My shifting wallet: What’s in Nick’s wallets now?


My wallet has been all Amex, all the time for the past several months. Between the amazing Resy offer of 2021 (since expired), bonuses for adding authorized users on consumer cards and employees on business cards and referral bonuses that offered +4 points per dollar spent (one in spring that offered +4 at home furnishings stores, one in late summer that added +4 at restaurants and small businesses, and one in the late fall that added +4 everywhere on up to $25K spend over 3 months, we have seen a deluge of ways to earn a lot of Membership Rewards points. Amex is now throwing targeted business card offers at us, but at the moment I think my wife and I are going to give Amex a breather as we’ve earned over a million Membership Rewards points in just the past six months. It’s time to do some early spring cleaning and shift the cards in our wallets to adjust for the fact that we’re not earning 5x or more on every purchase — and Amex is finally out of our wallets (for now). Here’s what’s in our physical and virtual wallets now that we’re not working on any big bonuses.

Stephen's wallet 2
Not my wallet — this is actually Stephen’s wallet.

Our physical wallets

My wife and I have both worked from home for well over a decade, so we’re typically together for most types of purchases. On occasion when one of us is out without the other, there are situations where we carry different cards for the same purpose and I’ll note those below.

For just a couple more days, I have an Amex card in my wallet that is still earning +4x everywhere (on up to $25K total spend) thanks to last fall’s refer-a-friend offer. Once that card exits my wallet this weekend, here’s what is and will be in our physical wallets right now.

Dining and Restaurants and US Supermarkets: Amex Gold Card / Brex card

a man sitting at a table with a bowl of food

Now that we have a handful of Platinum cards in my household, the Gold card has ironically become an easy keeper. That’s because we now make full use of the $10 Uber credit each month. When it was the only card we had with such a credit, I wasn’t going to go out of my way to use the $10 credit. Now that we’re getting more than enough in credits to cover at least one meal for the family and sometimes two, I look for an opportunity to use it. To be clear, that doesn’t mean that I eat out when I wouldn’t have otherwise, it just means that I may choose pick up at Panera over another option on a night when we’re going to pick up dinner anyway.

I still don’t use the monthly GrubHub credit very often (there are no restaurants on GrubHub anywhere near me), but overall the net cost to me works out to make it a keeper just for its 4x on up to $25,000 spend per year at US Supermarkets. We easily maxed out the Freedom card for 5x this quarter and the Gold card is now our go-to for US Supermarket spend.

Since we’ll be keeping the Gold card, that makes it our go-to card for restaurant spend when we dine together. However, I haven’t found it to be worth adding an additional cardholder since, as Greg noted in yesterday’s post, authorized user cards impact 5/24 status. While reconsideration agents have historically been able to subtract those from the count, I haven’t figured it worth the potential hassle. I should probably reconsider that stance since Amex has constantly offered 10K points on a small spending requirement for adding an additional cardholder and that’s probably worth the potential hassle of a reconsideration call with Chase that may or may not even happen. At any rate, one of us carries the Gold card and the other the Brex card. Sure, Brex has fewer transfer partners than Amex, but Brex has those Amex partners that I use most often so for the small amount of spend that goes on this when one of us dines out without the other it isn’t a big deal.

Gas: Wyndham Earner / Chase Ink Cash

Speedway gas station

The Wyndham Earner business card has been my go-to gas card for quite a while for 8x at gas stations — at least, it was until I realized that I had Amex cards earning even more points per dollar spent for a limited time.

More recently, I’ve been switching things up a bit. My wife and I already have more Wyndham points than I’ve cumulatively used in my entire life. While that’s not actually a lot of Wyndham points, I question the wisdom of continuing to collect points that are only highly valuable in niche situations when there are more broadly-useful currencies that we need more pressingly.

In our case, that means Chase Ultimate Rewards points. I have a number of Hyatt reservations booked this year. I imagine that plans will change and we won’t keep all of the reservations I currently have, but I don’t yet know which we’ll keep and which we won’t and I’d like to make some more reservations. I’m starting to find myself lower in World of Hyatt points than I’d like, which means that I need more Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

While the Chase Ink Cash (and its predecessor, the Ink Plus) only earns 2x at gas stations, that’s more valuable to me right now than my alternatives. Combining the Ink Cash with Speedway’s Speedy Rewards has been a winning combination for me as of late, though I should arguably open a card that earns a better category bonus at gas stations if I’ll be spending a lot there. Still, I really value Hyatt points right now because of the ability to easily book into a suite with points (and Chase points transfer 1:1 to Hyatt). That often comes at a value to me of at least 2 cents per point against what I would need to otherwise pay for the extra space. I’m happy enough with 2x for now (until those office supply store promos catch me back up to where I need to be).

