How Many Credit Cards Should You Have?

iQuanti: Credit cards open up plenty of financial opportunities, whether by building your credit score, helping you earn rewards, or offering other perks.
At the same time, however, using them incorrectly can lead to excessive debt, credit damage, and stress.
Thus, many are left wondering how many to get. Is one enough? Is it possible to have too many?
Below, we’ll answer these questions so you can maximize the benefits of your cards while cutting your risk.
Why Should I Have Multiple Credit Cards?
There are three broad reasons why multiple credit cards could be a good idea.
Credit Score
Credit bureaus use five factors to determine your score, and credit cards help you with two of these (aside from paying your cards on time).
For one, more cards means a higher overall credit limit. This helps you keep your credit utilization ratio (total credit balances compared to total credit limits) lower, thus boosting your score.
Additionally, having more accounts can help you out by diversifying your credit mix.
Lastly, having multiple credit cards over a long period keeps your credit age high as you take on new debts down the road. This only helps your score.
Reward Potential and Perks
Not all cards have the same rewards rates or perks.
First of all, there are two main types of rewards cards: travel credit cards and cash back cards.
Travel cards can either be general travel cards (which award you for any travel purchases) or co-branded airline cards (which award you with miles and perks when using specific airlines). 
On the other hand, cash back cards offer rewards that are easy to redeem for shopping or, well, cash.
Every credit card offers unique cash back benefits. For example, some provide 5% cashback on quarterly rotating categories and 1% on anything else. Others may offer a single rate on all purchases.
To maximize your benefits and perks, it may be a good idea to at least get cards that offer the following:
But if that seems overwhelming, choosing one of the best travel credit cards and a cash back credit card with no annual fee is a great place to start.
Balance Transfers
Lastly, you may want to open a new card (thus adding to your cards) to consolidate debt with a balance transfer. 
Can You Have Too Many Credit Cards?
There’s no magic number of cards that’s “too many.” However, you do have too many if you can’t pay your bills and your opening new credit cards because the old one’s maxed out.
Also, even if you’re financially stable, opening too many at once racks up credit-damaging hard inquiries. Card companies and other lenders may even turn you down if they see too many hard inquiries in a short time. This is because having so many in a short period can make it look like you’re struggling, even if you aren’t.
What’s more, having more credit cards could potentially increase your risk of someone stealing the card (or you losing it) or even your identity. Some cards come with protections against these, but it will still cause you a lot of undue stress.
The Verdict
Ideally, each of your cards should have a purpose. If each card offers different benefits or rewards, then that’s fine, even if it means you have a stack of cards. Strike this balance correctly, and you’ll maximize your financial benefits while minimizing the risks of having credit cards.
Source: iQuanti, Inc.