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Jamz58

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Best credit card balance to carry?
Is it better to have my credit cards post 1-9% total utilization or 0%? I have 6 credit cards, 5 of which are rewards. I use the 5 strictly for rewards and pay them in full each month. There seems to be conflicting opinions on whether it is better to post a low balance or no balance each month.

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It seems the consenses is to show at least a 1% utilization.  Under 10% is best.  But you don't have to carry a balance and pay interest.  Just have a statement balance and pay off in full before the due date.

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Jamz58

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Thanks......that's what I have been doing. I never pay interest.

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I have found that

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It is best to let your cards report a 0 balance at least 3 or 4 times a year, If not more.   

Maintaining a Utilization rate of less that 25% total of all cards works best.  And no more than 30% of any given credit limit per card. 

I put my cards into a rotation.  I use 2 certain cards for gas and groceries, both of which pay me 3% cash back on those purchases. I use only one at a time for a couple of months, paying the balance in full at the end of the month.  Then use the other for a couple of months, letting the other report 0.  I use store cards only for purchases like gifts and at holidays. Letting them report 0 the rest of the year.  I have a card that I only use for car repairs that reports 0 most of the time. 

I only carry balances on cards that are 0% and I make large monthly payments to be sure that they are paid off before the 0% ends. 

Using all your cards every month that report balances is the same as not paying them off at all. The Credit bureau only sees the reported balance each month.  Use a card for a month, charge, lets say, $1000.  You pay the balance in full and continue to use the card and the next month it reports $975.  To the Credit bureau it appears as if you only made a $25 payment.  Let your cards report 0 balance as often as you can. 

Last year I paid less than $75 in Interest and fees. Most of that was from Balance transfer fees.  

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