But there’s a growing trend of people carrying five, 10, even 15 or more cards to maximize their benefits and make a lot of money.
Jason Steele said he has about 20 credit cards, which might seem like a lot, but not for Steele.
Steele is a writer and credit card expert who specializes in travel rewards, so opening and using new credits cards is part of this job.
“It’s certainly possible to make maybe a $1,000 a year from your rewards,” Steele said. And you can earn even more if you choose miles over money.
Steele said he flies several times a year for free using his credit card points.
Here’s how his system works.
There are four main categories for credit cards: travel, restaurants, groceries and gas.
Steele will research which credit cards offer the most points in each category and will get at least one or two credit cards for each of them.
He also has a few credit cards that feature rotating categories that might feature a category like “Groceries” and offer as much as 6% back for an entire month.
Steele also has a few generic credit cards that offer a steady percentage of around 2% on everything you buy.
He’ll use those credit cards for every purchase that doesn’t fall into one of the four categories, things like insurance or a cell phone bill.
And he also keeps an eye out for new credit cards that are giving away a significant amount of points for first time customers.
“There’s been a lot of cards recently with 100,000 or even 150,000 bonus points or miles for new accounts,” Steele said.
He’ll do that a few times a year, cashing in on those first time offers.
He said some people will then cancel the card once the introductory bonus is over, but Steele says the credit card companies don’t like that and they may not give you offers in the future.
And it could affect your credit score.