Should you get a second or third credit-card? Simple answer: No. Long answer No, why would you need a second-card?

There are several reasons that people give for getting a second credit-card:

  • Having a Visa and a Mastercard

Anywhere that accepts Visa credit cards also accepts Mastercard, you only need one or the other because either one will always be acceptable

  • Because you can

There are always offers in the post about being pre-approved for a new credit card from Bank X or Bank Z. The letter is designed to make you feel good, honoured to be asked. If you phone up the number on the letter you find that you are not pre-approved as in guaranteed to qualify for a card at all. All it means is that the company has your name and address.

  • Just in case

In case of what?

In case you lose your first card? If you lose your card you have probably lost it in your wallet, so if you have two cards you will lose both.

In case you run out of credit on your first card? If your first one is maxed out the last thing you need is another one, you would be better off paying off your first one.

  • Everyone else has three or four cards

More fool them. If the people you know flash all their cards to impress are you really impressed? Why would you be? You know how easy it is to get multiple credit cards and that you could if you chose to.

  • You need more credit

If you need more credit then ask for an increase in your credit limit. If you pay your bill on time your current card issuer will be more than happy to increase your limit, after all it means higher interest payments for them. The only question the company will ask you is what you intend to buy with the extra credit facility.

If you need more credit, then it is time to reassess your spending because you are adding more to your credit card than you can afford to pay off already and a bigger credit limit just means that when the judgement day comes you will have an even bigger debt to pay off.

  • There is an interest-free deal

This looks great and is a way of saving money if you have outstanding debts on your current card. In the long term it only works if you close the first account. You can use this grace period as an incentive to really pay back your debt over the interest-free period.

Interest free credit cards are only ever interest free for a few months and you need to consider the longer term interest rates unless you plan to switch again to another interest-free initial offer.

You can do that only so many times, especially if you close down the old account. Issuers use the initial 0% interest rate as bait and plan to make their money back over the next ten years. If you close accounts every time you take out a new card they will see the pattern on your credit report and will realise that you are not a good prospect profit-wise.

Of course you could always keep your old account open when you get a new card; this is actually better for your credit report, but beware because that way lies serious debt.

. . .

Get One Card

There are hundreds of deals on credit cards available. Different cards suit different people. Higher interest rate cards with air-miles or points awarded for purchases make sense for people who pay off their bills every month. The lowest possible interest rate is the most important factor if you leave any unpaid balance on your monthly credit card bill.

One card is easier to manage and keep control of, believe me.