A hand holding a selection of credit cards, symbolizing the choice and flexibility in modern payment methods.

Cards always in my wallet

I wanted to share the cards that The Franklins currently have in our wallets and actively use.

We do have some other older credit cards that serve the purpose of maintaining credit age, but we do not actively use them.

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A hand holding a selection of credit cards, symbolizing the choice and flexibility in modern payment methods.
Air France Business Class
MIA to CDG 70k points
+200 per person

This may surprise you…

Actually, our most important cards for daily use right now are the Chase Freedom cards. I have the Chase Freedom Unlimited® which was a product change from when I downgraded from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

My husband also has the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Chase Freedom Flex® both of which he has had for a very long time because they are no annual fee cards.

Why are the Chase Freedom cards so important? Well, as a budget traveler, you might think that I wouldn’t be interested in these cards since they don’t earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferred to travel partners like Air France or Virgin Atlantic.

Or do they?

Sapphire Preferred Visa credit card with a sleek blue design, highlighted by dynamic light streaks.

The Chase Freedom cards are pretty awesome because they don’t have an annual fee and offer great bonus and non-bonus category cashback on your everyday purchases.

And here’s the kicker – if you also have a premium travel card like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® then you can convert the cashback earned on the Chase Freedom cards to Chase Ultimate Rewards points and transfer them.

Honestly, these are the cards that my family and I use the most in our daily lives. Just be sure to keep in mind the Chase 5/24 rule and good to excellent credit (at least 700) before applying.

That’s why I suggest saving these cards as a downgrade option. A downgrade is a product change and it won’t take up a new 5/24 slot.

Downgrade or cancel once you’ve snagged the welcome bonus with one of the premium cards and don’t want to pay the annual fee or would like to earn the welcome bonus again down the road (when you’re eligible).

Wait at least a year and let the annual fee be charged to your card before considering canceling your credit card.

*Cancelling your card will cause you to lose any remaining Chase Ultimate Rewards points. It’s usually better to downgrade the card so that those points are not completely lost. Just know that you won’t be able to take advantage of travel partners unless you get another Chase premium travel card.

And sometimes the premium card is worth keeping.

For instance, I don’t actually carry a premium travel card from Chase in my wallet. But that’s totally fine because my husband has the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and I’m listed as an authorized user.

Since we are part of the same household, I can easily transfer all the points I earn on my Chase Freedom cards over to his premium card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great beginner card because it comes with a good amount of travel perks for such a low annual fee of $95. It can make sense for at least one person in your household to hold on to it long-term.

It was my very first premium travel card and I would recommend it to any budget travel beginners.

**I re-applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to take advantage of the elevated offer at the time. It had been more than 48 months since I last received the bonus so I was eligible to get it again.**

We also have a few Chase Ink Business cards that have no annual fee and earn cashback that can be easily converted into Chase Ultimate Rewards, just like the Chase Freedom cards.

My husband started with the Chase Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card which he then referred to me and I got it, plus the Chase Ink Business Cash® Credit Card.

Chase business cards don’t show up on your personal credit report so they don’t count towards 5/24 but you usually need to be under 5/24 to get approved.

Don’t think you can get a business credit card? You may be surprised, it’s not as hard to qualify for a business card as you may think.

I went live in my Facebook Group to go through every single credit card I have in and out of my wallet. At the time, I had 18 credit cards! These are credit cards that I’ve been approved for over many many years. You definitely don’t need this many, but it has worked well for me!

Citi Premier Mastercard with a detailed grey texture and blue circle, representing an elite choice for consumers.

Other cards in my wallet

We love Chase credit cards because they earn us flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but other cards also earn flexible points and miles.

More Travel Partners

My husband and I both had the Citi Strata Premier℠ Card when they were offering an especially high welcome bonus for Citi ThankYou Points. Citi ThankYou Points are also transferrable to many travel partners.

Once he’s had the card for a year, he downgraded it to a no-annual fee credit card. I decided to keep mine until we run out of Citi ThankYou Points.

What’s really great about the Citi ThankYou Rewards program is that it allows you to share up to 100,000 points per calendar year with anyone who has their own Citi ThankYou Rewards account.

So before he gets rid of his card, we’ll just transfer all his points over to my account. It will be easy because the transfer can be done online, no phone call is necessary.

Business Cash Link Visa Signature Business credit card, offering a professional look with its grey palette and stylized signature.

Cards that come in handy

I’m also a fan of Capital One credit cards. I’ve had the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, but I downgraded it to the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card.

I downgraded simply because I used up the welcome bonus and I wanted to focus on other credit cards and avoid paying the annual fee.

I use it occasionally, but it’s definitely not a key player in our wallets.

However, I do use my Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card because it has no annual fee and it gets me complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through November 14, 2024.

Plus I earn 10% cash back on purchases with Uber and Uber Eats. So to me, it’s worth using this card for Uber.

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