that lenders use to assess how likely you are to repay your debt. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you will be offered on your credit card. A good credit score can save you thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of your debt. A poor credit score can cost you dearly in terms of both money and opportunity.

There are a few key reasons why credit cards should be a part of your financial strategy. First, they help you build your credit score and save money on interest charges in the long run. Additionally, many credit cards offer valuable rewards programs that can help you earn cash back or travel miles when you make purchases. Finally, having multiple credit cards can give you more flexibility in how you spend your money and how you manage your budget.

How Many Credit Cards Should I Have? 

There’s no simple answer to how many credit cards you should have. The number of credit cards you carry should be based on your individual financial needs and goals. That said, there are a few general guidelines you can follow when determining how many credit cards to have.

First, consider how you plan to use your credit cards. If you’re looking to use your credit card for everyday expenses and want to take advantage of rewards programs, then you may want to carry a few cards that offer different rewards. On the other hand, if you only plan to use your credit card for emergencies, then one or two cards should suffice.

Second, consider how much debt you can comfortably manage. If you’re already struggling to pay off existing credit card debt, adding more cards to your wallet can make things worse. On the other hand, if you have a high credit score and are planning to buy a house or car soon, then having multiple credit cards can help you secure a better interest rate on your loan.

Finally, you may want to consider building up your credit score in order to pursue better interest rates. As long as you stay on top of paying your bill and use your credit cards responsibly, having multiple credit cards can actually help improve your credit score.

Ultimately, how many credit cards you should have will depend on your individual financial situation. If you’re not sure where to start, try carrying one or two credit cards and reevaluating your needs after a few months. You can always add more cards later if you find that you need them.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Cards 

There are several factors to consider when choosing between credit cards. Each credit card company offers different perks and bonuses, so it’s important to do your research and find the card that best suits your needs.

Here are a few factors to look into when choosing your card: 

Welcome Bonuses 

Many credit card companies offer welcome bonuses to new cardholders. These bonuses can range from cash back rewards to travel miles. If you’re looking for a specific type of reward, be sure to find a card that offers a welcome bonus that aligns with your interests.


Rewards programs are a major incentive that many credit card companies utilize. These programs allow you to earn points or cash back on your purchases. If you’re a frequent traveler, look for a card that offers travel miles as a rewards program. There are also cards that offer specific rewards for gas, groceries, and other common expenses.


In addition to rewards programs, many credit cards offer perks and benefits that can save you money in the long run. For example, many credit cards offer extended warranties on purchases and special purchase protections that protect your items if they are lost, stolen, or damaged. Some cards even offer concierge services that can help book hotel rooms and make restaurant reservations.

How Many Credit Cards Can I Apply For at Once?

To be honest, the sky’s the limit when it comes to applying for credit cards! Now is it a good idea to apply for as many as possible? Probably not. Applying for too many credit cards at once can actually hurt your credit score.

When you apply for a credit card, the credit card company will do a hard pull on your credit report. This hard inquiry can slightly lower your credit score. If you’re planning to apply for multiple cards, it’s best to spread out your applications over a period of time. This will allow your credit score to recover before you apply for another card.

Is it Good to Have Multiple Credit Cards?

Having multiple credit cards can actually be beneficial to your financial well-being. If used responsibly, credit cards can help you build up your credit score and improve your financial standing.

Credit cards can also offer rewards and perks that can save you money in the long run. When choosing how many credit cards to have, consider your spending habits and find a card that best suits your needs.

How Many Credit Accounts Are Too Many or Too Few?

The answer to this question will be different for every person. Ultimately, how many credit cards or accounts you have will depend on your individual financial situation.

When it comes to how many credit accounts is too many or too few, the best thing to do is to carefully consider your needs and financial situation before applying for any cards. A good rule of thumb is to start small and build up as you go. Never take on more than you can handle! 

Potential Issues With Having Multiple Credit Cards

While there are many benefits to having multiple credit cards, there are also some potential issues that you should be aware of. One of the biggest dangers of having too many credit cards is that it can lead to debt.

