Here Are The 17 Credit Cards I Have Right Now

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It has been over a year since I shared a full list of all the credit cards I have, so I figured it’s time for an update of that. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve closed quite a few cards in the past year, so my credit card portfolio is leaner than it was in the past. In the past I typically had over two dozen cards at a time, while right now I’m down to “just” 17 credit cards.

With that out of the way, first I’ll share a brief intro regarding how applying for credit cards impacts your credit score, then I’ll talk a bit about why I get certain cards, then I’ll share the cards I have open, and lastly I’ll recap which cards I’ve recently closed.

How credit cards impact your credit score

There are a lot of misconceptions about how credit scores work, in particular people thinking that having a lot of credit cards will ruin your credit score. That’s not true… at all.

The beginners guide on the blog has a section about credit cards and credit scores, which explains why that’s not the case. A couple of years ago I shared my Experian credit score, which was 837 at the time, better than 98% of US consumers. And that’s despite the fact that I had over two dozen open credit cards at the time.

Credit-Score-1

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

  • 35% of your score is made up of your payment history
  • 30% of your score is your credit utilization
  • 15% of your score is your credit history
  • 10% of your score is made up of the types of credit you use
  • 10% of your score is your request for new credit

Credit score breakdown

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 which is 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.

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 sign-up bonus — often the sign-up bonuses on cards are compelling, and enough reason to pick up a new card
  • They offer a generous return on everyday spend — there are some cards you have because they help you maximize the points you earn for everyday spend
  • 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 spend on them, because they offer things like elite status, annual free nights, etc.

Here are the credit cards I have right now

With that in mind, let me share which cards I have at the moment. As mentioned above, I have “only” 17 open credit cards right now, which is the fewest credit cards I’ve had open in a very long time.

Here they are, broken down by issuer:

American Express:

Bank of America:

Barclaycard:

Chase:

Citi:

US Bank:

The cards I’ve canceled recently

Sometimes I have a tendency to hoard cards, though I’ve done a good job of recently thinning out the cards I have a bit. In the past few months I’ve canceled a few cards that I consider to be excellent, but that just don’t help my card portfolio at the moment. These include the following:

Bottom line

I know it might sound like a lot to some, but 17 credit cards is the fewest I’ve had in quite a while. We’ve seen some really well rounded credit cards emerge, and as a result, the bonus categories on some cards have become redundant. However, I think many of the cards I’ve canceled recently would be great cards for others.

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Comments

  1. Ben needs a credit card caddy.

    “Sir, may I suggest the Chase card for this purchase.”

  2. I was wondering why you carry both the AAdvantage Aviator Silver and the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select? They both offer 10% refund on redeemed miles up to 10,000. Does having both mean you can get 20,000 back per year?

  3. The Aviator Silver also gets 10% miles back on redeemed miles up to 10,000 miles redeemed annually, so the Citi AA card is redundant IMO.

  4. @Jeremy long-time Chase Private Client banking customers were able to request a review and get approved for the card, even with 5/24.

  5. AA Aviator Silver also gets 3x miles per dollar on flight purchases, as opposed to 2x with Citi.

    I have 10 cards currently, cancelled two yesterday and added one. I have about $140,000 available credit and am hoping that the new credit bureau rating system won’t deduct for this high amount even though my credit utilization is very low. My credit score has moved from between 820 and 835 over the past three years. I’d hate to see penalties for available credit and/or turnover of cards.

  6. Hmm, I thought Lucky wasn’t too concerned about requalifying for AA EXP next year as indicated in his other article. That would make the 50k spend Aviator Silver card somewhat useless.

  7. I may have as many cards, but I carry only exactly 3 in my wallet + a Chase visa debit card:

    — The CSR, for 3x on travel and dining, very broadly defined.
    — The CFU, for 1.5x on everything else to avoid leaving points on the table, or to get as high as 10x when making online purchases through Chase.
    — The AMEX Biz Plat, for prestige/status symbol, or when I need to purchase a “Dutch Masters” painting at an auction and need a card with an unlimited/uncapped credit line 🙂

    All my other cards are in my travel organizer, to be used as needed…

  8. @DCS SImilar to me. I have just the CSR and AmEx Plat. That covers pretty much all my needs.

    I have a Charles Schwab account so I get $100 annual statement credit on my AmEx Plat as it’s co-branded. Even better deal then.

