The Person With the Most Active Credit Cards in the World

February 10, 2023

Stack of credit cards.

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

Subscribe to our newsletter for a collection of stories that have been added to the Stew and get our FREE Ebook Quick Facts as a thank you.

About the author 

Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites (you can find out how to join below). I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

Follow the Stew

How to Join the Knowledge Stew Ad-Free Subscription Site on Medium

Join Medium now and get access to every story from Knowledge Stew and Fact World plus thousands of others ad-free. Your membership fee directly supports a continued stream of great content on Knowledge Stew and Fact World, and you’ll also get full access to thousands of other writers and stories on Medium. ($5 per month)