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I often get questions about what cards I normally use. For me, what cards you should use, should be to meet your travel goals; so just because I use certain cards is no reason for you to do the same. But, you may pick up some ideas as to why I do what I do. Also, there are cards that are always in my wallet; other cards just come for brief visits and then leave until they are called up for service again.
First my permanent residents.
1 – My Delta AMEX Reserve card. For MQM and RDM spending bonus this is just about always the card I go to. I even sometimes give up extra bonus points as I know I need to spend huge on this card each year and even more so with MQD’s starting in 2014
2 – My Chase Sapphire Preferred® card. My Lisa is an awesome cook (just look at me for crying out loud). But, we do go out at least once a week. 2x Ultimate Rewards points is too good to say no to.
3 – My Chase INK Plus card. I always seem to find office supply stores around. Or, other good places to pick up ice cream and such. So this puppy has a permanent spot.
4 – For some reason I always seem to have some gift cards in my wallet of some type. Ones for gas stations or restaurants or just plain old Visa or Amex gift cards. Funny how this happens!
The above are the ones that made my permanent cut. Then there are the visitors that have a slot that I keep open for welcome guests. They are.
5 – My Chase Freedom card. When 5x anything is around, even my Delta card gets pushed to the side. I may give up some points here and there but 5x is just way too good to turn down!
6 – My Chase IHG card (not my link and at the bottom of the list of cards). I love this card and gleefully pay the $49 a year annual fee as I get a free night cert each year for a PC hotel. I use it at ones that would have cost a bunch. I also use this each time I stay at an IHG hotel as getting 5-10x bonus points for each dollar spent is a great value even when I don’t spend much.
7 – My AMEX SPG card. Like with IHG, even with a credit card in your record, they want to always sweep the card. So, any spend for my stay I get bonus SPG points. That just works.
8 - My US Air card. Thanks to Barclays offering me 15,000 bonus points if I will be so kind as to spend $750 per month for the next 3 months, it has found a home for a while. But, once the 3 months are up – out you go!
9 – My Citi Hilton card. I do not stay at a bunch of Hilton properties as for me IHG and SPG are my main two favorites. But when I do, why not get the bonus points for paying this way.
10 – My US BANK FlexPerks card. I do give to charity and when I do it is with this card to get 3x points worth 6%. I do targeted gifts so the card does not live in my wallet.
There are ones that never live there like my BlueBird that is more like a checking account anyway. All my downgraded cards with no annual fee that I only use 1x a year to keep active. There are also the short term visitors that I use only when I am working to meet the minimum spend to get bonus points, but there are few cards that can compete with my top 3.
So there you have it. These are “what’s in your wallet” cards. Does your wallet look like mine? Do you rotate cards in and out? I would love to know – René
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