Every Credit Card I Keep in My Wallet (and Why)

Although I have 20+ credit cards, I regularly carry only a hand full of credit cards in my wallet on a daily basis. I carry these cards for a variety of specific reasons and in this article I will tell you what each of these cards are and highlight exactly why I like to carry them around.

American Express Gold Card

I use the American Express Gold Card for all supermarket and dining purchases. That is because I earn a whopping 4X on all of those purchases (the 4X on US supermarket purchases is capped at $25,000 per year but still that is pretty high). This card truly changed my award balances and now I rack up Membership Rewards way quicker. 

This card does have a higher annual fee of $250 but it is offset with the $10 monthly dining credits and also the annual $100 airline credit. The monthly dining credits can be used for different food delivery services and also other places like Shake Shack. Out of all of my credit cards this one gets swiped the most.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is my go to card for almost all travel purchases. I like that it earns 3X the points on all travel (and dining) purchases but that’s not even the main reason I use this card for travel. The main reason is that it has outstanding travel protections like: trip cancellation, baggage delay protection, and primary rental car insurance.

If I am going to pay for a hotel stay, award fees for a flight, or purchase nonrefundable tours, I am going to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve. It will just help me sleep better at night.

The Reserve also comes with Priority Pass and with this Priority Pass membership you can enjoy the dining at Priority Pass airport restaurants, which is another reason to hold on to the card. 

This card does have a high annual fee of $550 but that is easily offset with a broad $300 travel credit and the $60 DoorDash credit.

American Express Platinum Card

The Platinum Card is my number one premium card, and I use it primarily for lounge access into Amex Centurion Lounges — some of the nicer airport lounges that you will find in the United States. You also get access to other lounges like Priority Pass lounges and Delta Sky Clubs and a host of other valuable benefits.

This card also offers some great bonus earnings on airfare with 5X and it is my go to for a concierge needs. Because the travel insurance is not as good as the Reserve, I don’t typically use this card for airfare.

If I want to take advantage of a good extended warranty protection, I’ll also consider using the Platinum Card.

The Platinum Card has a high annual fee at $550 but with all of the credits ($100 Saks, $200 Uber, and $200 airline) this annual fee gets knocked down to an effective ~$50. The airline credit is now harder to use (due to gift card restrictions) but the other credits are quite easy to use.

Chase Ink Business Cash

The Chase Ink Business Cash is used for all of our cell phone, internet, and cable bills, since we are able to earn 5X on those bills ($25,000 threshold). I can also earn 5X when I purchase gift cards from office supply stores. Sometimes I can drop into a store like Staples and purchase gift cards for restaurants and other places that I know I will frequent.

I really love that this card comes with no annual fee so we are able to earn all of these points without paying an additional fee.

I would recommend the Chase Ink Business Cash for a lot of people but if you would like to start off with a much more valuable welcome bonus, then you should look into the Chase Ink Business Preferred. That card will start you off with an 100,000 point bonus after meeting the minimum spend, and then later on you can downgrade to the Ink Cash card.

The Chase Ink Business Preferred also has cell phone protection, which is another perk that I use.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is my go to card for every day purchases. It earns a standard 1.5X on all purchases regardless of the category and it comes with no annual fee. And now it comes with additional bonus categories like 5X on the Chase travel portal and 3X on dining/drug stores.

The drawback with this card is that the purchase protection is not as solid as the Sapphire Reserve so I don’t use it for large purchases.

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom offers five extra points on rotating quarterly categories. Each quarter that 5X category changes and you can read about the past categories here. This is a great way to earn lots of points in different categories such as gas or groceries, while paying no annual fee. This card also earns 5X on the Chase travel portal and 3X on dining/drug stores.

Barclays Aviator Red

I do not use this card very often but when traveling abroad, especially to places like Europe, I always make sure to bring this card.  The reason is that it has chip and pin technology which can come in handy when making purchases at kiosks and places like that.

This card does have some nice perks for flying American Airlines but since I rarely fly them it is not needed often.

Final word

I have many more credit cards than the cards above. But these are the cards that I regularly use and bring with me when I go traveling. Let me know below if there are any cards that you bring with you when you travel as well. 

 

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11 comments

  1. Just double checking, so the sapphire reserve has primary rental car protection that the cardholder does not need to pay extra for during an active car rental reservation, like you pay with the platinum card($20 per rental)??? Is this correct?

  2. Thanks! Looks like I’m going to have to apply for the reserve card. I probably should have got that one first before the platinum. I really don’t get much use out of the platinum. I also don’t particularly like the Centurion lounges. Takes too long to get food. I like buffet style and not being served. Thank you again for your help. I happen to have a rental car right now….that sapphire would have come in handy 🙁

  3. Just got the Citi Double Cash which I will be using for all misc charges. The 2x points will transfer to my Premier card Thankyou points.

      1. Forgot to say that otherwise the cards in my wallet are very similar to yours. Only I have the old Chase Ink Plus for the 5% on telecom and office supply. And I haven’t been able to justify the Amex Platinum in my mind when I already have the CSR.
        Thanks for all the great info I’ve learned from you over the last couple of years.

        1. Yep, I miss the Ink Plus, but no turning back once you product change I think. Platinum is difficult to justify with CSR unless you really use up some of the perks a few times a year. It’s a bit of a vanity card sometimes. Appreciate the feedback!

    1. Schwab is good but I’ve heard about customer service issues with them and SoFi is much easier to set up ( I believe Schwab does a hard pull). Haven’t looked into Neeedham though.

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