Credit Cards

Do I Have Too Many Credit Cards? October 2023 Update

If you’ve been on my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m pretty into credit cards.

From signup rewards to cardholder benefits to spending rewards, I try to squeeze out as much value as possible from my credit cards, and I’m always looking out for great deals.

In this past quarter, there were some great deals, and I signed up for 3 new credit cards.

1: UOB Lady’s

A few months ago, UOB announced that their Lady’s cards were no longer for ladies only – men could apply too, and I did.

I didn’t get any signup rewards for applying for this card since I’m an existing UOB customer.

However, it offers 6 miles per dollar (6 mpd) for transactions made on your choice of bonus category until Feb 2024, which is the highest miles earning rate around.

While I don’t think the UOB Lady’s card is great as a standalone card, it works well when paired with my UOB Preferred Platinum Visa (PPV) card.

This is because the miles (UNI$) earned by both cards pool, which means I can redeem the UNI$ earned by both cards at the same time and only pay 1 transfer fee.

The UOB Lady’s card simply allows me to earn 6 mpd on some transactions instead of 4 mpd with my UOB PPV, boosting my total miles earning rate.

You can read more about my post on the UOB Lady’s card here.

2: OCBC Titanium Rewards

In the past 2 – 3 years, OCBC hasn’t been known to offer attractive signup rewards for their credit cards.

But over the past few months, I noticed them getting competitive in this space and started keeping a lookout for their promotions.

Last month, I noticed that OCBC was offering a 75cm Samsonite luggage as a signup reward.

I don’t have a suitcase of my own and usually borrow one from family members when I travel, so I found it a great opportunity to get one.

The OCBC Titanium Rewards (TR) card was also running a promotion that awards 6 mpd on shopping transactions instead of the usual 4 mpd.

I signed up for the card at the start of September, which was just in time to take advantage of the promotion for the 9/9 sale campaign.

I was already planning to make some big purchases during 9/9, so things fell into place quite nicely.

To make the deal even sweeter, I earned 0.60% bonus interest on my OCBC 360 account as I fulfilled the $500 credit card spending criterion for September.

At the time I applied, I could also see the OCBC TR having very specific use cases since it imposes an annual cap on bonus miles rather than a monthly cap like most other cards.

However, this has since changed with OCBC’s announcement of changes for the TR card starting in November 2023.

3: Standard Chartered Simply Cash

Standard Chartered has always offered pretty good signup rewards, but they weren’t too attractive to me.

This changed last month when they launched a promotion offering a $500 cash reward with card spending of $599 on their Simply Cash credit card.

This is probably one of the best credit card signup rewards ever, and after reading through the terms & conditions to make sure it wasn’t sketchy, I jumped on it.

The credit card itself is pretty lacklustre, awarding 1.5% cashback on eligible transactions with no minimum spending and cashback cap.

But the signup reward more than makes up for it.

How Many Credit Cards Do I Have?

With the addition of these 3 credit cards, the total number of credit cards I’d have is 8:

  1. UOB PPV (review)
  2. HSBC Revolution (review)
  3. Citi Rewards (review)
  4. AMEX True Cashback (TCB)
  5. CIMB AWSM (student credit card)
  6. UOB Lady’s
  7. OCBC TR
  8. Standard Chartered Simply Cash

How Many Is Too Many?

I don’t have a specific answer in mind, but I don’t think that 8 necessarily counts as “too many”.

In my case though, I do think I have too many credit cards because there are some that I don’t really use, so I ended up cancelling some.

Which Cards Am I Cancelling?

Recently, I ended up cancelling both the AMEX TCB and CIMB AWSM cards just so I’m not keeping too many credit cards that I don’t use.

When I first got the AMEX TCB card, I used it quite a bit – mainly for topping up my GrabPay wallet to double-dip on rewards to pay for transactions that don’t accept credit cards.

But with all the nerfs to GrabRewards over the past 2 years, I almost never use it anymore, and I have little use for the AMEX TCB card otherwise.

