In the world of credit and personal finances, for some the ultimate achievement is getting a credit card, especially your first credit card.
There are many reasons for this, and the feeling that accompanies having a credit card.
Credit cards are revolving unsecured lines of credit, and as such you can use them to purchase anything you want. You can also get cash advances against many credit cards.
They are versatile, you do not need to carry large amounts of cash, you have them with you at most times, so if you see something you want and don’t have the money on you at that moment, you can still buy that item.
You can use them for online purchases, and they also afford you some additional consumer rights and protections when you use them for some purchases.
All in all, credit cards are alright.
With that versatility and ease of use also comes responsibility. Using a credit card responsibly and not running the balance up to the credit limit, and also not just paying the minimum monthly payment.
Credit cards have many uses and are great to have, but that ease of use and unchecked buying power comes at a price, credit cards usually have higher interest rates than many personal loans.
This is due to the risk factors involved, and exposure the card issuer may have.
And there are different credit cards to be had, such as a Visa, MasterCard and also store cards. Store cards are credit cards that are good only at a particular store or shop.
As Brits we love our credit cards, a country with a population of 66 million, we have 60.1 million credit cards as of January 2019.
Which means many of us have more than one (1) credit card.
So how many credit cards do you have? Do you have one (1), two (2), or more than two?
So to answer the question how many credit cards can you have, or are allowed to have…..as many as you qualify for and/or want.
That’s right, there is no cap on how many credit cards you can have.
There is no “legal limit” on the number of credit cards you can hold at one time.
That sounds great, but there are a few things you may wish to keep in mind when applying around for extra credit and credit cards.
Here is one major and key factor in holding multiple credit cards, you need to qualify for them, meaning you need to have good credit, a good credit score, and show affordability.
Many of us are not going to be able to show we can afford three (3) credit cards each with a £5,000 credit limit. That is a £15,000 total credit line.
Each card may seem small, but together they add up.
We also need to show we have used what credit cards and credit we have had in the past in a responsible manner. Which means a good credit score.
Credit Score Factors
You may think that having a few credit cards is good for your credit score, and as we will see, it can be, but overall, it can be a detriment.
The more times you apply for credit and an inquiry or footprint is made on your credit report, it can reduce your credit score. This is not good.
So you want to limit the number of times you apply for credit.
How multiple credit cards can help your credit score is in your over all amounts you owe.
Additional credit cards can improve your utilisation rate by increasing your overall credit limits, the amount of credit that is available to you.
If you have 2 credit cards, each with a credit limit of £3,000, and each with a balance of £2,000, you are nearing your credit limits.
If you have 4 credit cards, each with a credit limit of £3,000, and owe £4,000 in total spread across all four (4) cards, this is less damaging to your credit score, as you are not nearing your maximum available credit.
Credit card companies have ways to limit how many accounts you may have, besides looking at affordability and qualifying for the new cards.
Some banks will not let you open new accounts within a set time limit of your last account, or they may not let you have accounts with high credit limits with them. They are looking to reduce their risk/exposure should you default.
So you can have as many credit cards as you wish, however, there are some checks and balances in place to insure we do not over-extend ourselves too far.