August 17, 2022

5 Signs Should Have Multiple Credit Cards

Image source: Getty Images Would several cards be too much for you to manage or…

5 Signs Should Have Multiple Credit Cards
A woman swiping another woman's credit card in a payment reader while standing in a local clothing store.

Image source: Getty Images

Would several cards be too much for you to manage or just right?

Key points

  • There are many credit cards available for consumers to choose from.
  • Different cards offer their own unique perks or benefits.
  • Taking advantage of a cardholder perks and keeping spending in check are some signs of a person who may be better off having multiple cards.

Picking a credit card can be a complicated process, but it’s important to choose your card wisely so you can take full advantage of the benefits that different card issuers offer.

For some people, it actually makes sense not to stick with one single card, but rather to get several that are used for different purposes or that offer different valuable benefits. To help you decide if you’re one of these individuals, here are five signs that using multiple credit cards could be the right choice for you.

1. Your spending tends to be all over the place

Many credit cards reward specific types of spending more than others. For example, some offer bonus rewards for grocery store purchases, while others offer extra rewards for travel-related expenditures.

If you tend to spend most of your money on the same types of expenses, then you may be able to find one great card that rewards you for the spending you do the most. But if you have a wide range of different expenditures and want to get bonus rewards for several different ones, then you may need multiple cards to make that happen.

2. You use cardholder perks that are provided

Some people take full advantage of cardmember benefits, while others don’t use these bonus features much.

If you’re going to use all of the perks offered by several different card companies, then it may be well worth opting for multiple cards. For example, if you regularly fly and stay in hotels, you may want a travel card that offers lounge access and free carry-ons, as well as a hotel card that provides free nights and early check-in.

3. You’re comfortable keeping track of different rewards programs

It should go without saying, but if you have multiple credit cards, then you need to manage all of them. This means keeping track of which card offers you the most rewards for which kinds of purchases, as well as understanding all of the different rules for each program.

If you find yourself confused or annoyed while trying to figure out which card to use for each purchase, then you’d probably be better off choosing one card that offers the best all-around rewards rate so you don’t have to be strategic with your spending. But if you love trying to maximize the points, miles, or cash back you can earn with every single purchase, then multiple cards could be ideal for you.

4. You aren’t worried about your spending getting out of control

The more credit cards you have, the more debt trouble you can get into if you don’t manage your spending wisely.

Carrying a balance on your cards typically means paying interest that dwarfs any potential rewards you can earn. If you’re worried about overspending, you don’t want multiple cards that could allow you to rack up a high balance. But if you are confident you can live on a budget and pay back every card you have in full each month, then you may be the ideal candidate to have several credit cards in your wallet.

5. You charge enough on your cards to redeem rewards with multiple card issuers

Finally, you need to make sure you’re actually charging enough to make having multiple cards worthwhile. Otherwise, you won’t be able to make the most of any rewards program.

If you spot any or most of these five signs, then signing up for multiple cards probably makes sense. Just be sure to research cards carefully to find the right ones and avoid applying for too many cards in too short of a time so you don’t hurt your credit.

Top credit card wipes out interest into 2023

If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card secures you a 0% intro APR into 2023! Plus, you’ll pay no annual fee. Those are just a few reasons why our experts rate this card as a top pick to help get control of your debt. Read The Ascent’s full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.