The Best (And Worst) Credit Cards In My Wallet

Reviewing credit cards from time to time for Outlaw means that I have far too many open and active credit card accounts — it can get challenging to keep track of them all.

Of course, only a few cards stay in my wallet on a regular basis. Although this post is admittedly a bit solipsistic, I thought it would interest readers. 

Wondering which cards I use personally? Here’s the current breakdown of every piece of plastic in my brushed metal cardholder wallet (I don’t believe in carrying much cash, unless absolutely necessary; normally I fold up an “emergency” $100 bill and place it behind my cards):

– Citi Forward VISA: Despite the extremely low credit limit, which makes this card really more of a glorified Visa gift card than a legitimate credit card, Forward has been growing on me lately… so it’s been given a stay of execution and is now back in my wallet. Cool card design and I like how you earn points every month simply for doing normal responsible things like staying below your credit line and paying your bill on time. Plus, I have a bunch of ThankYou points saved up, and want to earn a bit more, so I can redeem for something cool.

– Chase Business Debit Card: Nothing really to say about this one. It’s a standard, no-fee debit card linked to one of my checking accounts. The card is green, rather than the blue design that Chase’s personal debit cards has… Other than that, looks more or less identical.

– Bank of America Platinum Check Card: This is just the standard, ugly blue personal debit card BofA used to issue before switching to the far more attractive red and white design. It comes complete with an awful photograph of me in the upper left-hand corner; part of the bank’s Total Security Protection initiative. It looks alarmingly like a LAPD mugshot. As one friend put it, this card looks “sketchy.” Still, it has some benefits, such as a variable daily withdrawal maximum. If I’m travelling and afraid of getting my debit card stolen, I can decrease the cap on BofA’s site, and then flip it back up to $1,500 per day when I return home. Nice feature.

– Bank of America BankAmericard VISA Signature: Nice design, low regular purchase APR, and no problems with this one so far. It accrues WorldPoints, and they’ve always been fairly prompt (within 2 weeks) about sending my cash back checks. This isn’t a credit card to get excited about, but it’s the “workhorse” of my wallet these days.

– American Express Blue Cash: I rarely use it, but since there’s no annual fee, and I’m waiting for my “card anniversary date” so I can spend my saved up cash back dollars, it remains in my wallet — and occasionally sees the light of day. When I lost my Blue Cash card a while back, AmEx overnighted me a new one for free — very nice touch!

Chase Sapphire (Standard): Some of my friends have the Preferred version of this credit card, but the Standard (which has no annual fee) suits me just fine — both cards look identical, by the way. And both are VISA Signature cards. This is my favourite card at the moment, and sees the most daily spending action, aside from my BankAmericard. (If you want to get one, use the link here to apply and you’ll earn 10,000 Bonus Points. That’s a $100.00 value.) 

As with my AmEx experience, when I lost my Sapphire card at a bar they overnighted a new card to me free of charge. It arrived at my doorstep the next morning.

– ING Direct Debit Card MasterCard: Linked to my Electric Orange checking account. I literally never use this one, but it’s reassuring to know I have easy access to my cash hoard, should I ever need it. Attractively designed card, and I like the 35,000+ in-network fee-free ATMs around the country. (Any Allpoint Network ATM.)

There you go! Now you know exactly what’s in my wallet. What’s in yours?

View all of my favourite new credit card deals and offers over on Outlaw.

Disclosures: I used to review credit cards for a living. Also, my web site has a financial relationship with certain card issuers, including Chase. No financial relationship or position on Bank of America, Citi, AmEx, ING or any other firm mentioned in this story at time of publication.


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