3 Signs You Have Too Many Credit Cards
by Christy Bieber | Updated July 21, 2021 - First published on May 23, 2021
Having a lot of credit cards isn't necessarily a bad thing -- unless you spot these three signs.
Opening up multiple credit cards can have some advantages. Sign-up bonus credit cards offer rewards as a perk for reaching a spending minimum. Other rewards credit cards have their own unique bonus categories that let you earn points or cash back. Each card may also offer additional perks that make it worthwhile to be a cardmember.
But while there's nothing wrong with having a few different cards, there are also situations where it could backfire. Keep reading to learn about the three signs that could mean you have too many credit cards.
1. You can't keep track of the rewards programs
Credit card rewards programs can sometimes be complicated. They may come with different rotating bonus categories. And even if some of your cards have simple programs such as offering a flat rate back on all purchases, it can still get confusing to remember which cards offer the best rewards for specific types of spending.
If you have so many different card options that you can't figure out which ones to use in order to maximize your rewards, chances are good you aren't getting the full value out of any of the cards you carry.
Participating in multiple rewards programs is a way to take advantage of all the available perks. If you're struggling to do that, you may want to simplify things.
2. You're missing payments (or making payments late)
When you have lots of credit cards, you need to juggle multiple monthly bills.
This means having the money to make payments on each card every month. Ideally, you'll pay off your full balance on all your cards. Otherwise, the interest charges will add up, and you may find yourself deep in credit card debt.
The more cards you have, the harder it can be to keep track of your spending. If you routinely find yourself spending more than you should or struggle to keep up with the different payments, pare down the number of cards you have. That can help make it easier to keep better track of your cards and avoid wasting money on interest payments.
Even if you have the cash to cover everything, you may simply end up forgetting to pay bills by the deadline if you have too many cards to manage. Missing payments can do a lot of damage to your credit score. If that happens, then it's also time to simplify things -- or set up autopayments. This could be a good option as long as you don't overdraft your account.
3. You aren't earning enough rewards to redeem them
Finally, if you're making purchases using lots of different credit cards, you may never actually earn enough rewards on any one card to be able to redeem the points or miles you've earned.
While this isn't necessarily a problem on all cards, it can become an issue depending on how your rewards programs are structured. If you're struggling to earn enough rewards on your cards, it could be a sign that you have too many credit cards.
A quest to maximize rewards by having multiple cards does you no good if you're using a failing strategy. If you aren't actually using any of the programs effectively, it's time to re-evaluate. Pick the right cards that fit your spending habits. Make sure they have the rewards you're most excited about earning, and focus on using those cards more often. That way, you can finally maximize your rewards-earning potential.
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