How Many Credit Cards Do You Need?

With the proliferation of the credit card these days it is quite common to find people with more then one card in their wallet. The question that is often asked is if that is necessary and if in fact that is even a good idea.

There are many reasons why an individual may have multiple credit cards. One of the most common reasons of having more then one card is to keep separate the charges made for personal use with the charges that are made for business use. It is often easier to simply submit one statement with only business charges on it for reimbursement then it is to sit down and highlight the charges that need to repaid. There is also the issue of privacy. Does a person want his or her boss to know what they do or spend in their free time?

Another common reason to have multiple cards is to separate those that are used for travel with those that are used for every day expenses. This is often done as a way of tracking holiday expenses and making sure that budgets are not over spent. This is also a way of ensuring that at least one credit card stays home, and in the event a wallet is lost or stolen, at least one card will not have to be replaced.

In reviewing credit card statistics collected by Experian’s latest nation wide survey it was found that as many as 10% of all credit card users carry more then 10 different credit cards in their wallet, and over half of all credit card users hold at least two different credit cards. This of course includes regular credit cards, gas cards, and department store credit cards. Interestingly enough this same survey produced an average of 4 credit cards per person.

The key to using credit cards safely is to stay within your means and not overspend. As long as your total credit available does not exceed your ability to repay then the number of credit cards in your possession does not matter. If the total credit available is more then you can afford, then the potential for problems exists.

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