The 27 Credit Cards In My Wallet Right Now

Filed Under: American Express, Bank of America
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Maximizing credit cards is one of the best ways to elevate your travel. This can include signing up for the credit cards with the best welcome bonuses, using the right credit cards for your everyday spending, and also taking advantage of other credit card perks.

There are a lot of misconceptions about the impact that applying for credit cards can have on your credit score. I have over two dozen credit cards, and my credit score is excellent.

In this post I wanted to first share a brief intro regarding how applying for credit cards impacts your credit score, then I’ll talk about what goes into my credit card decision making process, and then I’ll share the cards I have open.

How Credit Cards Impact Your Credit Score

There are a lot of misconceptions about how credit scores work, in particular people thinking that applying for credit cards hurts your credit score. That’s generally not true, and in many cases applying for cards can even help your credit score.

The beginners guide on the blog has a section about credit cards and credit scores, and should provide some insights on that. For context, I have over two dozen credit cards, and my credit score is in the top couple of percent nationwide.

For those of you not familiar, here are the things that factor into your credit score:

  • 35% of your score is your payment history (the percentage of payments you’ve made on-time)
  • 30% of your score is your credit utilization (how much credit you’re using compared to your total limits)
  • 15% of your score is your credit age (the average age of your open accounts)
  • 10% of your score is the types of credit you use (how many different types of requests for credit you have)
  • 10% of your score is your requests for new credit (how many times you’ve applied for credit)

What’s most important is that you pay your bills on time, don’t utilize too much of your credit (meaning you want to ideally use 20% or less of your total available credit), and keep some cards long term, which will help increase your average age of accounts.

The only metric that’s lowered by applying for cards is your requests for new credit, but that makes up just 10% of your score. Furthermore, credit inquiries typically fall off your report after 24 months.

Closing credit cards that are no longer working for you potentially doesn’t harm your credit much either.

What I Look For In Credit Cards

For me, there are three things I look for when applying for credit cards:

  • They offer a big welcome bonus — often the introductory bonuses on cards are compelling, and enough reason to pick up a new card
  • They offer a generous return on everyday spending — there are some cards you have because they help you maximize the points you earn for everyday spending
  • They offer ongoing perks that more than justify the annual fee — some cards are worth holding onto even if you don’t plan on putting much spending on them, because they offer things like elite status, annual free nights, etc.

The 27 Credit Cards That I Have Right Now

Now let me share what cards I have at the moment. I have 27 open credit cards right now, which is a few more cards than I had a year ago.

Here they are, broken down by issuer:

My Seven American Express Cards

See this post for more on my overall Amex card strategy.

I love the Centurion Lounge access offered with the Platinum Card

My Two Bank of America Cards

The Alaska companion certificate has allowed me to score some great deals on flights

My Two Barclays Cards

  • JetBlue Plus Card — this card offers a 5,000 point bonus on the account anniversary each year, plus a 10% refund on JetBlue points redemptions, which to me justifies the $99 annual fee
  • AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard — in the past I’ve had this card because of the ability to easily earn elite qualifying dollars and elite qualifying miles for spending on this card; this card is no longer worth spending money on, but the new wifi credit and $25 daily food & beverage credit is causing me to hold onto the card for now

JetBlue Plus Card helps me save every time I redeem JetBlue points

My One Capital One Card

Spark miles can now be transferred to Etihad Guest for first class redemptions

My Ten Chase Cards

See this post for more on my overall Chase card strategy.

Transfer Ultimate Rewards points to World of Hyatt for redemptions at the Park Hyatt Paris

My Four Citi Cards

The Citi Executive AAdvantage Card Admirals Club membership is a great value

My One US Bank Card

In 2016 I stayed at the Radisson Blu Longyearbyen, the world’s northernmost hotel

Bottom Line

Hopefully the above is an interesting rundown of the credit cards I have. I’d like to think that almost all of these credit cards serve a purpose as part of my long term credit card strategy, either because they offer an excellent rewards structure or because they offer perks that make the cards worth holding onto.

There are a few cards that I plan on canceling at their account renewal, though I’ll deal with those situations as they arise.

As you can see, my credit score is also excellent in spite of how many credit cards I have, which should hopefully put some of you at ease who are considering applying for new cards.

