There is no specific number of credit cards a consumer should have. If you wonder how to apply for several different cards at once, the answer is that is not a good way to build credit.
Benefits of Applying for Multiple Credit Cards
Economists agree that most consumers should use multiple credit card accounts. Having more than one credit card provides financial safety in increased spending limits. It also allows you to build up rewards on cards when you need to shop at certain merchants or need air miles for vacation.
Not long ago, many of us had wallets full of credit cards. You may not have used them all or may have designated certain accounts to help budget specific spending.
A credit card that awarded high points for hotels or restaurants was used for nights out or weekend trips while a card that offered cash back for daily purchases would be used for gas and groceries.
You probably had department store credit cards, gas company cards or even a card with your favorite football team’s logo on it. Even five years ago, getting a credit card was easy and fast and there was no reason for someone wit good credit not to apply for multiple credit cards.
Dangers of Multiple Credit Accounts
Fees imposed by many credit lenders today can make it expensive to carry multiple cards. Lenders have added annual fees once again and some charge a fee if a card is not used on a regular basis.
There are rewards that are time limited and expire after a year or two and the variable interest rate now common for credit card lenders can be a problem for those using multiple credit card accounts.
How to Use Multiple Credit Cards at Once
If you have several credit cards you can use those to help with your personal budgeting. Record keeping is simplified with the online tools provided by major lenders and many consumers have credit cards used only for certain purposes.
If you use one credit card only for purchases made to run your home, it’s easy to keep track of what you are spending on household items, pet products, food, etc. This may be an account you pay in full each month.
You might use another credit card for large items you intend to pay for over time. This might be a 0% introductory rate account which would allow you six months or a year to pay off the purchase of a refrigerator or air conditioning system without finance charges.
How to Apply for Multiple Credit Cards
If you have one credit card and a good payment record for that account, it is easy to apply for and receive a second credit card. Experts recommend using 2-3 credit cards but you should not apply for several new accounts at one time.
Instead, apply for a second credit card and use it wisely for a few months before applying for another new account. If you plan to apply for multiple credit cards it is important not to exceed charges of more than 50% of the spending limit on cards you currently use.
If you have a spending limit of $10,000 on your first credit card and have debt of $5000 on the card, you appear to be financially stable if you have made all payments on time for the account.
If you have a spending limit of $10,000 and owe $9900 on that first credit card, you leave the impression of someone who needs more money. It is better to have three credit cards with less than 50% of the credit limit used than one card that is at the ceiling of the spending allowed.
If you wonder how to apply for multiple cards in a short period of time, you are risking your credit rating. Instead, apply for one new card at a time and establish responsible use of that account over several months before making another application.
It is wise to learn how to apply for several different cards at once but only if you really know how to manage the cards without hurting your credit.
Also, I recommend you to read our guide on debt management services which will uncover how to avoid the common pitfalls and scams when dealing with these companies.