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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: tomatops on March 14, 2016, 02:00:43 PM

Title: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: tomatops on March 14, 2016, 02:00:43 PM
I'm curious how many credit cards folks have. I'm well aware of credit utilization and scoring calculations etc. and I pay off all my cards on time, always. My primary driver for owning cards is the rewards:

- 2 cashback cards that offer 2% on gas and groceries and another one that gives 2% on food establishments and pharmacy
- 1 travel card that offers free travel and trip cancellation insurance every time I use it to book travel
- 1 dedicated movie theatre credit card

I presently have 4 credit cards that provide various tailored benefits and am wondering if that really is too many. Not worried about utilization since I'm good on that front, even if I whittled down to 2 cards - so what about you guys? Am I crazy and should I pare it back?
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Philociraptor on March 14, 2016, 02:02:57 PM
11 cards between my wife and I, credit scores in the 800's. Get a new card every month or so to churn the bonuses.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: tomatops on March 14, 2016, 02:05:22 PM
11 cards between my wife and I, credit scores in the 800's. Get a new card every month or so to churn the bonuses.

So do you cancel a card every time you get a new one or once the rewards expire?
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Philociraptor on March 14, 2016, 02:06:39 PM

11 cards between my wife and I, credit scores in the 800's. Get a new card every month or so to churn the bonuses.

So do you cancel a card every time you get a new one or once the rewards expire?

We cancel cards if they don't waive the annual fee on the 1 year anniversary.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: bridget on March 14, 2016, 02:11:21 PM
I'm curious how many credit cards folks have. I'm well aware of credit utilization and scoring calculations etc. and I pay off all my cards on time, always. My primary driver for owning cards is the rewards:

- 2 cashback cards that offer 2% on gas and groceries and another one that gives 2% on food establishments and pharmacy
- 1 travel card that offers free travel and trip cancellation insurance every time I use it to book travel
- 1 dedicated movie theatre credit card

I presently have 4 credit cards that provide various tailored benefits and am wondering if that really is too many. Not worried about utilization since I'm good on that front, even if I whittled down to 2 cards - so what about you guys? Am I crazy and should I pare it back?

Definitely not too many. Between my husband and I we have 8-9 or so, and I don't think that's anywhere near excessive. Each of our scores hover around the 790-800 mark.

Too many to me is where 1) your credit score is impacted in such a way that it has legitimate negative effects on your life - like you would get turned down for a mortgage, or something. This is very unlikely to happen (read: won't) with 4 cards you pay in full. or 2) you've exceeded your own personal threshold for being able to organize and coordinate the cards, so that you miss payments, don't maximize rewards, or the like. It doesn't sound like you have that problem with 4 cards.

What are you getting at when you ask about "too many"? Too many for some arbitrary social requirement? Too many for your credit score? Either way, I think you're fine.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: johnny847 on March 14, 2016, 02:18:32 PM
You're nowhere near crazy in my book. I have 22. At least, I think? I recently cancelled a couple and then applied for a couple more so I've kinda lost track. It's around 20 for sure.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Vanguards and Lentils on March 14, 2016, 02:19:42 PM
Just got my 20th card last week. I've been hitting the bonuses pretty hard this past year.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Turkey Leg on March 14, 2016, 02:25:07 PM
15 between Mr and Mrs MacNerd. We just started "churning" last July. Only cancelled one so far. I have about three long-term cards I've had opened for years and years. Those are fee-free and will stay in the pile. The rest will be cancelled when it makes sense.

Our individual credit scores are still awesome, by the way.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Fishindude on March 14, 2016, 02:26:05 PM
One for personal, one for business.
No need / desire for any more.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: johnny847 on March 14, 2016, 02:30:15 PM
I'm curious how many credit cards folks have. I'm well aware of credit utilization and scoring calculations etc. and I pay off all my cards on time, always. My primary driver for owning cards is the rewards:

- 2 cashback cards that offer 2% on gas and groceries and another one that gives 2% on food establishments and pharmacy
- 1 travel card that offers free travel and trip cancellation insurance every time I use it to book travel
- 1 dedicated movie theatre credit card

I presently have 4 credit cards that provide various tailored benefits and am wondering if that really is too many. Not worried about utilization since I'm good on that front, even if I whittled down to 2 cards - so what about you guys? Am I crazy and should I pare it back?

