Author Topic: What's too many credit cards??  (Read 3096 times)

MrGville

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What's too many credit cards??
« on: August 17, 2016, 02:34:50 PM »
I'm thinking about adding another rewards card to my cc collection.  Right now I only have three credit cards (I use each card every month and always pay everything off in full).  The reason I am asking is because I am planning to buy a house in the next year or two, so I don't want my credit score and ability to get a good mortgage rate to be dragged down by opening new credit cards. 

I assume opening this card (CITI Hilton HHonors, no annual fee) will not be a problem, but I don't want to regret it later.  My credit score is around 785, if that information will help you answer.  Could i potentially open up even more cards to get bonus offers and points, with no detrimental effect on my ability to get a mortgage?  (Assuming I utilize each card and always pay off in full and on time)


johnny847

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Re: What's too many credit cards??
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2016, 03:30:16 PM »
Aa long as you don't need your credit score to be really good in the near future (such as applying for a mortgage), I think the most cards you should have is the minimum of

As many as you can juggle (on time payments or remembering which cards you need to meet your spend on to get your bonus)
As many as you can keep track of which to use at the register (rotating category cards)
As many as you can apply to until you start getting denied for more credit cards

Until I hit that limit I have no intention of stopping my cc applications as the bonuses are lucrative

EDIT: juggle = on time payments or remembering which cards you need to meet your spend on to get your bonus
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 03:00:55 PM by johnny847 »

johnny847

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Re: What's too many credit cards??
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2016, 03:37:33 PM »
Since you do want to get a mortgage soon, I'm not really sure how to advise you. Nothing in this industry is set in stone. Usually some human will have a say in what interest rate you get. The only problem is even a small increase in your interest rate can lead to tens of thousands of dollars in extra interest paid over the course of the loan. It's pretty hard to reap that much in credit card rewards. Especially if you're not already well versed in the game, which pardon my assumption, but based on the fact that you only have three cards, I assume you're not.

EDIT: Grammar
« Last Edit: August 18, 2016, 02:40:16 PM by johnny847 »

MrGville

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Re: What's too many credit cards??
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2016, 09:39:46 AM »
Thanks, Johnny.  Yes, your assumption about me being new to the CC points game is correct.  I think I'll wait to start testing the waters until after I get a mortgage locked down.  A couple free nights at a hotel isn't worth a potentially higher mortgage rate....

bacchi

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Re: What's too many credit cards??
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2016, 10:00:45 AM »
Next year or two? I'd apply away, at least until about 6 months before you're to get the mortgage. Keep the credit availability high (don't charge a lot or, if you do, pay off the large balances before the statement closes) and your score shouldn't suffer except immediately after a new card.

Don't go crazy and you should be fine. A few new cards won't hurt you, especially if you're starting at 3.

FLBiker

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Re: What's too many credit cards??
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2016, 11:07:11 AM »
I don't know what "too many" is, but according to mine I have 11 open and 13 closed right now, and I'm still applying whenever a good bonus comes along.

DW and I are slow churners.  Every three months, we're working on a new signup bonus (currently DW's Chase Sapphire Preferred).  Once we've hit the bonus, we either keep the card open for just under a year, then close it (if there's an annual fee that won't be waived for the second year) or we just stick it in the drawer (if no annual fee) and use it once a year or so.  I've been doing this for years, and my credit score is 813.

Leaving them open is beneficial because it raises your average age of credit line, and it also lowers your % of credit used.

JCfire

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Re: What's too many credit cards??
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2016, 11:19:28 AM »
My limiting factor has always been my willingness to "juggle", or more precisely keep myself informed about the status of, additional financial accounts that do nothing for me except give me rewards. 

I've settled on trying to earn one signup bonus at a time only, using my Costco Citi card for 3% back at restaurants and gas, and using my Citi Double Cash for everything else.

I'm aware that travel cards promise better ROI, but after adjusting for how much I would actually be willing to pay for the airplane trips and hotel nights in question they do not tend to be worth it for me after the signup period expires.

KickingRocks

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Re: What's too many credit cards??
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2016, 12:57:04 PM »
I churn cards at least once every year for the sign up bonus and to avoid paying annual fees.  Doesn't seem to hurt my credit as I just checked and my score is 825.  I do keep one credit card open with bank of America that is 10 years old, but it also doesn't have an annual fee and I use it maybe two times a year so they don't cancel it on me.

On the cards I churn I normally go back and forth between two or three different cards that chase offers.  I'll always apply for the new card and then after I get it call in to cancel the old card.  They have always offered to move my credit limit from the old card over to the new one.  So if I had 25k limit on the old card and 25k limit on the new card they will then bump my limit up to 50k on the new card.  I pay all balances in full every month and haven't paid a penny in interest in years.  On top of that I haven't paid for a plane ticket for my wife and I in over 5 years and we travel at least once every 8 weeks.  Most times it's every 6 weeks.

I just signed up for the chase sapphire preferred card.  It comes with a 50k mile bonus and points can be transferred to a lot of different airlines, hotels, and rental cars 1 to 1.  On top of that if you book travel through chase's site with points they will give you a 20% discount.  So if the flight cost 10k miles they will only charge you 8k miles.

FLBiker

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Re: What's too many credit cards??
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2016, 02:55:37 PM »
My limiting factor has always been my willingness to "juggle", or more precisely keep myself informed about the status of, additional financial accounts that do nothing for me except give me rewards. 

I've settled on trying to earn one signup bonus at a time only, using my Costco Citi card for 3% back at restaurants and gas, and using my Citi Double Cash for everything else.

I'm the same way.  I don't juggle at all.  I do one signup at a time, and have a 2% cash back card that I use as a backup.  As soon as I activate a card, I set it to autopay the balance in full every month, and I put a reminder on my calendar if I need to close it / use it every 11 months.  Leaving a bunch of cards active in a drawer is easy. :)