Id argue to anyone just starting out that they should be selective about which cards they apply for.
I had no open CCs back in August, but I now have three.
First I grabbed was a Capital One QuicksilverOne. Pretty solid 1.5% rewards card, but nothing spectacular. All in all, I think a good start.
Second was the Chase Amazon Prime card. I spend a good amount of money on Amazon, and the cash back reward is 5%. I think this card is also 2% back in drug stores, and I work in a drug store, so...
Third was Discover IT. Not a huge fan of the rotating 5% categories. Right now its Amazon and Target, which is mostly redundant with Chase. I might pop into Target every now and then, but not too often. 5% back on restaurants is great, home improvement, meh... (not sure what qualifies... sucks if its Home Depot/Lowes only...), I think the last category is gas or something, and I dont drive. Would be nice if it included Ride Sharing. Discover does seem to have other nice exclusive discounts. I scored $40 off $100 in groceries by paying with Discover, and there are other offers I may use down the line.
As far as utility goes, Discover is likely to be my least used card, but it has some utility though.
This Uber card coming out, 4% back on dining, 2% back on online orders (including Uber), will easily be my most utilized card, if Im approved. It serves two very specific purposes in my regularly scheduled life. Seems like a must have for my wallet.
Other than that, I cant think of another specifically useful card Id need unless I came across a 2-3% card for groceries and utility bills.
Im not yet clear on why/when/how travel cards are better than cash reward cards. Its on my research list.
Personally, Id stay away from most store cards and giving some thought to what youre applying for and why. I dont have a BOA card, but I dont really need one either.
One thing I plan to do in the next couple of weeks is to make a list of all my automatic payments and regular expenses and delegate them all to my various cards depending on which one makes the most sense.
Capital One: Default everyday expense card.
Amazon: Amazon / Drug Stores
Discover: Rotating Rewards / Special Offers
Uber: Uber / Dining / Netflix
Id be happy with that for quite a while.
If anyone is thinking of closing a card, Id suggest considering using it to autopay a small monthly expense, like Hulu or whatever. If the card carries an annual fee, call the OC and try to get it waived, provided youve been making regular payments.