Since I have been sharing my credit card application results and strategy, I thought I would also share what credit cards I have in my wallet. (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 four categories: cards I use to earn extra points in certain categories, cards I use when traveling, 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:
Card I Use When Traveling
American Express Platinum Card
I am not the primary cardholder on this card, I am an authorized user on a family member’s card. I did have my own Ameriprise Amex Platinum card for a year but I cancelled it to avoid the annual fee. I will probably eventually reapply for an Amex Platinum card (especially if I can get a high sign up bonus) but right now family members are taking turns applying and having the rest of us as authorized users.
Cards I Use For Category Bonuses
I’ve had the Chase Freedom 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 the Chase 5/24 rule) 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.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
I carry the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with me to earn 2x points on travel and dining. I don’t have any other credit cards right now that offer a category bonus for travel (other than the Amex Platinum which earns 5x for airfare) so the CSP 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.
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 nor was I able to be approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve. 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.
Ink Plus Business Card
I mostly use my Ink Plus (no longer offered to new applicants) 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 I run across a good gift card sale 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 my annual fee just hit so I have to call Chase for a retention offer soon. I will most likely keep it, but if I do not receive a retention offer I’m not sure if it’s worth paying the annual fee since I earn 5% on the Ink Classic.
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. restaurants and supermarkets. (I am using my Chase Freedom at supermarkets but now, but I have this card with me for when I get close to the $1,500 combined spent on my Freedom.) 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 stay at Hilton hotels. Right now, the Hilton HHonors Card from American Express is offering a sign up bonus of 80,000 points (which is the highest they have ever offered) so this is a great time to apply. For those that have the card already, Amex is offering a bonus of 20,000 per referral.
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 hardly use these cards since I usually have newly opened card(s) that I need to meet minimum spending requirements on.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5X Ultimate Rewards points so I sometimes use it for regular purchases with no category bonuses. Since the Chase Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee, I do plan to keep it indefinitely. This is in my top 10 miles/points cards for beginners, but due to Chase 5/24 I would apply for other Chase cards (Freedom, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred) before this one.
Citi Double Cash
Another card I sometimes use for regular purchases with no category bonuses is my Citi Double Cash card which earns 2% cash back. 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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