Answer: This is a very tricky question to answer as, unfortunately, the best situation lies somewhere in between.
If you have no credit cards you could miss out on rewards, pay more for borrowing, and miss out on an easy way to build your credit file.
If on the other hand you have a large number of credit cards you could easily find yourself overspending and losing track, and could be seen as a riskier borrower.
Credit cards are a sure fire way to build your credit file as long as you pay them off in full within the interest-free period.
Every time you repay your credit balance you are showing other creditors that you're a reliable person to lend money to – a fact that will stand you in good stead when you really need to borrow.
What's more credit cards are a great way to borrow for short periods of time. As long as you pay off your balance a credit card is essentially free borrowing with added bonuses like Airmiles and Nectar points, depending on what card you have.
Unfortunately, to a lender a credit card is also a potential debt. If say you have 3 credit cards with a £2,500 limit on each, to a lender you could potentially be £7,500 in debt at any time.
What's more, the greater the number of credit cards you have the greater the risk from fraud.
Having said that owning a few credit cards is probably not a problem. A lender is looking at patterns, so you should avoid applying for too many credit cards at once.