7 big money myths

Keeping a credit card I never use is smart

Having a credit card with an available balance is essential in case of emergencies, but never using the card is problematic.

"You have to use the card to benefit from it," says credit expert Beverly Harzog. "You need to show the credit bureaus that you can manage credit responsibly (in order) to build new credit or reestablish credit."

There is another reason to keep all of your cards in regular rotation: Inactivity could cause the credit card issuer to cancel your card, leaving you without the extra credit you may need in an emergency.

You don’t need to go on a spending spree to build credit and avoid having the card canceled. According to Harzog, charging a few small purchases per month — think gas and groceries — is enough to satisfy the card issuer and the credit bureaus.

"Just be sure to pay off the balance within the grace period," she says.