Below is a listing of what credit cards I currently have in my wallet and a quick explanation of why.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Although the card comes with a $450 annual fee, there are several benefits that make the card worthwhile. The $300 travel credit drops the effective annual fee to just $150, a favorable $.015/point redemption for airfare booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3X points on Travel/Dining make this card a must for anyone who frequently travels for business or pleasure. I also find some value in the Priority Pass Select membership offered. I originally signed up for the card due to the incredible 100,000 sign up bonus, but plan on keeping it for years to come.
The Chase Freedom card is the newest addition to my wallet. I originally opened a Chase Sapphire Preferred account for the 50,000 point sign-up bonus and then downgraded that account to the Chase Freedom card. Although the Chase Freedom card is mostly a cash-back credit card, I can transfer those cash back points to the Ultimate Rewards program. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Freedom I earn 3X UR points on travel and dining and 5X points on rotating bonus categories. Since the card doesn’t have an annual fee I’ll keep this account open for quite some time.
Citi ThankYou Premier
The newest card, but second oldest account in my wallet is the Citi ThankYou Premier card. Although the card comes with a very affordable $95 annual fee there are many benefits which make the card well worth carrying. Most notably the card earns 3X ThankYou Points on all ‘travel’ purchases (including gas). Additionally the card earns 2X TYPs on Entertainment and Dining purchases and 1X TYPs on all other purchases. The card also waives all foreign transaction fees which make it a perfect card to bring as a backup on my next international trip. I have this card because I opened the Citi Executive AAdvantage card, converted to the Citi Prestige card, and downgraded to this card.
American Express Platinum Card
At $150/year ($550 – $200 travel credit – $150 Uber credits) the Platinum card is the most expensive card in my wallet, but I find tremendous value in carrying the card. For starters I receive 5x points on airfare which adds up quickly, but the real reason I keep the card is for access to Centurion lunges, Delta Sky Clubs, SPG / Marriott / Ritz-Carlton Gold Status, and Hilton Gold Status! I personally do not find too much value in the Fine Hotels & Resorts program or Travel Concierge, but they can also be extremely valuable benefits when traveling. I plan to hold on to the card for a while.
United MileagePlus Explorer Card
I opened this card due to a targeted offer of 70,000 United miles after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days. United miles have proven valuable time and time again when American AAdvantage miles fail me. On top of the sign-up bonus, this card offers 2 United Club passes annually which help offset the $95 annual fee. I had no intention of opening this card, but when I received the targeted offer I couldn’t pass it up.
Marriott Rewards Premier Card
For starters the card comes with a complimentary night at a category 1-5 property annually and this benefit alone justifies the $85 annual fee. Next, each account anniversary the card offers 15 Elite nights toward Marriott Elite Status. The card also tends to offer an 80,000 Marriott point sign up bonus and a 10,000 point referral bonus. Sure you earn 5x points on Marriott spend, but I can’t remember the last time I actually used this card.
Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red Card
I signed up for this card for two reasons. First, American was offering an increased sign-up bonus of 60,000 AAdvantage miles after making a single purchase within the first 90 days following account opening. Second, the card offers a $3,000 EQD waiver toward AAdvantage elite status after spending $25,000 in a calendar year. Nearly all of the other benefits offered from this card are redundant either from other cards or from my AAdvantage Executive Platinum status.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Platinum Plus
Sure the card has the longest name of any card in my wallet, but it is also my oldest account. I originally opened this account 2010 and considering the account has no annual fee, I have no reason to ever close the card. Your FICO score is affected by the average age of accounts and since this is my oldest, closing it could have a fairly negative effect on my overall credit score. Again, I do not know when the last time I swiped this card was.
On My Radar:
Ritz Carlton Rewards Card: Considering this card for the $100 Visa Infinite domestic travel credit, 3 complimentary nights at Ritz Carlton Properties, and because of the $300 travel credit. I hesitate to open the card because I am not sure what will end up happening with the Marriott/SPG merger and if Amex Platinum card will continue to offer complimentary Gold status after the two programs are integrated.
Starwood Preferred Guest Amex: If this card offers the 30,000 SPG signup bonus (90,000 Marriott Rewards Points) again I will most likely open the card and hope it gets converted to the Marriott Rewards version in the future.
Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard: The only reason I look to open this card is to retain Admirals Club access. At $450/year with no offsetting travel credits, justifying the annual fee is difficult.