How many credit cards do you have right now?

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), The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees), Marriott Bonvoy Business Card From American Express (Rates & Fees), Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (Rates & Fees), and American Express® Green Card (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. Hey Lucky, I love these posts! I’m always interested with what your credit card situation is.

  2. Since 2015 I opened 30 credit cards and cancelled 13 of them leaving me with 17 active credit cards!! Thanks to all your recommendations :):)

  3. I really want to like the AmEx platinum, but I find what’s supposed to be a VIP experience is ruined by all sorts of ‘gotchas’ on the card.

    Centurion Lounge access is great -when- it works, but recently that’s just not been the case, with overcrowding at SFO and SEA leading to bizarre access rules (essentially 80 minutes before boarding ) when you need it the most (aka the airport is a zoo or you’re on standby) Now that they won’t let you in without a confirmed seat assignment it’s a double whammy, especially at airports like LGA where the lounge is airside. This balanced by the fact the lounges are insanely overcrowded and feel more like a daycare center than a relaxing place.

    The Uber credit is, let’s be real, useless. Same with the Saks credit. They’re better than nothing, but doling these out in tiny fragments feel like a lot of work for something that should just be a nice benefit.

    The airline credit… I have no idea what it’s for aside from buying airline gift cards. My lounge membership for Alaska apparently didn’t count (only daypasses?) and they’re kind of snippy about it when you bring it up.

    Points earning is awesome for airfare, but travel protection benefits are next to nil next to the CSR, so aside from small throwaway trips I find the CSR is my goto for airfare almost every time.

  4. @Lucky, I’m curious about two things.

    First, are you planning on keeping the Hilton Ascend card long-term? The biggest benefit is HH Gold, which you already get with your Amex Plat. If you already have Gold, it seems to me that it’s only worth having for the 10 PP visits (when you need to bring in more than 2 guests).

    Second, are you planning on getting the IHG Premier card for the 4th night free benefit (and anniversary night)? It seems like Chase is moving towards restricting the number of cards within the same family to one (like the Sapphire, Hyatt, and Southwest lines). Perhaps now’s the time to get the IHG Premier, or you might have to eventually give up the IHG Select if you wanted to get the new product.

  5. It is my understanding that the BA 10% discount is no longer being honored. At least ffrom my experience. Was this just an anomaly, or has the discount been discontinued?

  6. @Lucky How do you insure all of your cards stay active? Do you put minimal spend on cards you rarely use every couple of months?

  7. Alpha – the Amex Plat works best when you can get a lot of use out of Delta lounges as well as the Centurion lounge. I use the airline credits for AA day passes, and the Uber credits are useful to me.

    My main cards are
    – Amex Platinum Charles Schwab (airfare, bills, other unbonused spend)
    – CSP (travel, dining)
    – Hilton Ascend (dining, groceries)
    – Discover It Cashback Match (rotating categories, unbonused spend)

    Pretty simple strategy aimed at earning MR, UR, Hilton or Cashback whenever it works best. I also have other cards that don’t get a ton of use

    Looking to add
    – Delta Platinum or Reserve (I have a Gold now, but I need MQM earning as well)
    – Hilton Aspire (100,000 point bonus, more credits, Diamond)
    – A Citi AA card
    – One more hotel card (Hyatt or Marriott)
    – Capital One Venture

    As a Delta/AA flier and a general hotel agnostic traveler who books 75% of travel on a corporate card, this should cover all of the bases. I am also working on upgrading into the Freedom Unlimited/CSR combo. If anyone has suggestions let me know.

  8. When Ford travels with u WHO pays ?? 14 cards 820 Fico No job 11 years . Hate the Rich !! Vote for Bernie 2020 .


  9. Seriously how do you put so much spend on this many cards to justify keeping all of them. I have trouble enough with three cards.

  10. I count a total of $3,187 in annual fees on those 21 cards on a yearly basis. That’s wild. Only 4 of your cards have no annual fee. You travel all the time so most of these make sense but I have to think that you got some of these just for the bonus and will cancel.

  11. Do you really carry them all in your wallet as per the headline? If so, your wallet must be very George Costanza-like…

  12. The credit scores posted are FAKO scores from Credit Karma. It is very likely that his actual FICO scores, especially Experian, are lower.

