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The 5 Cards The Points Guy Doesn’t Leave Home Without

July 12, 2019
5 min read
The 5 Cards The Points Guy Doesn’t Leave Home Without
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As the TPG staff was in the process of updating our Battle of the Metal Credit Cards guide, we thought "What's in Brian's wallet?" and how much does it weigh in at. So we checked in with The Points Guy himself to see what cards he's carrying around on the daily, and the answer to our question is...

  • American Express® Gold Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
  • Business Centurion® Card from American Express
  • Bank of America Debit Card

The information for the Bank of America Debit card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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All together, these cards add up to 63.7 grams out of the wallet and 91.75 grams when including the wallet itself, cash in case of emergency and of course, Brian's Global Entry pass. (That's 3.2 ounces in US measurements.)

Usually Brian would also have his driver's license among the rest of the cards, but unfortunately he misplaced it. However, because TPG has the Global Entry pass, he's able to carry that around for identification rather than having the worry of keeping track of his passport while he waits for a new license.

You may be wondering why these are TPG's go-to cards, so let's break down the benefits of each:

1. American Express Gold Card

This card is great for those who love to dine out and if you need to know one thing about Brian, it's that he's quite the foodie. This card earns 4x points on dining at restaurants and offers the highest return on spend (8% back based on his valuations). Back in December, the Gold Card was on Brian's wishlist because of the amazing dining rewards, and since then, it's become a staple in his wallet precisely because of this perk.

2. Chase Sapphire Reserve

Prior to the Gold Card, the Reserve was Brian's go-to card for dining out. But the main reason this card still holds its spot in his wallet is for its other amazing bonus category — 3x points on travel spend (hotels, Uber, car rentals, tolls, etc). This is obviously a big spending category for TPG, so it's a clear winner when it comes to racking up points fast.

CSR cardholders get a value of 1.5 cents per point when booking through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, which is great value when redeeming for travel. Not to mention that Chase has numerous notable transfer partners including United and Hyatt, so there's a lot of flexibility and opportunity to really maximize your points.

3. Capital One Venture Rewards

Famous for its 10x miles per dollar and stackable rewards on Hotels.com (when booked and paid for via Hotels.com/Venture through Jan. 31, 2020), it's no wonder why this is a top card for TPG. Whether it's for personal or business stays, there's no question about using this card for accommodations through Hotels.com. Additionally, the travel Purchase Eraser feature is another lucrative redemption from the issuer that allows you to put your points towards other travel expenses, as well as transfer to its airline partners.

4. The Black Card (a/k/a Amex Business Centurion Card)

If you've been taking notes on what cards to get based on TPG's wallet, you'll have to stop here, as the coveted "Black Card" is by invite only and comes with a hefty $2,500 annual fee. Although this card isn't for everyone, for frequent travelers and business owners like Brian, the Business Centurion card offers unmatched benefits like a personal concierge 24/7, access to Amex lounges across the globe, invites to exclusive events and big rewards for big spending. In fact, Brian's Bottega Veneta wallet itself was a gift from the Business Centurion folks this past holiday season, which he talked about at the time on Instagram.

5. Bank of America Debit Card

Here at TPG we're major naysayers about debit cards because they offer no real value when it comes to earning points and miles. However, it's always good to have your debit card on you just in case you need to grab some cash and don't want to pay a credit card fee. Plus, Brian is a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program, which gives him extra perks, including a bonus of 2.625 points per dollar spent on all purchases on his Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card for being a Platinum Honors elite member.

For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.

Featured image by Brian Kelly (Photo by The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • Updated $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • Updated $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees