Home Credit Cards What’s Your Most Obscure Credit Card?

What’s Your Most Obscure Credit Card?

by joeheg

There are undoubtedly many of you who hold a Chase Sapphire (Preferred or Reserve) or an American Express charge card (Platinum, Gold, or Green.) Maybe you have a Chase Ink business card or the AMEX Blue Business Plus. Even others will have a collection including a Chase Freedom, Citi Dividend, or Discover card to take advantage of the rotating category bonuses.

You might have other cards from Citi, Bank of America, or Capital One.

But I’m willing to bet that there’s one card in your wallet that’s the outlier. Maybe you’re keeping it because you’ve had it for a while and closing it would mean a hit to your credit score. Possibly it provides a benefit that’s particularly important to you. Or maybe you’re just too lazy to close it.

If Sharon would ever let me get the Buc-ee’s Credit Card (Note from Sharon: STILL not happening), you better believe it would be the most obscure card in my wallet.

While some will find it odd that I still have the Disney Credit card from Chase, I find it useful for the Disney Parks perks and the referral bonuses it provides. (Thanks to everyone who’s signed up using our link.)

However, neither of those are the most obscure card I have. That honor goes to the American Express Optima Platinum card.

American Express launched the Optima line of credit cards in 1987. Previous to that, all American Express offerings had been charge cards. Here’s a post explaining the difference between the two.

AMEX has since gone full into issuing credit cards, while the original four cards are still charge cards that need to be paid in full every month.

Over the years, AMEX forgot about the Optima card. Including those of us who upgraded to the Platinum version of the card, which earns Membership Rewards points. (Not to mention that for a while, they didn’t even bother to update the image of the card on the payment emails, leaving an “image not found” icon in its place). AMEX did find a use for the Optima card in its portfolio. It’s now called AMEX’s “second chance” card, or the one card they’ll offer to customers who defaulted on their accounts but have since repaid their debts to the company. It’s the OTHER invite-only card AMEX has, but it’s the polar opposite of the Centurion card.

Do I mind having a card held mainly by people rebuilding their credit after making some financial missteps? Not at all. The Optima Platinum has no annual fee and since I have other AMEX cards that earn Membership Rewards, I earn 1 point per dollar on all charges put on the card.

In all honestly, I don’t use the card much. Before I signed up for an AMEX Gold card, it was my only personal card that earned Membership Rewards. That meant I’d get targeted AMEX offers that I didn’t see on my business AMEX cards. It also has a referral link that pays cashback instead of Membership Rewards points.

Now that I’ve admitted to still having an American Express Platinum Optima card, what’s the most obscure card you have in your wallet????

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Christian September 17, 2021 - 9:06 pm

I have a Diners Club.

joeheg September 18, 2021 - 12:14 am

I had one of those years ago when it was one of the only cards to offer primary rental car coverage. Once that benefit was available from other cards and was still only earning 1 point per dollar, I transferred out my points and closed the card.

askmrlee (@askmrlee) September 18, 2021 - 1:04 pm

Diners Club has personal effects coverage (secondary) on rental cars $1k per person, up to $2K per rental whereas Chase does not. It also offers Alaska miles earnings, but it now looks like it’s at $1.10 per 1 mile for all airlines.

I also had an Optima Platinum but I converted that to an Amex Everyday card for the 2X at groceries. Even more obscure is the FNBO Travelite card which was open to the general public for what seemed like 1 or 2 weeks.

CardShark September 25, 2021 - 7:12 am

I agree with your summary that the Optima was basically ignored by Amex; I carried one for several years, but when Amex started offering better credit cards, and one could only carry so many Amex cards, the Optima had to leave my wallet. I still have an Amex Blue Sky, which only earns approximately 1.5%, and can only be redeemed for travel purchases, but I keep due to the age of that account.

I still have a couple of Chase business credit card variations that Chase no longer offers:
Ink Business Cash (3% home improvement stores version)
Amazon Business Visa (only 3%, but was keeping my Chase Biz checking account fee-free)

JohnB December 12, 2022 - 1:35 pm

The Sears Mastercard! Citi still offers incredible bonus offers. The card earns Thank You Points. Latest promo, purchase $1000 anywhere but Sears (like there are many Sears stores left) and you earn a minimum of 7k TYP. I had to pay my dentist for a crown, guess which card I used? Best of all! You can still apply for this card!

Mark Beebe December 12, 2022 - 6:35 pm

Carte Blanche for old memories.

StAugustine December 13, 2022 - 12:29 pm

For nostalgic purposes I still have the first card I got back in college, an Exxon credit card. Used it to buy gas at about 30 cents a gallon. Looks just like an Exxon sign in front of their stations. Expired eons ago.


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