Completely revamped in 6 months

Six months ago to the day I published a post with what was in my wallet. Had you told me then that not only would almost every card in my wallet have turned over within six months but that I’d be earning more rewards everywhereI probably wouldn’t have believed you. The truth is, various temporary bonuses have gotten so good and so plentiful that it can be difficult to remember which card(s) to use. Thankfully, I’ve now retooled and simplified everything and split this post into three wallets: my wallet, my wife’s wallet, and our “virtual” wallet (for online stuff). As noted in my previous post on this topic, the cards in my day-to-day wallet aren’t necessarily a reflection of A) what should be in my wallet, B) what should be in your wallet, or C) my full portfolio of credit cards, which includes many cards that get used in specific ways such that I don’t need to carry them each day. This post is simply meant to share which cards I’m actually using in the real wallet that I carry when I leave my house. Here’s where we stand in mid-2020.

My “old” wallet (just six months ago)

As a reminder, six months ago, this is what I carried and why:

  • Restaurants: Citi Prestige (5x)
  • Gas Stations: Chase Ink Plus (2x) (note this card is no longer available for new applicants)
  • Everywhere else: Capital One Venture (2x “miles” is good for 1.5 airline miles in several programs or 2.8% back toward Marriott gift cards in my circumstances)
  • SoFi Money Visa Debit Card: For fee-free ATM withdrawals (note that customers who opened accounts prior to 6/9/20 still get fee-free ATM withdrawals at almost all ATMs, whereas those who have opened accounts from 6/9/20 onward get fee-free withdrawals at Allpoint ATMs). See the latest SoFi Money account bonuses in this post.
  • Niue Yacht Club Membership Card: For laughs and bragging rights at parties
  • Simon Visa Gift Card: In case I could liquidate it

But things have changed…

Nick’s wallet now

  • Gas: Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card (10x on up to $7500 through 10/31/20 with the new Amex offer). Note that we’ve still got the old SPG Business card art.
  • Grocery: Chase Freedom (5x on up to $12K in the first year with the new welcome offer)
  • Restaurants: Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card (10x on up to $7500 through 10/31/20 with the new Amex offer). Note that we’ve still got the old SPG Business card art.
  • Everywhere else: Bank of America Premium Rewards (Soon to be 2.625% cash back with Platinum Honors. See my retirement planning mistakes post for more on making this switch.)
  • ATM withdrawals: SoFi Money Mastercard debit card. They changed networks earlier this year and along with that have come some nice benefits (currently 10% back on streaming and at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Instacart — though we’ve seen offers for 20%-40% back on streaming). Still free ATM withdrawals worldwide for those who opened prior to 6/9/20.
  • Bragging rights: Niue Yacht Club Membership Card. Nothing has become more brag-worthy in my life in the past six months while sitting at home.
  • Takin’ care of business: That’s a Frequent Miler business card you see between the Premium Rewards card and “SPG Business” card (now the Marriott Bonvoy Business card). The image you see there is a link to our Start Here page.

As you can see above, my wallet has experienced near-total turnover in six months. Sure, my SoFi Money debit card is still in there, but even that has changed — in this case, a change of networks has meant some limited-time cash back bonuses / discounts like the current deals for 10% back at some grocery stores / Instacart and on some streaming services.

The only thing that has remained totally unchanged in my wallet is my Niue Yacht Club membership card. I don’t anticipate something cooler coming along any time soon.

Otherwise, my wallet has changed significantly, and I’d say for the better:

  1. I’m now earning 10x Marriott points on gas vs 2x Ultimate Rewards points previously. That’s a big boost in terms of Reasonable Redemption Value. I’m personally happy to pick up hotel points at good value since (apart from the past few months) I generally find collecting hotel points directly via credit card spend to be a poor value. Furthermore, given that Marriott points transfer to airlines at a rate of 3:1 (or slightly better if transferring in blocks of 60K), this is like a return of 3.33 miles per dollar spent. I’ll take it while I can get it. I just hope I can buy Gift of College cards with this bonus — unfortunately my previous attempts to pay for them with this card have been declined. I set myself a reminder for the end of October to switch this card out for my Citi Premier (for 3x) if I don’t hit the cap sooner.
  2. I’m now earning 5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on groceries vs 4x Membership Rewards points before. While I generally prefer Membership Rewards over Ultimate Rewards…

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