You can get the Citi Double Cash or the Fidelity Visa which earn 2% on everything. No AF.

And no, don't pare it back. Your credit score is an asset that can be used to get good cc's with good signup bonuses and rewards, and low interest rate loans. If you don't need the latter in the near future, just keep getting those cc's (so long as you can easily meet the min spend requirements without a bunch of unnecessary spending). Otherwise, your credit score is an underutilized asset.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: okits on March 14, 2016, 02:34:55 PM
Wow to the answers in the double digits!  I have one, DH has two.  Credit card sign up bonuses are not very enticing in Canada so I just don't bother.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: tomatops on March 14, 2016, 02:38:05 PM
I'm curious how many credit cards folks have. I'm well aware of credit utilization and scoring calculations etc. and I pay off all my cards on time, always. My primary driver for owning cards is the rewards:

- 2 cashback cards that offer 2% on gas and groceries and another one that gives 2% on food establishments and pharmacy
- 1 travel card that offers free travel and trip cancellation insurance every time I use it to book travel
- 1 dedicated movie theatre credit card

I presently have 4 credit cards that provide various tailored benefits and am wondering if that really is too many. Not worried about utilization since I'm good on that front, even if I whittled down to 2 cards - so what about you guys? Am I crazy and should I pare it back?

You can get the Citi Double Cash or the Fidelity Visa which earn 2% on everything. No AF.

And no, don't pare it back. Your credit score is an asset that can be used to get good cc's with good signup bonuses and rewards, and low interest rate loans. If you don't need the latter in the near future, just keep getting those cc's (so long as you can easily meet the min spend requirements without a bunch of unnecessary spending). Otherwise, your credit score is an underutilized asset.

Unforunately, I'm in Canada where the 2% Tangerine card I got is the cream of the crop for cash back =(

Thanks for the advice though!
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: tomatops on March 14, 2016, 02:40:15 PM
I'm curious how many credit cards folks have. I'm well aware of credit utilization and scoring calculations etc. and I pay off all my cards on time, always. My primary driver for owning cards is the rewards:

- 2 cashback cards that offer 2% on gas and groceries and another one that gives 2% on food establishments and pharmacy
- 1 travel card that offers free travel and trip cancellation insurance every time I use it to book travel
- 1 dedicated movie theatre credit card

I presently have 4 credit cards that provide various tailored benefits and am wondering if that really is too many. Not worried about utilization since I'm good on that front, even if I whittled down to 2 cards - so what about you guys? Am I crazy and should I pare it back?

Definitely not too many. Between my husband and I we have 8-9 or so, and I don't think that's anywhere near excessive. Each of our scores hover around the 790-800 mark.

Too many to me is where 1) your credit score is impacted in such a way that it has legitimate negative effects on your life - like you would get turned down for a mortgage, or something. This is very unlikely to happen (read: won't) with 4 cards you pay in full. or 2) you've exceeded your own personal threshold for being able to organize and coordinate the cards, so that you miss payments, don't maximize rewards, or the like. It doesn't sound like you have that problem with 4 cards.

What are you getting at when you ask about "too many"? Too many for some arbitrary social requirement? Too many for your credit score? Either way, I think you're fine.

I don't know - something maybe with being raised with my parents saying: "Don't go crazy with cards!" but purely based on the perspective that one mind inadvertently end up in debt (a problem I don't have).

Also: my friends all remark how outrageously thick my wallet is with loyalty cards and rewards cards. But I guess I'm not crazy if it's a a best practice for maximizing rewards.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: bridget on March 14, 2016, 02:55:22 PM
I'm curious how many credit cards folks have. I'm well aware of credit utilization and scoring calculations etc. and I pay off all my cards on time, always. My primary driver for owning cards is the rewards:

- 2 cashback cards that offer 2% on gas and groceries and another one that gives 2% on food establishments and pharmacy
- 1 travel card that offers free travel and trip cancellation insurance every time I use it to book travel
- 1 dedicated movie theatre credit card

I presently have 4 credit cards that provide various tailored benefits and am wondering if that really is too many. Not worried about utilization since I'm good on that front, even if I whittled down to 2 cards - so what about you guys? Am I crazy and should I pare it back?