  13. @ Michael — Hah, in fairness I have three wallets, though between them all the cards are indeed in there.

  14. @ Mr G — In the case of a lot of these cards I don’t actually put spend on them, but rather I keep many of them for the benefits they offer.

  15. @ Craig U — In many cases I don’t put any spend on the cards, and I’ve never had a card closed down due to lack of activity. Maybe I’m just lucky.

  16. @ Tennen — Great questions! I’m thinking I’ll eventually upgrade from the Hilton Ascend to the Hilton Aspire, for the Diamond status and other perks. That seems more worthwhile in my specific circumstances. You’re correct that I already get Gold status through the Amex Platinum, so there’s limited value there.

    And yep, I plan to get the IHG Premier Card for the fourth night free and for the second anniversary free night certificate. While there is that restriction with Hyatt, Sapphire, Southwest, and Marriott Cards, it’s still possible to get both IHG Cards.

  17. @ AndieNarwhal — Yep, for those that have annual fees and I’ve had them for over a year, I sure do pay the fees.

  18. I have 11 cards, planning to downgrade one, cancel two and add one more this year for a total of ten. Total fees of around $400. Only five of these are used directly for travel. I have two cards that are not remotely travel connected – my Amazon 5% cash back card and my Apple Rewards card (free financing and generous gift cards with purchases – new MacBook Pro coming soon!). I’m at 3/24 and anticipating the next great Chase offer!

    I’m amazed that Lucky and others can optimize rewards on so many cards.

  19. I had my Citi double cash and capital one shutdown because of inactivity. No appeal possible.

    Now capital one sends mailers to my cat to open an account. Idiots

  20. @lucky

    Thanks for the reply. Even though what I was booking was RT and on all BA metal, for some reason it didn’t go through.

    A point to mention for those who use the new BA site. Even if you’re booking a round trip, use the multi city search function. This take you to the old version of the site and allow you to add the discount code. For whatever reason It didn’t work for my particular itinerary, but hopefully will work for others.

  21. @Lucky

    I thought you got yourself the 100k Marriott card. You said that’s your aim after you hit 4/24.

  22. @Lucky: You forgot to mention that the Citi Prestige® Card’s AWESOME lounge benefit through Priority Pass!! Also, if you have a Citi checking account the annual fee is only $350 (instead of $450), then after the $250 in travel benefits I’m essentially paying $100.00 for a year’s worth of Priority Pass lounge access; not bad! And, for the first time ever I was able to use my 4th night free benefit which saved me $119, so I think I’m ahead of this this year.

  23. I’m a DL and AA flyer. Elite with both. Presently a paid member of the Admirals Club. Have a Platinum Delta Amex. Recently got an “upgrade offer” for a Reserve DL Amex. But thinking of both the Platinum Amex and Chase Sapphire Reserve. Wondering what makes most sense. I like that the Amex would give DL club access and PP lounges. I like that the Chase has PP and also good points for dining/travel, which are big categories for me. How to pick between the two? Any reason to consider the Reserve? I’d been thinking of cancelling the DL-specific card and moving to one of the others.

  24. @ Kerri — Happy you’ve had a good experience with the Citi Prestige as well. The card does have a good Priority Pass benefit, though the reason I didn’t specifically call it out is because I get a similar benefit through several other cards.

  25. @ eskimo — Correct, I was going to get it after I hit 5/24, but I only get to that point in a couple of months, so haven’t been able to apply for it yet.

  26. @ dcaflyer — That’s a great question. Let’s start with this — you say you’re a paid member of the Admirals Club? Have you considered getting the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card? It has a $450 annual fee (the lowest cost of an Admirals Club membership), and you get a Priority Pass membership, and can add 10 authorized users at no cost, and they get Admirals Club access as well. I mention that because then a Priority Pass membership would no longer be a point of consideration with these cards.

    Personally I think it could make sense to get the Amex Platinum and the Reserve. While that’s a lot of annual fees, you’re looking at a $300 annual travel credit, $200 annual airline fee credit, $200 annual Uber credit, $100 annual Saks credit, and a lot more.

