How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

How Many Credit Cards do you have?

1
30
9%
2
64
19%
3
68
20%
4
35
10%
5
29
9%
6+
111
33%
 
Total votes: 337

boombaz
Posts: 33
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by boombaz »

investor1 wrote:
acejacksingh wrote:Capital One QuickSilver- 1.5% Cash Back all purchases - $39 Annual Fee
There shouldn't be an annual fee on that card.

I have one card, and that's it. I get around $200/year in cash back. It is applied as a statement credit which means it is tax free. I'll probably put it in my IRA this year since I have some space left for 2014.
There are two Quicksilver cards:

The Quicksilver One is a MasterCard and it carries an annual fee.
The Quicksilver is a Visa and it has no fee.
investor1
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by investor1 »

boombaz wrote:
investor1 wrote:
acejacksingh wrote:Capital One QuickSilver- 1.5% Cash Back all purchases - $39 Annual Fee
There shouldn't be an annual fee on that card.

I have one card, and that's it. I get around $200/year in cash back. It is applied as a statement credit which means it is tax free. I'll probably put it in my IRA this year since I have some space left for 2014.
There are two Quicksilver cards:

The Quicksilver One is a MasterCard and it carries an annual fee.
The Quicksilver is a Visa and it has no fee.
Strange, I have the MC and no fee. Maybe they changed it for new customers when they rolled out the Visa. Mine expires later this year, so I assume that means they'll give me a Visa.
TradingPlaces
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by TradingPlaces »

Around 30.
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g$$
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by g$$ »

mindboggling
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by mindboggling »

I only have one credit card--an Amex Blue. I also have a debit card from Chase and recently have started using the Amex Serve prepaid card. I had an Amex Gold card for many years but cancelled it about a year ago (tired of paying the annual fee).

Steve
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nisiprius
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by nisiprius »

I'm completely baffled as to why anyone would need or want more than a very small number.

Between the two of us my wife and I have two--"our" main card, one account with two cards in each of our names, and "her" card, which she got as part of an airline frequent flyer travel deal. We have always liked to have two so that we have a backup on trips if one is declined due to glitches. And she likes to have a few things that give her a distinct and independent financial identity.

I understand that cruft accumulates, but I don't see any need for more than about two. Heaven knows even one card has more of a credit limit than we are likely to need, and frankly we constantly find that having credit cards makes it hard to "keep the picture" of our month-to-month finances because it is hard to mentally track the total credit card balance at any instant in time.

I can't really speak to the idea of retaining cards and never using them on the theory that it affects your credit score in some desirable way, except to say that I think it's the tail wagging the dog--you should do what makes financial sense and let the credit score fall where it may, and I don't think it makes sense to hold never-used credit cards. Last year I did steal some bait from a mousetrap in the form of a "free money" deal if I signed up for a credit card with a connection to a resort complex. I intended to cancel it after the trip. I did cancel it, but was rather shocked and dismayed at my psychological reluctance to doing so. The effect of canceling the card on my credit score--the one I get for free from one of the other credit card companies--was a drop of about 15 points.
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likegarden
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by likegarden »

I am a Boglehead, like a simple financial life, have one Credit Card account with two cards for me and wife.
I would really get bothered handling monthly statements from many cards as some have here, wasting your life away with paperwork.
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tnbison
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by tnbison »

I have 3, two no fee cards, and a barclay arrival plus card that gives 2.2% back when used for travel.
NorthDakota
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by NorthDakota »

nisiprius wrote:I'm completely baffled as to why anyone would need or want more than a very small number.

Between the two of us my wife and I have two--"our" main card, one account with two cards in each of our names, and "her" card, which she got as part of an airline frequent flyer travel deal. We have always liked to have two so that we have a backup on trips if one is declined due to glitches. And she likes to have a few things that give her a distinct and independent financial identity.

I understand that cruft accumulates, but I don't see any need for more than about two. Heaven knows even one card has more of a credit limit than we are likely to need, and frankly we constantly find that having credit cards makes it hard to "keep the picture" of our month-to-month finances because it is hard to mentally track the total credit card balance at any instant in time.

