Whenever I grab lunch or a drink with a friend or colleague, I find myself curious of what card they choose to use and why. It kills me if they use cash, but, I digress. So, I thought I’d offer what is in my wallet with no links (affiliate or otherwise), because I think its a meaningful conversation to have. Below I lay out what I believe are the best credit cards for miles and points residing in my wallet and why.
So, What’s in my wallet?
- Chase Sapphire Preferred – I use this for dining (except on first Friday, because that would be so pas se) I also use this for travel costs, to include occasional overseas charges.
- British Airways – I feel like I get good value, at 1.25 Avios points per dollar spent, but increasingly I’m wondering if I’m better just putting those charges to my Starwood Preferred Guest.
- Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Personal – 1.25 SPG points for all spend, assuming I can transfer points in 20k increments. Its an easy card to rely on, but not my lead-off card, to use a baseball analogy.
- Chase Freedom – 5x quarterly rewards. This quarter its Gas stations and Kohls. It generally spends 4-5 months of the year in my wallet, when I’m home, just so I can hit the $1,500 to get the most of the 5x Ultimate Rewards (UR) points.
- Ink Plus (Visa) – This is a newer card to me. I’ve already gotten my 60k UR points, but I like shopping at office supply stores, so I keep it in my wallet.
- Ink Bold – I recently called about my annual fee and got a retention bonus offer to spend $5k and get 10k UR points if that $5k is spent in 3 months. I’m about a month in, I’ll meet it, then the card will become a back-up.
- Suntrust Delta Skymiles Debit – I don’t think there’s a whole lot to say about this card. This is in my wallet purely for MS reasons.
- American Express Business Platinum – I probably need to start thinking about getting rid of this card, but I got enough value to offset this year’s annual fee. Come next April, I’ll jettison it (unless AMEX can convince me otherwise). Until then, I’ll enjoyed the no foreign transaction fees, access to Centurion Lounges, and the Membership Rewards; but I don’t use it terribly often.
- American Express Blue (aka Old AMEX Blue), 1%/5% after $6,500 at supermarkets and gas stations. Its not a bad back-up card, and my first go-to when I’m at a supermarket (for MS or otherwise). If only I got 5% at Costco, then I’d be doing really well (hah!).
- Barclay Arrival+ – So this is my lead-off card. My goal next year, is to generate enough rewards with the 2.2% cash back, to cover generation of my status and most of my wife’s (she travels for work a bit which covers a handful of the 100k requirement for Executive Platinum).
Right now, I don’t have any minimum spending thresholds to meet. If anything, its the Chase Ink Bold to get the retention bonus.
Conclusion / Considerations
So, I realize I’m at a disadvantage because I’m not working toward a minimum spend threshold. I’m actually a few weeks off of my next churn, but really at a loss of what to bother with, other than maybe an Ink and an Alaskan card. But really, my focus on this blog has been less on sign-up bonuses, and more focused on how to leverage cards that you already have in your repertoire. The problem is, that for many cards, the bonuses are great, and then, really they just sit in my drawer until its time to cancel or negotiate for a retention bonus.