“The 5 Cards I’m Using the Most Right Now” – Keith
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If you put all of your spending on just one credit card, you could be missing out on earning easy rewards like extra cash back or bonus miles.
Lots of folks in the miles & points hobby keep multiple cards in their wallet (team member Harlan has 22!). And depending on the type of purchase, folks use the card that earns them the most rewards or offers the best purchase protection benefits.
I asked Million Mile Secrets team members to share which 5 credit cards they’re using the most. Here’s team member Keith!Keith: Thanks, Daraius!
Even if I’m making a small purchase, I always try to use a card in my wallet that earns me the most miles or points. Every point counts, especially because I’m trying to replenish the rewards I used for a recent trip to New Zealand and Australia.
Using Personal & Small Business Cards to Earn the Most Rewards!
Most travel rewards credit cards have different bonus spending categories, which make it easy to boost your points balance.
For example, just pay for a meal with a card that has dining as a bonus category and you could earn 2X or 3X points, which you can then redeem for Big Travel with Small Money! It pains me to see friends and family use a card that only earns 1% cash back or 1 point when they have a card in their wallet that can earn them much more!
In my wallet, there’s a combination of personal and small business cards. I sell things on eBay for a profit (along with a few other side hustles), which is how I qualify for business credit cards. From my experience, business credit cards tend to offer extremely valuable sign-up bonuses AND have useful bonus spending categories.
The best cards for your wallet will depend on your travel goals and spending habits. Generally, we recommend these 3 cards:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (our favorite card for beginners)
- Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card (our favorite small business card)
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (our favorite card for easy to use rewards)
That said, you can read why I use these 5 cards the most!
1. Chase Sapphire Reserve
Link: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Like Daraius, I love to earn flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which I can transfer directly to airline and hotel partners like Hyatt and Southwest.
Using the Chase Sapphire Reserve card helps me quickly accumulate these valuable points. Because I earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and dining. In 2017, I’ve earned more than 50,000 points by making purchases in this bonus spending category. This reminds me, I should probably not be eating out so much! 😉
I have several other cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points too. So I can combine points to my Sapphire Reserve card, which makes all my points worth 1.5 cents each for travel redemptions through the Chase portal.
This card also comes with amazing trip protection benefits for travel mishaps like trip interruption or baggage delays. Even when I use miles & points to book award travel, I use this card to cover the cost of taxes & fees because I still get the excellent coverage!
2. Citi Prestige
Link: Citi Prestige® Card
My wife and I love to take long weekend getaways. When our trip includes a 4-night hotel stay and we’re not booking with points, we always take advantage of the 4th night free perk with the Citi Prestige card.
If you use take advantage of this benefit, it can easily be the most lucrative perk of ANY credit card!
And booking 4th night free reservations is easy. There are 3 ways to book:
- Log-in and book through the Citi ThankYou® Travel Center
- Call Citi Concierge at 561-922-0158
- Email your reservation request to email@example.com
I always book via the Citi Concierge and NOT online because you still earn hotel points, stay credits, and elite perks.
3. AMEX Starwood Small Business
I like to keep a stash of Starwood points because they’re valuable and relatively hard to earn. So I use the AMEX Starwood small business card to earn points on everyday purchases that don’t fall into a bonus category with one of my other cards.
Starwood points have flexible redemption options. You can use them to book free hotel stays at Starwood. Or convert them instantly to Marriott points at a 1:3 ratio to book free stays at Marriott or Ritz-Carlton hotels.
You can also transfer Starwood points to airlines. And when you transfer 20,000 Starwood points to an airline with a 1:1 transfer ratio (like American Airlines), you’ll get 5,000 bonus miles! This means you’re effectively earning 1.25 miles $1 you spend with the AMEX Starwood small business card.
I also use this card to take advantage of AMEX Offers that can save me money. For example, registering for a deal recently saved me $25 off dinner at a restaurant near my home.
4. Chase Ink Business Preferred
Plus, I earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites, and search engines! You can earn bonus points on the first $150,000 in purchases each year, which is much more than I spend with the card.
5. Chase Ink Cash
The no annual fee Chase Ink Cash card might be the most rewarding card in my wallet.
For my eBay business, I make a lot of purchases at office supply stores, like Staples. And with this card, you 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 can move the points I earn with this card to my Chase Sapphire Reserve account. Then, transfer points directly to airline and hotel partners, like United Airlines!
These are the 5 credit cards team member Keith is currently using the most:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Citi Prestige
- AMEX Starwood small business card
- Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Chase Ink Cash
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 most travel and dining purchases to earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And he uses the Ink Cash 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. You can check out our Credit Card Reviews page to find the right card!
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)