We have too many accounts, and I can’t handle the overwhelming feeling of clutter and confusion, even though they’re just sitting there minding their own business.
- 2 Checking Accounts (Bank of America is primary)
- 5 Savings Accounts (BoA, ING, HSBC, Citibank, and Emigrant Direct)
- 8 Credit Cards
And I know people with literally dozens of bank accounts and credit cards (i.e. another PF blogger). This particular blogger just received his 22nd credit card! However, he’s very responsible with them, but it’s just clutter! It’s 15 more things I have to keep track of in Quicken, online and physically (credit cards, account statements, tax information) than I need.
How can we get out of this mess?
Some gurus would just tell me “Mike, you need more cards because rewards change” and “Mike, you need more savings accounts because interest rates change”. I say IT HAS TO STOP!
Here’s my plan:
- Close BoA savings account. We have a few hundred dollars earning almost squat in interest. BoA has horrible savings rates, so that’s gone. We only kept it because we thought having a direct link to our checking would make things better in case of emergency. Well, in case of emergency, we will use a credit card and pay off the balance that month (and earn some rewards in the process).
- Close Citibank savings account. You may ask why. I ask “why not?”. I opened Citibank to get the extra $50. Well, they just paid out, so it’s time to close. I don’t want my money all over the place. They do have some local branches near my home and work, but I don’t touch savings unless I absolutely need it.
- Consider closing Emigrant Direct account. It’s still earning 5.05%, as is my HSBC account. But why have 2 of the same type of account?
- Consider closing GM card. I have about $650 earned on my GM Card that can be used to buy a new GM vehicle. I never use the card anymore, but I really don’t want to give up that much in rewards. I just don’t know if I’ll be buying any GM vehicle in the next few years before they would expire.
- Consider closing Discover Miles card. We don’t fly much. I don’t need the miles. I already have a Discover Platinum card. I just may need the balance transfer option if I don’t pay off our $10,000 in credit card debt (which is currently at 0%) before November.
- Consider closing BoA Visa card. As with the Discover card, I may need this card for any promotional balance transfer rates if I don’t pay off my CC debt by November. Also, it’s one of my older cards (not sure how old right now). But I never use this card for purchases, and it’s not a rewards card (as far as I know).
- Consider closing wife’s AT&T Universal Card. She never uses the card, unless she wants to buy me a birthday or Christmas gift without me seeing the receipt (not hiding the cost, just trying to make it a surprise). However, she could easily use cash as well (unless she’s buying online). I’d have to see how it might impact her credit score, since it’s the only open credit card on her record.
So, there’s half of our accounts that I could close without losing out on a whole lot. Any reason why we should keep any, or all, of them open?
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