If you already have one credit card, you may be considering applying for another. Before you do so, you’ll want to carefully weigh the pros and cons, as well as your individual financial situation. Here are four pros and cons to know before you apply for multiple credit cards.
Pro: You’ll Earn More Rewards
One main advantage of having multiple credit cards is the ability to earn more rewards from them. Different cards will offer different rewards including miles, cashback, and/or points. By putting more money on these credit cards, you’ll have more rewards to take advantage of and could rack up more points if you’re smart about how you use it. For example, if credit card A offers more rewards than the other if you use it at a particular local gas station but credit card B has more rewards at the grocery store, you can really use the two cards to your advantage and get more money or rewards than you would have previously.
Con: You Can Get in More Debt
One of the biggest cons of multiple credit cards is an obvious one: it’s easier to wrack up more debt and get in serious trouble. This is especially the case if you’re already in debt. To avoid this, make sure you’re staying within a budget. Only put expenses on a credit card that you know you’ll be able to pay off at the end of the month. This will help you avoid accruing more debt while taking advantage of the rewards.
Pro: You’ll Have a Backup Card
In an emergency, having a backup card is nice. If, for example, your debit card and credit card are through one bank, and their system goes down, you could find yourself unable to pay for groceries. If you have a second credit card from a different bank or credit union, you’ll be able to use that other card. This is also the case if your first card is declined for any reason or compromised.
Con: You May Experience a Drop in Your Credit Score
If you apply to too many credit cards too quickly, you could see a drop in your credit score. This can be a bad sign to lenders and credit bureaus, and make them think you’re in financial trouble and need cash fast. You will also get dings as each application will require the lender to pull your credit.
And although two credit cards will increase your available credit limit, if you have high debt on both these cards, you will experience a drop in your credit score.
The Pros and Cons of Having Multiple Credit Cards
It’s essential to think about your own financial situation before getting your first credit card and this is still the case with every other credit card after. You will want to weigh just how much you can afford each month, the rewards the new card will offer, and how you will benefit by getting additional cards. You should come up with a plan to ensure you won’t get in trouble with debt and interest by taking on multiple cards.