Did I Really Just Add Two More Credit Cards To My Wallet?

I’m all about keeping it relatively simple when it comes to spending.  For the most part, I use two cards for purchases, a debit card that draws out of our bank checking account, and a credit card that I use for various spending categories, which pays 1% cash back.

It works well.  It is simple.  It allows me to keep on top of things on a daily basis if I so choose (I do!).

So, why on earth would I willingly add two more credit cards to the fray?   Why complicate my life?  Have I lost my personal finance mind?

Fear not, my sanity is still in check.

The reason is simple:

Five percent.

Yep, that’s right.  Five percent.  Both of the cards we just added give us 5% off our shopping trips at their respective stores.

That’s five percent right at the register.  No having to wait for a check to come in the mail with the 5% back.  No silly rewards program that makes you redeem it for something you may or may not use.  Nothing like that.  Just 5% off the second I swipe the card.

A lot of stores seem to be doing this, and truth be told, if I did it at every store I shopped at, I’d be adding a lot more than two cards.

But, we added the two cards for stores that we shop at regularly.

The two stores: Target and Lowe’s.

Target’s card rocks.  We don’t even have to pay a separate bill as theirs works as a debit card to our checking account.  The same checking account we use for just about everything else.  So, all we do is just pick a different card other than our bank’s debit card, the money still comes out the same way, it still shows up right on our bank ledger, with the only difference being that we save 5%.  We’ve settled on Target as the source of our baby formula, and we buy enough household items, that this will save us quite a bit.

We don’t shop at Lowe’s all the time, but there are enough trips throughout the year for little things (plus inevitably there’s at least one or two purchases over a couple hundred bucks over the course of the year) that this makes sense.  We have a Lowe’s very close to us.  I like the store.  They have good prices.  I know where things are.  If they can get a competitive advantage by offering 5% off, I’ll take it.  Theirs does work as a credit card, so I do have to keep an eye on it and remember to make a payment, but a repeating Google Calendar entry, and I’m reminded of that without fail!

As a side benefit, the application process for my Lowe’s card ensured me that my credit score is still top notch, as they approved me for a $12,000 credit limit!  I actually plan on calling them and asking that to be lowered as adding that much available credit could lower my score, but it’s nice to know that the credit agencies are still smiling down on me.

The way I look at it is that either store could cancel the 5% at any time, or change the terms.  If they do, fine.  It’ll be just as easy to stop using the cards as it was to apply for them.   But, we pay everything off every month so why not end up with a little extra in our pocket for buying things that we would be buying regardless?

Have you added any cards to your wallet lately where the offers are too good to pass up? 

9 thoughts on “Did I Really Just Add Two More Credit Cards To My Wallet?”

  1. Just yesterday I called to upgrade my Mastercard to a GOLD Mastercard, so I could get the bonus 400 Air Miles with doing so. And later today, I'm going to apply for a brand new American Express card, so I can get the 500 Bonus Air Miles for signing up.

    …I'm planning on taking a trip soon.

  2. I added the Target credit card a few months ago. We do our household shopping at Target because of these prices. Now we save even more (5%). The best part is the rebate is immediate!

  3. We have 3 standard cards that we use (each serves different purpose). We don't have any store cards other than Kohls. The target one is good, but we don't shop there enough to justify carrying another card. We don't carry the Kohls card, as we plan our shopping there so we take it only when we know we are going to go there for sure.

  4. one friendly advice, do not ever try to lower your credit limit, it will do opposite to what you think, lower your score. credit risk is determine by ratio of available limit to used limit. try to have as much as limit as store can afford. if you stay below 30% of your limit every month, you are good.

  5. I haven't tried to add any more cards lately, as I'm cool with the ones I have. That said, if you're already doing regular shopping at Target, the 5% deal seems pretty good!

  6. I didn't know that there were any store or credit cards that worked as debit cards! It looks like Target is giving you the best of both worlds!

  7. I"ve been meaning to get a Target card… but i'm waiting for my name to be changed first… but then we plan on getting one to save money.

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