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How to manage multiple credit cards

Keep track of payments and rewards for each of your cards.

It may seem convenient to have different cards for different purposes but it can also be challenging to manage them all – and it may cost you more in the long run. At worst, multiple credit cards could lead to debt. But having multiple cards could earn you rewards and save you money.

This guide looks at the different reasons people use multiple cards, how to manage them and what to do if you want to cancel some of them.

How to manage multiple credit cards

If you have or want to use several credit cards, keeping the following tips in mind will help you make the most of each account.

  • Give each card a purpose
    To get the most benefit from your cards and their perks, pay attention to where they shine. For example, use an airline credit card to earn points redeemable for flights or seat upgrades, but use another card with no foreign transaction fees for your actual travel overseas.
  • Be deliberate with timing
    If you make a purchase that you know you’ll need more time to pay off, use a card that has the lowest APR. Focus on paying those off, without making any additional purchases.
  • Change your statement due dates
    If you struggle to keep up with monthly due dates on all your cards, some providers let you request payments dates. Some people prefer to pay all their credit cards on the same date. Others like to space it out over the month. It could be helpful to align due dates with the date they get paid.
  • Set up automatic payments
    Autopay is a set-it-and-forget-it program that can help you stay current on your monthly payments. You can either pay the full amount, or pay what you can afford. Making consistent on-time payments helps build your credit.
  • Regularly review your credit card costs
    Having multiple credit cards can be expensive when you factor in annual fees, interest charges, and other costs that could apply for each account. If you can’t justify the expenses of one or more of your cards, consider canceling them and sticking with the ones that are working for you.
  • Check your credit score
    Multiple credit cards can work for or against your credit score. On one hand, if all your credit accounts are in good standing, having access to a large amount of credit could boost your score. However, carrying high balances on multiple accounts could negatively affect your credit.
  • Compare credit cards
    Multiple credit cards can work for or against your credit score. On one hand, if all your credit accounts are in good standing, having access to a large amount of credit could boost your score. However, carrying high balances on multiple accounts could negatively affect your credit.

Compare credit cards

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
RBC Cash Back Mastercard
N/A
Up to 2% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get 2% cash back on grocery store purchases, and up to 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases and pre-authorized payments.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee for nine months.
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
35,000 points
Up to 2 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$139
Min. recommended credit score: 750
Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that’s up to $350 towards travel). Apply by July 4, 2022.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn an extra 10% cash back (up to $100) on up to $1,000 of everyday purchases in the first 2 months Until May 31, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card
10% cash back
Up to 4% cash back
9.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get 10% bonus cash back at eligible restaurants and bars for the first 4 months (up to $500 spend). Plus, get a 9.99% introductory annual interest rate on purchases for the first 6 months.
RBC Avion Visa Infinite
55,000 points
Up to 1 point per $1 spent
19.99%
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get up to 55,000 Welcome Points. Get 35,000 points on approval and 20,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 in your first 6 months. Apply by September 16, 2022.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card
5,000 points
Up to 5 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Earn 5,000 bonus Scene+ points when you spend a minimum of $750 on eligible purchases in the first three months as a new SCENE Visa cardholder. Apply by August 31, 2022.
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Name Product Balance Transfer Rate Balance Transfer Fee Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
BMO CashBack Mastercard
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
1%
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee for nine months.
Tangerine World Mastercard
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
3%
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn an extra 10% cash back (up to $100) on up to $1,000 of everyday purchases in the first 2 months Until May 31, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
1.95% for the first 6 months (then 19.95%)
3%
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn an extra 10% cash back (up to $100) on up to $1,000 of everyday purchases in the first 2 months Until May 31, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
3.99% for the first 9 months (then 12.99%)
1%
12.99%
$20
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get a rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
BMO Rewards Mastercard
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
1%
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 725
Get a bonus of 10,000 BMO Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 1% fee applies to transferred balances.
BMO AIR MILES Mastercard
1.99% for the first 9 months (then 22.99%)
1%
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles (enough for $80 towards purchases with AIR MILES Cash). Get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 1% fee applies to transferred balances.
Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card
0% for the first 6 months (then 22.99%)
N/A
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Earn 5% cash back on all purchases for the first 3 months (up to $2,000 in total purchases). Plus, get a 0.00% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months with no balance transfer fee. Apply by August 31, 2022.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card
35,000 points
Up to 2 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$139
Min. recommended credit score: 750
Earn up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that’s up to $350 towards travel). Apply by July 4, 2022.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
45,000 points
Up to 5 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ points in your first year (that's up to $450 towards travel). Apply by July 4, 2022.
American Express Cobalt Card
30,000 points
Up to 5x points per $1 spent
20.99%
$155.88
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in net purchases on your card (up to 30,000 points).
BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard
60,000 points
Up to 5x points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 60,000 points and get the $150 annual fee waived in the first year.
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege
90,000 points
5 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$499
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 90,000 welcome points in your first year.
Signature RBC Rewards Visa
N/A
1 point per $1 spent
19.99%
$39
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Earn 1 RBC Rewards point for every $1 you spend on qualifying purchases, plus earn bonus points through purchases at select retailers.
American Express Aeroplan Card
50,000 points
Up to 2x points
30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full each month
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 50,000 welcome bonus Aeroplan points. New Cardmembers can earn up to $1,100 in value within the first year.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Cash Back Rate Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Reward Description
Neo Financial Mastercard
Get $25.00
Average 5% cash back
19.99% - 24.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
RBC Cash Back Mastercard
N/A
Up to 2% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card
10% cash back
Up to 4% cash back
9.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Earn 10% cash back on dining experiences when you spend up to $500 in your first 4 months.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
Neo Secured Card
15% cash back
5% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
RBC Cash Back Mastercard
N/A
Up to 2% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get 2% cash back on grocery store purchases, and up to 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases and pre-authorized payments.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee for nine months.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn an extra 10% cash back (up to $100) on up to $1,000 of everyday purchases in the first 2 months Until May 31, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
Simplii Financial Cash Back Visa Card
10% cash back
Up to 4% cash back
9.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get 10% bonus cash back at eligible restaurants and bars for the first 4 months (up to $500 spend). Plus, get a 9.99% introductory annual interest rate on purchases for the first 6 months.
Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card
5,000 points
Up to 5 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Earn 5,000 bonus Scene+ points when you spend a minimum of $750 on eligible purchases in the first three months as a new SCENE Visa cardholder. Apply by August 31, 2022.
Neo Secured Card
15% cash back
5% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn bonuses like 15% cashback on your first purchase at most partners, and earn an average of 5% cashback at thousands of partners and at least 1% cashback guaranteed.
OFFER
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn an extra 10% cash back (up to $100) on up to $1,000 of everyday purchases in the first 2 months Until May 31, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
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1 - 3 of 3
Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Reward
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
12.99%
15.99%
$20
$15,000
Take advantage of an introductory balance transfer offer, annual fee waiver in the first year, and low purchase and cash advance interest rates.
Get a rate of 3.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 1% transfer fee. Plus, get the $20 annual fee waived in the first year.
Scotiabank Value Visa Card
12.99%
12.99%
$29
$12,000
Save on interest for 6 months by consolidating your higher-rate balances with the balance transfer offer, and get an on-going 12.99% interest rate on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
Get a 0.00% introductory interest rate on Cash Advances for the first 6 months. Plus, pay no annual fee in the first year. Apply by August 31, 2022.
National Bank Syncro Mastercard
8.90% or prime + 4.00%
12.90% or prime + 4.00%
$35
N/A
Enjoy low purchase interest, cash advance and balance transfer rates.
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How many credit cards can you have?

