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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available – IHG Rewards Club Select Credit CardStarwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American ExpressStarwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express

There are a lot of macro-trends going on in the travel industry and the points and miles world, and every six months or so I like to take an inventory of the cards that I have and use. There are more category and welcome bonuses than ever, along with more lucrative ways to earn miles, so as a savvy consumer I have plenty of choices. That being said, loyalty programs are also devaluing. Delta had a stealth devaluation recently, and other programs are making it harder to redeem for flights, so the high-level theme is that I’m moving away from co-branded credit cards. Even though many offer perks and may be good for you in your specific situation, I really value transferable points. Recently we upped Amex and Chase points in my valuations because I get incredible value from them.

The old model was to transfer, transfer, transfer to airline partners, but now with Centurion’s 50% rebate, I’m essentially getting 2 cents per point in value toward airfare when I purchase flights. And now that airfares globally have stayed low, instead of transferring to airlines it now almost makes more sense to use points to purchase airfare.

So that being said, the theme when I went through my cards this year was: When I can earn 5x on airfare with the Amex Platinum, why would I want to spend on an airline card to earn a currency that is likely to be devalued without notice? Instead I could be earning even more flexible Amex and Chase points that I can transfer to partners and also use kind of like cash. So, now more than ever, I made some tough decisions.

Yes, I have a lot of credit cards — after all, it’s my job! — but there’s something to be said about spring cleaning and simplifying things. That being said, down the line, if you cancel a card you’re not using, there is a chance with some issuers that you could earn the bonus again. So if I’m not using a card and it’s collecting dust and not providing me value, unfortunately it’s time to go. So this year more than ever I did a spring cleaning, and here are my results.

Keep in mind that this post will focus on my personal reasons for adding, canceling or keeping each card. If you’re interested in the best welcome bonuses of the moment, make sure to check out my top card offers post. And don’t forget to try out the CardMatch tool to see if you’re eligible for any elevated welcome offers.

Your length of credit history makes up 15% of your FICO score.

Before you go crazy with credit card applications, take a look at these posts to make sure you understand how your credit score works and how applications affect it:

I check my FICO score through Barclaycard, which is a free benefit when you’re a cardholder (for certain cards). I try to check my score at least every couple of weeks.

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One final note: Keep in mind that my criteria for keeping cards open may differ from yours. I make significant charges on the cards mentioned below for both business and personal expenses, which allows me to meet high spending thresholds to earn perks or credit toward elite status. Remember to weigh your own spending patterns — including which bonus categories align best with your credit card activity — when deciding which cards make the most sense for you.

In This Post

Here’s a look at what’s currently in my wallet:

Card Annual Fee Issuer
KEEPING
Business Centurion Card from American Express $2,500 American Express
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express $95 American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express $550 American Express
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express $95 American Express
Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN $175 American Express
JetBlue Plus Card $99 Barclaycard
Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard $89 Barclaycard
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card $95 Capital One
Chase Sapphire Reserve $450 Chase
Chase Freedom $0 Chase
Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card $450 Chase
Hyatt Credit Card $75 Chase
IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card $49 Chase
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card $95 Chase
Chase Ink Bold $95 Chase
United MileagePlus Explorer Card $95 Chase
Citi Prestige Card $450 Citi
Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card $95 Citi
CONVERTING
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN –> Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN $450 –> $175 ($275 savings) American Express
Chase Sapphire Preferred –> Chase Freedom Unlimited $95 –> $0 ($95 savings) Chase
CANCELLING
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express $95 American Express
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card $75 Bank of America
AAdvantage Aviator Silver $195 Barclaycard
New York Knicks NBA American Express Card $0 BBVA Compass
Chase Ink Bold with Chase Exclusives $95 Chase
British Airways Visa Signature Card $95 Chase
JP Morgan Palladium Card $595 Chase
Chase Ink Plus Business Card $95 Chase
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard $450 Citi
Citi Premier Card $95 Citi
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card $75 US Bank
WISH LIST
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card $0 Chase
Citi Double Cash Card $0 Citi
US Bank Altitude Reserve Card $400 US Bank
TOTAL IN ANNUAL FEES BEFORE CHANGES: $7,926
TOTAL IN ANNUAL FEES AFTER CHANGES: $5,691 ($2,235 in savings)

Keep reading for a look at why each card earns a place in my wallet.

