The 4 Credit Cards in My Wallet
It has been a while since I wrote a blog about credit cards. I’m somewhat of a credit card geek if you will. I love understanding the point system and utilizing it to my advantage. I guess in a way it is like the ultimate negotiation, and boy do I love a good negotiation.
Before I get into the meat of this blog, however, I feel it prudent any time I write about credit cards to do a disclaimer. Credit cards are like sharp knives, use with caution and they are not for everyone. You must handle them with care, and be the type of person who is responsible enough to pay them off each month otherwise stop reading now and delete this blog immediately. For instance, my mom is one of the great ones. That said, I cringe every time she picks up a sharp knife. She is known for a lot of amazing things, but her kitchen and cutlery skills, not so much.
Oh, one final thing when it comes to my disclaimer, as there is still one workaround. Any time you use a credit card pay it off that day. This way it works like a debit card, however, you get the benefit of the points by using your credit card.
In the infamous words of Ace Venture, “Alrighty then”. Let me tell you about the 4 credit cards that take up my wallet.
Raise your hand if you use Amazon Prime? Keep your hands up if you are somewhat embarrassed at how often they come to your house? Literally, this morning before I woke up there was a package delivered to my front door and side door! That is right, I am barricaded in my house by Amazon boxes. Praying I am not alone here, but if you are like me then I highly suggest getting this credit card.
5% cash back on Amazon purchases and Wholefood Market purchases. Guess this softens the blow a little knowing everything I purchase is on sale by 5%. Also, 2% cash back at gas stations and 1% back on everything else as a nice well-rounded card.
I’m a big advocate for cash is king. This card to me is the king of the cash cards. I use this Citi card as my everyday go-to card. It is easy to understand, with no fees, and simply put everything I purchase is on sale. I don’t know a better cash-back credit card, although there are others with similar benefits.
1% cash back off everything you purchase, and 1% cash back when you pay your bill. Essentially, this means you get 2% cash back on everything regardless of what you purchase or how much you purchase. Personally, I let my cashback accrue throughout the year and let it pay for one big purchase a year. I love knowing all my wife’s hard work pays off!
Alright, this one may be a stretch for a lot of people as it comes with a hefty sign-up fee of $450/yr. That said if you are a travel credit card person this one might likely be the best. You really have to use it a bunch to justify it, but it does appeal to those travel nuts.
The main reason I love this card is you get 3% cash back on restaurants and travel. In addition, you get 1% cash back on everything else. The best part is if you use your points to book travel you get 50% additional points. Meaning, that you actually get 4.5% cash back on these categories assuming you use the points correctly. The cool twist is with Covid they let you use your additional 50% bonus on eligible card purchases, and thus don’t even need to use it on travel. Oh, last thing, the $450 annual fee is really only $150 as you get $300/yr statement credit on your first $300 of travel spend.
I’ve candidly had a love-hate relationship with American Airlines credit cards through the years. Right now, I am in a love period with this card, however. Now, I also fly out of Philly as my main hub which is an American hub so this card certainly may not make sense for others who don’t tend to mostly fly American. That said this card has become my new obsession as I am an efficient and anxious traveler.
I’ll start by saying if you are going to get this card wait until your next American flight as they push these cards like medicine on any AA flight. On top of that, you get upwards of a 60,000 mile sign-up bonus and waive the first year’s $99 fee. You get 2X AAdvantage miles when you book AA flights and 1X AAdvantage miles on everything else. The reason I love this card now is that American Airlines recently changes its status qualifications.
It used to be some insane formula you needed a Ph.D. from Harvard to figure out. Now, a mile flown or a dollar spent on this credit card all go towards your travel status. The beauty is you only need 30,000 AAdvantage miles to reach gold status. For me, that is huge as I always take a carry-on (even taught my fam to do the same) and thus board in the preferred boarding line. There are other plenty of other benefits you can check out here American Airlines Status Levels. P.S. Little hack – have your spouse get one too and he/she will get an additional 60k miles.
I get asked this question a lot so thought you all would appreciate hearing what this credit card geek uses. Granted 4 cards are a lot to manage and don’t recommend for everyone. I’d say most people choose one or two cards that lean into their spending habits and what they value in benefits. Again, use carefully, as although I’m an advocate for points, I certainly don’t recommend doing so at the expense of your financial health.
Stay wealthy, healthy, and happy.
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