Are you concerned that your obsession with credit cards might have turned you into a credit card junkie? Of course, the word junkie could have positive and negative connotations. On one hand, those who are unable to control their spending and are in trouble with credit card debt are embodying the worst definition of the term junkie. But on the other hand, there are credit card enthusiasts like me who are always looking to maximize the benefits they derive from their cards, and minimize their costs. A credit card junkie like me savors the benefits offered by credit cards, while using them responsibly.
Here are six signs that you too might be the good kind of credit card junkie.
1. You get excited by big sign-up bonuses.
While the rest of the world is annoyed by the overwhelming number of credit card offers they receive online and in the mail, you might be a junkie if you like getting these offers, and you closely examine them in order to find the best ones. But if you’re like me and you get really excited by the most generous offers, then you are definitely a junkie.
2. You can’t help but notice other people’s credit cards.
When I go out for dinner with friends, we typically split the bill, using our credit cards. While most diners will gloss over this formality, I can’t help taking note of which cards my friends are using, and perhaps starting a conversation and compare credit cards if they have an interesting card. If you ever find yourself doing the same thing, you may be a credit card junkie.
3. You make a calculated decision every time you choose which card to use.
While most people will use a single card for nearly every purchase, and some might have a second or third card to earn extra bonuses for specific categories of purchases, a true credit card junkie is just getting started. For example, I might use a different card for airlines, hotels, gas, groceries, restaurants and office supplies, since some credit cards have rotating 5% cash-back categories that change. (The Chase Freedom and Discover it credit cards are good examples.) Or I might, have another card that I am using when trying to meet its minimum spending requirements for a sign-up bonus. And when I leave the country, the whole calculation changes as I insist on using a card equipped with an EMV smart chip and no foreign transaction fees. If you spend more than a moment of your time trying to decide which credit card to use for which purchase, then you’re probably a credit card junkie.
4. You are thrilled by new credit card announcements.
Let’s face it, the introduction of a new credit card will never be quite as exciting to most people as the announcement of the latest smartphone, the unveiling of a new sports car, or the premier of a big movie. Yet for credit card junkies like me, a new product announcement is filled with possibilities. What will the rewards be for spending? What unique benefits will this new card provide? And most important, how great will the initial sign-up bonus be? If these are the questions that leave you awake at night, then you are probably a credit card junkie. (If you’re a rewards junkie, you might want to check out picks for the Best Cash-Back Credit Cards in America.)
5. You know the lingo.
If you don’t work in the credit card industry, but you still use some of the slang, then you might be a credit card junkie. So if you call up your friends to tell them about a new card “that’s EMV equipped, has no FTF, and features an LTO for 50k points with a 1k min spend,” then you and your friend are probably a credit card junkies (For the record, such a card would be equipped with an EMV smart chip, no foreign transaction fees, and a limited time offer for 50,000 points after new cardholders spend $1,000, presumably within the typical three-month timeframe.)
6. You’re wallet is bulging.
Do you have so many credit cards that you have trouble fitting your wallet in your pocket, or does it take up too much room in your purse? If you feel the need to carry a dozen credit cards around with you, then you can certainly count yourself among us credit card junkies.
To be a credit card junkie, it takes a great credit score in order to get approved for the best credit cards on the market. You can see where your credit scores stand for free on Credit.com and track any changes month to month.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
More on Credit Cards:
- Credit.com’s Expert Credit Card Shopping Tips
- An Expert Guide to Credit Cards with Rewards
- How to Get a Credit Card with Good Credit