I can't really speak to the idea of retaining cards and never using them on the theory that it affects your credit score in some desirable way, except to say that I think it's the tail wagging the dog--you should do what makes financial sense and let the credit score fall where it may, and I don't think it makes sense to hold never-used credit cards. Last year I did steal some bait from a mousetrap in the form of a "free money" deal if I signed up for a credit card with a connection to a resort complex. I intended to cancel it after the trip. I did cancel it, but was rather shocked and dismayed at my psychological reluctance to doing so. The effect of canceling the card on my credit score--the one I get for free from one of the other credit card companies--was a drop of about 15 points.
The wife and I fly and stay for free on all our trips (US/Europe) almost solely through credit card bonuses. We get approximately 4-6 new cards a year and both have mid to upper 700 credit scores so why would you leave the free money on the table? Cards are easy to get for most people who have the boglehead mindset/lifestyle. As long as you don't carry a balance of course. Use Mint.com to keep track. Easy.
My points and miles blog: thriftytraveler.com
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thursdaysd
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by thursdaysd »

wasting your life away with paperwork
What paperwork? All my non-investment finances are on Quicken. I download the credit card info directly into Quicken, no paper, no typing. I do check the downloaded data against my receipts, but that's the same amount of work for one card or multiples. Actually, while I'm in the US I mostly just use one card, but paperwork is no reason to only have one.
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surfstar
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by surfstar »

For those boggled by multi-card owners - you gotta churn to earn!

The credit card signup game offers rewards of $200-500 per card many times. I'm not turning down free money :D
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Ice-9
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by Ice-9 »

thursdaysd wrote:
wasting your life away with paperwork
What paperwork? All my non-investment finances are on Quicken. I download the credit card info directly into Quicken, no paper, no typing. I do check the downloaded data against my receipts, but that's the same amount of work for one card or multiples. Actually, while I'm in the US I mostly just use one card, but paperwork is no reason to only have one.
+1 except for the Quicken. I use an account aggregator instead.

Gone paperless, pay everything online, and download the PDF statements to an encrypted container. And a couple of my cards that are still in 0% introductory rate mode are on complete autopilot, with the original minimum paid automatically the same day every month and the final total scheduled to be paid the last month before the 0% period expires.
FedGuy
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by FedGuy »

nisiprius wrote:I'm completely baffled as to why anyone would need or want more than a very small number.
I got close to a $1,000 last year in cash back from judicious use of credit cards, including:
  • * American Express Blue Cash Preferred: 6% cash back at grocery stores.
    * Chase Freedom, Discover It, Citi Dividend Platinum Select: 5% cash back in various spending categories that change every quarter.
    * US Bank Cash Plus: 5% cash back in certain categories that I chose myself from a list. Full disclosure: that list is getting smaller and smaller. They just killed restaurants as an option.
    * Fidelity American Express: 2% cash back on everything.
    * Capital One Quicksilver: 1.5% cash back on everything (used for places that don't accept American Express).
I actually find it fun to choose the right card to maximize my cash back. It feels like I'm cheating the man or something. Plus, I get cash back.
bs010101
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by bs010101 »

FedGuy wrote:
nisiprius wrote:I'm completely baffled as to why anyone would need or want more than a very small number.
I got close to a $1,000 last year in cash back from judicious use of credit cards, including:
  • * American Express Blue Cash Preferred: 6% cash back at grocery stores.
    * Chase Freedom, Discover It, Citi Dividend Platinum Select: 5% cash back in various spending categories that change every quarter.
    * US Bank Cash Plus: 5% cash back in certain categories that I chose myself from a list. Full disclosure: that list is getting smaller and smaller. They just killed restaurants as an option.
    * Fidelity American Express: 2% cash back on everything.
    * Capital One Quicksilver: 1.5% cash back on everything (used for places that don't accept American Express).
I actually find it fun to choose the right card to maximize my cash back. It feels like I'm cheating the man or something. Plus, I get cash back.
Just curious - how much did you have to spend to get $1000 cash back?
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BrandonBogle
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by BrandonBogle »

bs010101 wrote: Just curious - how much did you have to spend to get $1000 cash back?
In my case, I got way more than $1k cash back and I spent $0 more than I would have anyway. I choose what to buy first based on my budget, then where the payment comes from is the secondary decision. Generally though, $1k would be a good number to go by for me since last year included home renovations that decided on a price and right before I wrote the check, I asked if they take credit -- "Yes, and no extra fee to do so".
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archbish99
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by archbish99 »

Exactly -- I make my purchasing decisions, then pay with whichever mechanism the seller accepts which has the highest effective cash back. (Including fees for accepting credit cards, but those are usually high enough that cash or a check is net cheaper.)

The only occasion I can recall where we've spent "extra" is really just bunching: My wife wanted to get a credit in the current billing cycle, and saw that we wouldn't quite make it, so she purchased a gift card at the grocery store which we used for the following month's groceries. So I guess I lost a couple weeks' .01% APR interest on $200...?
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Doom&Gloom
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by Doom&Gloom »

archbish99 wrote:Exactly -- I make my purchasing decisions, then pay with whichever mechanism the seller accepts which has the highest effective cash back. (Including fees for accepting credit cards, but those are usually high enough that cash or a check is net cheaper.)

