H Credit Guide

How Many Credit Cards Can I Have

In theory, there is no limit

You can theoretically obtain as many credit cards as you like.

This is because when determining whether to approve your application, credit card issuers typically don’t consider the quantity of card accounts on your credit report. This assessment takes into account various factors, including your income, debt-to-income ratio, and credit score. But the number of cards isn’t a factor.

Additionally, contrary to popular assumption, having “too much available credit” doesn’t affect your credit score, at least not in this case. Thus, having a lot of credit cards won’t destroy your credit or prevent you from getting new credit.

However, bear in mind that you may be refused additional credit if you have a number of credit cards with large balances. However, in that instance, your excessive debt is the reason you are being turned down rather than having too many credit cards.

In practice, there might be a cap

Although there isn’t a strict cap on how many credit cards a person can have, different issuers have different guidelines and requirements for who gets approved and who doesn’t.

Credit card companies, for instance, are unlikely to grant credit to anyone indefinitely. Assume you possess three First Humongous Bank cards. Initially, Humongous releases a new card with a compelling rewards scheme, which you apply for. However, according to issuer policy, a cardholder cannot have more than $20,000 in open credit with the bank. Your application for the fourth card will be denied due to the total amount of open credit you have with that particular bank, not the number of cards you currently possess.

In that scenario, you could request a product change to switch one of your accounts over to the new card. Alternatively, you could get the new card by calling the bank’s customer service department and requesting that the credit limits on the other three cards be lowered. Alternatively, you could carefully close one of the cards. Just be careful.

Meanwhile, some credit card issuers have policies in place to weed out “churners”—individuals who apply for cards in order to take advantage of generous sign-up bonuses or other benefits, then promptly cancel the account. One example is the “5/24 rule,” which is implemented by one of the biggest credit card issuers in the nation.

Set your own limits

It’s not a good idea to go crazy and apply for every credit card that catches your attention, even though you can theoretically have as many as you like.

If you’re disorganized, carrying too many cards in your wallet can cause problems:

  • One reason is that having numerous cards makes it simple to forget to make a payment. This represents a serious issue as your payment history accounts for 30.5 percent of your FICO credit score.
  • Second, the temptation to use all that credit arises from having too many cards. It is possible that you are endangering your credit score if you use more than 200% of your available credit at any given time.
  • Third, your score may suffer if you apply for too many cards at once. Recent credit inquiries make up 10% of your FICO score, so applying for loans too quickly could hurt you.

Rules of thumb

Remember these pointers to stay sane in the crazy world of credit cards:

  • Only apply for credit you really need. For the benefits, there’s nothing wrong with using multiple cards at once. However, if you apply for a card each time there’s a significant sign-up bonus, things could go wrong.
  • Note down all of your payment deadlines in a calendar, either paper or digital. This way you won’t miss one.
  • Make and stick to a budget. This will keep you from overusing the credit you have.

The bottom line: There is no upper limit to the quantity of credit cards you can obtain. Your credit limit may be capped by a specific issuer, but having too many cards is not an issue. To keep your credit score in check, just make sure you set your own boundaries.

Find the right credit card for you.

The best credit cards available allow you to do both—earn more rewards and pay less interest. Simply provide your answers to a few questions, and we’ll focus your search.

how many credit cards can i have


Is it OK to have 7 credit cards?

The number of credit cards you have depends on how many you can manage. There is no ideal number. Having several credit cards lowers your utilization rate and gives lenders additional data to more accurately assess your creditworthiness.

How many credit cards can you legally have?

Although there isn’t strictly a limit to the number of credit cards you can own, it’s vital to take your financial circumstances into account and not go overboard.

How many credit cards can you have before it hurts your credit?

Along with other forms of credit, it’s generally advised that you maintain two to three credit card accounts at once. Keep in mind that your credit scores can be impacted by your debt to credit ratio and total amount of available credit. It could be challenging to remember to make monthly payments if you have more than three credit cards.

Is 12 credit cards too many?

The question of how many credit cards is “too many” has no clear cut answer. Instead, having several credit cards and using them can either improve or worsen your financial status. Everything is dependent upon how you handle your debts and credit card usage.

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