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Too many empty credit cards?

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I have an HSBC credit card, two Barclays credit cards (one Platinum and one former Egg) and - as of today - an Amex cashback credit card.

Until now I just occasionally use the HSBC card (it's the easiest one to use as it's on the same online banking site as my current account) and pay it off in full each month. Now I plan to keep this as an emergency card and use my Amex for all spending to get cashback (paying off in full each month, of course).

I have no debts apart from my small mortgage.

I almost never touch the other two cards. Does it do my rating any harm having unused credit cards? Should I close one or both?

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  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 32,054 Forumite
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    It depends how much total available credit you have.
  • JakeGreen
    JakeGreen Posts: 168 Forumite
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    If you don't use the cards you may find that they will reduce the limit on those cards or close the account as there is a cost involved with keeping your account open.

    They can also charge you a fee for not using the card.
  • specialhat
    specialhat Posts: 182 Forumite
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    molerat wrote: »
    It depends how much total available credit you have.

    In comparison to my salary?
  • specialhat
    specialhat Posts: 182 Forumite
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    JakeGreen wrote: »
    If you don't use the cards you may find that they will reduce the limit on those cards or close the account as there is a cost involved with keeping your account open.

    They can also charge you a fee for not using the card.

    They haven't done either of these things in the last couple of years, so hopefully that means they won't.
  • DonnySaver
    DonnySaver Posts: 565 Forumite
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    Get rid of the 2 cards you don't use. If you keep them the it could effect applications for future credit simply because of the total amount of credit that you're exposed to. For example, 4 credit cards each with a limit of 5k means to a future credit provider that you've got the potential to go 20k into debt already. Therefore, they will see you as more of a risk than someone with just 2 credit cards of 5k each.
  • specialhat
    specialhat Posts: 182 Forumite
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    That's the way I was swaying, Donny. It seems fairly pointless having them open unless it's benefiting me in some way.
  • moocowone
    moocowone Posts: 65 Forumite
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    DonnySaver wrote: »
    Get rid of the 2 cards you don't use. If you keep them the it could effect applications for future credit simply because of the total amount of credit that you're exposed to. For example, 4 credit cards each with a limit of 5k means to a future credit provider that you've got the potential to go 20k into debt already. Therefore, they will see you as more of a risk than someone with just 2 credit cards of 5k each.

    Also, as an existing customer, you may miss out on some of the best offers in the years to come.
  • specialhat
    specialhat Posts: 182 Forumite
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    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    I am going to close the ex-Egg one, and maybe both.
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