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The Credit Cards in My Wallet

by Kay Lynn

E-Commerce Visa (Test tamron 17-50 2.8)
There are benefits to using credit cards at times.  Even though many people paying off debt don’t use credit cards, I have three cards in my wallet and use each of them in different circumstances.

Costco American Express

This is the card I’ve had the longest as it  is the only credit card accepted at Costco.  Since we sometimes make large purchases there, it made sense to put them on the card for extra purchase protection and benefits.

We use this card primarily for Costco purchases but also for two specific spending categories.  This card pays 2% for travel and 3% for gasoline and restaurant purchases in the annual rebate.  Yes, this is a cash rebate card.  Why not get more money back?

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Visa

When I’m buying domestic tickets, my preference is to fly Southwest Airlines whenever possible.  The pricing, free checked luggage and no-fee changes are reasons for this loyalty.

For every $1200 spent, with the card, holders earn 1 airline credit.  It takes 8 credits for a one-way ticket anywhere Southwest flies.  This card does have an annual fee, so it wouldn’t be useful if you don’t use it enough to earn free tickets.

Kohl’s Store

Twenty years ago I had several individual store cards. Now I have just one retailer charge card which for the Kohl’s store.  Cardholders get additional discounts each month ranging from 15-30%.  This, and free shipping codes, is on top of the standard sale prices.

Usage

I don’t carry revolving charges and wouldn’t advocate using credit cards if you are unable to regularly pay the bill in full.  What you should do if make sure the cards you carry provide a benefit.  I’ve canceled many cards over the year that no longer made sense for my goals and financial plan.

So, what’s in your wallet?

 

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com November 19, 2010 at 6:33 am

Only one credit card of each – MC and Visa :)

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Kay Lynn November 21, 2010 at 8:59 am

Do you get rewards with them?

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retirebyforty November 19, 2010 at 8:55 am

I only have a Chase Freedom card. It gives 1% reward (cash) back. That’s what I want from a credit card, cash back. :)
I need to open another card to improve my credit score though. I’ll probably go with an Alaska airline card. I used to have that card and it was pretty good.

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Kay Lynn November 21, 2010 at 9:00 am

Retirebyforty, Alaska Airlines is a good one if you travel up and down the West coast frequently.

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SimplyForties November 19, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I’ve got that SW Visa too. I run my whole life through it and earn at least a couple of free tickets a year that way. Like you, I always fly Southwest anyway and I pay my balance in full every month. I figure the annual fee is the only cost for the tickets and it’s not that much so well worth it!

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Kay Lynn November 21, 2010 at 9:01 am

SimplyForties, it will be interesting to see the new routes offered with the Airtran acquisition.

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Lisa @ Cents To Save November 20, 2010 at 2:50 am

I keep a Visa card in my wallet. It is a Marriott Rewards card, and I use the points for accommodations when we travel. There is a balance on it, but I am working on that!

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Kay Lynn November 21, 2010 at 9:02 am

Lisa, I do use hotel reward cards when traveling for work. We stay in whatever hotel the client recommends so it takes me quite a while to earn free nights. I can see how a reward credit card would help greatly!

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James Fulton November 20, 2010 at 3:20 am

I own Capital One credit card and Orchard Bank Classic MasterCard, Both are pretty good . Even capital one provides 2% discount for groceries and gas and 1% discount for other items…

James

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Kay Lynn November 21, 2010 at 9:03 am

James, I read a recent review of top reward credit card and Capital One had three out of the top 5. I might get my husband to use one of theirs.

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James Fulton November 22, 2010 at 11:37 am

Its really cool to have them Kay, Some benefits like annual fee waived for the first year,Choosing your own card design ( cool rite)….:)

James

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Deedee November 20, 2010 at 7:52 am

I just have one Visa credit card that I use. It has cash back rewards, since I don’t fly much that made more sense. There is no annual fee and since I pay it in full every month the interest rate doesn’t matter. But I believe it is around 12-13%. I do have a Macy’s charge card – American Express – but I never use it since I haven’t shopped at Macy’s for quite a while. You can use it anywhere, not just at Macy’s, but it works best for me to just limit myself to one credit card in use. I should probably use that card once in a while, though, so they don’t cancel it!

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Kay Lynn November 21, 2010 at 9:05 am

Deedee, it sounds like the Visa card is one that works best for your needs. That’s the beauty of the various reward programs.

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Evan November 20, 2010 at 8:20 am

I have a discover card and my amex charge card. If the store doesn’t take either of those I rely on my visa debit card.

The American Express has been my recent card as I can’t carry a balance and they give me a ton of points! I got the first year waived, we’ll see if it is worth it next year.

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Kay Lynn November 21, 2010 at 9:06 am

Evan, you might need the Costco AMEX once the baby arrives and you are buying mass quantities of diapers.:) I don’t know many people that use Discover anymore; are there benefits?

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Evan November 21, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Actually The Wife is looking into AmazonMom system where amazon sends you diapers once or twice a month? I don’t really know the details lol

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Financial Samurai November 21, 2010 at 7:18 am

I’ve only got two credit cards, one personal and one corporate card. I like to keep things simple and consolidated.

I don’t understand why someone would have an AMEX if it wasn’t a corporate card Evan.

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Kay Lynn November 21, 2010 at 9:08 am

I didn’t include my company credit card since it’s only use for work expenses and I don’t get the rewards.

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Evan November 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm

I got 50,000 points to sign up which was equivalent to $500ish in value and the first year is waived.

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Mr Credit Card November 29, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Amex Platinum
Blue Cash
Chase Freedom
Plum Card for business

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Kay Lynn November 30, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Is the Plum card a version of AMEX?

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Mr Credit Card November 30, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Yes, Plum is from Amex

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vicky February 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm

thanks for the info about the Costco american express.sounds like a good one. Their gas is the cheapest around.

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