There are lots of misconceptions about ‘multiple credit cards’ in India. Many people think that it is not a good idea to have so many credit cards at a time while others believe that there is no harm in having multiple cards. There is actually not an exact answer to the question: how many credit cards should you have as it depends on how well you can manage a single or multiple credit cards. Having a credit card is a common thing today. Some people believe in having just one credit card while others believe in having as many as they can. But, you need to understand that neither too many cards are good for you nor very few. It is very true that having multiple credit cards can be beneficial in many ways, but if you have a single credit card with a high credit limit and exclusive benefits across all the categories, you might not feel like having another card.
Also, if you are someone who knows how to manage multiple credit cards responsibly, you might build a very good credit score using them, but other might face a drop in their score as well. Read on to know more:
Why One Might Need Multiple Credit Cards?
Having multiple credit cards can be advantageous over having just one in many ways, provided that you can manage them well. For some people, one credit card can be enough and for others, even three can very less. People who are responsible enough, find it very easy to manage multiple cards together while others can find it really difficult to manage even two. There are different factors as follows that can affect your decision of having one or multiple credit cards:
Credit Limit – You might be aware of the fact that your Credit utilization ratio should be below 30% in order to maintain a good credit score. If you have a credit card with a credit limit of Rs. 1 lakh only, you will most likely prefer applying for another credit card with a higher limit. It is because utilizing more than 30,000 from this card can affect your credit score badly and you will find it hard to use your card in emergency situations, such as a medical emergency. In such a case, it will be better for you to apply for another card and keep this card open as well so that you can have a higher credit limit in total.
However, if you already have a very high credit limit on your card, this factor might not affect you much.
Your Requirements – Nowadays, different credit cards come with benefits in different categories and people choose their cards according to their spending habits. People who travel frequently choose a travel credit card, people who spend very often on fuel choose a fuel credit card, and so on. Now, if you are someone who is a frequent traveler as well as a frequent shopper, and you are not getting a card that is best in both the categories when you must go for two credit cards: one that is best for your travel spends and another for shopping. This is also one of the biggest reasons why people choose to have multiple credit cards to have multiple benefits.
Do Multiple Credit Cards Affect Your CIBIL Score?
Many people think that having multiple credit cards will drop their credit score, but that’s not true at all. Multiple credit cards can have various advantages if you are responsible enough. However, there are individuals who are not careful with their credit cards and they end up having unmanageable debt and low credit scores. The following are some of the ways in which multiple credit cards may affect your CIBIL scores:
- With multiple credit cards, your total credit limit increases, and hence the chances of exceeding a 30% credit utilization ratio become lesser. It helps you improve your credit score by utilizing less than 30% of your limit.
- In order to have a good credit score, it is advisable to maintain a good credit mix, i.e, to have multiple credit accounts rather than having just one. So, having multiple types of credit cards will also help you with this.
- Having multiple credit cards might be a good idea to fulfill all your requirements, but you need to make sure that you don’t apply for too many credit cards within a short time period. It is because a lot of hard inquiries on your credit profile in a short period may affect your credit score badly.
Pros & Cons of Having Multiple Credit Cards
- Having multiple credit cards will give you a higher credit limit and hence your credit utilization ratio will decrease, which will affect your credit score positively.
- You can use different credit cards for spends on different categories and get the maximum benefit out of each card.
- If one of your cards gets blocked or expires, you can always have other options to use.
- Some people overspend when they have multiple credit cards.
- With multiple payment due dates, you may sometimes miss/forget to make your payments on time, which will not only affect your credit score but a late payment fee will also be charged in such a case.
Things To Keep in Mind
Before choosing to have multiple credit cards, you must make be assured of the following things:
- Make sure that you don’t overspend after having too many credit cards as this is something that most of the multiple credit cardholders do.
- You must make all your payments on time. People often forget their payment due dates when they have multiple credit cards so you should either set the reminders or request your card issuers to shift your due dates and try to keep a single day for all the payments.
- Make sure that you are going to use all the cards you are applying for. However, there is no harm in keeping unused credit cards, but you should still avoid having a credit card without any reason.
- Don’t apply for multiple credit cards all at once as it can affect your credit score due to the increased number of hard inquiries on your profile.
You can have as many cards as you want if you think that you are responsible enough to manage multiple cards and you can pay your bills on time. Moreover, if you think that one card is more than enough for you, there is no harm in having just one. Before having multiple cards, you should carefully think about whether you will be able to manage all of them or not. However, if you spend frequently on different categories, it would be really good for you to have more than one card. So, it totally depends on your requirements and your financial behavior that how many cards you should have. Think about your spending habits, your needs, and then make a decision wisely.
If you still have any doubts or queries regarding the topic, you can freely ask us in the comment section below!