American Express

Business Centurion Card from American Express

Annual fee: $2,500

My take: I’ve held the business version of Amex’s exclusive, invitation-only card since mid-2016, and it continues to earn a place in my wallet thanks to perks like complimentary Delta Platinum Medallion status and a dedicated concierge service. I don’t use this card for bonus-category purchases since other travel rewards cards offer a better return on spending, but I appreciate that it offers me a 50% points rebate on all airfare with any airline, compared to a 30% rebate on just first and business-class fares on any carrier with the Business Platinum (or on economy airfare with your airline of choice). And like the Business Platinum, it also offers a 50% points bonus on purchases of $5,000 or more. Even though the Centurion card’s annual fee is sky-high, due to all my business travel I’m able to earn it back in a matter of flights.

Verdict: Keep

Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

Annual fee: $175 (waived the first year)

My take: I use this card more than pretty much any other in my wallet, thanks to the 3x points it earns me on up to $100,000 spent per year in one of five categories. I select US purchases for advertising in select media (as mentioned above) since our business spends significantly on Facebook advertising. By maxing out the 3x category, I earn 300,000 Membership Rewards points per year, worth a whopping $6,000 based on my valuations.

Verdict: Keep

The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN

Annual fee: $450

My take: I’ve kept this card open due to benefits like a $200 annual airline rebate and lounge access, but it’s become even more valuable since Amex updated it to offer 1.5x points on purchases over $5,000 and a 35% points rebate on economy airfare with your selected airline or business or first-class airfare purchased with any carrier when you redeem through Amex Travel.  And since Amex Travel redemptions count as paid airfare, you’ll still earn miles on your ticket, making this perk even more valuable. Plus, like the personal Amex Platinum, this card got a big update on March 30: you’ll now earn 5x points on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com, and the Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership will now include access for two guests. Amex isn’t raising the annual fee, either, so you’ll get to enjoy these new benefits at the same rate of $450 per year.

Verdict: Convert — While the Business Platinum is a more compelling card than ever, I already enjoy its similar perks like the 50% airline rebate through my Business Centurion Card. Plus, it costs $175 per authorized user on this card, compared to $175 for three authorized users on the personal Platinum — a much better deal for me, since I do take advantage of the ability to add AUs like my parents. I’ll be changing my Business Platinum over to another Business Gold Rewards Card. Even though I’m not eligible for a welcome bonus with this conversion, I’ll get 3x on ad spend to earn another 300,000 Amex points.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)

My take: This card offers largely the same benefits as the personal Starwood Amex, with the addition of Sheraton Club access. Both cards give me 2 stay and 5 night credits toward SPG elite status, so by holding this card I’m 10% of the way to Platinum status based on nights or 8% of the way based on stays. And since I have both cards, I’m 20% of the way to Platinum based on nights without stepping foot inside a Starwood property.

Verdict: Keep

Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express

Annual fee: $95

My take: This was my go-to card for grocery purchases thanks to the 3x Membership Rewards points I can earn on up to $6,000 per year at US supermarkets. When I make at least 30 purchases in a billing period with this card, I also get a 50% points bonus, which boosts the return on non-bonus spending to 3%. However, I now value Ultimate Rewards points at 2.2 cents apiece compared to 2 cents per MR points, which means the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card‘s 1.5x points on all purchases gets me a higher return of 3.3%

