As I read the Penny Hoarder posts and note the “wins” with credit card perks like cash back and the “losses” if carrying long term credit card debt, I’ve become curious this morning about how many credit cards PHs have open.
I only have 2, but thinking about adding an airline card.
I have several - AMEX, Visa and Mastercard. I have a few store cards that I don’t really use. I’m working to pay off my balance on 2 cards now, and it’s a process I hope I’ll be done with by the end of the year.
I have signed up for quite a few and taken advantage of their sign up bonuses.
For the most part, they are all paid off but the ones that aren’t are still under a certain “no interest” period promotion.
Airline cards can be a great way to save some money on travel. For example, last year my wife got the AA card and to meet the spend requirement, we just put our rent on it for a month and then paid it off right away.
Doing this gave us 60,000 AA points which actually ended up getting us round trip tickets from Chicago to Honolulu, Hawaii which we used to finish off our 50 State trip we started last September.
Of course, you do have to be very careful or credit cards can end up costing you more than the benefit, but if you handle them correctly, they can actually be really useful!
I have 2 cc’s and 1 debit card. The main cc is paid off each month and it gives a decent cash back yearly, this is through Sam’s Club (MC), it is based on a travel and dining out, gas, and other purchases. The other is a Visa which gives points that can be applied for cruises.
We have two credit cards. Sam’s Club Mastercard for cashback rewards and a Kohl’s store card because you have to use their card to take advantage of the 30% off sale and Kohl’s Cash. I pay them off each month. (Kohl’s is not monthly, just occasionally.)
Most credit experts say about 3 credit cards, of course paying off the statement balance each month- at a minimum. Thats exactly how many I have open, 3. It’s true, there are great point deals out there. However, playing the points game can open you up to a lot of temptation and debt. That seems to be the opposite of what the Penny Hoarder group is about. Am I wrong?
Also- A great all-around credit card is the Chase Sapphire if you don’t spend a lot of money in any one specific expense category, like airline miles.
I’m sad to say that I have 19 (6 store cards and 13 regular credit cards). I try to keep my usage under 30%, but since I lost a good portion of my income in September, I’ve had to rely on them for some stuff. Luckily, that money should be coming back next week so will be able to pay them back down (plus I am using my tax return to pay off 4 of them in full). It’s a battle, but it is what it is. They are all getting locked away very soon,
Congratulations! You recognize the issue and you are working at it…thats really important! Great use of your return money, get the debt down. Keep chipping away, diligently, and before you know it, you will be debt free. But close almost all of them out once you get them paid off.
More than I need, I’m embarrassed to say. They do have rewards (AMEX, Capital One, Discover). No store or gas cards though. I told myself “no” to single-use cards many years ago. It’s good when I get rewards but I just turn them into payment credits. Would love to get to a point where I’ve paid them all off and can look at things like using points for travel.
Occasionally I do get baited by the store card, the usual offer up front at the register and it will only take a minute to apply, only to get a percentage off initially. Then the card comes home and sits in the drawer forever or until the letter comes and says the card is cancelled because of no charges on it for a lengthy period. The bill gets paid on-time because it is a massive amount of interest associated with these “deals”. Then I feel stupid for falling for something that is a once in a lifetime offer from a rarely shopped at store.
I forgot about store cards and I do have one…Target for the 5% discount on purchases and free shipping online. I was a bit upset with them a couple of years ago when they turned my store card into a Master Card, hit the roof actually! You could opt out, which I did, but I was furious they made the change and then I had to OPT OUT to be able to keep it just a store card. They actually sent the Master Card to me in the mail and I was totally confused and it panicked me because I thought maybe someone else had ordered the card in my name until I read the accompanying letter, which I had to do twice to find that tiny small print that said I could opt out by calling an 800 number.
I recently froze my credit with the “big 3” credit bureaus, which should avoid a weak moment at the register to sign up for a store card.
MINTJULEP, I also have a Target card also that gives me 5% off my purchase. But when they asked if I wanted their credit card to get the discount, I told them no. Then, they told me I could make it a debit card from my checking account, so that’s how I do it.
REDCATCEC, I don’t feel stupid when I open that new card…I don’t do it very often. I get a percentage off of a big purchase and then as you say, pay the bill when it comes in, sit the card in the drawer NEVER to be used until you get that letter and then I smile because I know the next time I go in that store, I can sign up for another card if I have a big purchase! Dollars saved!!
I have 3 credit cards. One for online purchases, one for any health related needs, and one for travel. When I had to buy a new stove - that went on health related because if I can’t cook, I don’t eat healthy. The travel card may have clothes purchased for a trip. The online store is mostly my Amazon purchases and does have a balance that I am working to pay off. The balance was from the time when it was my only card. Having three cards lets me really focus on what is essential and what can be delayed in being purchased.