  27. Just ordered Hilton Ascend for my wife, when I noticed 100,000 points for a measly $2,000 spend AND, 10 complimentary visits to Priority Pass Clubs. Since I already have the card, we both have 20 credits annually. That makes the $95 annual fee seem like a bargain.

  28. Regarding the Hilton Ascend Priority Pass access. For the 10 complimentary visits, is it limited to the passholder or can s/he bring guests? Eg. does the passholder have access to PP lounges on 10 separate visits, or could s/he go once and bring nine friends?

  29. Congrats – your “trips” (3 wallets) are legal! Solid portfolio. My only questions are: why the Radisson – what type property do you specifically use the 40k annual points for & receive good value? And: you don’t have even 1 solid 2x cash back card to use for trip incidentals, etc.

    In place of your Radisson I have a Wyndham Rewards card. The $75 fee is the same as the Radisson & the 9,000 annual points also more than covers the fee ($108 WR v $160 RR). But I think Wyndham’s portfolio is much stronger and (can be) nicer than Radisson’s. Anyways, just curious how/why the Radisson card with all the other premiums you own.

  30. @ Pam — To be honest I’ve been hoarding Radisson points. I haven’t actually used them, but I figure at the rate of $75 per 40,000 points, it’s tough to go wrong, and eventually I’ll find a use for them, as I keep collecting more. There are some places in Northern Europe where Radisson properties are the best options.

    And nope, I don’t have a 2% cash back card that I use. Personally I’d rather earn 1.5x points with the Amex EveryDay Preferred or Freedom Unlimited, since I value those points at more than 2%.

  31. Didn’t know that about N Europe & Radisson – thx!

    1.5x on all spend on the FU cashes out at only 1 cent (no bonus categories), whereas a 2x cash card cashes out at 2 cents. I personally only use my URs for transferring to the CSR for more value (as you also state) but still find it helpful to have a good cash back card to liquidate periodically for extra spend money on vacation. Thanks again!

  32. @Kerri Be aware, after next year, they will be raising the annual fee to $495 if you are not a Citi Gold account holder. Standard, Citi Priority, .etc accounts are being targeted.

  33. What? I thought Lucky @Lucky has the Hilton Aspire already and not the Ascend. Was that not written in many of your posts including this post as well?

  34. For keeping cards active, just put a small spend on once per year. I have a calendar reminder for the summer to do a card rotation. I’ll put small purchases, say $3-$10 on my various sock drawer cards then call it good for another year.

  35. You guys in America have so much more choice than in the UK .

    Also I have no idea how you Remember the pins for all those cards, I get confused with my card pins and I only have three credit cards.

  36. No Amex Gold card yet? What are your thoughts on getting it now.

    I previously was going to pass because had the PRG previously so not eligible for the sign up bonus, but got a 50k offer this week in my Amex account so bit the bullet. For me, the airfare credit, food delivery credit and 20% back at restaurants should cover the annual fee.

  37. @Lucky: in your answer to @ dcaflyer you said: “Have you considered getting the Citi Executive AAdvantage Card? It has a $450 annual fee ……. and you get a Priority Pass membership”
    Are you sure it is correct? I thought that it only came with Admirals Club (and NOT PP) membership (I have the card).

  38. @ Nick — Most of our credit cards don’t have pins; the ones that do are only upon request. Bank (debit) cards have pins if you’re pulling cash from a machine, but pretty much everything here is signature-based.

  39. Hi @Lucky. I have got the American Express Preferred Reward Gold Credit Card (UK) after recommendations from your amazing blog. I have a question about credit utilisation. If I use up my credit card limit and then repay before my statement is generated, does it affect my credit score? For example, let’s say my limit is £2000. If I have used the £2000 credit and repaid it so that my balance is back to 0, can I use up another chunk of the credit before the end of that billing month? I always stay below the 30% of my credit limit when my statement is generated.

  40. @Pam the Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5x points, move the points to Sapphire Reserve and can cash out at $0.015, so 1.5*.015=2.25% cash back.

  41. @lucky, just the personal Alaska card? Any reason you haven’t doubled down and got the business version? I was debating getting the business over the personal to save my 5/24.

