Don't miss out! Join the thousands of people who subscribe to our once-daily email or our free miles and points Facebook group with all the best travel news. Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Proper card maintenance is key to living in the miles and points world. I’m sure I am not alone in having what many people would consider a ludicrous amount of credit cards. As I said when being interviewed on the CBS Sunday Morning show, between my wife and I we have around 40 cards.
Which isn’t to say that YOU should have that many – I’m a firm believer that each individual person should go only as fast as you understand and feel comfortable and above all, you should not sign up for a credit card because some guy on the Internet said that you should!
I’ve been doing this for a long time and understand the risks. It’s up to each individual to learn, understand and weigh the risks vs rewards themselves.
Credit card maintenance
The very first thing I do with every new card of mine is sign it up for autopay. That way I know that no matter what, my cards will get paid and I won’t have to deal with any late payments, fees or interest. I don’t put a ton of spending on all of my cards, so I am comfortable that I have enough money in the bank to pay off each and every card when they’re due. I also regularly monitor my transactions to make sure nothing crazy is happening
(SEE ALSO: Hit by fraud! 5 bogus Walmart.com purchases on my account)
(SEE ALSO: HACKED! Tons of mail subscription emails (and what I did about it))
Going through 44 credit cards
The other day, I finally got around to going through all of the cards in my awesome credit card organizer and matching those up with my and my wife’s logins on each of the bank websites. With each card, I was trying to make sure I had the card in the right place, that it was one I wanted to keep, and just get things organized. Since I know many of you are in similar situations, I thought it might be interesting to share.
Here’s the notes I took for action items
- American Express
- Decide on Hilton / Surpass cards – I ended up deciding to keep my Amex Hilton cards as it does not look like the new Amex cards will count as new cards
- Add 2 new AUs for Platinum card – Since I have the Ameriprise Platinum, your first 3 AUs are free (for the first year). So I added my older 2 kids and that will give 2 more Global Entry credits AND finally allow us to all get into the Centurion lounges again, since 4 of us have cards and we can each guest in 2 more.
- Dan – close Delta Amex as annual fee just hit
- Bank of America
- Carolyn get check for one of her Alaska cards – she has a negative balance and the account is closed
- Close one of my Alaska cards
- Review the 2/3/4 rule – two cards per rolling 2 months, three cards per rolling 12 months, and four cards per rolling 24 months
- Close Aviator cards Dan and Carolyn
- Spend Arrival miles
- Check Marriott annual fee and close
- Dan make Citi Prestige airline credit and decide if I close it – SEE ALSO: Am I really going to pay an $450 annual fee?
- Close AA cards? Keep one open for 10% mileage rebate
- Close Hilton cards before they get transferred to American Express
- First Bank
- Close Carolyn old Best Western card
- Set reminder to close Best Western cards
- Set reminder to close Cathay Pacific cards
- Close BBVA Compass card – with Serve nerfed and the 5% cashback during Finals week and All Star game weekend nerfed, I don’t really have a need for this card
I also noted that I have 4 free hotel nights that I need to use (2 IHG, 1 Hyatt and 1 Marriott). I have a few cards that I want to apply for and a few more that I am closing due to not wanting to pay the annual fee
I still have quite a few cards I know! Any recommendations for me? Leave em in the comments
Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them
Nice summary. Did you consider a PC for some of the cards to a no fee to help with AAOC? I’m debating whether to do that or just cancel.
I did consider it but most of these cards are not very old. I did not close down any very old ones
Can you explain this to me?
Review the 2/3/4 rule – two cards per rolling 2 months, three cards per rolling 12 months, and four cards per rolling 24 months
Also can you churn the Alaska Airlines card?
We’ll have an article coming up on the Bank of America 2/3/4 rule next week. Alaska cards as far as I know are churnable in conjunction with 2/3/4
I understand and feel comfortable with my very limited amount of credit cards and am not some dolt. I choose to not use many because to me it isn’t worth the time and I have better things to do. I get hotel points on two and airline miles on one. That’s it! And I travel around 100-110 days a year for leisure. It works for me.
Like I always say – you travel how you want to travel and don’t let anyone make you feel like you have to do it differently
On the First Bankcard, aka FNBO, will they offer or allow a product conversion? Converting an existing card will add to account aging. SO and I have a FNBO Amex card that earns 1.5%, and some have their Visa cards that earn 2%, with no AF.
Aren’t the Best Western cards a no annual fee card? If so, why cancel them?
It’s actually $59 after the first year I believe. Plus that may allow me to get them again later.
Does the change from Citi Hilton to AMEX Hilton keep the credit history originally from Citi? I recall AMEX not back dating new cards to your oldest card history for their own cards but not sure if it applies after it’s moved from Citi (which my two cards have a few years history with them so far). Unfortunately I’m also at the 5 credit card limit with AMEX and with two cards convering from Citi that will make 7.
Do you have the Uber card from Barclaycard? Quick $100 credit for $500 spend. 4% dining, … $50 credit for online streaming services (Netflix, Apple Music, etc.). Mobile phone coverage. No AF.