Verdict: Cancel

Platinum Card from American Express

Annual fee: $550

My take: After Chase came out with the outstanding Sapphire Reserve Card, we noted that issuers like Amex and Citi needed to step up their game with better perks on their premium cards. Well, Amex definitely got the memo, since in October it updated the Amex Platinum Card to offer 5x Membership Rewards points on airfare purchased directly from the airline. Based on my valuations, that equals an outstanding return of 10% percent — making this card an absolute no-brainer for airfare purchases. Thanks to this change, I switched my Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express over to the Platinum (the PRG offers “just” 3x points on airfare purchased from the airline). While I previously only held the Business Platinum Card, the new 5x bonus category on the personal version makes it worth holding both cards if you don’t have the Centurion card, which offers many of the same benefits. Plus, the 5x points from the personal Platinum card are even more valuable when you also hold the Business Platinum (or Centurion), since you can now redeem them for 2 cents apiece toward airfare — equal to an outstanding 10% return on flight purchases. And that’s not the only update; as of March 30 the Platinum card offers $200 in annual Uber ride credits, 5x points on prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel, a new metal design and more. The annual fee increased to $550, but thanks to the new perks and bonus categories it’s still worth it for me. Plus, this card also offers a $200 annual airline fee credit, which i use to cover incidental fees like checked baggage and in-flight expenses. Finally, I can add my parents and others as authorized users for a fee of just $175 for up to three AUs per year.

Verdict: Keep

St-Regis-Maldives-featured
The Starwood Amex earns you points toward stays at properties like the recently opened St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort.

Starwood Preferred Guest Card from American Express

Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)

My take: While the launch of the Sapphire Reserve may have been the year’s biggest news in the credit card space, the merger of Marriott and Starwood topped 2016’s loyalty program headlines. You can now link your Marriott Rewards and SPG accounts and transfer points between the two programs (at a rate of 1 Starpoint:3 Marriott Rewards points), which makes the Starwood Amex an even more valuable card than before. While Starpoints top my list of most valuable loyalty currencies, they aren’t the easiest rewards to earn, so earning 1 point per dollar on all spending with this card (or 2x points for Starwood or Marriott purchases) can go a long way in boosting your SPG account balance. Plus, you can use those points to book a variety of solid airline and hotel redemptions when you transfer them to Marriott. Another solid perk is that the card gets me 5 night and 2 stay credits toward Starwood Preferred Guest elite status. Since SPG Platinum requires 50 nights or 25 stays, as a cardholder I’m already 10% of the way there — or 8% if I want to qualify through stays rather than nights.

Verdict: Keep

Bank of America

Alaska and Virgin America are bringing two very different planes to the merger. Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines.
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card offers a great companion fare benefit, but I don’t travel with this carrier very often.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card

Annual fee: $75

My take: I originally decided to add this co-branded card to my wallet because of perks like 3x miles on Alaska purchases and a free checked bag for me and up to six passengers on the same reservation. The card also offers an annual companion fare from $121 ($99, plus taxes and fees from $22). While this can be a great perk, it doesn’t make much sense for me since I don’t fly Alaska very often and typically don’t travel in the main cabin. There aren’t too many other benefits I’d take advantage of, especially since the Amex Platinum is my go-to card for purchases with Alaska and all other carriers thanks to the 5x points it now offers on airfare.

Verdict: Cancel

Barclaycard 

AAdvantage Aviator Silver

Annual fee: $195

My take: This card — and three other Aviator options — were made available to US Airways MasterCard holders when that airline merged with American a few years ago. I’ve held the highest-tier option, the AAdvantage Aviator Silver, since then. In addition to earning me 3x miles on American purchases and a baggage fee waiver for me and up to eight travel companions, this card let me earn elite-qualifying miles (EQMs) toward elite status by meeting certain spending thresholds. However, I’m more and more moving away from airline elite status due to frequent flyer program devaluations and the superior value I get from transferable points. Instead of earning miles through a co-branded airline credit card, I’m better off earning Starpoints with the Starwood Amex and transferring them to American at a 1:1 ratio and getting a 5,000-mile bonus for every 20,000 points I transfer.

Verdict: Cancel

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

Annual fee: $89 (waived the first year)

My take: This card is great for covering travel expenses like B&B stays and even private jets, because rather than limiting you to a set of transfer partners, the Arrival Plus lets you use the miles you earn through spending to wipe charges from your statement. Plus, every time you redeem miles toward a statement credit, you get a 5% rebate, which equates to a 2.11% return. That’s a better return than what I get with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, but given the large amount I spend on miscellaneous travel purchases, it’s worth me holding both cards.