  9. @Jim I carry the CSR, Amex Platinum and Amex Delta Platinum (I use that specifically to hit my MQD’s on Delta, nothing more). I use Amex Platinum for all air travel purchases and CSR for everything else, but especially hotel, rental cars, and dining. That primary insurance thing on the CSR is great for me, especially with a lot of foreign travel. My wife uses the Citi Costco card for all our daily stuff …. good cash back deals … but we are thinking we might replace that with a Chase FU card on my account with her as authorized user.

  10. @JohnD Indeed I also counted 16 and realized that he forgot to include the Chase Freedom in the picture. Also, Lucky mentions he has the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card but in the picture he shows Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa® Card instead.

  11. How does having 17 cards work when you divide how much you purchase a month on each card? If you’re distributing your spending among 17 cards, are you able to spend enough on each one to make it worth accumulating points/using each one of 17’s perks? im VERY curious and confused as to how you make that work

  12. Hi! I understand that these and other posts draw a lot from relevant material from previous posts (and they should!), but you should be careful to check over that earlier material for outdated information. For example, AMEX Platinum’s annual fee is now $550, not $450 as in this post. It’d also be helpful if you put consistent information on each card – some cards you mention the annual fee, others you don’t (e.g. the SPG cards).

    Still, thanks for running one of the world’s greatest travel points blogs!

  13. I would like to know how you distribute your everyday spend. which cards get used most often and which don’t get used at all.

  14. @quetips: The reason is because Ben has the SPG credit card and due to the merger he can get better rewards and linked status with using the SPG credit card.

    Ben: I am not sure your reasoning for having the INK Chase credit card because the Reserve card offers better rewards for restaurants, and I am not sure your reasoning for having both Freedom cards.

  15. Some of these cards I’m sure Lucky only has for the benefits. For example, the BofA Alaska Visa, for example. Unless you are a Seattle area traveler, you probably don’t care about building up Alaska miles. BUT the card gives you a companion fare for just taxes and fees once a year. Totally worth it just for that.

    What I’d really be interested in is where your spend goes to maximize points.

  16. Eric,

    I have debated for some time whether or not to obtain the Alaska Airlines credit card. This month, I signed-up and was approved for Signature. Now that Terminalgeddon is over at LAX and Alaska has consolidated all of their ops at Terminal 6, my reasoning is that Alaska now has more non-stop flights from LAX than in prior years – and including Virgin America’s routes.

    I anticipate that Alaska will add more frequencies and destinations from LAX, and more code-share opportunities on American/American Eagle with the AS designator affixed.

    Certainly for the forseeable future, Seattle will soldier on as Alaska’s largest O&O operation.

    What I see in the next year/year and a half is Alaska expanding it’s presence not only at LAX, but also at SAN, SFO and SJC.

    When I read Alaska’s financials, it appears that LAX is Alaska’s third or fourth largest city in terms of passengers enplaned – I would assume the majority are flying the SEA-LAX city pair, while the Mexico destinations is the next largest pool of passengers.

    With AA’s sizeable presence at LAX combined with Alaska’s routes from LAX, I’m hopeful that redemption of Mileage Plan miles will not be that difficult.

    My hunch is that Alaska will be aggressively promoting the Alaska credit card in southern California/San Diego and the San Francisco bay areas once Virgin America is retired and the Virgin America credit card relationship with Comenity is wound down.

    One area Alaska’s senior Ieadership will need to fix before Virgin America goes away is that Virgin America has a better hard product in First for trans-con service than what Alaska does.

    Alaska may elect to bump-up the service than what is currently offered in First on the Boeing aircraft with the same seats and amenities that the Airbus fleet has today and only offer it on the JFK/LAX-SFO routes and name the service “Alaska Trans-Con Beyond”, similar to Delta One, United Coast and JetBlue Mint.

    Otherwise, Alaska will lose many of the Virgin America flyers who purchase “F” and fly the LAX/SFO trans-con routes.

    SO_CAL_RETAIL_SLUT

  17. @Sunset25: You can’t do that. Credit card companies have limits as to the amount of time that has to pass in order for your to either (a) apply for the same card again or (b) receive the introductory offer. Some card companies will all you to apply for the same card again, if you cancelled it, but you would not be entitled to any special introductory offers such as fee waivers, bonus points, etc.

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