Time for an updated peek at the best credit cards I have on me right now. Since all of these cards have already seen their tempting intro APR periods end, and I’ve long since forgotten the thrill of getting a sign-up bonus, these cards remain in my wallet simply because they are good cards (or have the right mix of rewards), rather than because I’m taking advantage of a promotional rate.
American Express Blue Cash — This credit card, like all of the cards in the AmEx Blue family, is easily recognised by the translucent card design with a reflective blue foil square in the middle. Although the standard APR on my account is fairly high (21.24%), I typically pay this one off in full each month, so the APR doesn’t matter. I keep this card on me because of AmEx’s solid purchase protection benefits, and because I like the cash back structure (I earn 5% cash back on grocery store and gas station purchases after I’ve spent $6,500 on the card in the current calendar year, and 1.25% cash back just about everywhere else).
New cardholders can’t get Blue Cash. The updated version of this credit card is called Blue Cash Everyday, which you can get: within the Outlaw card offers portal, click on “Cash Back Cards” within the Search by Card Type box. The updated version has no annual fee, and offers 3% cash back at grocery stores, 2% at gas stations and department stores, and 1% everywhere else. Unlike my card, you don’t have to hit a $6,500 spend threshold before you can begin taking advantage of these above-average cash back rates.
Citi Preferred ThankYou Rewards MasterCard — This light blue card remains in my wallet because it’s one of the best Citi credit cards I own. ThankYou points are easy to redeem, the credit limit is high (although I recently missed a payment while I was out of the country! Hopefully they won’t use this as grounds for a credit limit slashing in the future), and there’s no annual fee. I’m not sure why, but out of all the issuers I’ve used, Citi consistently seems to offer the best credit limits. I hate when a card issuer is too stingy with its credit lines — a $1,000 credit limit, after all, is basically just a glorified gift card.
Bank of America BankAmericard Cash Rewards VISA Signature — It’s nice to have a Visa Signature card in your wallet at all times, as there are a number of purchase and travel protection benefits offered. This is a no-frills cash back credit card: no annual fee, and 1% cash back on all purchases. Certainly not complex!
I also have a couple of debit cards in my wallet, but those are the only three credit cards I feel the need to carry with me on a daily basis… As Outlaw readers know, I spent time earlier this year simplifying my financial life, and got rid of cards that no longer seemed to be a benefit.
I have a second Bank of America Visa Signature card, but it usually stays in my luggage as an emergency card, in case my wallet gets lost or stolen while travelling.
Disclosures: We’re a credit card offers site, so obviously we maintain financial relationships with numerous banks and financial institutions, including some of the card issuers mentioned in this article. At time of publication, we have a relationship with AmEx; no relationship with Citigroup or Bank of America at the moment.
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