Should I Get a Second Credit Card?
Chances are that you know someone with a wallet full of credit cards, but if you’ve been getting by with just one, you may wonder if there’s a benefit to adding another card.
While multiple credit cards may not be right for everyone, you may consider these reasons for adding another credit card:
Utilizing a money-saving balance transfer offer
You’ve probably seen these offers on a website, billboard or even in the mail. A credit card company offers a limited time, low interest rate on your credit card balance — if you transfer it to a new card with them.
A balance transfer to a card with a lower interest rate may help you save money on interest if you carry a current balance on a credit card at a higher rate. Before signing up for a second credit card to utilize the balance transfer feature, pay close attention to:
- When the special rate ends
- If there are any balance transfer fees
- The interest rate for purchases you make with the card (which may be different that the interest on the balance transfer)
In case one card is lost or stolen
Have you or someone you know experienced having a credit card lost or stolen — or even broken in half? When you’re in this situation, you’re faced with the hassle of making all purchases with cash or a debit card until the situation gets resolved. A second credit card can serve as a convenient backup if your main card is unavailable or unusable.
For rewards, cash back or discounts
Another good reason to get a second credit card is to take advantage of the perks it offers. Maybe when you applied for your first credit card you only qualified for a basic, no-frills type of account that offered few extra benefits. It could be that now you qualify for a card with a higher limit and various rewards.
Before applying for another card, think about what type of rewards card would most benefit you — travel miles, cash back and discounts on purchases are some of the rewards that could be available.
For the opportunity to build your credit
People looking for ways to build good credit may choose to get a second credit card in order to potentially improve their credit utilization ratio — your total balance compared to your total credit card limit. If you’re vigilant about paying your balance off in full and on time every month, a second card could lower your utilization ratio as your total credit card limit would increase.
To establish a relationship with a second financial institution
There comes a time in many borrowers’ lives when their current financial institution may no longer meet all their financial needs. When you’re expecting to soon have larger or more complex borrowing needs than your current credit card lender offers, applying for a second credit card may provide the opportunity to start a relationship with a new financial institution.
Whatever your reasons for wanting a second credit card, remember to research and compare the credit cards you’re considering to find the one best suited for your current financial situation and lifestyle..
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