  42. Lucky, regarding the Amex Everyday Preferred, do you find it good value considering the $95 AF? With your travel, I would imagine it is pretty hard to meet the 30 transactions threshold every billing cycle. Would not the Amex Gold with fixed 4x on dining and groceries be more lucrative? If you use both its statement credit categories, it ends up cheaper than the AEP.

  43. @lucky, I signed up for the Amex Platinum Card last year based on your recommendation. Although I am keeping the card (and the 200K points I racked up this year) it has become somewhat less valuable to me based on a change Uber made. The way it used to work is that I would receive an Uber statement credit every month. Now you have to explicitly use something called Uber Cash to take advantage of the benefit. This may seem like a small change but for me it is a big deal. My kids are on my Uber account and they use it more than I do. As far as I know I cannot share the benefit with my family. I would love to have you prove me wrong.
    PS: Thank you for a great newsletter.

  44. I love these posts – keep a watch out for them because they are so fun to read. Love going through the logic of having each card…I’ve picked up 11/25 you do (plus a few others). Lucky, card companies should send you more $ than they already do – hope they know what a great influencer you are – thanks for the update!

  45. For those of us Americans that find travelling without a pin on our cards difficult, if you have a recent iPhone putting your cards on Apple Pay (and using it with the Face ID) will often sort that issue out, especially for smaller transactions in countries used to tapping.

    I do have a question: if you already have a card with an institution (say AMEX) do you get hit with a credit inquiry penalty if you get a second or third card with them? My dilemma is my Sapphire Reserve is so useful a huge chunk of my spend is on it and some months I look like I’m over-utilizing my credit even though I pay all my cards off every month.

  46. @Mark- Just an FYI, if you have an amex and apply but are denied, you do NOT get a hard pull. However, all NEW cards come with a hard pull, and some creditors (like capital one) will pull more than one reporter.

  47. Sounds like a pretty thick wallet. My brain hurts trying to think of how to optimize spend on 25 different cards at once. I usually hit a sign up bonus and move on.

  48. I’d be interested in knowing how many inquiries you currently have with that high credit score and your average account age?

  49. Lucky – got a question about the Hyatt card, which I’m considering. It gives you Discoverist plus 5 nights toward the next tier (which is Globalist, 20 nights more than Discoverist), right? So then you only need 15 nights for Globalist? Which you can get with $40,000 spend (2 nights for every 5K)? Was just wondering if I am missing something, such as the 5 free nights toward status start from zero, in which case it doesn’t really give anything. If I can get the card and spend 40K each year for Globalist, it makes it worthwhile.
    Also, when you qualify for Hyatt, is it good through the next year (so that I can qualify for almost two years at a time by spending 40K at the beginning of the year)?


  50. Are you lowering the limits on your Chase cards to reduce your risk profile with them? I have been doing that to reduce the likelihood of a shutdown. May be since you are a CPC you are considered less risky anyway

  51. @Jeff
    To get globalist you still need to get to 60 nights. Not just 20 nights above discovering.

    You do get 5 free nights, plus 2 nights per $5k spend. But if you’re starting from 0 it’s still a long ways to go.

  52. I do have the Chase trifecta but now need to collect some MR points. What card would be best for everyday spend plus international dining and spend? Thx

  53. Kinda not believing you, Lucky. You might be shilling all those cards, and might have some of them, but no way is it practical to be paying those annual fees for a paltry 5k JetBlue kickback plus 10% return or a Alaska companion pass. Whatever.

  54. Lucky, I was like you and hoarding Raddisson points.

    Then I stayed at some. While the stays weren’t bad (Helsinki, Copenhagen, St. Petersburg, Riga, Tallinn, Split), the only one I thought wasn’t lacking was Riga (and Split’s was only location). So I didn’t renew the card, as while there aren’t always better options, there usually is; if not, you are usually only getting less than a night for 40k (at least in an upgraded room

  55. @ Ben — Why pay the EDP fee? Seems like a waste. Why keep the AS cards open? I always get BOGO99 the second year and then close and reapply for a new bonus several months later. And, lastly, I just don’t understand why on earth you would keep the Aviator garbage after year one. Close it now so you can open a new one sooner…

  56. Is there any role for stupid peoples’ cards, like the Costco Advantage Visa by Citi or Citi Double Cash or Discover it? I was going to get smart peoples’ cards but just about the time I was about to apply for an IHG card, they changed the benefits and I didn’t sign up.

