How many credit cards to have & how to find the best one!
The average American carries 3.5 credit cards in his or her wallet. Each of those cards offer different rates, different rewards, and may carry different fee structures.
But do you really need that many cards? Depending on your lifestyle and how and what you spend your money on, it may be to your best interest to focus on carrying and using two credit cards that offer maximum rewards for your particular lifestyle.
But how do you know what’s the best credit card for YOU?
Before we dive deeper into some specifics of how to find that “ideal” credit card, please know that unless you use credit responsibly and pay off the entire balance every month, you won’t get the optimal results from using your credit card, and you may actually end up in more debt than intended. This post is meant for those of you who understand the dangers of credit who simply want to learn how to use credit to your advantage, instead of letting credit use you!
There are a few really good sites that, within a few minutes, can help you identify the best card out there for your financial lifestyle.
Credit Card Tune Up is one of those sites that will help you determine the best credit card strategy, based on your monthly expenditures.
All you have to do is specify the amount of money you spend in each of their 16 budget categories, and you’ll receive a long list of credit cards with information about the amount of rewards you could potentially receive in a given year, if you used nothing but that particular card. The site has direct links to the credit card application to make it a one-stop shop!
In Mvelopes, the Envelope Spending By Month Report will put this information at your fingertips in just a few clicks!
If you’re not ready to answer detailed questions about how much you spend and on what budget category, nerdwallet may be a better option for you. It will compare over 1700 different credit cards and offers to help you find best rewards, cashback, gas points, or miles card.
All you have to do is choose the type of credit card you’re most interested in and specify the monthly amount you’re expecting to charge on the card, and you’ll get a list of best options to choose from.
If you love details and want to see a detailed summary of rewards, interest rates, reward limits, and fees, all in one place, then this is a great site for you to browse.
Depending on what type of credit card you’re looking for, creditcards.com will have a list of some rewards cards listed with lots of detailed information as well as a direct link to apply.
So, why would you go from using 3 or 4 cards to just using two? Because this is your best chance for earning maximum rewards instead of getting a few miles here and a few cashback dollars there. Since some of the cards “cap” the rewards, you can create a plan to maximize both of your cards so every dollar you spend earns you additional benefit.
If you have a solid budget, you can decide to charge your regular monthly expenses on your card and pay your charges off, either weekly or daily, by doing a direct payment from your checking or savings account to the credit card. This way, you’ll be sure not to overspend beyond your monthly budget limits and to avoid any potential interest charges.
So be responsible and start earning rewards for what you already spend money on as part of your month-to-month budget!