Verdict: Keep

The Business Platinum Card is an even stronger option now that you can redeem points for 2 cents apiece toward premium air travel like JetBlue
Mint is my favorite option for domestic travel, and the JetBlue Plus Card earns me points toward award flights in this premium cabin.

JetBlue Plus Card

Annual fee: $99

My take: JetBlue’s Mint is my favorite domestic business class, so I travel with the carrier multiple times a year. Though this card offers a generous 6x bonus on JetBlue purchases, I don’t use it for this spending, since the Amex Platinum‘s 5x bonus on airfare — paired with the ability to redeem points for 2 cents apiece toward Mint tickets and other airfare — is more lucrative. Instead, I keep it open since I can earn Mosaic status when I spend $50,000 on the card in a year.

Verdict: Keep

BBVA Compass

screen-shot-2016-12-25-at-12-14-48-pm
I’ve decided to close the NBA Amex card.

New York Knicks NBA American Express Card

Annual fee: $0

My take: This card earns 3 points per dollar on NBA ticket purchases, and it’s especially lucrative during NBA All-Star Weekend and the two weeks of the NBA Finals, when cardholders earn 5 points per dollar on all purchases. Still, keep in mind that the 5x earning rate is capped at $5,000 per period (so for the All-Star Weekend and for the two weeks of the Finals). Given that cap, I’m opting to close this card — I wanted to spend a lot more to maximize the bonus, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible.

Verdict: Cancel

Capital One

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)

My take: I decided to switch my Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card back to the Capital One Venture since you can no longer get 20% off Uber rides with a Quicksilver card. While Quicksilver cardholders can now get every 10th Uber ride free and the Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card does offer 1.5% back on all purchases, those weren’t reasons enough for me to keep the card. With the Capital One Venture Rewards Card, I get 2 miles on all spending plus 10 miles per dollar spent on bookings through Hotels.com/venture and lots of flexibility for redeeming those rewards, as I do with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. I keep both due to my high level of travel spending.

Verdict: Keep

Chase

 

Chase Ink Bold

Annual fee: $95

My take: I use this card to get 5 points per dollar on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases on office supplies and phone, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year. It also earns me 2x points on the first $50,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and hotel accommodations (when purchased directly from the hotel) each account anniversary year. Since I can earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on office supplies with this card, I decided to cancel the Ink Plus.

Verdict: Keep

Chase Ink Bold with Chase Exclusives

Annual fee: $95

My take: This was the first Ink Bold card I opened — it came with a “Chase Exclusives” offer where I got 20% bonus points on all spending each year. This card no longer features the 5x and 2x bonus categories, so this annual rewards bonus isn’t as lucrative as what I’ll get just by using the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card for everyday, non-bonus spending (1.5x points per dollar).

Verdict: Cancel

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

Annual fee: $95

My take: Chase launched this card back in November, and the 3x points it earns on up to $150,000 spent on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services and social media and search engine advertising makes it a great fit for me. I spend a lot on online advertising for my business, so I’ll easily be able to to meet the $150,000 cap and earn 450,000 Ultimate Rewards points — worth $9,450 — in the process.

Verdict: Keep

Chase Ink Plus Business Card

Annual fee: $95

My take: With the introduction of the Ink Business Preferred, the Ink Plus Business Card became unavailable for new sign-ups — and it also became a less compelling card for me. I don’t spend enough on office supplies to make the Ink Plus’ 5x bonus category worth it; the Ink Business Preferred makes more sense for me since I can earn 3x points on ad spend, and I still have an Ink Business Bold Card to maximize the same 5x categories offered by the Ink Plus.

Verdict: Cancel

British Airways Visa Signature Card

Annual fee: $95

My take: The British Airways Executive Club isn’t as valuable as it used to be, and I don’t take advantage of its benefits like a Travel Together Ticket when I spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year, so it’s not worth keeping this card open, though I may consider getting it again in the future.

Verdict: Cancel

Chase Freedom

Annual fee: $0

My take: This cash-back card has rotating quarterly bonus categories, letting me earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on up to $1,500 in eligible purchases, such as gas stations and local commuter transportation. I’m able to redeem my rewards as Ultimate Rewards points rather than just cash back since I also hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred.

