If we all could start over with our credit cards, many would agree that they wish they had stayed with just two credit cards. The average credit card user has anywhere from five to ten credit cards. The constant juggling of paying several credit cards, and with them all due at different times of the month, can become simply unmanageable.
Ideally, you really only need to have two credit cards. The first credit card would be one of a low interest and have a low, or no annual fee. You will want to stash away this credit card and never use it. This is your emergency credit card for large purchases. The purchase will have to be large enough that you wouldn’t be able to pay it off immediately or even within a few months. This card can really bail you out of a financial tight spot. However make sure you do not get penalized for not using the card. Some credit card company’s charge an inactivity fee or even hike up your rate when the card is not being used.
The second credit card you should own should be a type of rewards or perks type of credit card. This card would be used for your everyday purchases and to even to pay bills with. This credit card should have a program where you earn incentives the more you use the card. This incentive should be something you would surely use like airline miles, hotel rooms, gift cards, or even earn cash back. Some cards offer a combination of rewards. Of course you still need to take into consideration the terms of the credit card, like the APR and fees. The main objective here is to pick a credit card that offers rewards that you will use. This would be the card to use to pay your cell phone bill, internet connection, cable, and gas for your automobile, etc. You could even have it set it up to have most monthly expenses be directly billed to the card.
Some of the rewards-based cards have a maximum reward limit you can reach. If that happens, you could move onto another type of perk program on another card if you wish. The goal would be to maximize the rewards and use them. Also, be sure to look over your monthly statements thoroughly. Terms on credit cards and their reward programs can change frequently. You do not want to be stuck with not being able to reap the benefits of the reward card, if it is no longer offered. If your reward program changes it’s terms or dissolves completely, move onto another rewards-based credit card as soon as possible. Look over your statements diligently in case this should happen.
In a perfect credit card using world, this is how credit cards should be used. One low-interest credit card, for the unexpected large purchase item or service, should be obtained and one card to use for everyday and for monthly bills, so you may take advantage of the rewards program.
When looking at credit card offers, keep these tips in mind. If you are new to obtaining and building credit, aim for just two credit cards if possible. If you are rebuilding or consolidating your credit and starting over, aim for this goal as well. It’s never too late to learn to use your credit cards wisely.