Which Credit Cards Are In My Money Clip Now?

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Yesterday I wrote a post about which credit cards are in my wallet. The name of the post may have been a bit of a misnomer, because they aren’t actually the cards that are physically in my wallet, but rather the ones that I have open.

Reader Michael T left the following comment on the post:

As per your title, do you actually keep all those cards in your “wallet”? Or are some locked away somewhere? If so, which of those cards are actually in your wallet?

PS It occurs to me that since you’re living in hotels, you may have no choice but to literally keep all those cards in your wallet. But 14 cards makes for one thick wallet…

So I actually have three places I keep credit cards:

  • I have a money clip, which I take everywhere I go. This is where I put my primary credit cards which I use on a day-to-day basis, either because they offer lucrative bonus points for categories I spend a lot of money in, or because they have a high return on everyday, non-bonused spend.
  • I also have a wallet, which I keep in my laptop bag all the time, so it’s not something I always have on me. This is where I put cards with specific uses that I don’t need on a daily basis. For example, last quarter the Chase Freedom® was at the top of my money clip, while this quarter it’s in my wallet. That’s because the big selling point of this card is the rotating 5x points categories. Last quarter one of the bonus categories was dining, which I spend a lot of money in, while this quarter it’s Kohl’s and gas stations, where I typically spend next to nothing.
  • Lastly, I have a passport wallet, where I keep the cards that I don’t actually put any spend on. For example, the IHG Rewards Club Visa comes with an annual free night certificate so I keep the card, even though I’d never spend a dime on it.


So which credit cards are in my money clip right now, that I take with me everywhere I go?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Reason: This is the single card I use the most, since it offers double points on dining and travel (living in hotels, this is where I spend the most money) and no foreign transaction fees.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard®

Reason: This is the primary card I use for non-bonused spend since it offers the equivalent of ~2.22% cash back towards travel, and it’s especially useful when traveling internationally since it doesn’t have foreign transaction fees.

Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

Reason: There’s a lot of stuff you can buy at office supply stores, and it also offers double points on gas for the times I do drive.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Card from American Express

Reason: This is the card I use for my US Hyatt stays (due to the card’s participation in the OPEN Savings program), US Starwood stays, and for some non-bonused spend.

Chase Hyatt Visa Card

Reason: For the average person this sounds oddly specific and would probably fit in the second “category” of wallets, but the reason I keep it in my money clip is because it offers triple points on Hyatt stays, so this is the card I use when staying at international Hyatt properties.

Bottom line

Admittedly my “primary” cards are probably very different than most others, given that I spend more money on travel than anything else. I’d say the above five cards cover 90%+ of my credit card spend.

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  1. That passport wallet looks the same as mine and is about as beat up. I am actually trying to find another one since it is falling apart inside. Do you recall where you picked it up. I can’t remember where I got mine.

  2. Ben, it occurs to me that you are the perfect person to ask this…. the Barclay card in your money clip, is that the one that’s supposed to be true chip and PIN? If yes, have you had an opportunity to verify that it does indeed work as such overseas, i.e. at unmanned ticket machines or gas stations? Thanks!

  3. Lucky,

    Have you seen the “wocket”? It is on wocketwallet.com. It is an interesting concept. Check it out and tell us what you think.

  4. Ben, I really enjoy your blog (and am a long-time readr), but you really need to lay off the adjective “lucrative” (and maybe buy a thesaurus :).

  5. Lucky, you seemed to have managed to not respond to all the posts yesterday about why you’re keeping the Barclays Arrival card in your wallet, given that it’s almost certainly inferior to the Fidelity card for 99% of use cases (as well at the logic of keeping two high annual fee Chase cards, given the available alternatives, but that’s a more complex situation).

    If you spend over $27,000 a year in otherwise unbonused categories, then fine. But I think you owe it to your readers to explain. You might be misleading them into paying $90 to Barclays and only getting $50 in value out of it, when they could just get $50 straight from Fidelity at no cost.

  6. I bought a pre-release Wocket. Pretty stocked about it. I should receive it sometime in September.

  7. That wocketwallet looks a bit too late(?). Isn’t the US going to chip cards in the next year or two?

  8. @lucky Ah – sorry, didn’t see that reply in the other thread. Sorry for the false accusation!

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