The only occasion I can recall where we've spent "extra" is really just bunching: My wife wanted to get a credit in the current billing cycle, and saw that we wouldn't quite make it, so she purchased a gift card at the grocery store which we used for the following month's groceries. So I guess I lost a couple weeks' .01% APR interest on $200...?
Same here. The only times I can recall spending "more" is when I've pre-paid some utility bills in order to meet a spending requirement for a CC sign-up bonus. Well worth it.
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Aptenodytes
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by Aptenodytes »

Credit cards are worth getting because of their benefits, not their number. Don't worry about the number; evaluate each decision on the merits. Perhaps you fear large numbers of credit cards -- no problem; but only you can know what those fears are.
ChrisC
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by ChrisC »

Several credit cards here and I never took the time, and have no desire, to add up all the benefits. I consider my cards as "charge cards" not credit cards because I never use the credit aspect of the cards and pay off the balance due every month. I have hotel point, airlines mile, and cash back credit cards. I use 4 main cards.

I enjoy accumulating the benefits and using them. For travel, they have really given me great joy. And I love getting back refunds from Costco. I do think there's a potential Tragedy of the Commons problem lurking with all the benefits. Reminds me of how folks touting balance transfers/stoozing credit cards or folks taking advantage of generous return policies that some retailers used to have (like Costco used to have on all electronic devices instead of the current 90 day return) -- too many people blabbing or taking advantage of generous policies will kill or tighten benefits, which happens in a number of ways, including periodic devaluation of points or miles, or decreases in cash back payments.
selftalk
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by selftalk »

Look at Bank of America`s card.
sramina
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by sramina »

My wife and I have 7 combined. I'm frequently getting new cards and cancelling cards before the annual fee hits in order to get the sign up bonuses. I use the ones I have every once in awhile to get the rewards. Chase freedom and Discover IT have rotating 5% back categories and BOA Cash Rewards is 3% back on gas and 2% on groceries.

Barclays US airways card
Citi AAdvantage
Chase Southwest Premier and Plus
Chase Freedom
BOA Cash Rewards
Discover IT
FedGuy
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by FedGuy »

bs010101 wrote:Just curious - how much did you have to spend to get $1000 cash back?
I did have some unusual expenses last year owing to an unexpected move several states away and the need to set up my new apartment and all that. I don't keep close track of my spending--I'm in the camp of "pay myself first, and as long as I hit my savings goals, I'm in good shape"--but no one has ever accused me of being a wasteful spender.

And, like several other posters, I would have spent the money anyway, so I might as well use the credit cards that maximize my cash back.
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Aptenodytes
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by Aptenodytes »

nisiprius wrote:I'm completely baffled as to why anyone would need or want more than a very small number.
My absolute bare minimum would be something like 4. FIdelity Amex, Capital One Mastercard, PenFed Visa, Amazon whatever that is. Each provides tangible benefits that in some significant category is better than all others (respectively minimum rebate, usable-anywhere rebate, gas rebate, amazon rebate). To my four mutually exclusive categories though I think many people would add groceries. Objectively I should probably add a separate grocery credit card but I dislike the cap they seem to have which requires using a grocery card up until the cap and then shifting to Amex after. But let's say the hassle for many people wouldn't be onerous so a bare minimum could easily be five.

So if five counts as a very small number I agree with you. If five is too large, I'd probably turn tables and say that I'm completely baffled why anyone would eschew the sizable benefits of a slice-and-dice credit card portfolio. If I had only two cards I would be leaving on the table 1% of all my Amazon purchases and 3% of all my gas purchases. And I see that adding a grocery tilt I could get another ~2% there so I should probably add that to my new year's financial plans.

