- I asked four financial advisers about what credit cards they keep in their wallet.
- Their top picks reflect a range of credit card philosophies.
- For example, several said they pay an annual fee for rewards cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.
- Another adviser sticks to no-annual-fee cards like the Citi® Double Cash Card.
- See Business Insider’s list of the best rewards credit cards you can get »
These days, there are so many credit cards to choose from, each with its own rewards tiers, annual fee structure, and selection of benefits. The upsides of earning cash back, points, or miles can be clear, but choosing the best card for you can be less straightforward.
To help you navigate your options, I asked four financial advisers what credit cards they keep in their wallet and why. After all, financial advisers are great resources for retirement planning, taxes, and debt management, so it follows that they’d know a thing or two about the best cards to use for your everyday spending,
Their top picks appeal to a variety of credit card philosophies. For example, one financial adviser I talked to has a strict no-annual-fee policy, while another is happy to pay the annual fee for the millennial-favorite Chase Sapphire Preferred in order to earn bonus points on travel and dining.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which will far outweigh the value of any points or miles. It’s important to practice financial discipline when using credit cards by paying your balances in full each month, making payments on time, and only spending what you can afford to pay back.
David Tuzzolino, Founder and CEO of PathBridge Financial
Favorite card: Chase Sapphire Preferred
“This is the workhorse in my wallet. I use it for all purchases that aren’t in my Discover it® Cash Back card’s 5% cash-back category. [The card offers 5% cash back in rotating categories on the first $1,500 in purchases each quarter you activate.]
“You receive 2 points for every dollar spent on dining and travel, and 1 point for every other dollar spent. It has a generous 60,000-point sign-up bonus, as long as you spend $4,000 in the first three months you have the card. A great feature of the card is your ability to transfer points to numerous airline and hotel partners, which gives it great flexibility. This card also has no foreign transaction fees.”
Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months
Rewards: 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, 1 point per dollar on everything else
Annual fee: $95
Stephen Gunter, associate advisor with Bridgeworth, LLC
Favorite card: Citi Double Cash Card
“The card I carry and use for just about everything is the Citi Double Cash card. Everyone has their own needs and preferences of what they want in a credit card. For me I want simplicity, good cash back, and no annual fee.
“It’s simple in that I don’t have to remember what categories get what rewards. I get 1% on purchases and then an additional 1% when you pay those purchases on time. Since I pay off my balance each month, I get 2% cash back on everything I buy, which is a great cash-back reward.
“Plus, it’s a Mastercard, so I’ve never run into an instance where a retailer didn’t accept it. I also like that there is no annual fee. I’ve never fully understood paying for the privilege of using a credit card.”
Sign-up bonus: None
Rewards: 2% cash back on every purchase — 1% when you make the purchase, and 1% when you pay your bill
Annual fee: $0
Dan Routh, Financial Advisor at Old Peak Finance
Favorite card: Capital One Venture Rewards card
“We have a Southwest card and a Capital One Venture card. We use the Capital One Venture card for almost all our purchases each month in order to build rewards towards any other travel, including hotels, ride-share services, rental cars, and non-Southwest flights.”
Sign-up bonus: 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months
Rewards: 2 miles per dollar on all purchases
Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)
Jeff Rose, CFP and CEO, Good Financial Cents
Favorite card: Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit card
“I keep four credit cards in my wallet. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, two Chase Southwest cards, and the GM BuyPower Card. The reason I have two Chase Southwest cards is one is personal and one is for business. I’ve had other credit cards in the past but the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card has been hands-down the best for my family. We don’t travel a ton, but when we do taking four kids gets really expensive. Fortunately, we’ve been able to use the Southwest Companion Pass to get my wife a free ticket and then use points toward our four kids.”
Sign-up bonus: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open
Rewards: 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Annual fee: $69