Definitely not too many. Between my husband and I we have 8-9 or so, and I don't think that's anywhere near excessive. Each of our scores hover around the 790-800 mark.

Too many to me is where 1) your credit score is impacted in such a way that it has legitimate negative effects on your life - like you would get turned down for a mortgage, or something. This is very unlikely to happen (read: won't) with 4 cards you pay in full. or 2) you've exceeded your own personal threshold for being able to organize and coordinate the cards, so that you miss payments, don't maximize rewards, or the like. It doesn't sound like you have that problem with 4 cards.

What are you getting at when you ask about "too many"? Too many for some arbitrary social requirement? Too many for your credit score? Either way, I think you're fine.

I don't know - something maybe with being raised with my parents saying: "Don't go crazy with cards!" but purely based on the perspective that one mind inadvertently end up in debt (a problem I don't have).

Also: my friends all remark how outrageously thick my wallet is with loyalty cards and rewards cards. But I guess I'm not crazy if it's a a best practice for maximizing rewards.

Yes, I think this is good advice for people who are at risk of carrying a balance. If you're not one of those people, the advice doesn't apply to you!
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Zikoris on March 14, 2016, 02:59:07 PM
Two - my regular one that gets me a lot of free groceries, and my no-foreign-transaction-fees travel card. Keeping it simple.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: dcozad999 on March 14, 2016, 03:02:33 PM
I started churning this past year also, so between the wife and I we have a lot.

Credit score still in the 800s. Just make sure you pay that balance off every month.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Kaikou on March 14, 2016, 06:25:26 PM
Zero
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: JAYSLOL on March 14, 2016, 07:33:56 PM
I'm curious how many credit cards folks have. I'm well aware of credit utilization and scoring calculations etc. and I pay off all my cards on time, always. My primary driver for owning cards is the rewards:

- 2 cashback cards that offer 2% on gas and groceries and another one that gives 2% on food establishments and pharmacy
- 1 travel card that offers free travel and trip cancellation insurance every time I use it to book travel
- 1 dedicated movie theatre credit card

I presently have 4 credit cards that provide various tailored benefits and am wondering if that really is too many. Not worried about utilization since I'm good on that front, even if I whittled down to 2 cards - so what about you guys? Am I crazy and should I pare it back?

You can get the Citi Double Cash or the Fidelity Visa which earn 2% on everything. No AF.

And no, don't pare it back. Your credit score is an asset that can be used to get good cc's with good signup bonuses and rewards, and low interest rate loans. If you don't need the latter in the near future, just keep getting those cc's (so long as you can easily meet the min spend requirements without a bunch of unnecessary spending). Otherwise, your credit score is an underutilized asset.

Unforunately, I'm in Canada where the 2% Tangerine card I got is the cream of the crop for cash back =(

Thanks for the advice though!

I'm going with the 2% Tangerine card as my primary card.  I've got my old no-fee rewards visa as a backup card and a Costco CC for Costco and restaurants (3% on restaurants, but doesn't used much lol).  For those with a higher income than me, there are much better cards out there like 3%-4% with minimal fees
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: johnny847 on March 14, 2016, 07:58:27 PM
Wow to the answers in the double digits!  I have one, DH has two.  Credit card sign up bonuses are not very enticing in Canada so I just don't bother.

Pah we've all got nothing on this guy (http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/WaterCooler/story?id=411883).
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: nanana13 on March 14, 2016, 08:03:00 PM
Two in the US, one overseas.

Edit: plus my corporate card.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: meyling on March 14, 2016, 09:14:05 PM
O_O you guys are crazy.

