|Card Name||Sign-Up Bonus and Perks|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||-50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (worth $500 in cash back or $750 in travel) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
- 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and dining
|The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express||- No current sign-up bonus
- 2X AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 on the first $50,000 in business purchases per year; then 1X point thereafter
|Chase Ink Plus||- No longer available to new applicants|
|Citi AT&T Access More Card||- No longer available to new applicants|
|Chase Freedom®||- $150 (15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account
- Earn 5% cash back (5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
There are LOTS of travel rewards cards out there. Having and regularly using a few different cards gives you access to more bonus categories, promotions, and perks.
Team member Harlan has 22+ credit cards. And uses all of them to take full advantage of the benefits! You certainly don’t need that many. But our crew is
obsessed more interested in cards than most folks (mostly to earn additional miles & points)!
I asked each Million Mile Secrets team member to share the 5 credit cards they use most. Here’s Harlan!
Harlan: I’ve had over 20 credit cards at all times for a few years now. But it all started with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. And built it up from there.
A lot has changed (and will continue to change) with banks constantly adding and removing benefits, introducing new cards, and discontinuing old ones. I’ll share what’s in my wallet right now!
“The 5 Cards I’m Using the Most Right Now” Series Index
Which Card Should You Start With?
Most travel rewards credit cards have different bonus spending categories, and make it easy to boost your points balance.
For example, pay for a meal with a card that has dining as a bonus category and you can earn 2X or 3X points, which you can then redeem for Big Travel with Small Money!
The best cards for your wallet will depend on your travel goals and spending habits. Generally, we recommend these 3 cards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred (our favorite card for beginners)
- Chase Ink Business Preferred (our favorite small business card)
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (our favorite card for easy to use rewards)
In my wallet, there’s a combination of personal and small business cards. I’m an Airbnb host and have my own blog, which is how I qualify for business credit cards. They’re a great way to diversify your bonus categories and earn even more miles & points.
And right now, these are the 5 cards I use most!
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Link: Chase Sapphire Reserve
I constantly use my Chase Sapphire Reserve card for travel and dining purchases. I love that “travel” includes things like parking, reloading my toll tag, and Airbnb stays. I dine out a lot and like to earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points at restaurants, coffee shops, and local neighborhood bars.
I typically save my points to transfer to Chase’s excellent travel partners like British Airways and Hyatt. And I have a few other cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, too. So I can combine the points to my Sapphire Reserve card, which makes all my points worth 1.5 cents each through the Chase travel portal.
This card also comes with amazing trip protection benefits, like the time I saved ~$700 for a tiny dent on a rental car! And I love using my Priority Pass Select membership when I travel. These perks, and the annual $300 travel credit, make this card a keeper.
2. AMEX Blue Business Plus
This card is my hidden gem. I use it for non-bonus spending, like:
- Oil changes
- Utility bills
- Laundry and dry cleaning
- Home repairs
Because it earns 2X AMEX Membership Rewards points on all purchases, on up to $50,000 in spending per calendar year! I can transfer those points to travel partners like ANA and Singapore Airlines for Big Travel!
I also use it with AMEX Offers to save even more money on things I was going to buy anyway. For a card with no annual fee, I get statement credits and earn lots of extra points every year. Pretty incredible if you ask me! I always make sure this card is in my wallet.
3. Chase Ink Plus (No Longer Available)
I use this card to earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on cable, phone, and internet bills. I pay for internet at each of my Airbnb locations with this card. I also use it at office supply stores to earn 5X there, too!
Although this card is no longer available, you can still access these bonus categories with the Ink Business Cash Credit Card, which has NO annual fee. And earn 5% cash back (5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
I keep the Chase Ink Plus because the annual limit for 5X categories is $50,000. But if I didn’t have it, I’d definitely have the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card instead!
4. Citi AT&T Access More (No Longer Available)
If you wanna talk about the card I use the absolute most, it’s by far this one. That’s because it still earns 3X Citi ThankYou points for paying bills like rent, mortgage, HOA dues, and car payments via Plastiq. With no limit! I also easily trigger the 10,000 bonus points for spending $10,000+ per cardmember year, which more than offsets the $95 annual fee.
Because I put my major life expenses on this card, I earn a ton of Citi ThankYou points every month. It also earns 3X Citi ThankYou points per $1 spent shopping online! And often, it’s the best card to use to earn the most points. To say I give this card a workout is a major understatement!
Unfortunately, it’s no longer available. I will definitely keep the card and make the most of the 3X categories as long as I can. I know all good deals must end. But I’ll admit, losing this card would sting…a lot.
5. Chase Freedom
Link: Chase Freedom®
This card is always in my wallet for the popular rotating quarterly 5X bonus categories. This quarter (from January 1 to March 31, 2018), you can earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on up to $1,500 in combined spending at gas stations, internet, phone, and cable bills, and Android Pay, Apple Pay, Chase Pay, and Samsung Pay.
I already earn 5X on internet, phone, and cable bills with my Chase Ink Plus card. But I will definitely use my Chase Freedom® card for gas and mobile payments! My local grocery store accepts Apple Pay, and you can use mobile payments for rideshare services like Lyft and Uber. So this will be an easy way to add an extra 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to my stash ($1,500 quarterly spending X 5 points per $1)!
In fact, the Chase Freedom® card is good for an extra 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per year if you make the most of the quarterly bonus categories (7,500 points per quarter X 4). I move the points I earn with this card to my Chase Sapphire Reserve account.
The bonus 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points is enough for a free night at a luxurious Hyatt hotel. Or a round-trip domestic award flight on United Airlines! Not bad for a card with NO annual fee.
We don’t know the other bonus categories for the rest of 2018 just yet. But in the past, they’ve included useful merchants like Amazon, restaurants, and wholesale clubs. So if that’s any indication, I’ll look forward to adding some extra points to my collection! 😉
The 5 credit cards team member Harlan currently uses the most are:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Chase Ink Plus (no longer available)
- Citi AT&T Access More (no longer available)
- Chase Freedom®
Depending on the purchase, he uses the card that earns the most miles or points or saves the most money. For example, he uses the Chase Sapphire Reserve for travel and dining purchases to earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And he uses the Chase Ink Plus (although you can use the Ink Cash card, too) at office supply stores to earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points!
The best cards for your wallet will depend on your travel goals and spending habits. Check out our new TravelCardFinder tool to find the right card for you!