Verdict: Keep

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Annual fee: $0

My take: Since I got the Sapphire Reserve, also holding on to the Sapphire Preferred just didn’t make sense for me. Instead of closing the card and the account completely, I downgraded the Preferred to the Freedom Unlimited — an everyday cash back card with no annual fee. It earns 1.5% cash back/1.5x points on all purchases, this card is a great pick for non-bonus category spending — especially now that I value Ultimate Rewards points at 2.2 cents apiece, meaning I get a return of 3.3% with this card. As with the Chase Freedom, because I hold a premium Ultimate Rewards-earning card such as the Reserve, I can redeem my rewards from the Freedom Unlimited as points rather than just cash back. And given that the Ultimate Rewards program includes some great transfer partners, I’m always happy to boost my points balance.

Verdict: Converted from the Chase Sapphire Preferred

This card could be especially worthwhile for 3x on travel if you don
The Sapphire Reserve is one of the most frequently used cards in my wallet.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Annual fee: $450

My take: When the Chase Sapphire Reserve launched back in August, it changed the premium travel rewards card space by putting its competitors to shame with a great selection of benefits. Not only does it earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all dining and travel expenses — equal to an outstanding 6.6% return based on my valuations — but it comes with a $300 annual travel credit that’s good for a wide variety of travel purchases. I use this card for a wide variety of purchases; suffice it to say I’m thankful I was finally able to get approved after jumping through a few hoops!

Verdict: Keep

Hyatt Credit Card

Annual fee: $75

My take: I like that this card comes with complimentary Discoverist status in the recently launched World of Hyatt program and a free night at a Category 1-4 property each year after your cardmember anniversary. That’s not even mentioning the extremely valuable sign-up bonus of two free nights at any Hyatt in the world, which can be worth hundreds of dollars if you redeem them at an expensive like the Park Hyatt Sydney. You’ll also be able to reach the higher-tier Explorist status by spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year. I wish you could reach the top-tier Globalist status through spending — especially since I’m not sure I’ll requalify next year now that the requirements are much higher — but it’s nice to have the Explorist option if you won’t be able to qualify based on nights or points alone. 

Verdict: Keep

intercontinental-le-moana-bora-bora-featured-e1469060874695-830x400
The free night from the IHG Rewards Club Select Card can be used at expensive properties like the InterContinental Le Moana Bora Bora.

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

Annual fee: $49 (waived the first year)

My take: This card offers some great benefits, especially considering the relatively low annual fee. I keep it open for the automatic Platinum Elite status, 10% rebate on points redemptions and annual free cardmembership anniversary night. Since the annual free night can be used at any IHG property, it can get you hundreds of dollars in value if you choose to use it at an expensive hotel in the InterContinental brand, such as the locations in Hong Kong and Sydney. This card also offers 5x points on IHG purchases and 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, but there are more lucrative card options for these purchases.

Verdict: Keep

JP Morgan Palladium Card

Annual fee: $595

My take: I got this card because I’m a Chase Private Client customer and I was invited to sign up. The Palladium Card is a bit light on perks — I earn 2x points on travel and I get United Club access — so it’s no longer worth keeping it open. While the card does offer 35,000 points when you spend $100,000 annually, I’d be better off charging that amount to the Freedom Unlimited to earn a 3.3% return. However, it did save the day by covering a damaged piece of art; I submitted a claim and the card paid quickly and in full.

Verdict: Cancel

img-screen-shot-2016-08-20-at-2-14-17-pm-830x423
The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card includes great perks like three Club Level upgrades per year. Image courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee: $450

My take: This is another card that got some nice updates in 2016. In addition to adding a new sign-up (currently two free nights at a Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton property), the card now offers Priority Pass Select membership, an application fee credit for Global Entry and Visa Infinite perks such as a $100 discount on domestic round-trip coach airfare. Over the past year or so, I’ve started staying at more Ritz-Carlton hotels, so I can definitely maximize perks like three annual upgrades to the Club Level on paid stays of up to seven nights. One of the main reasons I’m keeping this card is that it gets me access to the amazing Ritz Grand Cayman Cookout experience. I’m reserving the right to cancel this card (and I think I might in the not-too-distant future), as I don’t use it much for spend, but I do like the $300 in annual travel credit.

