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LuckyGuy's avatar

How do you keep track of all your credit cards and their benefits?

Asked by LuckyGuy (34599points) November 23rd, 2011

First off, I have excellent credit and never pay for a card. Ever! If there is an annual fee or a use fee, that card is dropped immediately. Second, I always pay the bill off completely so interest rates are not a concern. With that background info, here’s my question.
I have at least 6 cards, all with varying benefits. 2% on gas, 5% on medications, 1% on everything, 2% on groceries, 3% on gas, 5% at home stores, and in every combination you can imagine.
How do you keep track of which card is the best one to use? Do you carry all the cards with you? Do you just remember all the benefits? Do you pick one card and just use it?
I have actually started writing the benefits right on the cards in black marker. What do you do?

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16 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

I only have one card, makes it easy to keep track. It’s probably not always the best one in any given event, but I’m sure it evens out in the end, and the fact that I only have/use one ensures that I won’t forget and get into trouble.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Credit cards are the devil.
I don’t use them.

fizzbanger's avatar

Whew… I have only one card for emergencies. Debt got out of control when I had that many.

wundayatta's avatar

I have two cards with cash back. They also have rotating items that are 5% cash back, but you have to enroll every quarter for those, and it’s too much of a pain. Hell, we’ve never even redeemed our cash back. They always trap you with offers of coupons for 20% off at various stores and you never know what you want and, well, I feel your pain.

The answer to your question, obviously, is that I don’t bother to keep track. Yeah, I can save money here or there—do you know how many place I have that offer coupons? I can get coupons from the credit cards. I can get them from corporate deals from where I work. There’s groupon and its copy cats. Then there are even coupons I get for recycling my trash!!!!

WTF? Too much. Just too much. I could spend my every waking hour investigating coupons and buying shit. But when would I fluther? Sorry. Fluther is more important that dealing with all the deals. Right now, one credit card is offering something like an extra $30 for spending a certain amount per month for three months. We spend that much, but we like to have one main card, so we’d have to switch our habits again. Who knows what we will do?

ragingloli's avatar

Easy. By not having one.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I have no debt. I am a very conservative shopper and only use the cards as tools. My spending habits do not change if I have one card or many cards or if I have $500 cash in my wallet or $20. I will not buy that expensive “Starbux” coffee and I will still go to GoodWill first. I also will not buy something if it is made in China. That limits shopping too.
I still have a tube TV, no cable.

@wundayatta I already throw out the offers I get in the mail. (Actually that is not completely true. I throw them in my wood burning stove and heat my house for a few seconds with them.) I also feel it is too much to track but I was wondering if that meant I was getting old and senile
I was hoping someone would have a good idea. It is embarrassing for someone to see the black magic marker writing on the face of the card.

Coloma's avatar

I only have one card as well. A Visa issued throguh my bank. Not my ATM card Visa feature.

I too am nearly debt free, but, I do have a couple grand on my card from traveling last year. It’s primarily the vacation card and I also use it for my huge propane bills in winter and for online purchases.

I cash in my reward points and just claimed a $50 cash reward recently. :-)

I’m right in the middle with my spending habits, most of the year I am pretty conservative, but, I also believe money is meant to be spent and not hoarded. It’s the balance as always.

I drive an older model car but spare no expense on the things I truly love, like good food, travel and a comfy and aesthetically nurturing home. :-)

gailcalled's avatar

I too have only one card so it’s easy.

Coloma's avatar


I have to laugh ( not AT you, but at your methodology )

Marking your cards with a black marker…reminds me of my ex husband who was a bit OCD. lol

He insisted on numbering the sides of a new mattress so as to keep track of rotating it every few months. haha

Drove me nuts.
Free spirited and mega logical was a challenging blend, actually, it wasn’t a blend, hence the divorce. lololol

john65pennington's avatar

Place all your credit cards in a hat. Shut your eyes and select one from the hat. This is the card you will keep and cut the others in half and throw away.

A person only needs one credit card for emergencies. I have only one and pay it in full before the due date, if I use it at all.

Its easy and simple to keep up with. I use my debit card for all of my purchases or I pay cash.

Credit card debt is way out of control in America.

Don’t be a victim.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Coloma Hmmm Numbering the sides of the mattress… Did he put dates on it too?
I just keep the mattress for 15–20 years.

@john65pennington You know me. I am extremely conservative with my spending. I buy nothing spur of the moment and the credit card is certainly not a factor. I buy what I need and nothing made in China.
I am trying to work the system a bit. My $ bill will be $3 cheaper if I remember which card to use. If it takes me one minute to decide, then I am paying myself $180 per hour tax free. it is worth it. Same with gas purchases. Let’s say I need gas today. If one card will give me 3% I should use that one I never, ever pay a fee and never, ever miss paying off the bill in full. I’ve never paid an ATM fee in my life!
If I can’t afford something, I don’t buy it.
I wish my kids would understand that.

Coloma's avatar

@worriedguy Haha

Right about not buying what you can’t afford.

chyna's avatar

I only have one card and don’t use it except for emergencies. I had to use it for some vet bills this past summer, but it’s paid off now. I don’t have any perks with mine except for some reason they don’t charge me interest. Ever. Even when I have a balance for two or three months.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Easy, I use only a debit/Visa card and track everything through online banking versus what I write down on an envelope I keep in my handbag.

YARNLADY's avatar

We keep all our accounts on the computer, just like a business. Any questions about benefits are readily available online. For specific questions, such as warranty extensions and such, we call and ask. We are in the “elite” category on all our cards, so our phone number takes us directly to a customer service clerk.

By careful use of our credit cards, especially the interest free ones, we save hundreds of dollars a year in interest and benefits.

jazmina88's avatar

I usually use lower interest rate cards. I have one at Prime.
But tryin to be frugal, I would use the gas, rx, grocery savings with the according card.

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