Save Money One-card solution can swipe away card credit card overload
There is no “best” one credit card that is right for everyone. It depends on your spending habits, whether you habitually carry a balance and what kind of rewards you find most useful.
If you carry a balance: Credit card debt is expensive, so if you don’t always pay things off in full every month, prioritize a low interest rate.
If you travel frequently: Travel credit cards offer good rewards only if you travel often enough to use those rewards. If you don’t, a cash back card is the better option. Still, the extra conveniences that come with some travel cards, like free checked bags, can make these cards worthwhile even to occasional travelers.
If you spend a lot in one or two budget areas: Some rewards credit cards offer higher returns on things like groceries, gas or restaurants. Look for a card that will reward the way you spend.
If you’re concerned about fees: An annual fee on a credit card can be worth it, as long as the rewards are high enough to outweigh the fee. Premium travel cards, in particular, have high fees but generous rewards. For a good no-fee card, your best bet is probably a cash back card.
Before you pare your credit cards down to just one, think about your credit score. Closing older accounts reduces the amount of credit you have available, and lowers the average age of your accounts. Both of those things can lower your score. Having more credit cards also demonstrates that you can handle lots of credit, said Tracy Becker, president of North Shore Advisory in Elmsford, N.Y, which provides credit-building and monitoring services.
Becker recommends putting just one recurring bill, like a gym membership, on an older account and then setting up an automatic payment so you pay on time.