2017 End of Year Wallet Report

At the end of 2017, I have increased the number of cards in my wallet to include the AMEX Platinum, Capital One Platinum, Discover it Miles, and three gas cards. This concludes the acquisition of new credit cards for the year.

The cards of consequence are the AMEX EveryDay Preferred card, AMEX Premier Rewards Gold, AMEX Platinum, Discover it Miles, and Choice Privileges Visa. All these cards have some travel-related rewards. Travel, after all, is the whole reason I am on this credit bandwagon.

Other card accounts include the First Progress card, which is a secured credit card that got me on the way to building my credit a couple of years ago. The FP is useful because it is the oldest card. Canceling it would drastically impact my credit score. In addition, I have a Capital One Platinum card, which offers no perks other than no annual fee. I got this card simply to get into the Capital One universe and increase my available credit, thereby reducing my credit utilization. Next year, I will look into an upgrade to the card for something with travel rewards.

The gas cards for Valero, Sunoco, and Exxon/Mobil are low-hanging fruit. Given the ease of acquiring them and the increase in overall credit, they will help keep my utilization rate low. Except when trying to meet a high minimum spend, I will likely use these cards if I can remember or there is some promotional bonus at the time. In addition, a couple of these are in the Citibank universe, which hopefully helps when applying for a Citi ThankYou Premier card or Citi / AAdvantage card.

There are other credit accounts in my inventory such as the Firestone card, Amazon Store Card, and PayPal Credit. These come in handy from time to time when I need to make a large purchase.

2018 Plans

For 2018, the goal is to get the Barclay Arrival+, Capital One Venture, Citi AAdvantage, AMEX Delta SkyMiles card, or AMEX Starwood. This list is a bit ambitious. However, it is entirely missing cards from Chase, such as the United MileagePlus Explorer, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Southwest Rapid Rewards card, British Airways card, Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards Club, Hyatt, and more. Chase has the 5/24 rule that acts as a speed bump for the fast and furious credit card acquirer. Those cards will have to be for the long game. 2018 should see a pace of perhaps one card per quarter. My pace this year has driven down the average age of my accounts, which is keeping my credit score below 700. In the long term, the big lump of accounts will benefit me. In the meantime, average account age is detrimental.