Is a 1 credit card wallet right for you?

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There are pros and cons to sticking with one card.

Key points

  • Different credit cards offer different benefits.
  • While charging all your expenses to one card can make it easier to track your expenses, you could also lose out on various benefits.

Some people have a policy of charging all of their expenses to one credit card. Other consumers can use up to 10 different cards – or more – at any given time. If the thought of having to juggle multiple balances seems overwhelming, you might want to stick with just one credit card. But is it the best decision?

The advantage of a single credit card wallet

The best reason to stick to just one credit card? You’ll have an easier time keeping track of your expenses and keeping track of your monthly payments.

Suppose you bill everything from cable to gas to groceries to the same credit card week after week. If you want to make sure you’re not going to overspend, you can just log into your account and see what your balance looks like. You will not have to add this balance to other balances.

Also, if you only use one credit card, you can put its payment due date on your calendar and avoid getting into a situation where you are late with your payments. If you decide to use six or seven credit cards at a time, you will have to manage six or seven payment due dates.

The downside of a single credit card wallet

Sticking to one credit card may seem like an easy solution. But in doing so, you might miss some rewarding benefits.

Say you have a credit card that gives you extra cash back for gas and groceries, but doesn’t come with travel perks, like free checked bags on airlines. These are economic advantages that you should not give up so quickly, especially if you travel a lot.

Additionally, different credit cards come with different categories of revolving rewards. So, let’s say your card offers extra cash back at department stores and restaurants at certain times of the year, but there are no hardware store bonuses. If you are a new homeowner and are planning to do a lot of work on your property this year, it might be beneficial to find a credit card that Is have a period during which hardware purchases earn extra cash back.

Finally, you may shop frequently at the same retailer. If you get a credit card for this retailer, you can get special discounts, like 30% off purchases during promotional periods. If you stick to one credit card, you’re unlikely to take advantage of store-specific benefits.

What’s the right call?

If you’ve struggled with managing multiple credit card accounts in the past, then sticking to just one credit card might be a good bet. And if the credit card in question offers many advantages, you may not miss much.

On the other hand, sticking to just one credit card could mean losing the opportunity to save money. It pays to consider expanding your credit card collection, even if you choose to do it slowly.

If you’re used to using just one credit card, you don’t have to switch from that to a plush wallet. But going from one credit card to two or three might not be such a bad decision.

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