Technically, you aren’t limited in how many credit card accounts you can have open. When you apply for a new card, an issuer is looking at factors like your debt-to-income ratio and credit score when deciding whether you qualify. The number of credit cards you have doesn’t necessarily affect this.

There are a few caveats however. Some issuers will limit your ability to apply for a new card if you’ve opened too many accounts within a certain period of time. Some banks will also limit the number of cards you can have open with them.

Is it good to have multiple credit cards?

Having multiple credit cards can be useful, especially if you pay your balance on time and use the perks. However, if you find it hard to pay your balance on time, or if the annual fee is too high, having multiple credit cards could be a liability. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons before you get another card.

Why do people have multiple credit cards?

There are many reasons someone might end up with more than one credit card. Usually, it comes down to why they have chosen a particular product, with different credit cards designed to suit specific needs.

Reasons to have multiple credit cards

Here are just a few of the benefits of having several cards in your wallet:

  • Earn rewards through different programs
  • Earn more frequent flyer miles
  • Take advantage of bonus point offers
  • Pay down credit card debt faster with a 0% balance transfer rate
  • Save money on spending with a 0% purchase rate offer
  • Take advantage of different complimentary extras available with premium credit cards
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees when traveling or shopping online with an international retailer

Reasons to limit your credit cards

There are also some reasons you might choose to limit the number of cards you own:

  • It can prove difficult to juggle multiple cards. Forgetting payments can hurt your credit score.
  • Applying for cards can lower your credit score. Applying for credit cards results in a hard pull on your credit, which affects your credit score. Applying for multiple cards in succession can put a big dent in your score.
  • Having a lot of credit is tempting. You might spend outside of your means if you’re not disciplined with your credit line.

Credit card consolidation

If you find yourself struggling to manage multiple credit card debts, or if annual fees are becoming too expensive, consider consolidating your accounts. If you have cards with no balance, you can simply close those accounts. But if you want to close an account with a balance, there are two main options for credit card consolidation:

  • Consolidate your debts with a new balance transfer card. Balance transfer credit cards offer a low or 0% interest rate for existing card debts when you move them to the new account. You can consolidate several cards with a balance transfer, as long as you have a credit limit to support it. Then you can cancel your old cards so that you have fewer accounts to manage and pay. To make sure this new card works for you, check the purchase APR and the annual fee.
  • Transferring card balances to an existing account. If you don’t want a new credit card and are looking to downsize your wallet, you can transfer balances to a card with a lower APR to one you already have. Just call the issuer with the lower APR and request a balance transfer. You may not get the 0% rate you could get with a new card, and may end up paying a 3% to 5% transfer fee.

Bottom line

Multiple credit cards can offer a wide range of benefits, but keep each account in good standing and cancel any that aren’t working for you. If you still haven’t found the right card to complement your wallet, check out other credit card options and compare them.

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