I just have one. I might get another one if I ever decide to get into travelling more.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: JZinCO on March 14, 2016, 09:50:25 PM
About a dozen or so. Open, spend money, get bonus, wash rinse repeat. I've gotten $800 in bonus cash so far in 2016.

...I really need to call and ask for some sort of retention bonus or close some cards
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: former player on March 15, 2016, 03:44:18 AM
Haven't had one for 30 years.  No loss.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: alsoknownasDean on March 15, 2016, 03:46:31 AM
I've got one. It's a simple, no annual fee card, fairly low limit, no rewards, no perks and a super-high interest rate. It's enough for my needs, and I pay it off in full each month.

I was considering applying for a second, but I'd rather not get too many enquiries on my file. :)
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: TravelJunkyQC on March 15, 2016, 08:21:10 AM
Also in Canada where rewards aren't extraordinary. I have 4 - 1 personal US card (I'm also a US citizen with a US bank account, so I have the Bank of America Travel Rewards card), 2 personal, and 1 joint card with my partner. 1 personal is a no-fee, low-limit card that I have had the longest. I keep it for online purchases since the limit is lower and it would bother me less to get it stolen. My other personal has a 20$ yearly fee and I receive cash back (going to scale this one down to the no-fee alternative since I realized I make almost all my purchases with joint card). My joint card has a 50$ yearly fee, but shared with the partner, and we receive great cashback with it.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: sonjak on March 15, 2016, 08:24:37 AM
One.  I've used it once in the last three years for a purchase online that I was concerned might be dicey.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: onlykelsey on March 15, 2016, 08:27:23 AM
Maybe I'm missing something, but doesn't opening lots of accounts kill your credit score by decreasing the average age of your account?  Maybe this is a 20-something-who-really-started-working-fulltime-after-grad school-at-24 problem, but that is the biggest negative mark on my credit history.  I pay stuff off on time and have great utilization rates, but my accounts are way too young and (paradoxically) I don't have enough of them.  I could open more to solve the second problem but that intensifies the first one.

To answer your question: 2.  A simple cash rewards card and a Banana Republic card I used to use for work clothing, but would now close if it it weren't my oldest account.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: tomatops on March 15, 2016, 08:50:31 AM
Maybe I'm missing something, but doesn't opening lots of accounts kill your credit score by decreasing the average age of your account?  Maybe this is a 20-something-who-really-started-working-fulltime-after-grad school-at-24 problem, but that is the biggest negative mark on my credit history.  I pay stuff off on time and have great utilization rates, but my accounts are way too young and (paradoxically) I don't have enough of them.  I could open more to solve the second problem but that intensifies the first one.

To answer your question: 2.  A simple cash rewards card and a Banana Republic card I used to use for work clothing, but would now close if it it weren't my oldest account.

It seems it's a combination of age of your oldest account + average age of all accounts: https://www.credit.com/credit-reports/tips-for-improving-your-credit-how-long-have-you-had-credit-history/

As a fellow mid-twenties fellow just starting out, I think the age of accounts probably matters more to us than those who have their mortgage paid and greater assets as they'll have to borrow less.

Conclusion: I'm sticking with the 4 cards and will probably keep my older TD Visa and MBNA as they are my oldest accounts.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: johnny847 on March 15, 2016, 09:37:05 AM
Maybe I'm missing something, but doesn't opening lots of accounts kill your credit score by decreasing the average age of your account?  Maybe this is a 20-something-who-really-started-working-fulltime-after-grad school-at-24 problem, but that is the biggest negative mark on my credit history.  I pay stuff off on time and have great utilization rates, but my accounts are way too young and (paradoxically) I don't have enough of them.  I could open more to solve the second problem but that intensifies the first one.

To answer your question: 2.  A simple cash rewards card and a Banana Republic card I used to use for work clothing, but would now close if it it weren't my oldest account.

