The Pros and Cons of Owning Multiple Credit Cards

by : Matthew Lloyd

Multiple credit cards come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. If you wish to own multiple credit cards you will stand to gain several benefits and at the same time, you might lose out in certain areas.

The Benefits of Owning Multiple Credit Cards
Multiple credit cards offer several benefits. For example:

  • All merchants don't accept all cards. Some may either accept Visa or MasterCard and in such a scenario, you might find yourself inconvenienced by holding only one card of either type.

  • You can keep one card exclusively for online transactions. That way you have limited your fraud risk to just a single set of card details. Such a card should have a minimum spending limit because if the details are hacked, your exposure to theft will be minimal.

  • If you have a card which offers a good deal or generous points for petrol purchases or for airmiles, then you might like to use that card only for that particular purpose. Frequent fliers may like to keep one card for accumulating air miles and use another card which offers a decent cash back program. Rarely, will you find a single card with both offers.

  • You might find yourself eligible for different loyalty programs, gifts, discount schemes and bonuses on different cards.

  • Multiple credit cards also allow you build a sturdy credit rating.

The Disadvantages of Multiple Credit Cards
Every good thing has a reverse side to it, and even with multiple credit cards, you keep yourself open to several risks and hazards. For example:

  • Multiple credit cards are more difficult to manage. You need to pay multiple bills, keep track of different credit limits, and so on.

  • Unless you are a disciplined, moderate spender it is easy to run up small debts on each of your cards. Before you know it, these debts can balloon into a huge outstanding and can push you into the dreaded debt trap. So if you wish to take advantage of multiple cards, you have to use them wisely.

  • Multiple cards can also mean a credit rating that is vulnerable to risk multiple times. If you renege on making payments on even card, you forget, or it plain slips your mind, there goes your perfect credit history. Also, too many multiple cards may have a detrimental effect on your credit score. Lenders may assume you have multiple credit cards because you cannot pay your outstanding on a single card.

Keep these factors in mind before you select your second, third, or multiple .