QUESTION OF THE DAY, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23, 2021

neely

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When I was young, just graduated college and got my first real full-time job I couldn't wait to get a credit card. At that time there weren't universal credit cards like there are now but rather credit cards for different department stores. I must have applied for at least five or more cards. However, as I got older I realized having more cards could affect my credit score so I discontinued all the cards and now only have two.

Like the commercial goes, "WHAT'S IN YOUR WALLET?"

So for today's Question of the Day - HOW MANY CREDIT CARDS DO YOU HAVE?
 

NY cat man

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I have one credit card that is reserved for emergencies only, and a separate prepaid debit card for any online purchases. I pay cash for 99% of everything.
 

Willowy

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When I was 16 my mom got me a prepaid Visa card so I could start building credit. Then I applied for one of each brand as soon as I was old enough because it amused me, lol. I still have them: one each of Visa (NFCU), Mastercard (Citibank), AmEx, and Discover. I also have a Costco Visa, which is the one I use the most (best rewards), and a Kohl's store card. I use each one for a tank of gas about once every 6 months so they won't cancel them, but really I only use the Costco Visa for in-person charges and the Mastercard for online purchases. I only charge what I can pay off every month (except for rare emergencies of course) because I hate paying interest.

I don't carry cash; I use cards for everything. I'm not comfortable with debit cards having direct access to your bank account. . .if the card is lost, your account can be drained and there's not much you can do about it before the fraud team clears it up. Even so I do have a debit card, but I only use it at the ATM when I need cash (very very rarely). I don't like to carry it around on a regular basis.

Once I pay off the mortgage I want to get another mortgage to build a new house, so I don't want to cancel any cards before that because it'll lower my credit score. Maybe after that I'll cancel a couple, idk.
 
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MoochNNoodles

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One credit that gives cash back and one department store (Kohls).

Years ago DH and I paid off $25k in credit card debt from a “business venture.” Never again!! We lived cheaply off DH’s income and put everything I made into paying that off. Then into saving for our house.

We have done a few mattress store card financings; but only 0% ones that were paid before the 0% time was up.
 

denice

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I have two credit cards and a debit card. I have a few automatic things that go onto credit cards, I rather do that then have them come out of my checking account. A few unexpected vet bills have gone on a credit card but I have managed to pay them off when the bill comes. It has been years since I last carried a balance on a credit card. Sometimes I get blindsided by an annual subscription fee but I still pay off the balance and cut back a little to get through the month. I do not want to get in the habit of carrying balances on credit cards.
 

misty8723

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I understand it's not how many you have, it's how much debt you have in proporation to how much you could have if you maxed them all out. I have accumulated quite a few over the years, store cards and bank cards, but I try to use them strategically and never carry a balance.

I never really trusted debit cards for a variety of reasons, so I would go into the bank whenever I wanted to get cash. Then they changed their hours and I couldn't get over there in time after work so I caved and got one that's attached to a small savings account and not my checking account.

Some things I have automatically put on a credit card, usually because I get a discount for doing it (Verizon gives me $5 off monthly bill, for example.

The main card I use is my cash back Visa from BoA, but I use Target when I shop in that store (5% off), Walmart Visa when I shop Wamart (cash back), Amazon Credit card when I shop Amazon (5% back), etc.

My credit score is excellent.
 

Winchester

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Two credit, one debit. And one store card. We never carry a balance on credit, unless it’s on the store card and then only if it’s a situation where we can pay it off within 6 months with no interest. Other than that, if we can’t just buy it, we don’t need it. When Rick bought our fridge last week, he put it on a credit card, simply to get the points. But then, he paid the bill promptly. We don’t like credit, if we can avoid it.
 

Willowy

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When I was 16 my mom got me a prepaid Visa card so I could start building credit.
I should clarify---it was a secured card. Secured cards build credit; prepaid cards don't.
I understand it's not how many you have, it's how much debt you have in proporation to how much you could have if you maxed them all out.
The amount of time you've had the account matters too. So closing your newest card would have little effect, but closing your oldest card would probably ding your score pretty badly, unless you had several others the same age.
got one that's attached to a small savings account and not my checking account.
Ooh, that's a good idea, that way if it got stolen there wouldn't be much they could take.
 

Jem

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I only have one credit card where (at certain stores) I can collect points to be able to redeem for free groceries/products. I only use it for groceries and online purchases. I pay off the entire balance, before any interest charges can start to accrue. Otherwise, I have my debit card or use cash.
 

NY cat man

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I should clarify---it was a secured card. Secured cards build credit; prepaid cards don't.

The amount of time you've had the account matters too. So closing your newest card would have little effect, but closing your oldest card would probably ding your score pretty badly, unless you had several others the same age.

Ooh, that's a good idea, that way if it got stolen there wouldn't be much they could take.
That's why I only keep a couple hundred dollars on my debit card, and also keep it strictly segregated from our checking and savings accounts, so as to limit any possible damage.
 

bear

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There can be advantages of multiple cards. However, I encourage each to be paid off monthly.

This is for U.S. and not provided as Tax or Legal Advice: Examples where I have found individual cards to be of benefit include:

Handling funds that are not wholly owned by you. One example would be when you are the Successor Trustee or Trustee of a non revocable trust. You want spotless tracking of any income/expenses, and the card can help. By providing access to the history as an audit trail this helps move you up from being "honest" to the higher level of being "trustworthy". The assets are held by the Trust, yet they are for the benefit of the Beneficiaries. An impeccable audit trail of transactions will also help in filing the Trust's Fed, State & local taxes. You may also need these solid records to prepare and provide K-1 tax forms to the Beneficiaries.

Rental Properties, to track income/expenses to prepare Schedule E tax forms and to share with potentially other partial owners.

Businesses, to track income/expenses to prepare Schedule C tax forms and to share with potentially other partial owners including silent partners.

Non Profit Organizations, Use of Credit/Debit cards can help track and later audit expenses. This can help remove concern over co-mingling NPO finances/moneys with Volunteers.
 
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bear

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Each situation may be different. Yet I have migrated to credit cards and have fewer debit cards. Check with your provider to see if these reasons apply to your cards.

Reasons I favor credit cards:
* Some credit cards doubled the time frame for some warrantees. However this benefit is disappearing lately from some offers.
* If you have had fraud on a debit card, you probably found out it is more difficult and takes more time to resolve than if it occurred on a credit card.
* You can ask to have the credit limit lowered on your credit card,, which can help control fraud.
* If your debit card is attached to a high balance account, it could all be sucked out by a talented fraud ring.

Reasons I favor debit cards:
* Prefer one for a small cash account that has the largest ATM network.
* I keep my max daily ATM withdrawal limit low. Use a gun to force me to try to withdraw $500 and it will likely set off an alarm. Wave at the cameras.
* I keep the associated accounts balance low to limit effects of fraud. Also no automatic transfers if account is overdrawn. Reduces opportunities for crooks from draining multiple accounts.

As a retired IT specialist that helped with security, All of my bank accounts are locked to online transactions (unless I previously authorize them via ACH in person).

What do you do to limit risks?
 

MonaLyssa33

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I have 3, I think. One I haven't used in a long time because I got it to get a discount on the tires I was buying (and I also didn't have the money upfront to buy 4 new tires), so once I paid it off, it wasn't really something I could use anywhere else and now I'm not sure if it is still active or not. The other two are just a general credit card and for Home Depot which has also been nice since I've been able to use it for emergency house problems like getting a new water heater and then new carpet to replace the stuff that was damaged by the old water heater.

I also have a debit card but I don't count it since it's for the money in my bank accounts and not actually credit.
 
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