Credit card offers are everywhere: in your mailbox, at your favorite retail establishments, from your bank and essentially any other public venue in which credit card companies can gain access to you. Their offers are also incredibly convenient. As sensible as it may seem to sign up for a credit card at those stores where you are most likely to make purchases, there are many downfalls to accumulating an array of credit cards.
Obtaining a location-specific credit card only encourages spending. The so-called benefits of credit cards entice you to make purchases that you would not have originally made, and credit cards may possibly promote spending at other establishments as well. Unfortunately, no reward is going to cover the cost of the interest you’ll pay for the debt you incur.
Your wallet can quickly become overloaded with credit cards, but if you’re not using them, what is the problem? Cards may be reserved for “emergencies” or “special occasions,” but if you are not a daily or even a weekly user, it is entirely possible that you would never know if they were missing. Others will have no qualms about making purchases with your credit card, and by the time you get the bill at the end of the month, the damage could already be done.
The solution to both the aforementioned problems is simple: Credit cards should not be carried with you unless you intend to use them. Rather, they should be stored safely where they can be easily accessed only by you, such as in a lockbox or a small locked cabinet. A wallet or purse is not considered to be safe storage, because credit cards can be lost, stolen or misplaced all too easily. Having a safe location for your credit cards ensures that you will not make poor spending choices, but it will also help prevent your cards from being stolen.
If you have not done a credit card check of your wallet or purse, do it now. Make certain that you have all of your credit cards. Then take a moment to make a list of the appropriate numbers to call if you do need to report a card lost or stolen. If a credit card is missing, immediately contact the issuing company. Cancel the card and alert all three credit bureaus. If you don’t regularly pay with the cards, don’t put them back in your wallet.
There is no need to regularly carry multiple credit cards with you. It places you at risk for impulsive spending as well as loss of property. It is highly unlikely that you need all of your credit cards for your daily purchases, and if so, we need to have a serious talk about managing your credit. Save yourself the trouble and store credit cards somewhere safe.