6 Signs You Don’t Need Another Credit Card

more credit cardsIf you're like most people, you probably have a few credit cards.

And that can be a good thing: Along with being an extremely easy method of payment, credit cards are also crucial when it comes to building up the credit that's needed for future major purchases, like loans and mortgages.

Of course, this doesn't mean that you likely need all  of those credit cards. At some point, you have enough—but how can you tell? By recognizing one (or more!) of these six red flags.

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  • Maria

    put a tarantula on a card picture? Love it! Negative reinforcement at work!
    Also, adding your child’s name to the credit card to build their credit history is not a bad idea. Just don’t give them the actual card. ;)

  • Greg Haney

    Credit cards are *not* evil. Used correctly, they give the user free money.

    Personal example: I’m 24, have 15 credit cards, carry no balance on any card, and routinely accumulate 5% or more back on every purchase through cash or points. At every possible point I always pay with credit card to earn these rewards. Managing my credit like this for years has yielded a credit score of 796 and climbing.

    I’m not posting this with braggart intent, but to show readers that the negative perception of credit cards is completely wrong. I see so many articles advocating for the disuse of paying with credit, which is crazy and the opposite of what smart consumers should be doing.

    I understand the intent behind these articles, but the real problem in these situations isn’t with credit cards, it’s the consumer’s choice to carry a balance on the cards. Paying off a credit balance in full each month will result in no fees or interest, plus the accumulated rewards. This is nothing but a huge “win” for the consumer. Now on the other hand, carrying a balance will turn all that “win” into “loss” as interest not only eats away the rewards, but creates debt. This is often the result of people spending outside their means.

    3 Steps for Credit Card Use
    1. Always use credit cards for purchases
    2. Always pay off balances in full each month
    3. Profit

    • Samantha Durrie

      15 cards is a lot to keep track of for the average person. If you’re uninformed or immature about money, this system is not for you. I’m 27 & do the same thing with 3 cards. I get $25 back per month with my amount of spending.

      • Greg Haney

        Nice! And I agree about the 15 cards being above average. My situation is a little extreme, I use Excel spreadsheets to determine which card to use for each purchase in order to maximize the largest category reward. Also in consideration is whether I want cash back, or points accumulated to vacation travel.

        Keeping track of all the cards is easy with Mint and Credit Karma. Since the majority of my purchasing is also online, I use Lastpass to keep encrypted virtual copies of my credit cards so I don’t have to carry them on me.

    • OttoAuto

      Cards are not “evil”, but offer easy access to debt at a real cost, even if you do not incur finance charges.
      Even if you never make a mistake with your plan, those “freebies” add to merchant costs and ultimately the prices you pay.
      Are all consumers smart? Is using only credit cards smart? These are very debatable. Is it smart to “manage” 15 credit cards when you have other things to do?
      Is it smart to manage 3 credit cards, incur some unforeseen event then pay several times any supposed “rewards” in interest, penalties and further higher finance costs down the road?
      Is it really “unsmart” to accumulate assets and just spend what you have? Which has the higher impact of unforeseen disaster?