Verdict: Keep (for now)

United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Annual fee: $95

My take: I keep this card open for the expanded award availability it offers, which makes it easier to redeem my United miles. That’s pretty much the main draw for me; airline elite status isn’t a priority for me now, so I don’t need to spend $25,000 on the card in a calendar year to get the elite-qualifying dollar requirements waived for status (up to the Platinum tier).

Verdict: Keep

Citi

Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

Annual fee: $450

My take: I previously kept this card open due to the the ability to earn 10,000 EQMs by spending $40,000 on the card in a year. But now that I’m no longer on the airline elite status hamster wheel, this card has lost its appeal for me. The other main draw is that this card offers Admirals Club membership for the cardholder and authorized users — a huge perk for some, but I don’t value the lounge so it’s not important to me.

Verdict: Cancel

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card

Annual fee: $95

My take: I get automatic Hilton Honors Diamond status through the Business Centurion Card (better than the Gold status offered with the Reserve), but I keep this card open due to the one free weekend night I get after each cardmembership anniversary when I spend $10,000 on the card in a year. I maximize this perk by redeeming the free night at a higher-tier Hilton hotel, so I get far more value than the $95 I pay each year to keep it open. And while I don’t need to take advantage of this perk, cardholders can earn Diamond status by charging at least $40,000 in purchases in a calendar year.

Verdict: Keep

imgamanyara-to-own2-1400x600_1
The Citi Prestige’s 4th Night Free benefit is great for expensive properties like the Amanyara in Turks & Caicos. Image courtesy of the resort.

Citi Prestige Card

Annual fee: $450

My take: While other cards added benefits in 2016, the Citi Prestige unfortunately pulled back on perks — though the negative updates won’t go into effect until July 23, 2017. On that date, you’ll no longer be able to get 1.6 cents per point for American Airlines redemptions or 1.33 cents per point when you redeem for trips on other carriers. Citi’s also eliminating the annual three rounds of golf benefit and Admirals Club access on that date, in addition to tweaking the way it calculates the 4th Night Free perk. Despite these changes, I’ll still keep the Citi Prestige thanks to the amazing value I get from the 4th Night Free benefit. Even once Citi starts calculating it based on the average nightly rate and no longer includes taxes starting this July, I’ll still be able to save hundreds — if not thousands — when I book expensive hotel stays through the Citi travel concierge. This card also offers an annual $250 air travel credit which I can use toward everything from airfare to upgrades to baggage fees.

Verdict: Keep

Citi Premier Card

A couple of Singapore Suites/

Annual fee: $95

My take: This card offers some solid bonus categories, including 3x on travel including gas and 2x on dining out and entertainment. Plus, the Citi ThankYou Rewards program now has a respectable selection of transfer partners including Flying Blue, Hilton, Singapore Airlines and Qantas. However, the ThankYou Premier doesn’t offer any essential perks that I’m not getting through other cards like the Citi Prestige, so I’ve opted to cancel it.

Verdict: Cancel

US Bank

Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card

Annual fee: $75

My take: Club Carlson isn’t my hotel program of choice, and properties in its portfolio like Radisson Blus tend to be on the cheap side to begin with so I don’t need to bank a ton of points here. I no longer hold this card because of the dumb foreign transaction fees it charges.

Verdict: Cancel

Bottom Line

Since last taking inventory in the summer, the credit card space has seen some great updates — especially with the Amex Platinum adding 5x bonus categories for airfare hotels and the Business Platinum adding a 35% points rebate on airfare booked through Amex Travel in addition to introducing new bonus categories. In addition to opening the Amex Platinum, I’ve decided to cancel or convert a handful of cards — especially airline co-brands — that weren’t pulling their weigh in terms of benefits and return on spending. Now more than ever, my focus is on earning transferable points from Amex, Chase and Citi rather than rewards within specific airline or hotel loyalty programs. Stay tuned… I’ll be back with another update in a few months!

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
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