The other day a reader wrote in and asked “is it bad for my credit rating to have an inactive credit card? I prefer to only use one and use the back up card only if I misplace the one I regularly use”.
I replied “Good question. It’s not so much as it is bad, but rather it means you are not optimizing your credit score – and this could matter if in the future you need something significant credit wise.
I often suggest to people to exercise their unused cards once every six months or so and to avoid mishaps when they get home that night, pay the amount in full from online banking. It could be as simple as a gas or grocery purchase.
That will keep your credit history happy, and not really affect your day to day strategy.”