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View Poll Results: How many total credit cards/debit cards to keep in wallet/purse?
0 - what's a credit or debit card? 0 0%
1 - simple enough 21 14.79%
2 - a primary and a backup 43 30.28%
3 - a primary, and two backups 50 35.21%
4 - four or more, the more the merrier 24 16.90%
5 - other, there's always an other option 4 2.82%
Voters: 142. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-14-2012, 08:59 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
However, we have quite a few open credit card accounts - some were opened just to get the incentive bennies ($$). If we close the newer ones once the bennies have been gained, will that affect our credit rating up or down?

Amethyst
My understanding is the impact is small. Less total credit for purposes of calculating the total amount of credit utilized, and in a few years they drop off the report, which may impact the average age of your accounts (always keep your oldest no-fee card open for this reason).

That said, if you pay your bills and don't have any major loans to be originated on the horizon, who really gives a rip about your credit score. If you don't pay your bills, then your score probably sucks and worrying about how to swing it by 50 points may matter more.

My understanding is the inquiries for new cards dings you a bit in the short term, but in the long term its not a big deal.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:20 AM   #42
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1 credit card (Penfed Visa) and 1 bank debit card. Everything except purchases at Aldi goes on the credit card and it is paid off each month. The debit card is for Aldi (they don't take credit cards) and the occasional ATM withdrawal (no more than about once every three months as I rarely carry cash).
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:50 AM   #43
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For a long time I just carried the PenFed VISA with the cash rewards and used it for everything. Also carried a ING debit card for an account that we add to monthly and use only for medical expenses. But then I'd carry the Discover or Chase if they had some sort of quarterly or monthly rewards promo that applied to our purchases.

In the last few months I've changed my tactic on grocery shopping. I go to Aldi a couple of times a month so I started carrying a debit card for the checking account. Then I stopped shopping at the national chain (full service and selection but pricey) grocery store and instead I've been shopping at a local discount grocery that only takes checks, cash and Discover card. I used to hate going there but they've really expanded their selections, especially the deli and produce and I'm finding almost everything I need there at a good price.

I didn't mind jumping though hoops to gather rewards points here and there, I kind of enjoyed it. But the stores I'm frequenting lately don't take the PenFed VISA and DH found all of this rewards chasing to be overcomplicated. So for the month of May we are using cash only. Everybody accepts it and it's easy for DH. So far, so good.

We are still using the PenFed for gas, since paying cash for gas is just plain inconvenient and I'll still get the 5% points.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:47 PM   #44
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I voted 4, but it's not "the more the merrier". Instead it's one debit card, and three credit cards. They are used for different things obviously.

I use the debit card to get cash from my ATM

One credit card is for my personal account

One credit card is a joint account for wife and I

One credit card is our LLC business account
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:33 PM   #45
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I usually carry two credit cards (visa, AmEx) and one ATM card, and some cash. When on the road I usually carry more cash and keep some in the briefcase.
Me too (mc and visa) with a debit/ATM card. I also carry some loose bills (usually around $50 worth) and a hundred dollar bill for emergencies.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:01 AM   #46
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I know it sounds weird, but I have more than 5 credit/debit cards in my wallet right now for personal expenses + 1 card for business expenses. I hope to keep 2 of them only after I FIRE.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:30 AM   #47
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I have three... but only for specific reasons... I have:
My primary credit card that I use for everything.
My banks debit card that I only use to get cash from my bank's ATMs
A debit card from Fidelity that reimburses ATM fees that I use when there is no ATM from my primary bank around.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:25 AM   #48
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I only routinely carry one credit card but I also keep a couple of hundred bucks in cash in my wallet. I think I have 6 credit cards total but 3 are department store specific.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:18 AM   #49
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1 Debit/ATM card linked to my credit union. 1 AAFES credit card, because I live near a major military base, plus my intended travels after retirement will many times put me in proximity of a military installation. So far, besides sparing use of the AAFES card, I haven't needed a "real" credit card in the 4 years since I paid them off & shredded them. I only use the AAFES card now & then, and just to keep some kind of credit activity in case I decide to finance a house or something.... Seems that zero credit activity makes it difficult to get credit....?
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:16 AM   #50
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1 Debit/ATM card linked to my credit union. 1 AAFES credit card, because I live near a major military base, plus my intended travels after retirement will many times put me in proximity of a military installation. So far, besides sparing use of the AAFES card, I haven't needed a "real" credit card in the 4 years since I paid them off & shredded them. I only use the AAFES card now & then, and just to keep some kind of credit activity in case I decide to finance a house or something.... Seems that zero credit activity makes it difficult to get credit....?
I haven't had a credit card for fourteen years, and paid off my mortgage six years ago. The last time I checked my credit score was in the 800's and I get solicitations for credit cards in the mail a lot. So, I guess that zero credit activity hasn't been as harmful as rumored. On the other hand, I really don't care because I have no intention of borrowing money again under any circumstance. I guess if I did, I might do exactly what you are doing.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:27 AM   #51
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On the other hand, I really don't care because I have no intention of borrowing money again under any circumstance.
Can you tell me my future?
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:13 PM   #52
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I have more than I thought.
Debit card from the credit union that I only use for atm.
Costco Amex. Love the cash back on that. Just got an annual check yesterday.
Debit card from Schwab - use that when I'm travelling because they refund ATM charges and the credit union has a limited fee-free network. They even refunded the pricey european atm charges.
Capital One Venture visa - miles plus they have the no-surcharge on foreign exchange. I'm close to reward tickets, so for the moment I'm using it more than the amex.

I carry no balance - everything is paid in full each month. But I assume that's typical of this board.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:22 AM   #53
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I haven't had a credit card for fourteen years.
I am amazed that you can get by without one! How do you book into a hotel, check in, rent a car, book a flight.......have you completely stopped doing all those things?
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:45 AM   #54
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I am amazed that you can get by without one! How do you book into a hotel, check in, rent a car, book a flight.......have you completely stopped doing all those things?
No, I haven't. For all of these types of transactions and others I use my debit Mastercard, which has to be accepted anywhere that accepts Mastercard, at least here in the U.S. I don't know if that is true outside the U.S.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:24 AM   #55
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When travelling, I take 2. One primary and one back up. When at home country, usually 2 or 3 depending on the promotion shopping offers associated with the cards.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:40 AM   #56
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Mine are simply a function of history. Escape by Discover is my main card. VISA is my backup/internet purchases card.

I also have a Sears Mastercard (bot a widescreen at Sears many years ago) and an Amex (to preserve my Membership Rewards points when I retired) and a Discover Cash Back (predecessor main card to Escape by Discover that i never cancelled).

I carry them all in my wallet but I'm not sure why since only a couple get used regularly.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:40 PM   #57
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Amex
Visa
Mastercard
Debit Mastercard for CU
Debit/Credit for HSA...haven't figured it out yet
Usually have ~$50 in cash...mainly for farmers market
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:29 AM   #58
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Visa rewards primary
MC rewards backup
Amex for Costco
Debit Interac for home
Visa Electron debit for Mexico
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