Let’s say you have had your first credit card for quite some time now. You’ve managed to pay your dues diligently, handle your finances well, and enjoy some of the perks that came along with your card. (Congratulations, by the way.) You’re feeling confident about your own money skills, so something daring like “What if I get a second credit card” crossed your mind. Depending on your mindset, you get either cocksure (“I’ve handled one card well, getting another is no sweat, right?”) or scared (“What if I let myself go too much and end up neck-deep in dues?”)
It doesn’t have to be just those two ways. Deciding on getting a second credit card shouldn’t be on a whim, or because the salesperson at the mall was offering free headphones or popcorn when you sign up. It would be wise to think about what benefits a second (or third, or fifth…) card can bring. To help you with that decision, it pays to assess.
Where you are financially
Specifically, you can take a look at how you handled your first credit card. Do you regularly hit your credit limit? Are you able to pay off the balance regularly? Are you incurring late fees and other penalties? It makes sense to assume that the way you manage your first credit card may reflect how you will use your second one.
But we also have to look beyond the plastic card. Take note if you have other obligations such as mortgages, utility bills, and other expenses. That way, you can look into whether you have leeway to pay the dues for a second card.
What you want from the second credit card
Once you’ve established your capability in handling a second credit card, it’s time to get to know that card better, in case you have a specific one in mind. (We at GoBear can always help you find a better one, but we digress.) Know the card’s perks and see how it complements the ones on your current card. And be certain about what the purpose of the second credit card will be. Would that card serve as a backup, or an expansion of your current credit limit, or as a way to take in more perks?
For instance, some people who already have a Visa card as their first credit card will then get a MasterCard for their second card, to cover more merchants. Others who have points-based cards may develop a need to travel and opt to get a second card that is airmiles-based.
What it takes to maintain the second credit card
To round up this cost-benefit analysis, you may also want to look into how much money it would take to maintain a certain credit card. You know, things like annual fees, interest rates, penalties, and the like. But beyond that, you better know how much you need to spend to hit or maintain certain perks in your credit card. That way, you can avoid being too blinded by a card’s perks to assess the potential debt it can put you in.
If ever you are decided on getting your second credit card (or third, or tenth, we don’t judge here, we support you bes), it pays a lot to be aware of what each card has to offer. Compare credit cards with GoBear Philippines to get the full picture on which credit card suits you best.