These Are The 6 Credit Cards I Use Most (2020)

Filed Under: American Express, Bank of America
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I have over two dozen credit cards, though I hold onto these cards for a variety of reasons. I have some of these cards because they help me maximize my everyday spending, while I have other cards because of the ongoing perks that they offer.

Credit cards worth having for the benefits

There are cards I keep long term primarily for the benefits they offer, without actually putting much spend on them. Just to give a few examples:

I appreciate the Delta SkyClub access offered by the Amex Platinum Card

Credit cards I spend the most money on

With the above out of the way, I figured I’d talk a bit about the cards I use most for everyday spending. Which cards are at the top of my wallet, and under what circumstances do I use them? Here are the six cards that I’m spending the most money on:

Citi® Double Cash Card

This no annual fee card is my favorite personal card for everyday, non-bonused spending. The card offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase and 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase.

That’s a good return for a no annual fee card in and of itself, but what makes this card more exciting than ever before is that rewards earned on that card can be converted into ThankYou points.

I value Citi ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each, so to me, this card offers a 3.4% return on all spending.

Read a full review of the Citi Double Cash here.

Redeem Citi points for travel in Virgin Atlantic business class

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

This card has a $550 annual fee, though offers a $300 annual travel credit that can be applied towards any purchase coded as travel. Therefore I consider this card to really cost me $250 per year. The card also offers several useful perks, including a Priority Pass membership.

When it comes to spending, this card offers triple points on dining and travel. The travel category has historically been particularly useful, and as of late I’ve even been using this card for other categories thanks to the limited time bonus categories. For example, the card has offered 5x points on grocery store spending, Instacart spending, and more.

I value Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me, this card offers a 5.1% return on dining and travel.

Read a full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve here.

The Sapphire Reserve is my go-to card for most travel purchases

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

This no annual fee card is the best companion to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. That’s because this card offers a flat 1.5x points per dollar spent with no limits. There are no bonus categories, so the reason I like this card so much is because it’s the best card for earning Ultimate Rewards points on everyday spending.

If you have this card independently then each point can only be redeemed for one cent. However, if you have it in conjunction with the Sapphire Reserve, then you can transfer points to that account, and you’d be able to transfer points to the Ultimate Rewards airline or hotel partners, or redeem them for 1.5 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase (or for now even towards the cost of everyday expenses).

I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me this card offers a 2.55% return on everyday spending, in conjunction with the Sapphire Reserve.

So why do I use this card at all anymore when I also have the Citi Double Cash? To be honest I haven’t been using the card much in recent months. However, I could see myself still using the card going forward, because sometimes it’s about using a card that offers the points that you value most, so if I needed Ultimate Rewards points I’d be using this card.

For those who don’t yet have the card, it has a special bonus right now, which includes 5x points on grocery store spending for a year. This card is an important part of any Chase credit card strategy.

Read a full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited here.

Redeem Chase points for travel in JetBlue Mint

Citi Prestige Card

This card isn’t nearly as valuable as it used to be, between the fourth night free benefit being watered down, as well as travel coverage being removed from the card.

However, this is a card I continue to use for the 5x points that it offers on dining. Admittedly I’m spending much less on dining than in the past. Still, this cards earns me 5x ThankYou points on dining, including Postmates and takeout, so it’s still a significant card for me. I value Citi ThankYou points at 1.7 cents each, so to me, this card offers an 8.5% return on dining.

The card does have a $495 annual fee, though the $250 annual travel credit helps offset that. Furthermore, this card allows me to maximize the value I get with the Citi Double Cash, which is a vital part of my Citi credit card strategy.

Read a full review of the Citi Prestige here.

The Citi Prestige is my go to card for dining spending

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

This is my favorite business card for non-bonused spending. Specifically, the no annual fee (Rates & Fees) Blue Business Plus offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent annually. That makes this the single best business credit card for everyday, non-bonused spend.

I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, so to me, this card offers a 3.4% return on everyday spending.

Read a full review of the Amex Blue Business Plus here.

Redeem Amex points for travel in Etihad first class

The World Of Hyatt Credit Card

While I wouldn’t ordinarily say this is the best card for everyday spending, I put $15,000 of spending on this card for a reason.

The card already offers five elite qualifying nights plus a Category 1-4 free night certificate annually just for paying the $95 annual fee.

On top of that, you get an additional two elite nights towards status annually for every $5,000 you spend, and you also get a second Category 1-4 free night certificate when you spend $15,000 on the card in a cardmember year.

So if you spend $15,000 on the card you’re getting an incremental six elite nights (which helps me earn Globalist status) plus a second free night certificate, which I find to be well worth it.

I also try to make as much of my spending be at Hyatt hotels (where I earn 4x points) or on fitness and gyms (where the card earns 2x points, though admittedly this category isn’t very useful right now).

Read a full review of The World Of Hyatt Credit Card here.

I consistently get outsized value with the Category 1-4 certificate

Other credit cards I spend money on

The above are the six cards that I’ve been putting the most spending on, though there are some other cards that I put spending on for specific reasons:

All of these are cards that I find useful as well, though I don’t put $15,000+ of spending per year on any of those cards.

Bottom line

I’d like to think I have a pretty good credit card setup, as I’m earning anywhere from 2-5x points per dollar spent on my credit cards. When you factor in all the cards, I’m earning over 3x points per dollar spent on average, which I’d value at being a return of over 5%. That’s excellent if you ask me.

To recap:

What are the primary cards you use for your credit card spending?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
  1. -AS Biz cuz in live in AK (AS miles are a must)
    -Chase Freedom for 5% cats (xfer UR to P2 CSP).
    -WoH for free night

    Lastly is Amex BBP when I make large purchases that accept amex.

  2. Great article Ben – exactly what I was looking for a couple of weeks back! Thanks

    On the Citi Double Cash, do you have to have a card that earns ThankYou points directly, or can they be converted anyway?

  3. @khatl – It’s the former, you have to have a card that earns ThankYou points in conjunction with Double Cash.

  4. @Andrew @Evan I would assume he got rid of it because the 5X points on dining on the Citi Prestige and the 3-4.5X points for groceries on the AmEx Everyday Preferred makes the Gold Card redundant and unjustifiable considering its substantial annual fee, even with the annual credits it offers.

  5. Conflicting. Conflicting. Conflicting. The whole article.
    CSR offers travel and dining.
    Freedom Unlimited is a more than 2% return for if you combine with CSR points and redeem through Chase travel.
    So you frequently use more than one card for the same category.
    Doesn’t make much sense.

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