My credit history is only 2.5 years long and with my about 20 cards I still have a credit score that hovers around 730.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: onlykelsey on March 15, 2016, 10:00:09 AM
My average is is 2 years, 4 months.  I have a ~760 770 score.  Sub 740 is not for me, if I can avoid it.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Revelry on March 15, 2016, 10:02:14 AM
24.  Hit it hard last year and made a bunch of cashback, credit score ~790.  Slowing down a lot lately since I got the best cash offers and am not real interested in airline/hotel miles.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: acroy on March 15, 2016, 10:15:48 AM
2 main ones
Amex 3%/6% gas/grocery
Citi Double Cash for everything else

churn 1 or 2 others if I need a cheap flight, etc :)
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: dandypandys on March 15, 2016, 10:24:04 AM
I'm just getting into this fun game :) after reading on this blog and added a 2nd card- capital
the other one i have had for years and years- Chase Freedom. I like this website for researching them, just found it through the blog the other day.  https://www.nerdwallet.com/credit-cards/
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: use2betrix on March 15, 2016, 11:16:32 AM
How are some of you spending so much to get rewards for 20+ cards? Most have like $3000-$4000 spending requirements. I spend more than most mustachians and put everything on a CC that I can, and still don't do more than 3-4 a year.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: JZinCO on March 15, 2016, 11:21:52 AM
Most of mine are spend 500 within 90 days... a couple spend $1000 in 90 days if I have a work expense coming up.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: kamille on March 15, 2016, 11:23:54 AM
I keep it simple with 1 credit card that gives cash rewards.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Vanguards and Lentils on March 15, 2016, 11:43:29 AM
How are some of you spending so much to get rewards for 20+ cards? Most have like $3000-$4000 spending requirements. I spend more than most mustachians and put everything on a CC that I can, and still don't do more than 3-4 a year.

That was my biggest concern when starting also, and my expenses are around $10k a year, with maybe half of that being charges I can put on a credit card. One way around this is to look for smaller bonuses, ranging from $500-$1000 requirements, and just space your applications apart so that your natural spending is enough. But for larger amounts, you can manufacture spending, and many bloggers write about how to do this, some of which involve physical trips to buy visa gift cards at X and liquidate them at Y and so on. The ways I've been doing it are mostly ones I can do from home. For instance, paying rent with an online service (I use radpad) might cost a net 1% in fees but $10 is worth it for a $150 reward. Paying state taxes had a 2% fee but again, the reward is much bigger. I have also been doing bank account bonuses, and some accounts let you fund with a credit card as your opening deposit. This is especially easy because you can then pay the credit card bill with that same account.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: v8rx7guy on March 15, 2016, 12:30:36 PM
I have one, wife has one.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Sibley on March 15, 2016, 01:01:00 PM
3 personal. Discover is my daily, visa sits in the wallet just in case, and the 3rd sits in the drawer. I don't want to close it because it's been open the longest. As of this month, I'm now paying the balance in full every month. (hope I can keep that going!)

1 corporate which I've used once and don't really want.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: SuperSecretName on March 15, 2016, 01:05:36 PM
Latest count is 17 open and active.  Most are dormant.

Good credit can be monetized with sign-up bonuses.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: charis on March 15, 2016, 01:19:16 PM
We probably opened over 20 within the last two years signing bonuses, closed about half of those already.  We have about 4 cards that have been opened the longest, no fees, which we will never close.  If I was going to refi the mortgage or apply for a loan, we would stop churning for about 12 months.  But my credit score has only gotten better since getting into the points game.

Spending mins are easier to meet when you have kids - we have one in a daycare that takes credit cards - and plan applications around large expenses (home improvements, etc).  We also have a HDHP and use CC for all medical bills.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: JordanOfGilead on March 15, 2016, 01:26:11 PM
One for personal, one for business.
No need / desire for any more.
Same here. I don't have the time to watch the fine print when churning. The risk of me getting burned is too high. DW has one she uses to build her credit score (we are both fairly young/new to the credit game still at 24/21 years old)
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: CmFtns on March 15, 2016, 02:19:29 PM
I have 5

Citi Double Cash - 2% on everything
I use on everything

Amex Blue - 3% at groceries
I use at grocery stores

Capital One Quicksilver - 1.5% on everything no foreign transaction
I don't use often but is oldest account and will use if ever need free foreign transactions

Chase Southwest Card Plus
Chase Southwest Card Premier
used 2 chase cards with some home remodeling expenses to get companion pass with southwest but will cancel before 2nd year
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: johnny847 on March 15, 2016, 02:29:01 PM
My average is is 2 years, 4 months.  I have a ~760 770 score.  Sub 740 is not for me, if I can avoid it.

