What’s In Our Wallet?

Disney Chase

We don’t carry the Disney Chase card, but every credit card we use is to help us get on our next Disney vacation. Why don’t we carry the Disney Chase card? The perks on the card are great, but the Disney Chase card doesn’t earn rewards as rapidly as many other cards. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get or keep your Disney Chase card. In fact, we wrote a blog post about why you should keep it (but it’s not to “save” for a Disney vacation).

For our Disney vacations, we’re primarily trying to cover three expenses: 1) Flights, 2) Hotels, 3) and Cash (for park tickets, food, etc.). We’ll talk a little why we have each card and how we use it.

Here are the cards we carry:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Chase Freedom (2)
  • Chase Ink Plus
  • Starwood Preferred Guest
  • Discover it Cash

Maximize Bonus Categories

First, an important concept: bonus categories. Your credit cards should complement each other. If one card earns extra points in travel and dining, consider another card that will earn bonus points on groceries. By doing this, you can maximize how much you’re earning on all your purchases.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

We use three cards that all earn Chase Ultimate Rewards, each having different bonus categories. These points can be transferred to valuable travel partners like Hyatt and Southwest. For more on this, see Chase Ultimate Rewards Explained.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

sapphire_preferred_cardMark travels for work, so travel and dining are common expenses. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns two points per dollar spent in those categories, which ends up being worth between 3.2% and 4% back on these purchases depending on whether the points are ultimately transferred to Hyatt or Southwest.

  • Bonus Categories: Travel and Dining (2 points per dollar spent)
  • Value of Points: Hyatt (2 cents each); Southwest (1.6 cents each)
  • Full Card Review: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Freedom

Chase FreedomWe each have a Chase Freedom card. This no annual fee card earns five points per dollar in rotating categories each quarter. Common categories include gas, groceries, dining, Amazon, and wholesale clubs like Costco. Earning five points per dollar spent means you’re getting somewhere between 8% and 10% back on your purchases depending on how you ultimately redeem your points.

  • Bonus Categories: Rotating each category in gas, dining, groceries, Amazon, and wholesale clubs (5 points per dollar spent)
  • Value of Points: Hyatt (2 cents each); Southwest (1.6 cents each)
  • Full Card Review: Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom Calendar

Chase Ink Plus

Chase Ink PlusThe Chase Ink Plus is a small business card that we use for the five points per dollar is earns on cell phone, landline, internet, cable, office supply stores. Stores like OfficeMax sell gift cards for everything imaginable, so you can earn a lot of points buying gift cards to places you already plan to shop. These points are worth between 8% and 10% per dollar spent.

The card also earns two points per dollar spent on gas and at hotels. This is worth between 3.2% and 4% back.

  • Bonus Categories: Cell phone, landline, internet, cable, and office supply stores (5 points per dollar spent); Gas and at hotels (2 points per dollar spent)
  • Value of Points: Hyatt (2 cents each); Southwest (1.6 cents each)
  • Full Card Review: Chase Ink Plus

Starwood Preferred Guest

Starwood Preferred GuestStarwood has some of the best non-Disney hotels around Disney World and Disneyland. On top of it, Starwood points are extremely valuable. Each point is worth around 2.4 cents each. The card doesn’t have any bonus categories, except at Starwood hotels, so this is the kind of card you use “for everything else.” You can’t cover possible type of expense with a bonus category, so you get this card for those expenses.

  • Bonus Categories: None (except Starwood hotels)
  • Value of Points: Starwood Hotels (2.4 cents each)
  • Full Card Review: Starwood Preferred Guest

Discover it Cash

Discover-it-cash-credit-card-blueThe Discover it Cash card is very similar to the Chase Freedom; it earns 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter. However, Discover doubles ALL cash back at the end of your first year. That means you can earn 10% cash back on items you purchase. This is huge! They also have a shopping portal with many great retailers where you can purchase items online and also get 5% cash back (also doubled at the end of the first year). We wrote a blog post about how you can get $1,000 cash toward your vacation after spending just $9,500.

  • Bonus Categories: Rotating each category in gas, dining, movies, home improvement stores, and Amazon (10% cash back); Shopping portal with various retailers (10% cash back)
  • Value of Points: Cash
  • Full Card Review: Discover it Cash

Discover it Cash Calendar 3Q

Are you thinking about adding any cards to your wallet? If so, what are you thinking about adding?