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Credit Cards I’m Keeping

Credit Cards I’m Keeping

The credit card world has changed a lot since I started accumulating sign up bonuses about six years ago.  Banks have cut down on the ability to churn (open a card, get the bonus, close it, then reopen it for another sign up bonus).  The pandemic has made travel benefits less lucrative.

Today I closed another card, my Chase IHG+ card I have had for three years.  I just couldn’t justify paying another year of the $89 annual fee when I am not staying at IHG properties and the price of award stays has gone up.

I tend to keep cards that don’t have an annual fee.  I figure I might use them if there is a good offer (Amex & Chase Offers) on the card.

Of the various bank currency, I find Chase Ultimate Rewards to be the most lucrative for me as I can transfer them to World of Hyatt points which I burn through.  I have a small bank of Amex Membership Rewards but rarely find a use for them.  I no longer collect Citi ThankYou points though I did like when you could use them to book flights for 1.25 cents each.  I don’t have experience with other bank currency.

For cash back, I tend to like the Citi Costco and Discover It cards the best.  For co-branded cards, I like Hyatt and Alaska Airlines points.  I really only use my IHG or Hilton cards for spend at those specific properties which is a rare occasion.

Credit Cards I Currently Hold

*Cards that hold a permanent spot in my wallet

One thing you may notice is that none of my cards have an annual fee over $100.  That means I don’t have any premium cards that give me access to airport lounges through Priority Pass or the Centurion Lounge.  I might consider reapplying for the Chase Sapphire Reserve once/it the sign up bonus hits 100k again but I just don’t see the long term value in any of the premium cards on the market right now.

Credit Cards I’ve Had But Closed or Downgraded due to Annual Fees

With all of the cards I currently hold and ones I have closed, I find it is important to keep a spreadsheet of my cards.  I use a simple spreadsheet with six columns that looks something like this:

It allows me to quickly check the anniversary dates of cards (when the annual fee is due) so that I can make sure to close it (or at least evaluate if it is worth keeping for another year).  If the card is open, I shade the cell for closed date as yellow to make it easier to find.

If you can’t remember when you opened a card or the history of cards you have held and closed, you can get a good amount of info off your free credit reports from one of the big three credit bureaus.

What is your plan for opening and closing cards?  Do you have a system for tracking your credit cards?

Notice: I am not a financial expert and do not offer any financial advice.  I do not receive any compensation for any of my posts.

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