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5 Benefits of Having Multiple Credit Cards

[Saturday, October 3rd, 2015]

Some people think that keeping things simple is the key to life. Others think having more is better. But when it comes to credit cards, it’s definitely a case of the more, the merrier.

Here are five reasons it’s better to have more than one credit card:

1. You get more rewards. Whether it’s cash back, thank you points, frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points, or gift cards, having more credit cards means having access to more types of rewards. There are so many different rewards credit cards available, why limit yourself to just one or two? A good rule of thumb is to have a co-branded airline or hotel rewards card, a cash back card that gives rewards in rotating categories, a thank you points credit card with flexible redemption options, and a general travel rewards credit card.

2. You maximize your cash back. Most cash back rewards cards offer a standard 1% cash back on all purchases. The best cards also offer a higher rate of cash back, either in rotating categories or in a fixed category all the time, like dining or fuel. When you have more than one of these types of cards, you get the most cash back possible. Have a card that always gives you 3% or more back on gas, one that gives 3% or more back on groceries, one that gives 3% or more back at restaurants, and one that gives 5% back in rotating categories, with a $1,500 spending cap. Then be strategic about which card you use for which purchases. This way, you get the most cash back.

3. You can transfer balances. If you are carrying a balance on a card and paying high interest, the best thing to do is apply for a credit card with a balance transfer offer that will allow you to pay off that balance without interest. Once you’ve paid it off, you now have another credit card to use. Don’t close the account, because it can negatively affect your credit rating. Keep it open, and use it to get rewards, if it offers any.

4. You can track your expenses easily. When you have more than one credit card, you can use one card for household expenses, one card for travel, one for business expenses, one for dining out – you get the idea. Divide your spending up however you want between the cards, and you can keep track of your spending in each category by looking at each statement.

5. You can give family members their own accounts. If you have children or other family members who you’d like to give access to credit, consider getting them each a card that only they will use. Get the card in your name, but don’t use it. Order cards for your family members and add them as authorized users on the accounts, and you can easily see how much they are each spending.

As long as you are making all payments on time and keeping your balances low, having more than one credit card won’t hurt your credit score. In fact, it can be a good thing, if you use them responsibly and don’t apply for them all at one time. Just spread out your applications and keep a close eye on your credit score to make sure you’re eligible for the cards you apply for.

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