I couldn't care less what my score is so long as I keep getting approved for new cc's (since I don't plan on getting a mortgage anytime soon). I've never been denied for a cc before, so clearly my ~730 credit score is still good enough to get me more cc's.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: use2betrix on March 15, 2016, 02:32:08 PM
One for personal, one for business.
No need / desire for any more.
Same here. I don't have the time to watch the fine print when churning. The risk of me getting burned is too high. DW has one she uses to build her credit score (we are both fairly young/new to the credit game still at 24/21 years old)

I recently did one for $625 after I spend X amount. It's as easy as - 10 minutes to apply - receive cards, use for a couple months til I hit X - redeem rewards - close account. Maybe an hour or two worth of work.

I get paid well, but not $625/hr well. But to make it even better, I typically do all the applying, paying, redeeming, when I'm at work getting paid anyways haha.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: maco on March 15, 2016, 03:23:35 PM
We have 3:

- Chase Freedom, with 5% on quarterly categories
- Citi Double Cash, with 2% on everything
- Amazon store card, with 5% on everything from Amazon
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: TheInsuranceMan on March 15, 2016, 03:24:40 PM
I have 2, my wife has 5.
Credit scores 775-790
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: gooki on March 16, 2016, 11:56:16 PM
One card between me and my wife.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: bearkat on March 17, 2016, 05:11:49 AM
Add a poll!

I have 4 and wife has 3. We recently cancelled a total of 4 cards after they refused to waive the annual fee.

If you value AA miles at $0.01/mile, we got >8% cash back on our purchases in 2015 and I'm sure others did way better. If you're going to optimize expenses, you might as well optimize earnings and free money is hard to beat.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: ransom132 on March 17, 2016, 05:15:33 AM
I have 2, 1 I use on a regular basis (Cash back) and the other as a backup especially when I travel, if I lose my regular credit card, my second will come in handy. I hardly ever use the second credit card though.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: VAR on March 17, 2016, 05:48:30 AM
I have 5 right now but just applied to 2 BoA for sign up bonuses.
I'm also not buying a house any time soon and my job is very unlikely to ever be affected by my credit score.

I don't see how you could get burned by it - other than if you can't stop yourself from spending more.
I was already putting all expenses on my amazon card before I ever heard of churning.
So why not put expenses on a variety of cards to get more bonuses?
My 3 chase cards are all on the same login so there's nothing really extra to monitor.
My mother thinks I'm crazy but she has always been one to run up spending to her limits. So to her applying for cards means spending all that $$ then paying the min. forever.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: kendallf on March 17, 2016, 07:01:52 AM
I'm not even sure, I'd have to go home and look.. but around 20.  Opened maybe 6-8 in the past year, closed a few that had annual fees and wouldn't waive them.  My credit score is currently 797 and has gone up since I started churning. 

I generally keep a balance on one or two 0% APR cards but keep my overall utilization low, less than 10%.  This is pretty easy when you have this many cards, I think last year I calculated that I had more than $180k in available credit limits, which is insane. 
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: tomatops on March 17, 2016, 07:41:05 AM
Add a poll!

I have 4 and wife has 3. We recently cancelled a total of 4 cards after they refused to waive the annual fee.

If you value AA miles at $0.01/mile, we got >8% cash back on our purchases in 2015 and I'm sure others did way better. If you're going to optimize expenses, you might as well optimize earnings and free money is hard to beat.

