The person with the most active credit cards in the world is Manish Dhameja of Hyderabad, Telangana, India. He has a collection of 1,638 active credit cards and got a place in the Guinness Book of World Records on April 30, 2021.
The previous record holder had been Zheng Xiangchen of Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. He had 1,562 active credit cards and got a place in the Guinness Book of World Records on July 30, 2019. Zheng Xiangchen had been inspired to start and grow his collection of credit cards by Walter Cavanagh of the United States, the previous world record holder for many years.
Walter Cavanagh, who has been known as “Mr. Plastic Fantastic” and was the first record holder, has 1,497 active credit cards and, amazingly, has no credit card debt. The line of credit on all those cards equals $1.7 million.
Cavanagh held the credit card king title from 1971 up until 2019, and his unique hobby began in the late 1960s because of a bet. He made the bet with a friend about who could have the most credit cards by the end of the year. The winner would get a free dinner. In that one year, Cavanagh procured 143 cards while his friend got 138.
When the Guinness Book of World Records accepted his feat after he had acquired more cards, Cavanagh began to collect even more. In the entire time he has been getting credit cards, only one company, J.J. Newberry Co., ever denied him. At the time of being denied, the company said he had too much credit. That was about 1,397 cards ago, in the early 70s.
Americans, on average, have four credit cards, and there are 1.06 billion credit cards in use in the United States. Worldwide, there are around 2.08 billion credit cards in use.
Sources: Guinness Book of World Records, Money, Spend Journal