  57. What do you mean stupid people’s cards?

    We have the Costco card
    4% gas
    3% travel and dining
    2% at Costco
    No foreign transaction fees

    Not bad for one card that has no annual fee

    We use it only on gas, Costco, and when traveling to places like Brazil where the account will probably get hacked/compromised
    (Too irritating to reset all of our automatic accounts on Chase)

    Typically, after going to South America we will start getting fraudulent charges from Brazil (even when we don’t go to Brazil)

    We just let them happen, return to the US. Disput the fraudulent charges. Notify Citi, get a new card.

    SO much better than changing the billing info for all autopay accounts

  58. Surprised you don’t have the US Bank Altitude Reserve. My wife and I are using this card a lot for it’s 4.5% cash rewards for mobile wallet and travel expenses. We spend a lot at places where we can use SamsungPay or ApplePay on things that aren’t in bonus categories (like Costco). Although you only get the full 4.5% when you redeem it for travel expenses, they make it really easy to do this and you don’t have to use a private portal (like Chase Ultimate Rewards). You pay for the travel as you normally would (direct with hotel or airline or uber or whatever) and then get a text message asking if you want to use points to get reimbursed. The annual fee is really only $75 ($400 less $325 credit for any travel expense) so this card for me is a great deal and is getting a lot of my spend these days (except when I need to use a new card to get the sign on bonus).

    Other cards I find myself using a lot. Uber Visa card for restaurants (4% cash back) and Fidelity Visa for everyday spend when I can’t use mobile pay (2% cash back). Both have no annual fee.

  59. @Pat, I have more cards than L. And while I’ve been quietly closing some, I’m getting new ones at about the same pace. It’s a challenge to keep up, and a lot of my free nights go unused (I do NOT travel for a living; ), but I think all of it is worth the trouble and fees.

    @Lucky, thanks for these posts! It’s very helpful to see what others have and I love the discussion with everyone about what to use and why. I have to say that I am really loving my Amex gold. When I called to cancel my EDP, the Amex c.s. rep asked why and when I told him all that spend was now going on my gold card he totally agreed and told me he had done the same thing!

  60. Really appreciate your insights lucky and your friendly personal style. Question: what software do you use to manage benefits like anniversaries and free night bonuses etc. I would love to see an excel template that would make mine look like a 3 rd grader’s — for my measly 8 cards.

  61. Lucky,

    Surprised you don’t have the AMEX Gold. It’s an awesome card. I guess if you keep your Citi Prestige, AMEX Gold is less attractive, but it is probably my most used card right now. Amex Gold + Plat is a great combo.

  62. @ Anthony — Totally agree Amex Gold is great, and it’s an excellent combo with Amex Plat. But due to having the Prestige and earning 5x points on dining with that, the card has limited value to me. Definitely makes sense to have Citi Prestige or Amex Gold, though.

  63. @ Andy-dc — I wish I had any great tech to show off, but unfortunately I don’t. I mostly just use AwardWallet to track my points and certificates, and I also periodically just monitor my accounts. I don’t even use a spreadsheet, believe it or not.

  64. @ Paul — Got rid of it on the account anniversary. All things considered just didn’t seem worth it anymore given all my other excellent cards for everyday spending.

  65. I am curious. Given you have multiple wallets (fwiw, so do I), how many cards to you take with you on your “average” (lol) review trip? Surely not the whole bundle…?

  66. Glancing through your credit cards I found that although you have 24 and I have 17 — we only have 1 credit card in common. It appears you are paying a fortune in annual fees. Why not downgrade or close at least some of the cards with annual fees? Given you number & mix of credit cards, I am sure your well into the six figures in credit limit available.

  67. @Brian

    Business expense and tax deductible.
    The question is why are you holding (maybe) 16 cards with no annual fee. Are you utilizing any benefits or it’s just there for you credit history. At least half of his cards have annual benefit if used properly will more than offset the annual fees. Look at all his hotel cards. You are paying $100 annually, it’s already paying off. But if you stay zero nights at a hotel, then yes paying fees is a waste.