Poll added. To risk not making it an extremely lengthy list of options, I broke down 1-5 and then did increments of 5 thereafter.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: neo von retorch on March 17, 2016, 07:51:25 AM
According to my home-spun financial software, I've burned through 21 total credit card accounts. I have four in active use now, though:

* American Express Blue Cash ($75/year) 6% on groceries, 3% on gas (used primarily for groceries)
* Chase Ink ($0) 5% on internet / cell phone
* Citi Double Cash ($0) 2% on everything else
* Sallie Mae ($0) 5% on gas, 5% on Amazon (book stores), 5% on groceries - limit $250/mo. (used primarily for gas)
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Inaya on March 17, 2016, 08:50:39 AM
6:
Discover It for daily use, 1% on everything except 5% rotating (but all doubled for the 12 months starting last June b/c their Double Cashback promo)
Amex Blue Preferred for 6% groceries. Might cancel; not sure if it's worth the $75 annual fee
BofA Cash Rewards for "We don't accept Discover/Amex."
Target RedCard for... Target
Best Buy for interest-free financing on technology purchases
Sears for interest-free financing on appliance/furniture purchases

Thinking about swapping to Discover Miles once my Double Cashback year is over on the It. Assuming they're still doing their Double Miles promo at that point.

I couldn't get a credit card until I was 26. I had no credit history and NOBODY would give me even a low-limit student card (and I was too cheap to pay an annual fee on a secured card). I finally got a nibble from BofA once I was out of school and had worked 6 months. Was $500 cash back on $1500, which was easy since I needed the card in the first place to buy a new $1500 laptop.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: neo von retorch on March 17, 2016, 09:23:58 AM
Inaya

You can calculate whether it's worth it, based on your alternatives. For example, if you have the no fee 5% Sallie Mae, it's great for low spenders, but the $250 / month limit means you reach a point ($3900) where it's worth it to pay the $75 to continue getting cashback: https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/2e7efa/i_made_a_graph_comparing_blue_cash_everyday_blue/

If you spend $3750 / year on groceries, you'll net $150 ($225 cashback minus $75 fee.) This is still net 4%. Even at $2000 / year, you're earning 2.25% after the fee. So if you're comparing to a 2% for everything, you don't have to spend much at all on groceries to come out on top.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Vanguards and Lentils on March 17, 2016, 09:58:08 AM
According to my home-spun financial software, I've burned through 21 total credit card accounts. I have four in active use now, though:

* American Express Blue Cash ($75/year) 6% on groceries, 3% on gas (used primarily for groceries)
* Sallie Mae ($0) 5% on gas, 5% on Amazon (book stores), 5% on groceries (used primarily for gas)

Wouldn't it be better for you to downgrade the blue cash to a free one? It gets you only 1% more on groceries than the Sallie Mae. The way I'm figuring it is, if you spend X per year on groceries, then
Sallie Mae earnings = .05X
Blue Cash earnings = .06X - 75

So the breakeven point would require you to spend 75/.01, or $7500(!) on groceries per year

BTW envioius of your Sallie Mae card - looks like it's not available anymore.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: neo von retorch on March 17, 2016, 10:03:40 AM
Actually the break even point is $3900. Below that, the Sallie Mae is better. Above that, the Preferred is better. Mistake - Sallie Mae limit is $250 for groceries, $750 for bookstores. We currently spend closer to $5000 / year on groceries, so it makes sense for us.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: dcozad999 on March 17, 2016, 10:47:49 AM
I wish I could get cashback on groceries, but that card would make no sense to me. We buy 90% of our groceries at Sam's Club and Aldi. Aldi doesn't accept credit cards and credit card companies don't consider Sam's Club a grocery store.

My wife and I started churning in October. We go one at a time and are currently on our 3rd card (halfway there). So far we've racked up 120,000 Chase UR points and are working on the 35,000 Starwood SPG points.

For those who say how do you meet the high limits:

These cards have some high limits (Chase Sapphire is $4,000 in 3 months), we had some pretty major expenses over the last few months such as a new garage door, study materials and exam fees for my wife's licensing exam (over $600 fee for that fucking exam!!!), other remodeling expenses. I also used the card for a rather large medical bill and instead of using the HSA debit card, I just filled out a reimbursement form for them to send an automatic deposit. I also have the family AT&T plan under my name which totals around $300/month, and am able to pay the utility bills with the credit cards.

