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Opening a new bank account or credit card can be a great way to score valuable welcome bonuses and promotions. Yet before long, you could find yourself trying to keep up with several bank accounts and credit cards each month. With a few strategies in place, however, you can manage your accounts like a boss, keep your budget in check and maybe even earn some lucrative rewards in the process. Here are three tips to get you started.

Managing Your Credit How to Manage Multiple Bank Accounts and Credit Cards

Managing multiple bank accounts and credit cards can be simple with the right plan. Here are some tips to get started.

  1. 1

    Start With a Budget

    No matter how many bank accounts or credit cards you use, it's important to have a plan for how you want to spend your money—aka a budget.

  2. 2

    Track Your Spending

    Once you have a financial plan in place, you'll need a system to stay on track. You can track spending on an excel worksheet, a notepad, or use a personal finance app.

  3. 3

    Set Up Account Alerts and Automatic Drafts

    Automate your recurring payments and set up account alerts for payment reminders, deadlines and overdrafts. Get alerted when you overspend or miss a payment.

Recommended Credit Cards

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Earn 3 points for every $1 on Southwest Airlines® purchases, 2 points for every $1 on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners, 2 points per $1 on local transit and commuting (including rideshare), 2 points per $1 on internet, cable, and phone services; select streaming, and 1 point for every $1 on all other purchases.

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Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

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Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

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Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

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1. Start With a Budget

man budgeting at home
iStock

A budget isn't about depriving yourself. Rather, it's a step-by-step guide for applying your hard-earned cash toward the goals that matter most to you. A budget is a system to help you avoid financial regrets. 

Before creating your budget, write down the goals you want to achieve with you money. You'll need a plan to take care of your bills. Getting out of debt might also be high on your to-do list, but you should also add in big picture goals (like retirement) along with some fun (such as travel or entertainment) if you can. 

If you can be frugal and save money in some areas, it could pay off. When you find extra money in your budget you can use it to reach more important financial goals faster. For example, years ago my husband and I cut our dining out and entertainment budget (among other expenses) and used the savings to pay off our credit card debt

2. Track Your Spending

You Need A Budget
YNAB

Track your spending with a spreadsheet or even a notepad (digital or physical). But you might also want to consider using one of the personal finance apps below. 

  • Simplifi by Quicken: For a small subscription fee of $3.99 per month, you can create a custom spending plan, track your progress and create savings goals that work for you. Simplifi by Quicken can also help you project future cash flow and show you your current net worth.
  • YNAB: You Need a Budget, or YNAB, lets you use a zero-based budgeting system in which you give all of the money you earn a job (e.g.,pay recurring bills, grocery fund, savings or debt elimination). Best of all, you can set up your bank accounts and credit cards to automatically sync with your YNAB account—providing an overview of your balances and debts in one convenient location. YNAB is free for 34 days then $14.99 per month or $99 annually.
  • Qube Money: Qube Money is a bank account that lets you set up spending categories (aka Qubes) and divide your money among them. You must unlock a Qube before you spend money from it on the debit card that comes with your account. Or you can use the workaround I prefer and transfer money to a "credit card spent fund" when you swipe your credit card for a purchase (like groceries or gas). A Qube Money account is $8 per month or $6.58 per month if you pay annually.
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3. Set Up Account Alerts and Automatic Drafts

woman checking bank account alert on phone
Unsplash

Account Alerts

Many bank accounts (checking and savings) and credit cards have automatic alert features you can customize to keep you in the loop when activity happens on your account. For example, your bank might let you schedule email and text alerts in response to:

  • A large transaction hitting your account (e.g., debit, ATM withdrawal or check).
  • The receipt of a direct deposit. 
  • Your account balance falling below a certain amount.
  • The creation of a new monthly statement. 

Credit card companies may let you set up certain types of account alerts too, such as:

  • Payment reminders
  • Payment overdue notices
  • Transactions over a certain amount
  • Approaching credit limit
  • Unusual account activity

Automatic Drafts 

Automatic payments can also provide a good failsafe on credit card accounts. Here are a few ways it can help:

  • Minimum payments: Say you schedule automatic drafts for the minimum payment on your credit cards. If you acidentally forget a due date, your account won't incur a late fee and your credit history will be protected. 
  • Statement balance: It's best to pay your credit card bill in full each month. Paying the full statement balance due helps you avoid interest fees. Your credit score could improve as well when you keep your credit utilization rate low. 
  • Savings: If you know how much you plan to put toward a savings goal each month (like a down payment or vacation fund), you could schedule automatic transfers from your checking account to your high-yield savings account. 

Quick Tip

Consider opening a high-yield savings account with a separate bank to remove the temptation to spend.

Recommended High-Yield Savings Accounts

Bank Account APY Features Learn More

BrioDirect High-Yield Savings Account

5.35% More Info

*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 5/1/2024. Rate is subject to certain terms and conditions. You must deposit at least $5,000 to open your account and maintain $25 to earn the disclosed APY. Rate and APY may change at any time. Fees may reduce earnings.

$5,000 min. deposit
No monthly fee

UFB Direct logo

UFB Direct Secure Savings Account

5.25% More Info

UFB Direct breaks balances into five tiers, but, currently, there is only one interest rate.

No minimum deposit
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SoFi Checking and Savings

0.50% - 4.60% More Info

Customers earn 4.60% APY on savings balances when they set up recurring monthly direct deposit of their paycheck or benefits provider via ACH deposit. Alternatively, deposit at least $5,000 each month to earn 4.60% APY on your savings balance. Checking balances earn 0.50% APY

No minimum deposit
No monthly fee

CIT Bank logo

CIT Bank Platinum Savings Account

5.00% More Info

Earn 5.00% APY on balances over $5,000. Balances of less than $5,000 earn 0.25% APY. Annual Percentage Yield is accurate as of May 6, 2024. Interest rates for the Platinum Savings account are variable and subject to change at any time without notice.

$100 minimum deposit
No monthly fee

Bottom Line

Having multiple credit cards and bank accounts could offer some unique benefits. From cash bonuses to credit card rewards you can redeem for free travel, there are several reasons you might want to consider a new bank account or credit card from time to time. Plus, financial needs change over time, so if you need to switch banks or get a new credit card, it often makes sense to do just that. Just be sure to put a good financial management strategy in place to avoid potential headaches.   

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Michelle Lambright Black

Michelle Black is founder of CreditWriter.com and HerCreditMatters.com. Michelle is a leading credit card journalist with over a decade and a half of experience in the financial industry. She’s an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting, small business, and debt eradication. Michelle is also a certified credit expert witness and personal finance writer.