Why Should You Open a Second Credit Card?
A second credit card can offer a lot of benefits, especially if you're in the right place financially. But, before you fill out that application, take an honest self-assessment and ask yourself if this sounds familiar.
You've been managing your expenses well and paying bills on time. You've also paid either the entire balance on your existing credit card or at least significantly more than the minimum each month. Generally speaking, you're okay with an occasional splurge when you can afford it, but never go overboard.
If that sounds like you, here are some potential advantages of having a second credit card, and why you might want to apply for one.
Lower Interest Rate
It's been easy to check off payments for small monthly purchases like dinners out or online subscriptions. But now that you're planning a cruise vacation, replacing your appliances, or making another big purchase, you might want more time to pay off the balance.
You might consider getting a second credit card with a lower interest rate to use for times when you need to carry a balance. If the credit history you've built with your first card has earned you a good credit score, you may now qualify for a card with a better rate. For a one-time, high-end purchase you can pay for in a few months, look for a card offering a zero percent introductory rate. Just make sure you don't extend the big spending beyond the introductory period.
You probably know a lot more about your own spending habits and shopping preferences than you did when you got your first credit card. However, you may now prefer a card that offers benefits to match your habits.
If you travel frequently, you might look for a second credit card that provides auto rental coverage, airline miles, and hotel points. Or, save more money with a card that gives you cash back on the kinds of purchases you make most often. Choose a credit card that can provide additional benefits. For example, with the Key Cashback® Credit Card, you'll receive Cell Phone Protection from Mastercard when you use the card to pay your phone bill — keeping you covered if your phone is lost or stolen.
An additional credit card may also give you more shopping options, since some merchants may not accept certain types of cards.
Higher Credit Score
Contrary to the myth that having too many credit cards puts an automatic ding in your credit score, it's a factor with a relatively minor impact. Credit bureaus assign 10 percent of your credit score to the total number of credit accounts you have. Besides credit cards, that includes car loans, student loans, mortgages, and store accounts.
In the right circumstances, a second credit card can help raise your credit score. That's because the new card will increase your total available credit. If you keep your spending in check, you'll have a lower debt-to-credit ratio — something credit-scoring bureaus look at favorably.
For the consumer with a manageable amount of debt and a good credit score, the convenience and financial benefits of a second credit card are worth exploring.