Every once in a while, I like to go over which cards Sharon and I are carrying in our wallets. Doing so gives you a look behind the scenes of how to put a plan of earning points and miles in practice.
The last time I wrote one of these posts was in May 2020. At the time, we were both holed up at home and credit cards were introducing new bonus categories and statement credits because no one was traveling. Paying $400+ a year for a card with lounge access doesn’t mean much when all your trips are canceled.
Now it’s September, six months into the Covid-19 pandemic in the US and while we’re not at the point of staying at home all the time, our spending and travel patterns haven’t returned to early 2020 levels. Taking the current normal into account, I’ve applied for some new cards that quickly found a way to the top of our wallets.
Despite the pandemic, Sharon and I still have totally different spending patterns. I carry a bunch of different cards to maximize spending and Sharon’s cards are focused on simplicity.
Things have changed there, as well.
Joe’s (Virtual) Wallet
The first thing that’s changed about my “wallet” is that I try to never take a card out of my wallet. All of the cards I use regularly, I’ve added to my Apple Pay and use contactless payments whenever I can.
However, I do still have some cards in my wallet.
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express card has a place in my wallet because of the current AMEX Offer for 10x Bonvoy points for purchases at resturants and gas stations. I’ll keep this card in my wallet until those offers expire at the end of October.
Since reaching the spending requiremenrt on my Southwest Priority card, I hadn’t taken it out of the drawer. However, an offer from Chase to earn 5x Southwest Rapid Rewards points for grocery store purchases until the end of September earned it a temporary spot in my waller.
The other card in my wallet is the Fidelity Rewards Visa. It earns 2% cash back for all charges. Right now, I have more points than we can use, so I’m back to earning cash.
When we first started this blog, we joked in our bio that we were a husband who was into miles and points and a wife who didn’t really care. That’s changed a bit as Sharon’s now much more involved with writing articles for the blog and running our Facebook group. However, she still doesn’t want to worry about which credit card to use for each purchase (Note from Sharon: truer words were never spoken). If I put a card in the front of her wallet, she’ll use it and that’s about as far as I’ve been able to get.
This is the only card Sharon’s using at the moment. I happy with her earning 1.5 Ultimate Rewards on all her purchases. Earning 5x points for grocery store purchases for the next 12 months is a nice bonus. This is another card I’ve applied for during the pandemic that we plan on keeping for the long haul.
I still let Sharon keep this card in her wallet (Note from Sharon: “LETS me.” Ha! He knows I won’t LET HIM take it out of my wallet). It now earns points for dining and travel which aren’t useful but it also is offering a $10 a month credit if you pay your wireless bill with the card.
Nothing is normal right now. That goes for which credit cards we’re using for the majority of our spending. With no travel and minimal dining expenses, our main bills are everyday expenses and our bi-weekly trips to Publix, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. We’re filling up our gas tanks more than we did in May because I’m driving more for work and we’re going on some road trips. I just have to make sure not to run out of gas the next time.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary