What’s In My Wallet: Earning Points On Everyday Spending

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At 2016 wraps up, I’m taking a look at the credit cards I currently have in my wallet regularly to determine if I have any holes based on my regular spending categories and if those holes can be filled by any credit cards that are currently available. Here’s what’s in my wallet!

Chase Freedom

For me, the Freedom is one of those no-brainer credit cards. It doesn’t have an annual fee and gives you the opportunity to earn 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent in certain categories that rotate quarterly. This year’s categories included gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and department stores – just to give you an idea of what to expect. Since I also have a premium Ultimate Rewards-earning Chase card (a few will be mentioned below), I have the ability to transfer the points earned from your Chase Freedom to all of Chase’s travel partners. This has given me well over one cent per point in value on past redemptions!

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is hands down the best credit card to get right now, considering the 100,000 Ultimate Reward point sign up bonus after spending $4,000 within the first three months of card membership. This card earns 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases as well as some additional benefits like lounge access, a $300 annual travel credit, and Global Entry application fee waiver – for a $450 annual fee.

If $450 is too steep for you, the Reserve’s little sister – the Chase Sapphire Preferred – only has a $95 annual fee, but you also lose a lot of the premium benefits. Even so, you’ll still earn 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases.

Both of these cards will give you the ability to transfer points from the Chase Freedom to Chase’s travel partners. I recently upgraded my Sapphire Preferred to a Reserve because I am beyond Chase’s 5/24 rule, meaning that since I have gotten 5+ credit cards in the past 24 months, there are many credit cards that Chase will not approve me for – including the Reserve. Unfortunately, this means that I didn’t get the 100,000 UR point signup bonus, but even without that it was worth it for me to do the upgrade.

Chase Ink Plus

The Chase Ink Plus is another great Chase card that gives the ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Chase’s travel partners and also earns an amazing 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at office supply stores! Since it’s possible to purchase a host of gift cards (think Amazon, iTunes, etc) at office supply stores I can really expand 5X earning even further. Unfortunately, the Ink Plus has been replaced by the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. I guess it’s not a bad thing necessarily, there are just different benefits. The Ink Business Preferred is still worth considering, too!

 

Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card
Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card

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$95 annual fee
Earn 80,000 bonus points.
After you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
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Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card
Apply Now
Add to Favorites
Sign Up Bonus
$95 annual fee
Earn 80,000 bonus points.
After you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Annual Fee
Already have this card? Maximize your rewards.
Read the FTG Review »

 

Citi AT&T Access More

I’m going to lead off with this one by saying it’s not a card that you can apply for directly anymore, but it is still possible to product change another Citi card to the AT&T Access More. It’s a pretty fantastic card that earns 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent at online retail and travel websites as well as products and services purchased directly from AT&T. This card has a $95 annual fee, and does not give you the ability to transfer your points to Citi’s transfer partners – you’ll need a different premium Citi card for that.

Other Cards

There are a handful of other credit cards in my wallet, as well as more that I have “sock-drawered.”

My other in-wallet cards include:

Some cards I have in the sock-drawer include:

What’s Missing?

Overall, I feel that my regular spending categories are covered very well by the cards I have and the additional benefits I gain from each card are worth it for me. But I do feel like there is one big hole in my cards: the fact that I don’t have the ability to transfer my Citi ThankYou points to Citi’s airline and hotel transfer partners. In 2017, I intend to get a card that allows me to do this. That card will likely end up being the Citi Prestige Card or Citi Premier.

Each card has positives and negatives as far as I am concerned, but after considering all of the other benefits that I already get it’s going to come down to whether or not I can use the the Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free Benefit for hotels enough to justify the $450 annual fee (yet another $450!).

If I don’t think I will use the benefit enough then I will definitely go with the Citi Premier. Ideally, I will apply for one of these cards and be eligible for the signup bonus, but if the bonuses change or I can’t get approved (historically, Citi and Barclay have been the toughest issuers for me to get new cards with), then I will try to convert my Citi Forward card into one of these products.

What’s in your wallet? Do you see anything else missing from mine?

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