  68. Love these posts and seeing what everyone else has and uses. We have 44 cards, between spouse and self. Get good value out of most of them. We duplicate what Lucky has, for the most part, and the others are no annual fee cards we’ve had for a while to get the bonuses or the initial year perks (Discover 3% after the first 12 months, etc). Just turned in our first claim to CSR for $800 after being stuck in Tokyo for the typhoon last month. That will cover a few annual fees. Like Lucky, we also hoard the Radisson points. Found a great use of them a couple years ago to send our son and his girlfriend on a ski trip. Lovely lodge where they were headed and they loved it. And yes, the Amex Gold card is the one we use constantly.

  69. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is by far the best card out there
    The Citi Double Cash is interesting
    The Citi Prestige is losing its allure
    The Hotel cards are only good for the one free night a year
    The Amex Platinum, I agree with Alpha, is a ripoff. Airline credits that you can’t use for tickets or upgrades??? Uber Cash as opposed to Uber credit, and doled out at $15 a month??? Centurion lounges in select cities??? Delta lounges but not for companion??? I regret getting this card, I will get rid of it by year end and live without an Amex card from now on.

  70. I could not possibly use cards that charge over $3,000 in annual fees efficiently. I don’t generate natural spend that high and I don’t find it convenient to go to Walmart for money orders. 😉

    Current lineup:

    AMEX Green: travel and dining. Might upgrade to Gold next year if they give me a good bonus

    Capital One Venture: General travel/outside US (I ask for annual fee to get dropped at renewal time or I downgrade to the no AF card)

    Fidelity Rewards: straight cashback, no annual fee, used in US since it’s 2% outside

    DicoverIt Cashback: 10% bonus on categories first year.

    I’ll probably start gradually churning some more cards and signing up for Chase and Citi eventually. I need to go under 5/24. first though. Just churned the Cathay Synchrony card and it’s going to be sock drawered and cancelled in early 2021. I am intrigued by the Cathay J/F RTW multi-carrier awards and I am piling some Asia Miles. RTW with multiple stopovers and land segments for 210k in J, 300k in F doesn’t sound horrible.

  71. @Ben

    You should review one of those economy flights that presumably you will be taking on Alaska air (with the $121 companion certificate)

  72. @ dc_nomad:

    You can apply Gold Guest Upgrades to those flights, as long as you buy in the right fare class. Or miles to upgrade them. Theoretically ANC-LAX-SJO is one upgrade, 4500 or so miles of flying…

  73. A year ago I had 26 cards and a credit score almost identical to yours (but reversed). Only a handful had annual fees.

    I then decided to simplify things – maybe because I had retired. I got rid of 11 cards, down to 15. All these were newer than my average card age. BOA and Discover advised me they were closing two cards for inactivity if no charge was made. I’m letting those die off (both less than average card age).

    In the interim I did upgrade of an Amex Hilton card to the Amex Hilton Aspire for 150K points, etc. So I would have 13, after the two inactive ones close. But I recently couldn’t resist the Sapphire Preferred 60K offer (closed one long enough ago) and under 5/24 and the JetBlue 60K mile offer. I am just starting the collective $5,000 spend over the next three months.

    So. I’m back to 17, with two due to close. Transunion is down three points and Equifax is up three.

  74. What is that bulge in that guy’s pants? His wallet! How the hell do you walk around with 26 credit cards in a wallet, George Costanza?

  75. The credit card game is pretty useless here in Europe. I have all three ”good” premium credit cards offered in Sweden and pay rougly USD 1,200 in annual fees for almost no perks 🙁 No free hotel nights, no Uber credit, no useful hotel statuses and almost no transfer partners. Oh well.

  76. It’s important to remember that, Lucky, this is your job. You are constantly reviewing credit cards, hotels, airlines, and lounges. Most people won’t fly a certain airline because of a specific lounge. Also, most people would have a consolidated method for their overall strategy as compared to having the number of cards you do. For example, many of the cards you have are unnecessary because they either compete with another card and for many people they do not want to accrue points in many different accounts because then they do not have enough to do anything then. I hope that some of the posts could be tailored to a strategy that an “regular” individual rather than someone that does this as their full time work.

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