How to choose the right one for you

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  • Opening a second credit card is a great way to diversify your rewards earnings.
  • Identifying your goals and spending habits can help you choose the second card that’s right for you.
  • Choosing a card with a substantial signup bonus can boost your rewards.
  • Read the insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

For most of my life I have only had one personal credit card. I was strict about this because I figured having just one credit card would help keep me on track to make sure I wasn’t spending carelessly or piling up debt. .

It’s also something my parents instilled in me at a very young age. My mom always told me that if I didn’t have the money to pay me something, it shouldn’t be charged to a credit card. Because of his words of wisdom, I was strategic and calculated on my credit card spending and my use of a single card.

Read more: The best rewards credit card is different for everyone, and the best choice for you depends on 2 things

While it was hard to avoid the temptation of retail stores, credit card companies, and loyal friends to whatever card they want, I managed to turn down some big rewards offers and probably lost a lot of money. but stick to one credit card for so long.

However, now that I have been able to take full control of my finances and feel ready to get a second credit card, I want to make sure that I choose one that fits my overall goals.

If you’re looking for the best second credit card, here’s how you can determine which card is the right one to open.

Understand your goals

Regular APR

15.99% -22.99% Variable

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  • Advantages and disadvantages

  • Details

  • Advantages
    • A high sign-up bonus allows you to start with a lot of points
    • Strong travel coverage
    The inconvenients
    • Does not offer credit for the Global Entry / TSA PreCheck application fee
    • Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $ 4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening the account. It’s $ 750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
    • Enjoy new perks like an annual $ 50 Ultimate Rewards Resort Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on meals and 2X points on all other travel purchases, and more .
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airline tickets, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $ 750 for a trip.
    • With Pay Yourself Backâ„ , your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits for existing purchases in selected and rotating categories.
    • Get unlimited shipping with $ 0 shipping and reduced service fees on qualifying orders over $ 12 for at least one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate before 12/31/21.
    • Count on Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance, Rental Car Collision Insurance, Lost Baggage Insurance and more.
    • Get up to $ 60 off an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access subscription until 12/31/2021 and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running , strength, yoga and more. Take lessons using a phone, tablet or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

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    The very first thing to understand is your reasoning for getting a second card. Are you doing this because you want to earn a big welcome bonus to use for another financial goal (travel points to plan a honeymoon or a cash reward to partially cover a big purchase)? Or maybe you want to have two credit cards that you use for different reasons throughout the week, or realize you have one or two expense categories that aren’t fully rewarded with your current card.

    Learn more: 3 Reasons You Should Double Your Credit Cards From The Same Loyalty Program: From Getting Rewards In More Categories To Getting Better Perks

    For example, my main expense category is food (restaurants and grocery stores) and my current credit card doesn’t give me a lot of points for that category. If I have a second credit card, I might get one that gives me 3-5% cash back on that category of spending.

    Once you know your reason for buying a second credit card, you can continue to plan your strategy to make sure you pick the right one.

    Identify upcoming purchases

    Plan for any upcoming or future purchases that this new second credit card might come in handy. For example, if you’re looking to plan a big vacation, get a travel rewards credit card – like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – with a big bonus and additional rewards for booking travel using the card. , and a portal (which only credit card users have access to) that helps you get additional discounts on flights, hotels, and rental cars, would be a good idea to save you money.

    Read More: Guide to the Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

    If you buy big ticket items (furniture, car parts, kitchenware) and want to offset those purchases with cash back, knowing this will help you further determine which card is best for you.

    By looking at your current portfolio of credit card rewards juxtaposed against your future spending, you can see which type of second credit card will add even more value to your life.

    Featured credit cards from our partners
    Featured Reward

    60,000 points

    Credit needed

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    3 free nights (each worth up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases and 10x total points on qualifying purchases in certain categories

    Credit needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    $ 200 after spending $ 500 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account

    Credit needed

    Good to Excellent

    Consider diversifying the rewards

    I became frustrated with my current JetBlue card as it only earns points that I can apply for traveling with JetBlue. I feel limited and only earn 2x the points in restaurants and grocery stores.

    I want a second credit card that offers very different rewards, so I have variety in what I earn.

    Read more: The 4 Types of Credit Cards Everyone Should Have to Diversify Rewards and Benefits and Enjoy Travel Protections

    If you already have a credit card that gives you strong travel rewards and it not only gives you great perks when planning a vacation, but also allows you to earn a fair amount of points with your daily spending , you might want your second credit card to give you very different rewards – and vice versa if you have a cash back card and no travel benefits that come with it.

    Take an inventory of all the rewards and perks offered by your current card, then look for other types of offers available (flexible points cards, cash back cards or a co-branded card for an airline or hotel chain. that you are traveling with).

    Look for a big signup bonus

    Once you have an idea of ​​what type of credit card you want to use, spend some quality time researching the one that meets all of your goals, but also includes a great introductory offer.

    These bonus rewards are only available when you open a new card and meet a certain spending requirement, so you want to make sure you get a substantial offer, without sacrificing any of your rules (e.g. using a credit card which has an annual fee if it’s something you don’t want).

    Read more: Credit cards offering great rewards with sign up bonuses of 100,000 points or more

    Be sure to check out the latest offers available for the credit cards that interest you before making your final decision to open your second card.

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