The Cards in My Wallet: ToP Edition (February 2021)

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

 

Each member of the ToP team has different spending habits and travel goals. Here is a look inside our wallets. We explain how we use each card and why we value it. Limited time offers and promotions can affect which cards make it into our wallets, as we explain below. To see how our cards changed from last time, check out our previous “Cards in My Wallet” post here.

Brian

  1. American Express Business Platinum: I have been working on meeting minimum spend on this card, which I should finish once I pay my 2020 taxes.
  2. Citi Double Cash: This card is my go-to for everyday spending because it is the only card without an annual fee that earns 2x points on all purchases. Rewards earned through the Double Cash can be used as cash back or Citi ThankYou points.
  3. Chase Freedom Flex: I have been using this card to earn 5x at wholesale clubs for the Q1 bonus (Q1 also offers 5x for select streaming services and internet, cable, and phone services). I also use it for the occasional drugstore purchase for 3x.
  4. Citi Prestige: This is my favorite card for dining because it earns 5x at restaurants (including takeout).
  5. Citi AT&T Access More: This card earns 3x Citi ThankYou Points on online shopping, but is no longer open for new applicants.

Derrick

  1. Chase Sapphire Reserve: I am an authorized user on Sarah’s account. I use this for 3x on MileagePlus gift cards (I have a Chipotle obsession) and 3x on travel. Through April, I am using it for 3x at grocery, up to $1,000 per month.
  2. Citi Premier: I keep this card for 3x at gas stations and to pair with the Citi Double Cash card. While we rarely pay for fuel for our vehicles, as we take advantage of gas savings programs at grocery stores, we use this card to buy all our aviation fuel.
  3. Citi Double Cash: This is my everyday spend card. 2% cash back on all purchases with no annual cap. If you have a Citi Premier or Prestige, you can convert cash back to ThankYou Points. Essentially, I earn 2x ThankYou Points on all purchases.
  4. American Express Gold: I use this card for all my purchases at U.S. supermarkets (4x Membership Rewards) and most restaurants (4x), when eating alone. The supermarket spend helps offset all fuel costs, as we aggressively earn fuel points during supermarket promotions. Earning 4x Membership Rewards and free fuel is an amazing combo.
  5. Rotating Card: Current, the World of Hyatt card is back in my wallet, to keep earning suite night awards as Milestone awards at 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 nights. I am also working on the Free Night Certificate on my Amex Hilton Surpass Card ($15,000 spend during a calendar year).

Meredith

  1. Chase Sapphire Reserve: I utilize this card for 3x on dining and travel. Yes, there are cards that earn more on both categories, but I value Chase Unlimited Rewards both for transfer options and the ability to book through the portal or pay yourself back. The simplicity of the $300 travel credit is one of my favorite benefits. I also appreciate the Priority Pass lounge access, particularly the Turkish Lounge at my home airport. Additionally, the trip cancellation/interruption insurance has saved the day on multiple occasions.
  2. American Express Gold: My choice for 4x points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants. Food is one of our biggest budget items, and the Gold card makes it easy to rack up Membership Rewards points. The $10 monthly GrubHub credit is a nice perk on days when I forget to pack a lunch for the office.
  3. American Express Blue Business Plus: This card is a new addition to my husband's wallet, which feels like an extension of my wallet. As I've previously mentioned, my husband doesn't like to carry too many cards or track promotions, so this is an easy way for him to consistently earn 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases.
  4. Chase Freedom Flex: This is the newest addition to my wallet, and I'm still working on hitting my minimum spend. After that, I will utilize the card for spending in the rotating quarterly bonus categories for 5x points.
  5. Chase Freedom Unlimited: The other everyday card used in my household. My husband carries this card for 1.5x on all purchases. It’s easy, straightforward and great for those who don’t want to overthink every swipe. Although this card is marketed as cash back, we use the Unlimited Rewards which we value more. I transfer points to my Chase Sapphire Reserve account to maximize value.
  6. Chase World of Hyatt: For 2x on local transit and commuting. Before the days of social distancing, I commuted to the office by bus and metro. Swiping my monthly transit expense is a quick way to earn a few extra Hyatt points.

