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How Many Credit Cards Is Too Many?

Lauren Le-Hair Updated: May 18, 2023 • 4 min read
too many credit cards
Generally speaking, there is no specific number of credit cards that you should have. However, the ability to manage your credit cards effectively is an important part of personal finance. From earning travel points to zero-transfer fees and other perks, the world of credit cards is diverse. But the more credit cards you have, the harder it may be to keep track of fees, payments and balances. You’ll need to ensure you make payments on time to protect your credit score.

How Having Multiple Credit Cards Affects Your Credit Score

Having multiple credit cards can impact your credit score in both positive and negative ways, depending how you manage them. Having numerous credit cards can affect the factors outlined below:
  • Credit utilization ratio: A credit utilization ratio is the amount of credit you're using divided by the total amount of credit available to you. Having multiple credit cards can be beneficial for your credit score because it increases your total available credit. This means that if you're not increasing your spending, your credit utilization ratio will decrease, which can improve your credit score.
  • Payment history: Ensuring credit payments are made on time is the single most crucial factor in maintaining your credit score. The more credit cards you obtain, the greater your chance of missing a payment. Any missed payments impact your credit score negatively.
  • Credit mix: This refers to the number of different types of credit you have, such as loans, mortgages, and credit cards. The more types of credit, the higher your credit mix. Still, as long as all payments are on time, a diversified credit mix is good for your credit score.
multiple credit cards improve credit score

Pros and Cons of Having Multiple Credit Cards

If you’re wondering, “Should I have more than one credit card?” we’ve summed up the pros and cons to give you a better idea of what having multiple credit cards will mean.


  • Positive impact on credit utilization ratio: To put it simply, more cards mean access to more credit. Presuming you don’t spend up to the limit of the new credit cards, your credit utilization ratio and likely your credit score can improve.
  • Increased credit limit: Access to more credit cards gives you access to more credit. This can be very helpful during situations where emergency funds are required.
  • Access to perks: Different credit cards feature unique perks and rewards. Using multiple credit cards can give you access to a wide range of bonuses, such as airline, hotel and rental car credits.


  • Increased administration: Keeping tabs on multiple credit cards can be difficult. You’ll need to ensure that you keep on top of all payment dates and amounts; otherwise, your credit score will be adversely affected.
  • Opportunities for overspending: Make sure you spend what you can afford and do not accumulate debt you will struggle to repay.
  • High fees and interest rates: Some credit cards come with annual fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, and other charges that can add up quickly.

credit card payment missed credit score

How to Manage Multiple Credit Cards to Get the Maximum Benefits

If you get the right system in place, managing multiple credit cards can be easy and beneficial for your credit score. Here are our essential tips for managing multiple cards:
  • Keep track of your balances and payment dates: Keep in mind that different cards may have different payment due dates, which can get confusing to manage. Mark these dates on your calendar or phone to ensure you don’t miss them. Some issuers might agree to change your due date if you make the request.
  • Set up automated payments: You can set up automatic payments with your bank, ensuring you do not miss any payment dates.
  • Try to pay off all of your cards in full each month: This positively impacts your credit utilization ratio and helps to avoid incurring interest charges.
  • Apply for new cards wisely: Your credit rating takes a slight hit whenever you apply for a new credit card. Therefore, you may wish to apply for a new credit card one at a time to avoid taking multiple hits at once.
  • Manage your rewards and perks well: Ensure that you are aware of any expiration dates on rewards and use perks wherever possible in place of purchases that you make anyway.


Ultimately, there’s no specific answer to how many credit cards is too many. Managing multiple credit cards can be difficult, but if you are organized and have a robust system in place, multiple credit cards can be a great way to build up your credit score. You can do so by improving your credit utilization ratio while enjoying the perks that multiple different credit cards can offer. Simply ensure that you make all of your payments on time and space out your credit card applications to ensure that you take advantage of your multiple cards.

As an experienced content writer, Lauren’s passion for the finance sector is only exceeded by her love of writing. Lauren specializes in the financial industry, drawing on her knowledge and experience to deliver top-quality, specialized content with an expert tone of voice and a unique flair. She also holds a First Class (Hons) Batchelor’s degree from Staffordshire University.