Still better than the old days when people carried around separate cards for individual stores and gas companies.
takeshi
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by takeshi »

acejacksingh wrote:Just wondering how many credit cards you guys have. I'm looking into getting a third, but don't really know if it's worth it.
It's really up to you to determine that. Worth is subjective no matter what the topic. You just have to weigh the potential gain in rewards versus managing another card and whatever other considerations matter to you. Telling you I have 12 cards doesn't mean that it's worth it to you --or even not worth it to you. All it tells you is that I have 12 cards.
acejacksingh wrote:I want another CC that will give a standard +1% on groceries/gas/living expenses with no Annual Fee. Thoughts?
Always consider the total cost/benefit versus just avoiding AF's. It sounds like you need to run the numbers to help you in your decision making.
tyrion wrote:Maybe a better question is how many active credit cards people have.
Not really. It's still up to the individual. What others do isn't relevant. Different people are able to manage different numbers of cards. Spend varies from person to person. How far one is willing to go to maximize rewards will vary. Some are willing to use a number of cards to maximize rewards. Some are not and prefer having fewer or even just one card that offers a simple cash back rewards structure. Some are willing to deal with points systems and maximizing point value. Some churn through cards to capitalize on sign on bonuses. There are plenty of other possible considerations as well. Simply asking others how many cards they have or use does not provide any useful information. However, asking why and how they came to that number of cards could be of benefit as one could look at whether or not the reasoning used is relevant.

A better question would be what the OP's major spend categories are and how many cards the OP can responsibly manage. Maximizing rewards should start with one's major spend categories since X% back will have a bigger impact on bigger spend amounts. The number of cards the OP can manage will also define a parameter in making recommendations for the OP.
mesaverde wrote:It's surprising that so many have responded 6+
mesaverde wrote:I would think that it's probably not necesary to have more than 2, and MAYBE have 3 credit cards at the most.
With two, you can use the 2nd card in case the first is temporarily cancelled or whatnot.
It's only surprising if you think your needs/wants are universal. People vary. It's up to each individual to determine how many cards are needed/wanted. I didn't simply select a number and look to fill slots. I reached my number for various reasons -- mostly due to maximizing rewards on spend but there were other considerations as well.
Jeff7 wrote:I'm wary of cash-back cards, as they have a habit of causing disproportionate spending increases, whether you might be aware of it or not.
Common assumption which certainly applies to many but depends on the individual. Rewards determine the card I use -- not whether to make the purchase in the first place. However, having credit (not the same thing as rewards) has a potential impact on my spend. One can monitor spend to determine the impact and respond accordingly versus relying on broad, sweeping generalizations.
nisiprius wrote:I'm completely baffled as to why anyone would need or want more than a very small number.
It's up to you to determine why you would need or want how many you have. It's not up to you to determine how many others need or want. Again, people vary. You can't assume that situations, budgets, spend, goals, priorities, preferences, etc for everyone else is identical to your own.
nisiprius wrote:I can't really speak to the idea of retaining cards and never using them on the theory that it affects your credit score in some desirable way, except to say that I think it's the tail wagging the dog--you should do what makes financial sense and let the credit score fall where it may, and I don't think it makes sense to hold never-used credit cards.
Again, subjective. Different people have different takes on the matter. Whether the tail is wagging the dog or not depends on what you consider the dog and tail to be. Definitely do what works for you but never assume that what works for you is the only option that works for everyone. There are known factors (i.e. not simply theories as the effects are demonstrable) that affect credit scoring and some choose to do what they can to maximize. What makes financial sense and optimizing one's credit aren't necessarily mutually exclusive concepts despite how you've presented them. An individual could certainly focus on one to the detriment of the other but, again, one should monitor and act accordingly instead of relying on a broad, sweeping generalization.
WHL
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by WHL »

I signed up for, and was approved for all, four more credit cards yesterday. Three have annual fees, the largest of which is $450 a year.

:sharebeer
2stepsbehind
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by 2stepsbehind »

WHL wrote:I signed up for, and was approved for all, four more credit cards yesterday. Three have annual fees, the largest of which is $450 a year.

:sharebeer
:sharebeer
other than amex platinum (100k offer?), what did you get?
WHL
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by WHL »

2stepsbehind wrote:
WHL wrote:I signed up for, and was approved for all, four more credit cards yesterday. Three have annual fees, the largest of which is $450 a year.

:sharebeer
:sharebeer
other than amex platinum (100k offer?), what did you get?
Chase Southwest Premier, 50k points. I don't fly SW but I will either give these to my mom (she loves SW) or trade them in for gift cards - I just bought a condo and could easily utilize the $500 at a home improvement store.

Amex Hilton hhonors, no fee, 40k points. I'm diamond with Hilton, currently have a Surpass, but I think I will cancel it and replace with this card. I have to do some math to determine if the $95 annual fee from the surpass is worth the gain of 5 or 6 hhonors points per dollar spent (I think not).

Barclays US Airways, 50k miles. I fly oneworld / AA exclusively and wanted to acquire this card before the AA / US frequent flyer programs are merged in the next 2-4 months.

