Periodically, I review the various credit cards I hold and my plans for the future. Admittedly, I don’t have dozens of cards like other bloggers in points and miles game, but I’m far more conservative in this area and like to think this path is much more attractive to and attainable for our readers. As of March 1, here’s what I’m holding:

 

Personal Cards

I have five personal credit cards (and no new ones for the next few months as I’m in 5/24 jail until June). I definitely favor transferable bank points like Ultimate Rewards and Membership Rewards over captive points like MileagePlus or Marriott Rewards – but I try to optimize my spend to maximize accruals.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Why I Got It: 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards sign up bonus, 3X points on travel and dining, $300 annual travel credit, Global Entry/Pre✓ credit, and travel protection benefits

How I Use It: For every travel and dining purchase except business travel and Marriott/Ritz Carlton stays

How Much It Costs Me: $450 per year (effectively $150 per year after $300 annual travel credit, which I’ve always used)

Will I Renew It? Absolutely.

United Mileage Plus Club

Why I Got It: United Club membership, 50,000 Mileage Plus sign up bonus, 2x MileagePlus points on United travel, 1.5x MileagePlus points on everything else, free luggage allowance, and priority access

How I Use It: For everyday spending that’s not travel or dining. Used to use it on United purchases for luggage allowance and priority screening, but I have those now through status.

How Much It Costs Me: $450 per year

Will I Renew It? Maybe. Depends on how much I use the United Club the rest of the year.

The Ritz Carlton Rewards Card

Why I Got It: 3 Free Nights sign up bonus, 5x Marriott Rewards points on Marriott stays, instant Marriott gold status, $300 annual airline credit, 3 Club level upgrades each year, and $100 credit per paid stay

How I Use It: For all personal Marriott and Ritz Carlton stays

How Much It Costs Me: $450 per year (effectively $150 per year after $300 annual credit, which I’ve always used)

Will I Renew It? Absolutely.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Why I Got It: 55,000 Ultimate Rewards sign up bonus (after adding authorized user), 2x points

How I Use It: Minimal use to keep account active

How Much It Costs Me: $95 per year

Will I Renew It? No, planning to “downgrade” to Chase Freedom.

CapitalOne Quicksilver

Why I Got It: 1.5 cents per dollar cash back

How I Use It: Minimal use to keep account active

How Much It Costs Me: $0 per year

Will I Renew It? Yes, as its a fairly old account which boosts my FICO score

 

Business Cards

Currently, I have three business cards – each strategically acquired to compliment my overall business spending (my largest expense is advertising, followed by telecommunications).

American Express Business Platinum

Why I Got It: 50,000 Membership Rewards sign up bonus, 5x points on airfare, $200 annual airline credit, Centurion and SkyClub access

How I Use It: For all business travel except Marriott/Ritz Carlton stays

How Much It Costs Me: $450 per year (effectively $250 after $200 annual airline credit which I’ve always used)

Will I Renew It? Absolutely.

Chase Ink Business Preferred

Why I Got It: 80,000 Ultimate Rewards sign up bonus, 3x points on advertising and telecommunications spending, cell phone insurance

How I Use It: For all advertising on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. and all Internet/phone bills

How Much It Costs Me: $95 per year

Will I Renew It? Absolutely.

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Business

Why I Got It: 25,000 Membership Rewards sign up bonus, 2x points on Marriott, Ritz Carlton, and Starwood stays

How I Use It: For all other business expenses

How Much It Costs Me: $95 per year, waived for the first year

Will I Renew It? Absolutely.