I never keep the same cards in my wallet for more than a few weeks. That’s because in the points world, something’s always changing. Here are some of the reasons I shift spending to a different card:
- I sign up for a new card and have to meet a minimum spending requirement
- I get a retention offer with a spending threshold or requires using the card X times per month
- I get a targeted offer for bonus points in certain categories
- Changes to a card’s quarterly bonus categories
- I’m working on meeting a minimum spending threshold for a bonus reward (like an extra free Hyatt night)
- I have too many of one type of point and am looking to diversify
After my last trip in 2022, I never took the time to rearrange my wallet, so I was carrying around the cards I use when on trips instead of the ones I use for everyday expenses. For example, I still had my AMEX Platinum, which I don’t use except to access the Centurion Club. I didn’t worry because the card I use the most for gas and groceries is in my Apple Wallet, so I used contactless payments instead.
It’s 2023, and several things have changed. I’m not going to try to get the Hyatt free night this year, so I’ve shifted expenses away from that card. I received bonus offers on several Chase cards and plan on taking advantage of the 5% categories on my Discover card. I can’t believe these are the cards in my wallet.
Here’s how each card earned a spot in my wallet.
The 5% cash back categories for January-March are grocery stores, drug stores and streaming services. I’ll earn $75 cash back after spending $1,500. Once I hit the cap, I’ll take the card out of my wallet.
I received several spending offers from Chase, but the best one was for 5% Disney Reward dollars for gas stations, grocery stores and internet, cable and phone. I’m going to use it for our gas purchases.
I’ll use the Bilt Mastercard for our dining expenses because it earns 3X points.
That leaves the Chase Freedom Unlimited as the last credit card in my wallet. I’ll use it for everything else because it earns 1.5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar.
I need to use one slot for my Florida driver license, and the other is for my Fidelity Cash Management ATM card. I like this card because it charges no fees and reimburses all ATM fees, even the rip-off fees charged in Europe and on cruise ships.
Not In My Wallet Cards
I’m not keeping these cards in my wallet, but they’ll get used during the month:
- Sapphire Reserve – Expenses requiring good travel insurance coverage
- Ink Cash – I use this card to pay our cable/internet bill
- Venture X – This is the card I use to pay our cell phone bill
Before we travel, I do the wallet shuffle. Which cards I bring depends on the type of trip. I might not have to change much for a quick weekend getaway, but I may change every card if we’re traveling internationally. Many cards in my wallet charge international fees, and I avoid paying those whenever possible.
I’ve tried to simplify my wallet and keep it to only a few cards that I use the most. Limiting myself to 4 cards makes me consider if each one has earned a spot.
My approach is different from the one I use for Sharon, and her card mix is significantly different than mine.
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