Citi AA Executive, 50k miles (very upset I missed the 100k offers). As said, I fly AA (oneworld) exclusively, so this card will get a ton of use. Since it has no foreign transaction fee, I may end up using this as my main card for personal and business expenses - the 10k elite qualifying miles weren't necessary for me to qualify for EXP in 2014, but they may be this year. Also, and the only reason I got this card, I wanted the Admirals Club access, especially now that I also have access to the US Airways lounges. I spend a considerable amount of time at DFW, ORD, LGA, JFK, etc. and want to see how lounge access improves my work travel experiences.
Lindrobe
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by Lindrobe »

I have the Hilton Amex (no annual fee) and the Hilton Visa (no annual fee) is my backup. I charge EVERYTHING that can be charged (including cell phone bill, Comcast bill, down payments on vehicles). My husband travels a lot for work and charges all his expenses too. We have never paid a dime in interest, but stay at a nice Hilton resort in Hawaii for free very year. Well worth it if you have the self discipline to pay it off every month.
WHL
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by WHL »

Lindrobe wrote:I have the Hilton Amex (no annual fee) and the Hilton Visa (no annual fee) is my backup. I charge EVERYTHING that can be charged (including cell phone bill, Comcast bill, down payments on vehicles). My husband travels a lot for work and charges all his expenses too. We have never paid a dime in interest, but stay at a nice Hilton resort in Hawaii for free very year. Well worth it if you have the self discipline to pay it off every month.
I have those same cards and stay in Hilton hotels every week for work. You should look to see if you could be earning better rewards with a different card, such as the Chase Ink or Sapphire Preferred. Hilton points are well known to not be worth a whole lot, but Chase UR points can be transferred to a multitude of programs.

Make sure you take advantage of the Amex Hilton hhonors Surpass. I believe it's up around a 75k sign up bonus right now.
c.Alvin
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by c.Alvin »

I do not like the games many of the cash back programs play - 5% on gas this month - 3% on groceries the next month. I have a life. American Express is accepted just about everywhere these days. A slew of other cards stay at home. I was lured into most of them by cash incentives. I have two rules: 1) never pay an annual fee; 2) never pay interest. I keep the following two cards in my wallet.


Main Card:
* Fidelity American Express Rewards (2% Cash Back - no fee)

Secondary Card:
Capital One - Quick Silver Visa (1.5% Cash Back - no fee)


(*) The Fidelity credit cards are only available to their account holders. I believe a minimum of $2500 is required to open an account. You can leave the money in checking or invest it. I chose to put the money in a low fee Spartan Total Market Fund. Fidelity's online banking service is one of the best IMO. Having said all that, the bulk of my non-401k investment money is still in Vanguard Mutual Funds.
c.Alvin
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by c.Alvin »

mesaverde wrote:It's surprising that so many have responded 6+
Perhaps they included inactive credit cards.
I would think that it's probably not necesary to have more than 2, and MAYBE have 3 credit cards at the most.
With two, you can use the 2nd card in case the first is temporarily cancelled or whatnot.
You are absolutely correct. People get cornered into applying for cards they do not want. I picked up three unwanted credit cards this year alone in order to get one time discounts.


Lowes Visa: 15% off everything. (Remodeling the house.)

TJMaxx Mastercard: 20% off everything. (Redecorating the Condo.)

Hyatt Visa: Cash incentive, plus free nights, and Gold Passport privileges/upgrades. (Living out of the Hyatt hotel for several weeks. Remodeling the house.)
2stepsbehind
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by 2stepsbehind »

WHL wrote:
2stepsbehind wrote:
WHL wrote:I signed up for, and was approved for all, four more credit cards yesterday. Three have annual fees, the largest of which is $450 a year.

:sharebeer
:sharebeer
other than amex platinum (100k offer?), what did you get?
Chase Southwest Premier, 50k points. I don't fly SW but I will either give these to my mom (she loves SW) or trade them in for gift cards - I just bought a condo and could easily utilize the $500 at a home improvement store.

Amex Hilton hhonors, no fee, 40k points. I'm diamond with Hilton, currently have a Surpass, but I think I will cancel it and replace with this card. I have to do some math to determine if the $95 annual fee from the surpass is worth the gain of 5 or 6 hhonors points per dollar spent (I think not).

Barclays US Airways, 50k miles. I fly oneworld / AA exclusively and wanted to acquire this card before the AA / US frequent flyer programs are merged in the next 2-4 months.

