If you open up my wallet, you'll notice something immediately. I only have one major credit card. The others are a debit card and a Macy's card. Since the average American is carrying three to four credit cards, I'm technically what you would call below average. But I've survived the last 12 years with only this one major credit card and I couldn't be happier with my decision.
Lead me not into temptation
I'm not a spend thrift. But if I had several credit cards all offering me lines of credit of say $5000 or more, there's no telling how I might spend that cash. The temptation is there to buy something I truly cannot afford with the reasoning that I can just pay it off in monthly installments. I have friends who are still paying off purchases they made several years ago. Sorry, but if I don't have the cash to buy something, I'm not gonna let a little piece of plastic talk me into it.
It's easy to lose track
At least with only one credit card, when the bill comes in, I know exactly what is on it. Having a bunch of credit cards requires tighter bill scrutiny and I may end up forgetting which card bought which item. That's dangerous and allows for a potential false charge or unjust fee to slip by without questioning it. And even worse, I may lose track all together and forget to pay a bill. Then my credit goes down the tubes.
How many rewards programs do I need?
My one major credit card offers a free membership rewards program that I participate in. I get one point for every dollar I spend. I've used my points to get gift cards from Land's End and Barnes and Noble. I don't fly enough to take advantage of a frequent flyer miles card and I don't charge enough to really get any substantial cash back. So do I really need those other cards?
It doesn't hurt my credit score
There are some things other than having and paying off credit cards that influence your credit score. I successfully paid off two car loans and have never been late or defaulted on any hospital or utility bill. If anything the more credit cards you have, the more likely you are to jeopardize your credit with late payments and making only minimum monthly payments. Having a good credit score can affect your getting a job or affordable car insurance. I say why take a chance?
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