Young man holds his credit card in one hand as he sits at a desk with a laptop

Should you get a second credit card?

Last Updated: October 4, 2023
3 min read

Key points about: the benefits of having two credit cards

  1. You can enjoy low introductory interest rates and bonus rewards offers by signing up for a new credit card.

  2. You can earn more rewards with a second credit card, like cash back rewards on eligible purchases.

  3. By getting another credit card, you can increase your available credit, which, if you keep your balances low, can help improve your credit score.

Chances are that you know someone with a wallet full of credit cards, and if you’ve been getting by with just one, you may wonder if there’s a good reason to get a new card.

While multiple credit cards may not be right for everyone, you may consider some of the benefits of having two credit cards.

You can take advantage of introductory offers for new cardmembers

Some credit card companies offer low to 0% introductory interest rates on purchases and balance transfers for a limited time. These kinds of introductory rates can help you manage a large purchase and pay down credit card debt quicker using a balance transfer—transferring the credit card balance from a higher interest card to a new credit card with a lower interest rate. And if you pay off your purchases and the balance transfer amount during the promotional period, you can save on interest charges by getting a second credit card.

Before signing up for a second credit card to utilize a balance transfer offer, pay close attention to:

  • When the special rate ends
  • If there are any balance transfer fees
  • The interest rate for regular purchases (which may be different from the interest on the balance transfer)

You can earn more rewards

Another good reason to get a second credit card is to take advantage of its perks. 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 a new card, consider what type of rewards card would benefit you most, such as cash back rewards or miles for every eligible purchase. 

Did you know?

By getting a second credit card, you may be able to earn bonus rewards, such as extra cash back rewards for the first several months you have your card. Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.1

You can build a stronger credit history

If you’re looking for ways to build a good credit history, getting a second credit card may help. For example, if you pay your balance off in full and on time every month, a second card could help you improve your payment history and increase your available credit by lowering your credit utilization ratio—your total balance compared to your total credit limit across all your credit accounts—two major factors that go into your credit history and credit score.

You can establish a relationship with a second card issuer

There comes a time in many borrowers’ lives when their current credit card company may no longer meet all their financial needs. If you want to expand your borrowing options beyond your current credit card issuer, applying for a second credit card with a new credit card issuer can help.

You can have a backup credit card

Have you or someone you know had a credit card lost, stolen, or even broken in half? If you’re in this situation and only have one credit card, you may have to make all your purchases with cash or a debit card until the problem gets resolved. A second credit card can be a convenient backup if your other credit card is unavailable or unusable.

How many Discover® Cards can you have?

As a Discover® Cardmember, you can have two different credit cards. And Discover credit cards let you earn rewards on each eligible purchase, from cash back rewards to miles for travel and more. If you’re considering a second credit card, you can fill out a pre-approval form to determine which Discover credit card you may qualify for. 

Whatever your reasons for wanting a second credit card, remember to research and compare the credit cards you’re considering to find the best credit card for your current financial situation and lifestyle.


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