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Extreme Credit Card Collections

Written by Nickel - 20 Comments

In response to my earlier post about one of our credit cards being closed due to inactivity, long-time reader and regular commenter BG mentioned that he and his wife have upwards of 150 credit cards. They’ve apparently been collecting these cards in an attempt to illustrate the poor management of mega-banks like Citi.

He went on to say that none of this seems to have adversely impacted them, as their credit scores are well over 760 and they’ve just recently closed on a mortgage refinance. In other words, their credit is just fine, thank you.

Intrigued, I followed up with him and he offered to send me a photo for publication on FCN. And so, without further ado, I present to you BG’s credit card collection…

stack of credit cards

Pretty impressive, huh?

Apparently half of these are his and half are his wife’s, so tey don’t all trace back to a unique account. But still. Wow. That’s a lot of credit cards.

The stack of black cards near the bottom are all the same type of Citi card. Apparently their approval system is such that they’re willing to approve him for a new card every month.

As for his total credit limit, he hasn’t added it up (yet — if he does, I’ll update to let you know) but he thinks it’s “probably enough to buy a pretty nice house, if that were possible to do with credit cards.”

He says that he typically uses each card enough to get the associated signup bonus (like this one, this one, or this one) and then sticks it in a box never to be used again — other than for photo opps like this, I guess! ;-)

Honestly, I’d be more interested in hearing about the sum total of his bonuses than his credit limits, but both would be interesting tidbits.

So, dear readers, can any of your credit card collections compete with BG’s? Let us know in the comments.

More generally, if you have any amusing, entertaining, or informative finance-related pictures, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Hit me up with a brief description using the contact form and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Published on June 8th, 2012
Modified on June 10th, 2012 - 20 Comments
Filed under: Credit Cards

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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20 Responses to “Extreme Credit Card Collections”

  1. 1
    Crystal @ Prairie Ecothrifter Says:

    I thought the 10 cards we have is pretty excessive since we only use 4 of them (2 accounts). So wow…150 cards is wild. I would hate having to log into all of them each month to make sure my card number wasn’t being used fraudulently…that would take me an hour or so every month…

  2. 2
    Hi Says:

    use mint and you can check all your account balances at once.

  3. 3
    Debt and Buried Says:

    That is seriously the most incredible credit card story I’ve seen in like, forever. As long as he’s not paying annual fees on any of this plastic, more power to him.

    Game the system and make these banks suffer like they’ve made the average consumer suffer since 2008.

  4. 4
    Eric Says:

    Holy! LOL.

    I am OCD about finance stuff so I would never be able to just keep them around. You’re crazy BG! ;)

  5. 5
    Melissa@LittleHouseInTheValley Says:

    Wow! I have never seen so many credit cards. Lucky they are responsible because in the hands of the wrong consumers, so much personal financial damage could be done.

  6. 6
    Financial Advice for Young Professionals Says:

    As you said, your credit cards will be closed if you don’t use them, so I’d be curious to see how many of these are actually active. I have 8 cards right now and I’ve made over $8,000 in sign up bonuses in cash, gift cards and first class flights ;) I only sign up if the bonus is $500 or more.

    Actually, my latest one that you may be interested in should be my biggest score yet. You can apply for a chase visa plus and premier card and get 50k for each card, spend 10k more and now you’re at 110k which will qualify you for a southwest companion pass for this year and next year. Awesome deal!

  7. 7
    Isabel Says:

    Wow!! I would be so paranoid that someone would get a hold of this…Even with fraud protection on many cards, it’s a hassle to sort out just one charge…think one per card?? Eek!

    I would get the sign-up bonus and shred the card. Then like ‘hi’ says – use mint to track any activity that shouldn’t be happening…

  8. 8
    Tom Says:

    Hello, this is an interesting story, but I’m wondering, how does he plan to extricate himself from this situation? What if Citi starts charging an annual fee, which sometimes happens? Fifty dollars per card adds up to $7,500, and as I understand it’s when you cancel a card that your credit score takes a hit.
    Tom

  9. 9
    BG Says:

    That stack of cards is hilarious. I’m pretty anti card myself (we have one in the household that is rarely used). BTW: I’m not the same BG from this article (though I am a longtime reader).

