How To Manage Credit Cards Effectively

I get asked often…how do I manage credit cards in such large quantities and pay them all off on time?

It’s really quite the simple system I have to manage credit cards, and it breaks down easily: physical management (i.e. what cards to carry around with me), and then monetary management

From a physical aspect: to manage credit cards, I keep a small, portable money clip wallet. I can fit maybe three credit cards in there (plus my two debit cards and ID). To manage credit cards, I keep the card(s) that I’m trying to meet a minimum spend on, as well as my most valuable “everyday spend” cards; such as my Citi Prestige or Premier. I manage credit cards, I keep everything else I have opened in a drawer on my desk.

From a logical, or monetary aspect: I use Mint.com (free) to monitor all the different amounts on the cards. I’m also incredibly obsessive, which you almost have to be to manage credit cards efficiently. I log in to every credit card every 3-5 days and simply pay the entire amount off. I never cut it close to the end of the month. And it’s not that time consuming to manage credit cards – because the majority of them are all linked to the same major banks; for example, if I have 5 different Citi cards – all accessible from my main Citi login as well as my actual debit/savings account I have with them.

If you open a card and forget about it…well, that’s kind of on you! When I get a new card it’s the only thing I use to buy anything (exception is cash on occasions where it’s appropriate) until I meet that spend. It should be easy enough to remember that.

I also keep an Excel spreadsheet of when I opened the cards and the spend I need to meet.

And then I use AwardWallet.com (free) to keep track of my different “points currencies” I have across all my accounts.

I know this all seems complex, but it is simpler than it looks.

Once you open your first card and get your first 50k bonus a light bulb will go off. You’ll think, “It can’t be this easy”, to manage credit cards and collect great awards, but – it really is.