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Can I get a 2nd credit card?

If you’ve already got access to credit with one credit card you may struggle to understand why some people would want another one. There are definitely upsides to having multiple credit cards though, and not just because it means access to more credit. Having a couple of credit cards and using them responsibly can look positive on your credit history report, which may make it easier for you to borrow in the future.

However, having too many credit cards can reflect negatively on your credit history and you may also find it trickier to keep track of your borrowing.

Let’s take a look at how having more than one credit card can affect you and how you can still manage your borrowing.

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Having more than one credit card

There’s no limit on the number of credit cards you can have in your wallet. It all depends on what you want to use them for and how you as a borrower manage your credit. Having multiple credit cards means you have to make sure you know how much you owe on each one and have the funds to cover several repayments each month – which may be going out on different dates. That’s a lot of multitasking!

If keeping on top of multiple expenses is something you struggle with, you may be at risk of simply forgetting about one of your credit cards and missing a payment as a result – which could mean paying extra interest and charges. If you know you’re not great at juggling different payments, it’s probably best if you have just one or two credit cards.

“Credit cards offer more than just credit – different cards also have different benefits...”

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Benefits of multiple cards

It sounds obvious, but the main benefit to taking out a second credit card is that you’ll have access to more credit. This gives you more spending power, so if you can’t cover the cost of your new fridge-freezer on one card, for example, you might decide to split it over two.

You also might want to have a second card as a ‘back-up’ credit card, in case of an emergency. It means that if you’re already managing payments on the first card, you’ll still always have access to credit if you need it.

Although less of an issue these days some people like to have both a MasterCard credit card and a VISA one, in case stores accept one but not the other.

However, credit cards offer more than just credit – different cards also have different benefits. For example, you may want to take out a 0% credit card so you can make purchases without paying interest (providing you clear the outstanding balance before the deal ends). Or you could choose to add a rewards credit card to your wallet, so that you can collect air miles or supermarket points each time you spend money on it.  Some cards are particularly good if you go abroad regularly as they have no extra charge for overseas transactions.

Having a couple of credit cards can also be a good thing for your credit history - as long as you’re managing them responsibly of course. Any potential future lenders will see that you’re able to deal with a larger credit limit and make all of your repayments on time, which could help to stand you in good stead if you’re thinking of taking out a loan or mortgage.

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Managing your borrowing responsibly

Your multiple credit cards will only have a good effect on your credit history if you’re able to use them responsibly. If you know you’re the sort of person who’s likely to be tempted by access to a large amount of credit, it follows that you may find it difficult to restrain yourself and not rack up a huge bill by spending more than you can afford to repay.

If you’re going to borrow on more than one card at once, it’s important that you stay on top of your repayments for each of them. Set a reminder on your phone to alert you ahead of the payment date for each so that you don’t miss any. It’s also a good idea to set up Direct Debit or Standing Order, if your card issuer allows you to, to cover the minimum payments for each credit card, so even if you’re unable to pay the full balance, at least you know that you’ve paid the minimum without having to worry or ever having a missed payment on your credit history.

Still want more information on getting an additional credit card? Read part 2 of our guide here

Know if you're accepted before you apply with QuickCheck

  • Get credit - up to £1,500
  • QuickCheck won’t affect your credit rating
  • Get a fast response in 60 seconds

34.9% APR Representative (variable)
Intelligent Lending Ltd (Credit Broker). Capital One is the exclusive lender

Check Now