Office Supply Stores: Chase Ink Cash / Chase Ink Plus

a close up of a credit card

This one doesn’t need much explanation. The Chase Ink Cash and the no-longer-available Chase Ink Plus each earn 5x at Office Supply stores. Those stores frequently have Visa and Mastercard Gift Card deals, so we try to always keep one of these cards in our wallets in case we happen to be near a store during a sale.

“Everywhere else”: Bank of America Premium Rewards and Nearside

a credit card in a wallet
It might be time to drop this Premium Rewards card in favor of the new Unlimited Cash Rewards card.

The best card in our wallets for unbonused spend is the Bank of America Premium Rewards card given that we have Platinum Honors status with Bank of America. I have considered downgrading this to the Unlimited Cash Rewards card, which would offer the same 2.625% cash back everywhere without the annual fee (thanks to status with Bank of America, which we earned by moving Roth IRA accounts to Merrill Edge). However, we make easy use of the $100 annual incidentals credit on this card and since it is the primary card for major purchases (when not working on some other spending bonus), it feels like it is worth keeping the premium card for its purchase protections.

However, we only have one Premium Rewards card in my household. There’s no real sense in adding the second player as an authorized user since that would add to 5/24 count and my wife and I are typically out and about together or making major purchases online. But for those “now and then” times when we aren’t physically together and also for those times when there is a useful SimplyMiles offer (and no associated Citi Merchant Offer or Chase Offer), it makes sense to me for one of us to carry the Nearside debit card. While I’ve not historically been big on using debit cards for daily spend (despite my post the other day), I’ll keep some money in that account to use on the occasional unbonused purchase while out and about. I should note that I do keep the Premium Rewards card on my Samsung Gear S3 watch so that I can use it even when my wife has the physical card on her, but I don’t always charge and wear the watch. I could add her Premium Rewards card to my Google Pay account, but we live in an area where I encounter payment terminals that are not set up to take Google Pay (the Gear S3 works on a different technology that works at almost any terminal with a place to swipe a credit card).

A better “everywhere else” card if I spent a lot in person would be the US Bank Altitude Reserve card since that card earns 3x on mobile wallet payments and points can be used for 1.5c each in value toward paid travel with real time mobile rewards. I have frequently considered getting this card over the years, but then each time I consider it I reconsider since the vast majority of our “everywhere else” spend is online rather than in-person or on gift card purchases and my sense has been that the Altitude Reserve isn’t the right card for those purposes.

ATM use: My grandfathered SoFi Money card

a white card with blue and white circles on a counter

While I am now going to be carrying the Nearside debit card, I am also going to carry the SoFi Money card. That’s because while the Nearside card offers fee-free ATM access at a large network of ATMs, I find it really annoying to have to look up where I can find the right ATM and risk getting charged both from the ATM operator and Nearside if I don’t choose the right machine.

Instead, I’ll carry my SoFi Money card. Since I am grandfathered in to ATM fee reimbursements worldwide, I won’t be upgrading my account to the 1% APY account any time soon but rather will continue to carry my SoFi Money card for those rare instances where I need access to cash. I love that ATM fee reimbursements happen instantly — I always have the notification on my phone before I get back into my car.

My Virtual Wallet

a hand holding a cell phone
Nope, I haven’t become an Apple guy. This was Greg’s wallet at some point.

My “virtual” wallet isn’t really virtual necessarily, but rather by “virtual wallet” I mean the cards that I use for virtual purchases.

The majority of my online purchases are for two things: insurance premiums (of various types) and general household needs which mostly come from

Insurance Premiums: Bank of America Premium Rewards, but also other cards

Insurance payments are set to auto-charge to our Bank of America Premium Rewards card for 2.625% cash back (thanks to Platinum Honors status). However, I frequently pay the premiums in advance depending on circumstances. Sometimes, I use this as a way to liquidate gift cards (especially Virtual Visa gift cards!) that I bought at a discount or with a category bonus. Other times, I use the T-Mobile Money debit card to make small payments in order to meet the monthly 10 transactions required to earn 4% APY on the first $3K in the account.,, and PointCard Debit Card

As I noted in my post the other day about great debit cards, the PointCard has consistently offered 5x on purchases at Amazon (effectively 5% cash back). This is usually limited to $1,000 in purchases per offer period, but I don’t typically spend a lot more than that per period at Amazon.

