As promised, here are all the cards I keep in my wallet*, with a rationale of why I acquired each card. Jump below the image to read why I got each card:
I have two criteria for credit cards:
- No annual fees: I don’t spend enough to warrant paying an annual fee for any card.
- Cash back only: I don’t mess with complex point systems which only encourage spending. I just want some money back on my bill.
My favorite card. Why?
- 3% back at supermarkets
- 2% back at department stores and gas stations, 1% everything else
- Great customer service. I once unintentionally purchased a $40 car wash at a broken gas station terminal. I had no way to prove that I didn’t want or use it, but Amex figured it out and got my money back.
- Very high credit limits. I requested a 3X increase of my credit limit shortly after getting this card. After Amex approved it, it was easy for me to request a high credit limit on my other credit cards.
- Random bonuses. See below: I got $200 for signing up, $300 for referring 3 friends, and $100 for paying for UpWork with it (which I was already doing). If you sign up using this link, you’ll get a $100 sign up bonus. (Disclaimer: I get a bonus from Amex if you sign up. Yay!)
The Amazon.com Store card offers 5% back on all Amazon.com purchases from Prime members. I don’t use this card anymore because I got:
This is a great card for Amazon Prime Customers and has replaced my Store Card for Amazon.com purchases:
- 5% back on all Amazon.com purchases. You can use your cash back to pay at Amazon.com checkouts.
- No foreign transaction fees. This is very rare for a card without annual fees.
Discover it Card
I mostly keep this card around because I’ve had it since 2004. However, it has a few nice benefits:
- 5% cash back in rotating categories (currently restaurants)
- Discover doubles your cash bank in your first year. (That’s 10% of your money back!)
- No foreign transaction fees (this saved a fortune while I lived in Asia)
- 4% back at any gas station
- 3% back at restaurants
- 2% back at Costco. With the Executive card, that’s 4% back on all purchases.
I use this at ATMs about 3x per year.
This is a secret card that E*Trade does not advertise. You can link a debit card to your brokerage account if you snail mail them a letter asking for it (there is no other way to request it). This card allows me to keep only what I need to pay the bills in my checking account. If I need cash in a hurry, I can sell some stocks and immediately cash them out from any ATM.
Chase Freedom offers 5% back in rotating categories. It’s too much of a hassle for me to track the categories to actually use it, but it’s easy to get approved for this card, so it’s good for beginners.
Chase Ink Business Cash
This card is for my personal business. I like it because I get 5% back for office expenses and Chase gave me $300 just for signing up. Using a business card makes it easy to separate my personal and business expenses.
Bank of China Debit Card
Physical fitness is important too 🙂 Come spar with me Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday!
* About 7 of these are actually in my wallet most of the time.