Citi AA Executive, 50k miles (very upset I missed the 100k offers). As said, I fly AA (oneworld) exclusively, so this card will get a ton of use. Since it has no foreign transaction fee, I may end up using this as my main card for personal and business expenses - the 10k elite qualifying miles weren't necessary for me to qualify for EXP in 2014, but they may be this year. Also, and the only reason I got this card, I wanted the Admirals Club access, especially now that I also have access to the US Airways lounges. I spend a considerable amount of time at DFW, ORD, LGA, JFK, etc. and want to see how lounge access improves my work travel experiences.
Ah yeah I took advantage of the 100k offer, but wish I had gotten more than one card. I don't fly AA exclusively, but it is nice being able to pop into the lounge on occasion for a snack. That said, I generally think U.S. lounges are pretty awful in comparison to their foreign counterparts.
yukon50
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by yukon50 »

c.Alvin wrote:I do not like the games many of the cash back programs play - 5% on gas this month - 3% on groceries the next month. I have a life.
It is a piece of cake to keep track of. Just switch it up every 3 months, pretty easy.
robert88
Posts: 366
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by robert88 »

surfstar wrote:For those boggled by multi-card owners - you gotta churn to earn!

The credit card signup game offers rewards of $200-500 per card many times. I'm not turning down free money :D
What credit card offers a $500 sign up bonus?
WHL
Posts: 789
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:22 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by WHL »

robert88 wrote:
surfstar wrote:For those boggled by multi-card owners - you gotta churn to earn!

The credit card signup game offers rewards of $200-500 per card many times. I'm not turning down free money :D
What credit card offers a $500 sign up bonus?
Many do.

Chase southwest premiere
Chase southwest business
Chase ink bold / plus
Chase sapphire preferred

Etc. almost all cards with points / miles allow them to be converted to gift cards. It's a horrible use of the points but it's still found money.
kingomri
Posts: 45
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by kingomri »

I have 25 (not counting my wife's cards), though I'm planning on cancelling 9 of those within the next year.

If I had to pare it down to the cards I use regularly, I'd keep the following:
  • SallieMae Mastercard - 5% gas, grocery, Amazon, though the cap is a bit low on groceries ($250/month)
  • US Bank Cash+ - 5% charity is awesome
  • Citi Double Cash - 2% on all
  • Bank of America Better Balance - Gives $25 per quarter - $30 you have a BoA checking - if you pay "more than the minimum balance" every billing cycle. I just autopay my internet bill to it every month and get $120 a year for free.
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Meg77
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Location: Dallas, TX

Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by Meg77 »

I have more than 6, none of which charge fees, but I only carry four and primarily use 2. Various cash back/rewards options have caused me to assemble the collection over the years. I keep them for the credit history and/or rewards when I need them.

I've listed them in order of when I obtained them (I think).

Best Buy Card - my first card, obtained in college, so I leave it open for history.
Banana Republic - my second credit card, so I leave it open for history.
Citicard Platinum - first general credit card; recently converted the account Citi DoubleCash (2% unlimited cash back)
Small Business Amex - for rental expenses
Nordstrom Visa - I shop there frequently and enjoy the rewards, plus it has no international fees
Capital One Quicksilver - 1.5% cash back; was my go to card until recently when I got the Citi double rewards
American Express BlueCash Preferred - 6% groceries, 3% gas, 1% everything else. I also used the 18 month 0% financing for home improvements last year

It's not hard to juggle them. All are set up to pay the full bill automatically each month, but I only really use the Citi and Amex so it's not as much going on as it seems. I use the Nordstrom at Nordstrom and whenever I travel abroad, the Amex at grocery stores and gas stations, and the Citi everywhere else. Pretty simple, and I get around $1000 a year in cash back if not more.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin
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pennstater2005
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by pennstater2005 »

10 or more now.

I primarily use 1. Sallie Mae MasterCard for 5% on gas/groceries/Amazon/Super Walmart
2. Fidelity Amex 2% for everything else
3. Capital One Quicksilver (just got) for where Amex isn't accepted, which isn't very often.

Other cards I have are a BOA, Discover, Amazon Visa, Lowes, and Kohl's. The BOA card was for a $100 bonus and the Amazon was $60 credit towards next purchase. The Lowes' card is the only one that really gets used. I have to try and remember to use the other cards occasionally so they don't cancel them.

Interesting side note regarding the Fidelity AMEX: When I called about my rewards set up the lady I spoke to said if you redeem as a statement credit you only get 1% instead of 2%. She said you have to have the rewards transferred into a Fidelity Cash Management account, which I did, in order to receive the 2 points per dollar.
“If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.” – Earl Wilson
aziammaiza
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by aziammaiza »

We have just the one card and use it as sparingly as possible. My own experience is that the cash back value is dwarfed by the amount of money needlessly, and often impulsively, spent.