The CIMB AWSM card is arguably useless as far as credit cards go, mostly because it is a student credit card.

It doesn’t offer much, but I kept it around even after I started working because it was my oldest line of credit and I wanted it to bump up my credit score.

I had decided to cancel it sometime last year, but then I came across an excellent promotion offered only to CIMB cards, so I kept it around.

Ever since that promotion ended, though, there haven’t been any others like it, so I haven’t used the CIMB AWSM card in months.

This brings my credit card count down to 6, which still seems like a lot, but I actually use most of them quite frequently.

However, I do plan on thinning the ranks more over the next year.

I don’t foresee myself using the Standard Chartered Simply Cash card very often, so I might be cancelling that card within the year after my signup reward comes in.

The fact is that there will be very few times when it makes more sense to use it instead of any of my other specialised miles cards.

And, I might be cancelling my OCBC TR card as well given how the changes that will take effect in November make it almost obsolete.

For context, the OCBC TR card used to award 4 mpd on shopping and electronics transactions.

While this seems fairly limited in terms of categories to earn 4 mpd, its differentiating factor was that it imposed an annual cap on bonus miles for up to $12,000 of spending per year.

Meanwhile, other cards impose a monthly cap on bonus miles for up to $1,000 – $3,000 of spending per month depending on the card.

This meant that the OCBC TR had a niche where it could be used for big-ticket items like electronics and furniture.

But come Nov 2023, the OCBC TR card will no longer award 4 mpd for electronics, and it will adopt a monthly cap on bonus miles like all its other competitors.

The bonus categories for earning 4 mpd were also “revamped”, but it pales in comparison to the competition between UOB PPV, HSBC Revolution, and Citi Rewards (+ amaze).

All this simply means it will be collecting dust starting from next month, so there’s little reason to keep it around.

But of course, I will only cancel the card after I receive my signup reward as well.

Why Cancel Credit Cards?

Other than reducing clutter and getting rid of ones I don’t use, cancelling a credit card will also reset my “new customer” status for the bank assuming I don’t own any other credit cards with that bank.

This means that I will be resetting my “new customer” status for these banks – AMEX, CIMB, OCBC, and Standard Chartered.

So, in the future, I will be able to sign up for a credit card and receive a signup reward again if I wish.

Cancelling a credit card also removes the anxiety of whether I will be forced to pay the annual fee for the card or not.

Final Thoughts

I do think I have too many credit cards, though not by virtue of the number of cards I have, but by virtue of having cards that go unused for months on end.

I’ve gotten rid of the ones I don’t use and will continue to do so given that there are benefits to be enjoyed by cancelling credit cards.

How many credit cards do you have? Do you plan to cancel any? Let me know in the comments below!

2 replies on “Do I Have Too Many Credit Cards? October 2023 Update”

Hi Frugal Student,

First of all, I really want to send my appreciation for all these useful posts to widen my financial knowledge! I was once an ‘ illiterate‘ personal financial planner but I slowly gets better with bits and pieces of knowledge from your posts as well as other platforms. So kudos to your work!

Since this post is on multiple credit cards, I’ve seen people commenting on a new expense tracker app ‘Dobin’ which helps with the multiple-credit-cards-and-difficult-to-track-detailed-trends issue. Will love to see your thoughts and review on this new app ‘Dobin’ ☺️

Hey JY,

Thanks for checking out my blog and for leaving a comment!

I’m glad that you’ve found my posts helpful, I’m happy to have been able to help!

I’ve heard about Dobin as well, but personally, I’m not willing to risk any app having access to my bank accounts – even if they are only able to view records and not actually perform any banking-related tasks (as per their claims).

I don’t find it too difficult to track my expenses because it’s become a habit for me, but I understand that this might not be the case for everyone. I wouldn’t advocate for Dobin due to the reservations I have about it as stated above, and I’d still recommend people to find an app that doesn’t require tapping into bank accounts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *