What’s in my wallet [April 2019]?

Given the amazing quarterly categories offered by cards such as the Discover IT, the Chase Freedom as well as the Citi Dividend cards, it’s difficult to pick any one card.

Additionally, with 4X back on supermarkets and restaurants on the American Express Gold card and 3X back Travel as well as dining on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I am spoilt for choice.

What I carry in my wallet?

American Express Gold

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Freedom

Driver’s license

Student ID

$20 cash

So why those specific cards?

I carry the Gold card to use at restaurants and to book flights directly with the airline for the 4X and 3X earn-rate respectively. This card did come with a 50,000MR point sign-up bonus which I was able to receive in the first three weeks of getting the card.

The Reserve card has always held a constant place in my wallet for all things travel and dining. Travel expenses earn a flat 3X on parking, flights/train/bus tickets booked at third party websites – something that the gold card does not. Additionally, primary CDW coverage for rentals makes it a must have.

The Chase Freedom card has a 5X upto $1500 in second quarter on Groceries and I maximize this by shopping at the local HEB. I buy gift cards to use at the gas station as Ultimate Reward points are far more valuable than the cash back I may get from the Discover IT cards.

As per the current quarter, the Discover IT earns me a 5% cashback but with my second Discover IT card, I will get a match at the end of the first year for an effective 10% on all gas and Uber/Lyft transactions. As I’ve mentioned in my previous articles, the value of points far exceeds that of cashback.

So what would I earn in this quarter?

Including the sign-up bonus I’m looking at roughly 58,000 MR points from AMEX and 10,000 UR points from Chase. By transferring to travel partners I’m looking at roughly at 2-3CPP on average giving me a value of over $1200.

Would I keep earning this?

Obviously not. The sign-up bonus definitely made a bigger chunk of the point earning. Additionally, I helped friends/family book flight tickets which also earned me bonus points – and they did pay me back.

Why carry cash?

Cash is King in emergencies or places that do not accept card(s) or charge extra for transactions of low charge. Always carry some cash with you and don’t fully rely on credit/debit cards.

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