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Right now I use different credit cards for our dining expenses, travel charges, gas purchases, groceries, hotel-specific spending, department store purchases, and yet another for any remaining larger purchases since I am working on a minimum spending requirement or two, or actually three. Oh and that doesn’t really count the cards my husband is using. Our system at the moment is a little complicated in order to maximize our spending.
When my toddler was a baby it wasn’t this complicated because I. just. couldn’t. However, I sleep through most nights now and felt comfortable juggling more cards and spending requirements than I did when life was extra chaotic, as opposed to just a normal dose of chaotic. However, my system is not for everyone, and it isn’t even always for me. Some have even more credit cards in rotation that I do, but most people are probably better served by a more simplistic approach to maximizing everyday spending.
Having too many credit cards in play increases the chance of missing a payment, missing a bonus, spending more than you intended, over-paying on annual fees, and just simply feeling overwhelmed.
I recommend starting out slow in the rewards credit card space, and honestly for most people staying in the realm of two or three active rewards credit cards is probably a good spot to be. However, whether you have two cards or twenty-two cards, at least one of those cards should probably be a solid everyday card with no annual fee that you will keep forever and that pays out a good rate on basically everything.
Best No Annual Fee Credit Card for Simple Points Earning
Right now there is one card that jumps to mind as being the best in that category. I think the best card for otherwise “non bonused” spending right now is The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express because it has no annual fee, awards 2x fully transferable Membership Reward points per dollar spent on the first $50,000 in eligible purchases each calendar year, and then drops to 1x afterwards.
Since Membership Reward points transfer at a 1:1 ratio (or better during transfer bonuses) to many partners (including Delta, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, ANA, and more), this is like having an annual-fee-free card that earns 2x Delta miles, 2x British Airways Avios, ANA miles etc. on up to $50,000 in purchases each year! Even those specific airline co-branded cards usually don’t pay out 2x miles per dollar on most charges, so when you think about it, the Blue Business Plus Amex truly is phenomenal compared to what else is out there.
To take it up a notch, right now there is a 40% transfer bonus from Membership Rewards to British Airways, so that means if you spent $4,500 on the Blue Business Plus Credit Card, that would net you 9,000 Membership Reward points. If you transferred those 9,000 points to British Airways during the current 40% transfer bonus (through 9/17/17), you would get just over 12,500 British Airways Avios, which is enough for a flight on partners American Airlines or Alaska Airlines, all the way from the West Coast to Hawaii! I don’t have any other card that can stack offers to give me a flight to Hawaii with just $4,500 in everyday spending.
The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express is a small business card, so I know not everyone can add it to their wallets. However, don’t discount your small business just because it is small as my experience has been that Amex is more welcoming to truly small businesses than some other issuers. Also remember that Amex small business cards won’t impact your Chase 5/24 status, so you aren’t hurting yourself in that regard if you decide to add this card to your wallet.
Do you have the Blue Business Plus Amex to rack up 2x on your purchases? Is it on your radar to add in the coming months?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.