Rick

  1. Chase Sapphire Reserve: I use this card for 3x on dining and travel. I am in the process of considering a downgrade to a CSP. This would be because I am focusing on building Amex MR this year with no plans to use Chase Ultimate Rewards for other than Hyatt or maybe Southwest Airlines. I have used Pay Yourself Back, but no plans for that in 2021.
  2. American Express Blue Business Plus: I have made this my everyday non category spend card as I work on building Amex MR points in 2021.
  3. American Express Gold: I use for 4x points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants. The one issue I have had here in Washington State is Fred Meyer (Kroger) does not code Grocery.
  4. Chase Freedom/Flex: I try to take advantage of the quarterly bonus categories for 5x Unlimited Rewards on Freedom. It only comes out of my wallet long enough to hit the max $1,500 in spend
  5. Chase Ink Business Cash: I use this card for 5x at office supply stores, internet, cable and phone. My yearly spend window just opened so I can now put up to 25k in spend on it at the 5x.
  6. Minimum Spend cards: I am currently meeting minimum spend on Charles Schwab Amex Platinum and a Citi Premier.

Sarah

  1. American Express (Rose) Gold: Like most people, and as Meredith mentioned in a prior blog post , a lot of our spend lately has been on groceries. This card earns 4x points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants. The new $10 a month Uber credit is a nice addition to this card. I see some UberEats orders in my near future.
  2. Citi Premier. This is one of the newer additions to my wallet and I am still working on meeting the minimum spend requirement to earn the sign up bonus. In addition, this card earns 3x on restaurants, gas stations, and groceries. This is my go-to card for anything in those categories while I'm working on the minimum spend.
  3. American Express Blue Business Plus: This card earns 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases, so anything that doesn't otherwise fall into a bonus category on another card gets put on this one.
  4. Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex: I use these cards for spending in the rotating quarterly 5x bonus categories – this quarter it is streaming services and warehouse clubs. We are Costco members and usually stock up on household essentials about once a quarter, so that will be a big chunk of the quarterly bonus spending. Note that the Chase Freedom is no longer available for new applications.
  5. Chase Ink Cash: This is the newest card in my wallet and the go-to card for business purchases and office supplies while I am working on meeting the minimum spend requirement to earn the sign up bonus. This card earns 5x on office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services. We do quite a bit of organizing and printing in the first quarter of every year to prepare for filing our taxes, so I expect office supply stores will be the primary way I use this card.

Shira

  1. American Express (Rose) GoldMost people know that I love rose gold and have been obsessed with it for about 15 years, so way before it was cool. It has a permanent spot in my wallet because it earns 4x points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants, which is especially beneficial since the majority of purchases for my private practice are at supermarkets.  Just a reminder, that you can get the Rose Gold again because IT'S BACK!!!!
  2. American Express Business Gold: When the annual fee came due, I called American Express for a retention offer.  They offered me $150 off for a $2K spend so I'm back to consistently swiping the card.
  3. Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex: The 5x points back on rotating quarterly categories equals 30,000 extra Chase Ultimate Rewards a year if I max it out each quarter.  For the Freedom Flex, it is also one of my big grocery store cards as I am getting 5x on the first $12K this year.  Additionally, the 3x at drugstores is great since it isn't a category on any of my other cards,
  4. JetBlue Business: I grabbed this card a few weeks ago for the 100K offer as I really want to try JetBlue Mint. Since I'm currently working on the minimum spend, it has a firm hold in my wallet.
  5. World of Hyatt:  50 swipes for $5,000??  It currently has a spot for all small spends so I swipe it whenever feasible.  I may have forgotten to get started on it so I have a while to go.

Final Thoughts

The beauty of this game is that there is no prescribed answer. Each member of the ToP team reviewed their individual spending habits and travel goals to determine the cards that add maximum value for them. There are trends among the cards that we carry but plenty of differences too.

What are your travel goals, and which cards are in your wallet every day? Share your thoughts below or in the Travel on Point(s) Facebook group.

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Affiliates