My Thoughts Of My Current Credit Cards In My Wallet

In November, I had posted about the credit cards that I have that I would not mind paying an annual fee. They are:

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest – $65

Barclay’s US Airways – $89

Chase United MileagePlus Explorer – $95

Chase Ink Bold – $95

Chase Sapphire Preferred – $95

Citi AAdvantage – $95

US Bank Flexperks – $49

In the time since writing the post, I have decided the United MileagePlus Explorer card is not worth the $95 a year even with the high spend bonus. Why? Because of the United devaluation and other high spend cards in my possession. The other perks, while nice don’t justify the $95 a year.

In December, I added a Chase British Airways card which has an annual fee of $95 a year. If I spend $30,000 I would earn a companion ticket. Compare that to the Explorer card I would spend $25,000 for an extra 10,000 United miles. For a 20% extra in spend, I have a more valuable, albeit more expensive, perk in the Travel Together Ticket. Sure, the taxes on British Airways medal is quite expensive, but it would be worthwhile and something a little more useful.

With the current types of manufactured spend that I do, I find spending $30,000+ a year to be rather difficult and must pick and choose each card early in the calendar year and plan accordingly.

I could easily buy $500 Visa gift cards and liquidate with the PIN, but I do not go to Walmart often enough to do something like that. I anticipate going to CVS and purchasing Paypal My Cash card for a portion of the $30,000 spend as I did with American Express SPG card.

6 comments… add one
  • Similar inventory here with a Hilton Amex Surpass (likely downgrading to the no fee card when the fee is due) and Amex Platinum (canceling after the first year is up) rather than a United and FlexPerks card and also recently added the British Airways card to go after the companion pass this year. My thoughts on the BA card: with the 100K bonus and 1.25 multiplier, $30K in spend makes it an ~4avios/$ card and suited for MS allowing more room to focus the CSP/Ink on bonus categories.

    • MilesAbound posted the reverse, take the Free Hilton AMEX Surpass and upgrade for bonus points and other features. I might have to do the reverse for you on that. I like the analysis to the ~4 Avios/$ for the first year. I hadn’t thought about it that way.

  • If you’re putting that much spend on the Explorer card, a simple call can probably get the fee waived.

    • I haven’t had much success – tried with the US Airways card and I didn’t receive anything. It took the second call for my Ink Bold. I’ll have to try on the United card in July.

  • First of all, Congrats on the acquisition of Saverocity I read about your reverse acquisition of Matt’s site over the weekend but couldn’t make it here to comment until today. 😉

    I’d like to second Ben’s comment–A call to Chase should get that AF waived without issue on the MP Visa. Also the City AAdvantage should see an AF waiver without more than a phone call as well. I’ve recently heard from a reader of mine who got Barclay’s to waive the AF on the US Airways card. In your above list the only two cards I’m sure you’ll get stuck paying the whole AF are the Chase Ink and CSP.

    Having a line of credit open is always a benefit in my eye. You can move/close a card later if you need to when applying for another one. If you aren’t using the cards at all you could also downgrade to a fee free card (like the Citi AA Bronze) so you can keep the CL and bank relationship.

    • Thanks Sam, but I think you meant that first part for BigHabitat 😉

      I must not be saying the right words to the phone agents, I am having a difficult time trying to offer me anything before closing out cards. I preface everything with “I am thinking about closing XYZ account…”


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