Since I have been sharing my credit card application results and strategy, I thought I would also share what’s in my wallet. These are basically the credit cards I use for my day to day spending. (I have many many more credit cards but I leave them at home and rarely use them after I receive the sign up bonus.)
The credit cards in my wallet fall into three categories: cards I use to earn extra points in certain categories, cards I have yet to meet the minimum spending requirements on and cards I use for all other spending.
Here are the credit cards currently in my wallet:
Cards I Use For Category Bonuses
Ink Plus Business Card
I mostly use my Ink Plus on auto-pay to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards when paying my cable, internet and cell phone bills but I do carry it with me in case there is a good gift card deal at an office supply store.
I’ve had a few Ink cards since I started collecting miles, some of which I have now cancelled. I also have a Chase Ink Classic from a few years ago (no longer offered to new applicants) and plan to keep it forever because it has no annual fee but still earns 5% in the same categories as the Ink Plus. This is my second Ink Plus and it has not yet been open for a year so I have not had to make a decision about retention. I will most likely keep it, but I’m not sure if it’s worth paying the annual fee since I earn 5% on the Ink Classic.
The Ink Plus is probably my favorite card because it offers a high sign up bonus and it is also great for regular spending. I consider the Ink Plus the best card to apply for right now but you do need a business to apply. The Ink Plus is no longer offered to new applicants but is still available through referral links so if you are considering this card I would not wait to apply.
I carry the Chase Freedom to take advantage of the 5% on rotating bonus categories. This quarter, I am using the Chase Freedom to earn 5% at drugstores and department stores. I’ve had this card for years (even before I knew about miles and points). I love the 5% quarterly rotating bonus categories and that it has no annual fee so I plan to keep it forever.
For anyone looking to start with mileage earning credit cards, the Chase Freedom would be one of my top 5 credit cards I recommend applying for (due to Chase 5/24) and definitely a keeper since there is no annual fee. Right now it is offering a higher than usual sign up bonus so this is a good time to apply.
As many of you know, Chase Freedom is technically a cash back card only and points earned using the Chase Freedom cannot be directly transferred to airlines and hotel programs. However, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Plus or Ink Business Preferred, you can transfer your points from your Chase Freedom account to one of those cards and then from there to the various Ultimate Rewards travel partners.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
I carry the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with me to earn 2x points on travel and dining.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the only credit card I have ended up paying an annual fee on after the first year. Because of Chase 5/24, I am not able to keep churning it as was my original plan.
I don’t have any other cards right now that offer bonus miles or points for travel and dining so it is a keeper for now. I might eventually choose only one of the CSP or Chase Ink Plus since I only need one of them to be able to transfer my Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners.
I consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred card one of the top mileage cards for beginners both because of the sign up bonus and the 2x on travel and dining. However, for those not afraid of the annual fee, I would apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve first.
Amex EveryDay Credit Card
I don’t shop at supermarkets very often but when I do I use the Amex EveryDay Credit Card to earn 2X points at U.S. supermarkets (when the Chase Freedom is not offering 5%).
This card is a keeper for me, whether I use it or not, because it has no annual fee and allows me to keep my Amex Membership rewards from expiring when I cancel my other Amex cards.
Hilton HHonors Card from American Express
I use the Hilton HHonors Card from American Express to earn 5x Hilton HHonors bonus points at U.S. supermarkets. I don’t use this card too often because I sometimes use my Amex EveryDay card instead. This card is a keeper because there is no annual fee. It would not be at the top of my list for beginners but it is a good card to have if you ever stay at Hilton hotels. Right now, the Hilton HHonors Card from American Express is offering a higher than usual sign up bonus of 75,000 points so this is a good time to apply.
Cards I Use For All Other Regular Spending
These are cards I use whenever I spend money on something that does not earn a category bonus. I don’t use them too often since I usually have card(s) that I need to meet minimum spending requirements on.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
I actually just signed up for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card recently but even when I meet my minimum spending requirements I will keep it on in my wallet to earn 1.5% on purchases that do not offer category bonuses. The Chase Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee so I do plan to keep it indefinitely. This is in my top 10 miles/points cards for beginners, however, for people that do not have to worry about Chase 5/24 I would apply for other Chase cards (Freedom, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Plus) before this one.
Citi Double Cash
I have a Citi Double Cash card that earns 2% cash back which I sometimes use for regular purchases with no category bonuses. I don’t use it very frequently as it competes with my Chase Freedom Unlimited and whichever new credit card I am meeting minimum spending requirements on. This card is not open to new applicants but you can product change another Citi card to this card (I converted one of my three American Airlines cards).
Card(s) I Use to Earn Sign Up Bonus
Various Cards That Keep Changing
I apply for new credit cards very frequently so I usually have minimum spending requirements to meet in order to earn sign up bonuses. Even if I meet the spending requirements mostly through manufactured spending, I use my new cards for at least a few regular purchases to mix it up. These cards are always changing as I stop carrying them around after I meet the sign up bonus, unless it is one of the other cards in this post. Here are the latest credit cards I just applied for.
As you can see, I do tend to favor cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, but I do have a few other cards in my wallet which earn extra points for my spending.
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