We probably won't be able to churn them this quickly from now on, but I figure we should be able to do 3-5 per year (depending on the limit) going forward. That's should be a couple thousand dollars worth of passive income per year. Of course I would prefer to keep them as airline miles, but many have the option to be turned into cash/statement credit.

Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: RetirementDreaming on March 17, 2016, 10:55:02 AM
I have 1 (same card since 1991) and my husband has 1. 
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Revelry on March 17, 2016, 12:46:36 PM
Actually the break even point is $3900. Below that, the Sallie Mae is better. Above that, the Preferred is better. Mistake - Sallie Mae limit is $250 for groceries, $750 for bookstores. We currently spend closer to $5000 / year on groceries, so it makes sense for us.

For those just following along, you're referring to the old version of the Sallie Mae.  They stopped accepting applications for the version that got 5% on groceries back in Dec/Jan.  The current version open for signup gets 5% on restaurants and shopping through the Upromise portal, and basically sucks.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Inaya on March 17, 2016, 12:50:32 PM
For those just following along, you're referring to the old version of the Sallie Mae.  They stopped accepting applications for the version that got 5% on groceries back in Dec/Jan.  The current version open for signup gets 5% on restaurants and shopping through the Upromise portal, and basically sucks.

Thanks for that. I kept going to the Sallie Mae site and was super confused why I wasn't seeing anything about groceries. Thought I was missing some big super secret credit card.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: neo von retorch on March 17, 2016, 01:00:31 PM
Yes sorry for the confusion there! Overall point is that unless you can get 3-5% on groceries elsewhere, it might still be worth the $75 annual fee. Sounds like you can still get 3% on groceries if you downgrade to the "Everyday" and drop the annual fee. So if your spending is at or below $2500 annually at qualified supermarkets, go ahead and downgrade. (At this point, either card lands you $75 for the year.) Above that, you should keep it.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Revelry on March 17, 2016, 01:11:47 PM
I wish I could get cashback on groceries, but that card would make no sense to me. We buy 90% of our groceries at Sam's Club and Aldi. Aldi doesn't accept credit cards and credit card companies don't consider Sam's Club a grocery store.
Sam's Club will get 5x on Chase Freedom during Q2 if you have/want that card.  And Aldi's started accepting credit cards last week.

Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: homelesshobbit on March 17, 2016, 01:35:54 PM
a ton, i keep them in a binder that has business card sheets for organization purposes.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: Vertical Mode on March 17, 2016, 01:56:08 PM
6-10. I opened a few new ones last year in anticipation of spending more than usual because of a cavalcade of weddings, figured I'd harvest the cash signup bonuses for money I'd be spending anyways. After that, I've opened a few for travel rewards, and will be closing a few others, working toward a consistent core of 7 cards:

- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Freedom
- Hyatt Chase Visa
- IHG Chase Visa
- SPG Amex
- Bank Americard Cash Rewards
- CITI Double Cash

I may occasionally execute a round of churning if I have a big expense coming up and I can take advantage of a lucrative offer (hence the range, I don't envision keeping more than 10, though).
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: dcozad999 on March 17, 2016, 02:09:54 PM
I wish I could get cashback on groceries, but that card would make no sense to me. We buy 90% of our groceries at Sam's Club and Aldi. Aldi doesn't accept credit cards and credit card companies don't consider Sam's Club a grocery store.
Sam's Club will get 5x on Chase Freedom during Q2 if you have/want that card.  And Aldi's started accepting credit cards last week.


Nice! I was just there on Tuesday and didn't notice that.
Title: Re: How many credit cards do you have?
Post by: slappy on March 17, 2016, 02:27:32 PM
I wish I could get cashback on groceries, but that card would make no sense to me. We buy 90% of our groceries at Sam's Club and Aldi. Aldi doesn't accept credit cards and credit card companies don't consider Sam's Club a grocery store.
Sam's Club will get 5x on Chase Freedom during Q2 if you have/want that card.  And Aldi's started accepting credit cards last week.


Nice! I was just there on Tuesday and didn't notice that.

It doesn't start until April. If you don't already have the card, there is a sign up bonus of $150.