Why I Keep 26 Credit Cards


image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

image courtesy of James Barker at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I just counted and I have 26 active credit cards. Adding all the card credit limits, I have a total of $319,900 in available revolving credit. But I pay off my balances every month and do not use credit cards to finance anything I buy. So what is the point of having all those credit cards? Well, let me tell you.

Credit cards give me financial flexibility. Like the time I bought a Subaru Forester with a credit card check because my own funds would not become liquid and available for a few days.

Credit cards give me unintended discounts on major purchases. Like the $135 I got last Fall as cashback rewards on a $9000 roofing job.

Credit cards give me a higher FICO credit score (currently 831, according to DiscoverCard). Because having more credit cards showing on-time payment records means getting a higher credit score. And because having higher aggregate available credit compared to your combined owed balances means getting an even higher credit score.

Credit cards give me an additional level of financial reserves. So that all my reserves do not need to be in cash. And that frees up more of my cash for investment.

Credit cards give me lower “street risk”. Because having them means I never carry more than $50 in my wallet.

Credit cards give me a last resort “get-out-of-Dodge” option. Because with or without cash, I can go anywhere and do anything at a moment’s notice.

Credit cards are not the enemy. Misusing credit cards is the enemy. And you can reap a lot of benefits from having credit cards as your friends. Think about it.

#             #             #



  1. Twenty something credit cards has an ugly downside and it is called identity theft. I work in the credit card industry and the amount of fraudulent transactions is staggering. I’d limit the number of cards to 2 or three unless you want to spend your life unraveling a mess should you fall prey to identity theft.

    1. I have not had the kind of problem you describe. Once in a great while, I’ll spot fraudulent charges on a credit card, but a phone call to the issuer solves the problem right away — with a new card on its way to me ASAP and with no financial liability. The thing is, every time that has happened, I have KNOWN that the stealing of my credit card info occurred at some retail store/restaurant when I relinquished my credit card to a clerk who took it out of sight. And that can happen no matter how many cards you have or don’t have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top