This post originally appeared August 27, 2015 on CreditCards.com as “Credit card advice for a ‘debit card kind of guy’“
By Barry Paperno
Dear Speaking of Credit,
Hello, I am in a dilemma, and constantly get different advice. Here is the scoop. I have four open bank credit cards, three with Chase, one with American Express. Of those, I just now started to use the American Express, and one of the Chase ones. The other two are dormant for a couple years. They both have a low credit limit. I was always a debit card kind of guy, since I found spending money I have is easier to manage than spending money I don’t have.
In addition to these cards, I have four cards from department stores. I got them when I was younger, since opening a credit line got me a discount on the purchases (pretty stupid, I know). But with large purchases it made sense.
Now I have a total of eight cards. I was thinking of closing all the department stores ones. They all, however, have a high credit limit. I was told that closing those cards will damage my credit score significantly. Please let me know what I should do. I would like to downsize to only two, maybe three cards, but closing five would probably damage my score. I don’t have any debt, besides for my student loan, and I just finished paying off my car a couple months ago. Any advice will help, and thank you in advance. — Jacob
As your comments suggest, there seems to be no shortage of conflicting information out there about how many cards you should have, whether you should close some of your cards if you have “too many,” and whether closing cards will help or hurt your score. As such, I don’t blame you for being a “debit card kind of guy,” though now, for some reason, you appear to be headed back to also being a “credit card kind of guy.”