If you’re not careful with your spending, it’s easy to rack up a high balance on multiple cards. This can lead to months of financial stress as you struggle to make your payments.

Here are a few other potential issues to having multiple credit cards: 

Managing multiple billing cycles 

If you’re someone who has multiple credit cards, you’re likely familiar with the hassle of managing multiple billing cycles. When you have multiple cards, you’re responsible for making payments on each one of them. This can be difficult to keep track of, especially if you have a busy schedule.

One way to make managing your credit cards easier is to set up automatic payments. Many credit card companies will allow you to set up an automatic payment that drafts the payment from your bank account on a certain day each month. This can help you avoid late payments and make managing your cards much easier!

Timing credit applications with big future purchases

If you’re planning to apply for a mortgage, credit card, or car loan in the near future, it’s best to hold off on opening any new credit accounts. This is because your credit score is determined in part by how much credit you currently have available versus how much you use.

Potential impact on your credit score

It’s important to keep in mind that how many credit cards you have can have a significant impact on your credit score. If you’re not careful, having too many credit cards can actually hurt your credit rating instead of helping it.

The main way that having too many credit cards can hurt your credit score is by damaging your credit utilization ratio. This is a measure of how much credit you’re using versus how much credit you have available. A high credit utilization ratio can indicate that you’re struggling to manage your debt, which can lead to lower credit scores.

Another way that having too many credit cards can negatively impact your credit score is by increasing the amount of inquiries on your credit report. Each time you apply for a new card, the lender will pull your credit report and leave an inquiry, which can lower your credit score.

Will Two Credit Cards Build Faster Credit Than One?

One of the main benefits of having two credit cards is that it does allow you to build credit faster. For example, if you have a $1,000 limit on each card, you can spread that $2,000 across both cards. This will help increase your credit utilization ratio, which is an important factor in how your credit score is calculated.


Another benefit of having two credit cards is that it can help you to improve your credit history. If you have one card with a long history, and another card with a shorter history, it can help to boost your overall credit score. This is because the length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your FICO credit score.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that having too many credit cards can actually hurt your credit score if you’re not careful with how you use them. For example, having a high credit utilization ratio or too many credit inquiries can lower your overall score. As such, it’s important to carefully monitor how much credit you are using and only open new cards when necessary.

How Many Credit Cards Does the Average American Have?

The average American credit card holder has 3 credit cards. This is likely due, in part, to the fact that most people apply for and open new credit cards when they need to make large purchases such as a car or home.

Another factor that may contribute to how many credit cards Americans have is the fact that credit card companies often offer sign-up bonuses and other rewards for opening new accounts. These incentives can be difficult to resist, especially if you’re trying to build your credit or earn rewards points.

How Often Should You Apply For a Credit Card?

There is no one right answer when it comes to how often you should apply for a credit card. Some financial experts recommend only opening new accounts when absolutely necessary, while others suggest that you can continue to open new cards as long as your credit utilization ratio remains low and your credit score stays in good standing.

Getting Started With Multiple Credit Cards 

If you’re thinking of applying for more credit cards, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, it’s important to make sure that you have a good credit score. You can check your credit score for free at websites like Credit Karma or NerdWallet.

If you have a good credit score, you’re more likely to be approved for additional credit cards. It’s also important to keep an eye on your credit utilization ratio, as having too many credit cards can negatively impact this number.

Finally, make sure that you’re able to stay organized when opening multiple credit cards. This means keeping track of all of your card information, due dates, and rewards in one place. You can do this by setting up a credit card tracking spreadsheet or using a credit card tracking app.

In Conclusion

There’s no one right answer when it comes to how many credit cards you should have. However, having multiple credit cards can be beneficial in terms of your credit score and credit history. Just make sure that you’re careful with how you use them and keep track of all your card information in one place.


If you’re interested in learning more about how to manage your credit cards, be sure to check out our FREE web class on the topic. We also offer a variety of courses that can help you better understand and manage your finances.