6 Useful Tips to Help You Manage Multiple Credit Cards
Having multiple credit cards means having a good amount of credit available. These cards offer you money to pay for purchases which you can settle at a later date. The advantages of having more than one of these plastics can be significant if you know how to control them. There is nothing wrong with owning multiple cards. The problem arises when you aren't responsible enough to pay dues on time and let interest charges pile up.
So, to help you handle multiple credit cards and maximize their benefits, we’ve rounded up the dos and don’ts that you can take note of.
Open and maintain each card for a reason
There is no single card that serves all your needs. One card can be great for rewards while the other is perfect for petrol discounts. If your five credit cards serve different purposes, then there is no reason to close any of them. Use the right card for the type of purchase you do to maximize the benefits of each.
Pay your bill on time
Having a lot of credit cards means having to pay multiple bills every month. If you own three or more cards, then it’s easier for you to forget about paying for all of them. How about the balances? Pay the card with the highest interest rate or pay the card with the lowest balance. As much as possible, pay the balances in full. If you can't, then just ensure that you never miss a payment because trust us, this will hurt your credit score as well as your reputation as a customer. You don’t want to lose your credit card benefits, do you?
Keep all those cards active
Credit card issuers review the activities made on the card and if yours has been dormant for some time, they have the reason to close it or reduce your available credit limit.
A wise credit card user knows how to use his cards alternately ensuring that each is utilized each month. This also allows for the minimum credit utilization rate which is good for your profile. Make sure you don't spend more than 30% of your credit limit.
Don’t use your cards all at once.
Banks partner with establishments or retailers for a reason. If your card earns you rewards when shopping at a particular mall, then you might as well take advantage of it. One mistake some people make is swiping their cards all at once. We’re pretty sure you’ve heard about the film Confessions of A Shopaholic and how its protagonist Rebecca Bloomwood uses different cards to pay for a single purchase. It’s easy to run up debt when you use multiple cards. Take a closer look at your cards and their benefits, so you know which ones to use for shopping and your other purchases.
Do check your credit card activity frequently.
In a viral Facebook post, a woman incurred around Php200,000 in a day for online purchases made with her credit card which she claimed she was not aware of. Monitoring your credit card activity on a regular basis will help prevent situations like this and will ensure that the account is still intact.
These days, being updated with your credit card activity is easier, thanks to the ever-evolving technology—email and SMS. When you apply for a credit card, you have the option to receive alerts via email or SMS every time your card is being used. Besides informing you of your recent purchases, this form of alert allows you to check if there’s anything suspicious going on with your card. From online shopping to traveling abroad, hackers know how they can steal your credit card details and use them for fraudulent activity. Keep a list of your purchases, so you can check them when you receive your billing statement.
Don't apply for more than what you can manage
Applying for multiple credit cards can do more harm than good. The credit bureaus will view multiple applications as a dire need for credit and will tag each application as high risk. Settle for what you have at present. Pay your bills on time and this will eventually improve your credit score. With a good credit profile, credit cards issuers will notice you and even get you approved for a card you even didn't apply for.
Despite it being a challenge, managing multiple credit cards can actually help boost your credit score, making it easier for you to apply for loans—just in case you have to. The key is to remain responsible to stay on the right track.
Want to get a new credit card? Compare credit cards with GoBear to know which card (and its perks and benefits!) suits your lifestyle best.