First time poster...hi to everyone from a long time lurker.
chartcab3785
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by chartcab3785 »

Jeff7 wrote:I'm wary of cash-back cards, as they have a habit of causing disproportionate spending increases, whether you might be aware of it or not. (Why else do you think CC companies would be pushing rewards cards? Because they cost them money?)
While I'm sure that is true for many people, I tend to think the banks also have a large number of people who carry balances on rewards cards who subsidize the rest of us getting the most out of rewards.

I'm glad the high end of the poll was 6. This way I donn't have to count. There might be fewer domestic airline and hotel chains that I don't have an affiliated CC for vs. those that I do. We travel a lot and use the free nights/flights for rooms/seats that well exceed the annual fees. Others get closed after the first year is up and annual fee exceeds the cards ongoing value. It's a game and one of my primary hobbies. I'll admit that it does come with some non BH approved costs.
nashirak
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Location: Little Rock, AR

Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by nashirak »

I voted for three, but I guess the wife and I technically have five.

1) Bank of America Cash Rewards Visa. great for gas/grocery rewards all the time. Cash back applied to statement.

2) Discover Cashback Bonus. General spending/expenses, or use for whatever 5% bonus category for that period.

3) Basic low-limit Capital One card. Used mostly when traveling out of country. The only plastic we carry out of the hotel or off the ship. If it get's lost or stolen the perp won't get very far with it. Otherwise it gets used once a month or so to keep it active.

4&5 are store cards (Lowes and Kohls, guess who's is who's). they offer pretty solid discounts to cardholders, and the lowes 5% discount is as good as cashback to me (plus it is ALWAYS 5%).

I don't feel like they make us spend anymore. We don't chase cashback thresholds, we just look at it as a treat when we get them. We follow our budget regardless of where the payment comes from.
Louis Winthorpe III
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by Louis Winthorpe III »

chartcab3785 wrote:
Jeff7 wrote:I'm wary of cash-back cards, as they have a habit of causing disproportionate spending increases, whether you might be aware of it or not. (Why else do you think CC companies would be pushing rewards cards? Because they cost them money?)
While I'm sure that is true for many people, I tend to think the banks also have a large number of people who carry balances on rewards cards who subsidize the rest of us getting the most out of rewards.

I'm glad the high end of the poll was 6. This way I donn't have to count. There might be fewer domestic airline and hotel chains that I don't have an affiliated CC for vs. those that I do. We travel a lot and use the free nights/flights for rooms/seats that well exceed the annual fees. Others get closed after the first year is up and annual fee exceeds the cards ongoing value. It's a game and one of my primary hobbies. I'll admit that it does come with some non BH approved costs.
The answer to Jeff's question is because banks make money on swipe fees even if they don't make a dime off the person who carries the card. In fact, they make a LOT of money on swipe fees; so much that they have to compete with other card issuers for that revenue stream. And the richest reward cards are reserved for people who have excellent credit, so the card issuer doesn't have to worry about credit losses.
aziammaiza wrote:We have just the one card and use it as sparingly as possible. My own experience is that the cash back value is dwarfed by the amount of money needlessly, and often impulsively, spent.

First time poster...hi to everyone from a long time lurker.
If you're worried that you'll spend more if you use a credit card, you can limit your card usage to paying recurring bills. If you can get 2% cash back on your electric, gas, cell phone, cable, etc. bills, just by charging them to a credit card, you might as well. It's better than getting $0 from your bank's bill pay feature.
kaudrey
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by kaudrey »

Capital One Venture - earns travel points. We travel a decent amount....most things get charged on this card.
Amex Blue Cash - for gas and groceries
Citibank MC - just because of longevity - I got it in 1989. No annual fee; I only charge a little on it each month.
flroots
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by flroots »

We have 10 credit cards of which 2 are in active use:
  • Sallie Mae MasterCard: 5% on groceries, gas, and books (Amazon)
  • Citi Double Cash MasterCard: 2% on everything else
We just retired (spelled placed in drawer) the Fidelity Visa and Fidelity AmEx in favor of the Citi Double Cash MasterCard. We also retired the PenFed Credit Union Visa and Blue Cash Preferred AmEx in favor of two SallieMae MasterCards (one each). The caps on the Sallie Mae are very limited so we double them by having one each. We discovered that the definition of what constitutes a grocery store is much more limited with Blue Cash Preferred compared to Sallie Mae. For example Sallie Mae treats Walmart superstore as a grocery store whereas Blue Cash does not. Also, AmEx is not accepted at Save-A-Lot whereas Sallie Mae is. The negative of Sallie Mae is that we have to juggle our grocery spending each month so as not to exceed the $250 cap on each card. We have all cards set to autopay full balance so there is really no extra work maintaining our inactive cards.
Last edited by flroots on Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:58 am, edited 16 times in total.
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tigerman3
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by tigerman3 »

Recently I downsized my cache of credit cards, realizing that it was just causing unnecessary complication. So I'm down to two personal Visa cards, and two personal Amex cards. I also have two work related cards (Visa and Amex).

