How I Spread Out Our Credit Card Spending For The First Half Of 2019

It’s now the second half of 2019. Besides being a good time to look at how we’re doing on our New Year’s Resolutions (I’ve joined a gym but I’m not going as much as I’d like), it’s as good of a time as any to look at our points and miles situation.

Some bloggers are looking at their progression on qualifying for status with airlines or hotels (Ben from One Mile at a Time wrote about his progression, and congrats to him for figuring out it doesn’t pay to be loyal). Since I couldn’t care less how many nights I’ve stayed at a hotel chain or how many miles I’ve flown with an airline, what can I look at?

After sign up bonuses for credit cards, ongoing spend is the next most important way I accumulate points and miles. Looking into where I’m putting that spend and if it fits the plan I have for our points earning is a smart thing to do.

Thanks to Quicken and some scrap paper, here’s a breakdown of our spending for the first six months of 2019.

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Why I’m Considering Ditching All Of Our Premium Credit Cards

What do you think of when you hear the phrase premium credit card. Exclusivity? Luxury? Benefits? Perks? For a while, these cards offered all of these.

The grand daddy of the premium card is the American Express Centurion card. A card that’s so exclusive AMEX has to invite you and no one knows the requirements to get said invitation. What we do know is that the card has a $7,500 initiation fee and a $2,500 annual fee. Since I occasionally run a cash register for my day job, I’ve held a few of these cards over the years. It’s wasn’t nearly as exciting as I hoped.

Personally, I’m not at that level. However, I was able to get a base level of premium card from all the major banks. American Express Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige. So why have I reached the point where I’m considering not holding any of these cards?

Here’s the reason:

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Bonvoy Brilliant: The Marriott Card With The Best Benefits, If You’re Willing To Take The Risk Of Being #Bonvoyed

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card by American Express is the top-level Marriott Bonvoy card available to new applicants. Marriott points are useful because of the variety of hotels available in the Bonvoy program in addition to the other ways you can redeem your points with their travel partners.

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Is It Possible To Have Too Many Free Hotel Nights?

I realize it’s a total #firstworldproblem to be complaining about having too many hotel free night certificates. But I just can’t ignore the fact that by the end of the year, Sharon and I will be getting seven free nights from the various hotel credit cards that we have. When we had one, two or even three of these certificates a year, it was easy to burn them on a quick weekend getaway, like when I used one during my visit New Jersey for my class reunion.

But seven?

So I’m starting to wonder if I need to pare back my hotel credit cards. I mean, if the only reason I’m keeping a card is for a free night and I can’t use the free night, the card isn’t worth it anymore. Not to mention that if I’m limiting myself to a specific hotel chain to use a free night certificate, I might be missing out on staying at a better location because I don’t want to waste a free night. That’s the reason I don’t care about loyalty – I don’t want to be hooked to a specific brand because of a credit card certificate.

Here’s a list of the cards I have that provide a yearly free night certificate as a benefit:

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