The same return has consistently been offered at Costco and Walmart was recently added to the mix. This makes the PointCard debit card exceed the return I could get with other cards. Yes, I could buy Amazon gift cards at office supply stores for 5x on my Chase Ink Cash or Ink Plus cards, but I don’t generally prefer to load up my Amazon account with gift cards, so I take the 5% back here.

Of course, when there is an offer to get a discount when using one Membership Rewards point or Chase Ultimate Rewards point, I will switch to the appropriate card, but Point has been my go-to option here.

Cards that I’m on the fence about

There are two cards that I’m on the fence about adding to our wallets.

First, my wife has the World of Hyatt credit card. It should arguably go in her wallet for $15K annual spend to earn an extra Category 1-4 free night certificate. However, we know that Hyatt won’t offer points if a Chase-issued certificate expires, so I’m only lukewarm on getting yet another expiring free night certificate right now. This one might make its way into the wallet later in the year, but for now it’s in the sock drawer awaiting a decision about whether or not to try to put $15K spend on the card.

I have also considered adding the X1 card. We don’t yet have this card and I’ve been turned off by early shut-down reports. Still, the chance to effectively earn 3% back on “everywhere else” purchases is appealingish. This could replace the Premium Rewards card for my insurance premiums and I’d easily meet the annual spending requirement to earn 3x. Of course, that 3x is only worth 3% toward specific merchants. However, it probably isn’t worth the very small tweak here — we’d be better off opening a card with a good welcome bonus (maybe one of those targeted business card offers Amex is peppering us with?).

Finally, I have the AT&T Access More card (which is no longer available at all). The Access More card earns 3x at online retailers. That is true at Amazon, but the PointCard has pushed this card out for Amazon purchases. Unfortunately, at other retailers, it has been hit or miss as to whether purchases I expect to earn 3x actually do. I’ve still got this card now primarily for retention offers — which reminds me that it’s time to call for one of those . . .

Bottom line

To be clear, the cards in this post are not the only cards we have. We have plenty more credit cards in my household. Most of those cards are things we keep for annual benefits like free night certificates, incidental credits, or travel protections. It is also worth noting that these are merely the cards in my wallet right now. With the way Amex has sprayed points around these past few years, I wouldn’t be altogether surprised to see that change again soon — but for a moment when we’re not working on a special spending bonus, the shift has pushed all of our Amex cards out of wallet.

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Re: BoA Premium AUs and 5/24 — I feel the same way, but don’t you also add your sons as authorized users? I do that (same with Citi), and my wife just uses my son’s card. Nobody checks ID.


If you have a large enough balance with Bank of America all ATM fees are supposedly comped when you use their debit card. (I haven’t tried this yet).

Also their Customized Cash Rewards card will give you 3 x 1.75% (5.25%) back on chosen categories. My wife’s is set to gas while mine is set to online purchases – so 5.75% off at Amazon.


Does the 2x UR points on gas make more sense than the Citi Custom Cash which earns 5x Thank you points (assuming that’s the category that you use it for)? I like that one because it’s a MasterCard and counts grocery store gas stations as gas for the the bonus, unlike Visa



I am surprised that you don’t have the Citi Double Cash in your wallet, especially since no other points blogger loves using Turkish Miles as much as you

Are you not currently in the Citi Points Universe?


for what it’s worth, the Spam filter removed all the smiley faces I had after the sentence about you loving Turkish Miles and Smiles 🙂 🙂 🙂


Is still necessary to carry the physical AAA card these days?

Mary Jane

Since Amazon has been mentioned, this is an altruistic tip I just learned about-Amazon will donate 0.5% of purchases to your favorite charity. Same user name and password but you have to go to to log in or it doesn’t get credited to the charity. It even keeps a running tab as to how much your purchases have contributed to the charity! A win,win!

Larry K

I really want to get an Amex Gold AU card for P2. We lose points because she doesn’t have one. But she is 4/24. Is it clear that credit agencies report the day you get an Amex AU card as the opening date? The primary card has been open 2 years.


Authorized User cards don’t count towards 5/24. Initially they might deny you for 5/24, but a call to the reconsideration line will straighten all of that out.

Larry K

Yep — understood. But as Nick notes it’s a hassle. For me, it’s an extra hassle because P2 hates to call and it always is a big ask for me, and I also really don’t want to have to deal with Chase having eyes on our accounts too often if not necessary. Some issuers seem to backdate AUs to the date of the original card opening, but it sounds to me as though Amex does not.

Last edited 2 years ago by Larry K

Cap one cards? VentureX and Savors not making the cut for now?

Another Jeff

Shouldn’t your baseline for Amazon be 5x UR or can you not load your balance from VGC? I guess capacity might be the issue