    His credit report must be HUGE.

  10. 10
    PTAMom Says:

    Wow, great work BG! :)

    and I guess this Citigroup is the same Citigroup that we all paid to help get it out of its last batch of bad loans. I guess as long as you have enough friends in Washington, DC, you can make money doing anything (giving people new cards once a month) and if the recipients of the cards actually run them all up … just call 1-800-Congress/White House and get all your money back.

  11. 11
    Daisy Says:

    I dont get it. Why? What’s the point? Is it a hoarding type thing? Yes, rewards are fun, but with 50 cards you can’t spend enough money on each to make the points worth it. Even sign up bonuses don’t dictate that you need to have the card for forever more. Lol.

  12. 12
    joe hammond Says:

    yup, pretty impressive indeed. my wife and i have been through about 30 different cards in the last 12 months, accumulating close to $9000.00 in sign up bonuses. but I always cancel the account 6 months later to avoid the annual fee. Just keep enough so my credit/debt ratio is high enough to keep our scores above 740 (excellent). The CC companies are starting to wise up, as the offers are not nearly as attractive as they were a year ago. Good Luck.

  13. 13
    Lance@MoneyLife&More Says:

    I would be afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them all and identity theft or something like that. I have 4 credit cards and I thought that was a lot but sign up bonuses do sound enticing.

  14. 14
    jh Says:

    Several years ago when the CC companies were sending out no-fee, 0% balance transfer offers at the rate of 2 to 3 per week, I took out $120,000.00 in balance transfer money, converting it to dollars through various channels, (there is always a way around the system, legally), took $100,000.00 of that money and bought a 12 month C.D. at %4.25, and took the other $20,000.00 and put in the bank to pay the minimum payments on the cards, then at the end of 12 months when the balance transfer expired, I cashed the C.D. paid off the cards and profited just a little under $4000.00. I love free money.

  15. 15
    Kevin R. Says:

    WOW!!! Here I was trying to whittle down my number of cards!

    Though I completely understand the comment about Citi. After a few transfers I ended up with CitiMortgage, while dealing with an issue (such as mortgage payment they didn’t applied to my account), at the end of the call was a solicitation for a Citi CC. I told them I already had a Citi CC, but rep said it was not the same as her card she was pushing. I asked why I’d want another one from her company, she didn’t have an answer.

  16. 16
    Kris Says:

    Wow! I know it is our own personal responsibility to manage our own money & credit. But when I dug myself out of debt a few years ago I learned just how little responsibility the banks took for their part in the process. Sending me more cards, sending me more offers, all while I was drowning in debt – then when I called for help they couldn’t be bothered. Sad but true, we’ll all just a number to them and as long as we bring in profit we’re a good number!

  17. 17
    BG Says:

    I was out of town, so I’m seeing this article on Monday evening for the first time. I don’t think I’ve been perfectly diligent about tracking sign-up bonuses, but by my last calculation I was up around $8,000. I’ve never experienced any surprise annual fees, but I suppose it is possible. I’ve signed up for 5 or 6 Amex Gold cards between me and my wife, and I canceled all of them during the fee-free first year. Part of me is glad that I was able to recoup my share of the TARP funds that were taken from me. :)

  18. 18
    BG Says:

    I received a 0%, $0 FEE balance transfer offer from Capital One today on one of my cards. Haven’t seen one of those in years (there seems to always be a 3% fee since 2005). On a $15k credit limit, that’s another $150 or so if I stick it in a high yield savings account. More proof that 150 credit cards doesn’t hurt a credit score too badly….

  19. 19
    Eric @ Policy Price Check Says:

    Wow! And Newt Gingrich wanted to work with American Express and Visa to verify immigration laws.

    Eric

  20. 20
    accounting manager Says:

    Great Collection These card are hilarious AMAZING

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