Many individuals have credit cards. Before the very end of last year, I only had 1 card. I used this credit card a lot, but I never carried a balance on it. I used it mainly to build my credit. I was doing something wrong when it came to my credit card usage though. I used a credit card that earned me no rewards points whatsoever.

Why would I do that? I never really even thought about it. Then in December of last year, I signed up for my first rewards card. It gave me $300 for signing up and also gives me a percent back. And then before I knew it, I signed up for another rewards card. This one gave me either $800 in free flights or $500 in gift cards.

Yes, you can guess it. I was addicted to signing up for credit cards, mainly for their rewards. I then signed up my significant other for a rewards card also (it was a card for him of course, not me).

This means that I now have three credit cards and he now has one. While this may not seem like a lot, it is definitely a jump from when I had only one credit card for my whole life, and he had zero.

For us, credit cards work just fine, but for others, it might not. Credit card debt seems to keep growing in the world, and there are a lot of intimidating debt facts out there about bankruptcy, defaults, foreclosures and so on.

Credit cards are not always bad. I usually tout the positives of credit card usage (such as how they help build credit). They can increase your monthly cash flow, be used as an emergency fund (I do believe individuals need an actual emergency fund as well though), and you can also earn great rewards points with credit cards.

So, how do you know if you have too many cards?

1. You lose track of how many you have.

Are you able to check your credit card statements on some sort of normal basis? I check my credit cards (yes, all 4 of ours) at least every other day. Usually it is every day though. Checking often will then allow you to easily keep track of your expenses, and will also allow you to find any mistakes which might’ve been made by either you or the store/company who swiped your card.

2. You sign up for literally every single reward credit card.

Do you sign up for every single reward card just to qualify and earn the reward? Sometimes it may not be worth it to sign up for that credit card because you are most likely making a negative ding on your credit report.

3. You can’t even pay the minimum payments.

If you cannot pay the minimum payments on your credit cards, then you might want to switch to a different basis (such as cash) so that you can manage your money better. Also, if you’re not making payments because you forget that you even have the card, then you probably have too many.

Do you have too many credit cards?




Michelle Schroeder is the founder of Making Sense of Cents and Diversified Finances, a personal finance and lifestyle blog about budgeting, traveling, life, and student loans. Read further on her story and life.