For a long time I was worried about hurting my credit by cancelling cards. But then I came to realize it is really about keeping the same debt to credit ratio. So I called my card companies, told them to cancel some and asked them to raise my credit limit on the others. They were more than happy to do so.
Quickfoot
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by Quickfoot »

Seven but no balances on them. Several are for the rewards programs, we have the Southwest for miles (50K free miles first year), Amazon for 3% cash back from Amazon (plus a $70 Amazon gift card for signing up, no annual fee), Capital One Quicksilver for 1.5% cash back everywhere, Marriott for 10 free nights the first year and 1 free night per year after that.
mistike
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 3:25 pm

Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by mistike »

Two :

- HSBC Premier Mastercard - gives points (1 per $1) that you can redeem for a bunch of "stuff", travel offers, or cash-back ($1 for 1 point, so 1%), or get $$$ back for a flight ticket (at a better % than the cash-back) - I've only used the cashback so far but this year, it will pay for my round-trip ticket to France.
- Chase Amazon, which I only use on Amazon, but it's my main store :)

I was looking at the Amex Starwood one, but... I don't think I will. Going back home every year for anywhere between $0 and a few hundreds is too good, and I like the simplicity of using my checking account's associated card.
jasonp99
Posts: 212
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Location: TX

Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by jasonp99 »

Main card: Barclay Priceline 2% Visa (can't get this one anymore)
2nd choice: Barclay Sallie Mae 5% gas/groceries/bookstores (Amazon) but limits on each
Amex Blue Cash - Costco, rental cars because I have the added Rental Car Protection plan ($20/rental for full primary insurance), and whenever a usable Amex offers shows up in my online account for free cash. This card also offers 5% on gas/groceries/drugstores but have to spend too much to get that ($6500).
Chase Freedom - rotating 5% categories (not used that much unless the categories are different than Sallie Mae)
US Bank REI Visa - used at REI to get full dividend (10%, or 5% on sale stuff)
Macy's - not used unless discount using card is better than any of the above cards

All those cards have no annual fees so they've been open for years (13 for the REI one).

Current cards we have with waived first year annual fees (cancel before 2nd year):

Citi AA Gold World (50K miles for $1500 spend)
Citi AA Platinum World (50K miles for $3000 spend)
Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K points for $2500 or so spend) - this card also offers primary rental car protection, very nice benefit. Also you get 25% points bonus if you book travel on the site.

I sign up for the airline cards as often as possible. It's not quite free to get all the bonus points/miles as spending, say $3000, means I give up $60 that could have been gained on the Priceline card.

Recently cancelled Chase United Mileage Plus, Chase Mariott, Citi AA as the free year was up.
flroots
Posts: 110
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by flroots »

tigerman3 wrote:Recently I downsized my cache of credit cards, realizing that it was just causing unnecessary complication. So I'm down to two personal Visa cards, and two personal Amex cards. I also have two work related cards (Visa and Amex).

For a long time I was worried about hurting my credit by cancelling cards. But then I came to realize it is really about keeping the same debt to credit ratio. So I called my card companies, told them to cancel some and asked them to raise my credit limit on the others. They were more than happy to do so.
It's also about the average age of your credit cards which is hurt when you cancel a long-held credit card. You can sign up for KarmaCredit for free which grades your score from A-F in each category such as age of credit cards, % utilization, etc.
yukon50
Posts: 333
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Re: How Many Credit Cards do you have?

Post by yukon50 »

I have 6:

Chase Freedom: 5% on rotating categories. THis is my favorite card.
A local credit union visa: 1% on everything, great for emergencies
Discover IT: with 5% rotating categories and a great cashback shopping mall
Amex Blue Cash Everyday: great for groceries and gas, plus various amex offers
Amex SPG: great for hotels
US Bank Flexperks: good for groceries and Kiva loans

I have referrals for the last 4, so PM me if you want more info. Managing a pile of cards is a piece of cake to me. It's never seemed like jumping through a bunch of hoops. Just a bit of organizing and planning while at home, to maximize spending. Just takes a bit of time away from watching TV, no biggie.
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