Every once in awhile, I like to go over which cards Sharon and I are carrying in our wallets. Doing so gives you a look behind the scenes of how to put a plan of earning points and miles in practice.
With our spending patterns turned upside down, the cards we’re using have changed. Banks are changing bonus categories on a weekly or daily basis, so we’ve had to adapt on the fly.
Sharon and I usually have totally different spending patterns. I’ll carry a bunch of different cards to maximize spending and Sharon’s cards will be focused on simplicity.
Things have changed there, as well.
Joe’s (Virtual) Wallet
The first thing that’s changed about my “wallet” is that I try to never take a card out of my wallet. All of the cards I use regularly, I’ve added to my Apple Pay and use contactless payments whenever I can.
The rest of my payments are online, and I’ll usually have my card stored for the places I shop from the most.
The Sapphire Reserve was previously in my wallet because of the points it earned at restaurants and for travel. Right now, it’s there because Chase has added a 5X bonus category for supermarkets in May and June for up to $1500 in purchases.
That’s the majority of our spending right now, so its the card in the front of my wallet.
This is usually the card I use for my occasional trips to the supermarket because this card earns 3x Membership Points per dollar but the Sapphire Reserve now gets that spending.
So what do I use my Everyday Preferred for? Amazon.com purchases.
This was the card I signed up for the AMEX Offer to earn 5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent at Amazon up to 2,000 points. So my Amazon purchases are going on this card.
And that’s most of our expenses right now. OK, it’s not everything. There are some everyday bills like our water bill and insurance payments.
I’m still meeting my minimum spending requirement for the IHG Rewards Club Premier card. I signed up for a 140,000 point bonus after spending $3,000. Even with our decreased spending patterns, I would have been able to reach that amount. However, Chase extended the time to reach the spending requirement from three months to six, so I put some expenses on cards with limited time bonuses instead of the IHG card.
I’m finishing off the $3,000 with bills here and there.
When we first started this blog, we joked in our bio that we were a husband who was into miles and points and a wife who didn’t really care. That’s changed a bit as Sharon’s now much more involved with writing articles for the blog and running our Facebook group. However, she still doesn’t want to worry about which credit card to use for each purchase (Note from Sharon: truer words were never spoken). If I put a card in the front of her wallet, she’ll use it and that’s about as far as I’ve been able to get.
I signed up for this card earlier this year when it has a 60,000 point bonus for spending $1,000 in three months. That offer is still open if you’re interested.
This card earns 2x points at supermarkets, so I can have Sharon use it to meet the minimum spending while also earning bonus points on our groceries.
This is the card Sharon uses for almost everything else. It earns 2x Membership Rewards per dollar spent. I was also able to sign this card up for the same Amazon.com offer I mentioned above so we were earning seven Membership Rewards for our Amazon purchases. I’ve already maxed out the spending with that offer on her card. 🙂
I still let Sharon keep this card in her wallet (Note from Sharon: “LETS me.” Ha! He knows I won’t LET HIM take it out of my wallet). It now earns points for dining and travel which aren’t useful but it also is offering a $10 a month credit if you pay your wireless bill with the card.
Nothing is normal right now. That even goes for which credit cards we’re using for the majority of our spending. With no travel and minimal dining expenses, our main bills are everyday expenses and paying for our bi-weekly trips to Publix, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
I’m planning on using our travel credits from our Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and Citi Prestige on supermarket expenses when that benefit starts in June but for now, we’re set with what we have.
That might change if I decide on getting a new card but I’m holding out to see what offers might come from banks to entice new cardholders.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary