32 Credit Cards in My Wallet 2024 | Current Credit Cards

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As of June 2024 my wife and I have over 32 open credit and charge cards. Because I was active duty military for 12 years, only the business credit cards have annual fees charged on them. We get over $12,000 a year of fees waived.

Some of the benefits we receive by having so many cards open are: airport lounge access to American Express Centurion Lounge and Priority Pass, $2,350 of airline fee credit annually, $1,420 Uber credit annually, $600 travel credits, top hotel elite status, top rental car status, free travel insurance, and $800 of free Saks Fifth Avenue purchases annually.

When I was active duty, my wife and I were both listed in the Military Lending Act database, and so were eligible for MLA benefits, which include annual fee waivers on American Express, Chase, Citi, and US Bank cards.

Since 2015 we have opened over 46 cards. My credit score is currently 811-820 according to Credit Karma and Credit Sesame.

There's a common misconception that opening that many credit cards will damage your credit. It doesn't.

If anything, it might improve your credit score because of the way credit scores are calculated. I recommend both sites to check your credit score for free.

The most popular cards for active duty, Guard, Reserve, and military spouses on my site since 2018 are:

  1. The Platinum Card® from American Express
  2. American Express® Gold Card
  3. Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
  4. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  5. Citi® Premier® Card
Military SCRA MLA AMEX Platinum
Chase Sapphire Reserve Military
American Express Gold Card No Annual Fee for Military Upgrade to Platinum

You can compare the:

I recorded episode 8 of the Military Money Manual Podcast where Jamie (podcast co-host and fellow active duty Air Force pilot) and I talked about what cards we have in our wallets. You can listen below:

Physically Managing Lots of Credit Cards

I keep my cards in a leather credit card binder I purchased on Amazon for less than $15. It keeps the cards I don't use daily organized.

For daily use, I have a Travelambo Front Pocket Minimalist Leather Slim Wallet RFID Blocking Medium Size. About 3 years ago I purchased the 5 top rated wallets on Amazon.

I returned the other 4 and kept the Travelambo. This is the best wallet for credit cards I have found after trying all the others.

Credit Cards I Carry Daily

Right now, I'm carrying my veterans ID, driver's license, some cash, a list of goals I want to accomplish, and some small photos. The credit cards I carry daily are:

What I Look for in a New Credit Card

The 3 primary things I care about when evaluating a new credit card are:

  1. The welcome bonus, like the massive points you can earn on the Amex Platinum
  2. The ongoing benefits of holding the card, like travel credits or free hotel nights
  3. The categories I can earn extra points in, like restaurants and groceries with the Amex Gold or travel and dining with Chase Sapphire Reserve

I update a list of the best credit card welcome bonuses each month. I also have an exact recommended order military servicemembers and spouses should open up cards to maximize their points earnings in my best credit cards for active duty military guide.

I have earned millions of points and miles just from welcome bonuses. I redeemed those points and miles for tens of thousands of free hotel and resort stays and airline tickets. Learn how to maximize your military credit cards benefits in my free course, the Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course. Over 11,000 graduates have given the course a 5 star review since 2019.

I'll explain exactly how to get your fees waived, which card to get first, and how to maximize your points.

I have also received thousands of dollars in cash back welcome bonuses.

The ongoing benefits of a hotel card, for instance, can be higher automatic elite status and an annual free night. For instance the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card gives you automatic Diamond status. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card gives you automatic Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite Status.

The 32 Credit Cards I Have Right Now

Other than my Capital One business card, I do not pay any annual fees on these cards thanks to the Chase Military Lending Act and Amex Military Lending Act military fee waiver programs.

This saves my wife and me over $12,000 per year. I can walk you through how to save your first $695 annual fee in my Ultimate Military Credit Cards Course. The course is 100% free for you.

American Express Cards

All American Express personal cards are no annual fee for military servicemembers and their dependents. Amex does this to comply with the Military Lending Act (MLA) and Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

Military SCRA MLA AMEX Platinum
American Express Gold Card No Annual Fee for Military Upgrade to Platinum
Free Diamond Status at Hilton Hotels for Military
American Express Gold Card military AMEX Gold Card Military No annual fee SCRA $250 annual fee waived

American Express® Gold Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Reward® Points after spending $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new card in the first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 4x points at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the US
  • Earn 4x points on US supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1x points) – includes OCONUS Commissaries
  • Earn 3x points on flights booked directly with the airline or on amextravel.com
  • No foreign transaction fees – great for the 4x on restaurants when travelling for fun, OCONUS TDY, or PCS!
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Amex Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 annually.
  • $120 per year Dining Credit: Earn up to $10 per month in statement credits when you use your Amex Gold at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose between the Gold or Rose Gold version when you apply.
  • Read my full review of the Amex Gold card for military, terms apply
  • $250 Annual Fee* See more details about American Express protections for you and your spouse 
Military SCRA MLA AMEX Platinum

The Platinum Card® from American Express
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Annual fee of $695* See more details about military protections for you and your spouse 
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with airline or on amextravel.com up to $500,000 per calendar year
  • Earn 5x points on prepaid hotels at amextravel.com
  • $200 Annual Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Note that The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on Uber Eats and rides every year. Only available to the basic card member, Terms Apply
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at 1 qualifying airline
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • This is a MAJOR time saver–$100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®! Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Complimentary access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection® lets you visit more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting. You can love the lounge life with more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • Up to $100 annual Saks Fifth Avenue credit, enrollment required
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express – learn how to apply
  • Read my full review of the Amex Platinum card for military, terms apply

Chase Cards

Chase waives all annual fees for military servicemembers and dependents on their personal credit cards (not business cards) as long as you are on active duty after 20 Sep 2017 and open the card after that date.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Military
Chase Freedom Flex military
Chase Ink Business Preferred Veteran and Military
Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus

Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • $550 annual fee waived to $0 for US military + spouses with Chase MLA policy
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.
  • 3x Points on other Travel (airfare, hotels) after earning the $300 travel credit
  • 3x Dining restaurants, takeouts, delivery
  • Chase Ultimate Reward Points redeemed through Chase Travel℠ are worth 1.5 cents, a 50% bonus.
  • Priority Pass lounge and restaurant access with over 1300+ airport lounges worldwide
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry every 4 years
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Primary coverage with Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • No foreign transaction fees, Member FDIC
  • Learn more in the Chase Sapphire Reserve review

Citi Cards

My Citi® Premier® Card is annual fee waived thanks to MLA. Citi Prestige is also MLA fee waived.

Citi Strata Premier Card Military

Citi Strata Premier Card
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou(R) Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • 70,000 points are redeemable for $700 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • Earn 10 points per $1 spent on hotels, car rentals, and attractions through CitiTravel.com
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent at at restaurants and supermarkets
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on Gas Stations, Air Travel, and Hotels
  • 1 point per $1 on everything else
  • $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee waived for military with Citi military policy
Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard Military

Citi® AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®
Learn how to apply on our partner's secure site

  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $7,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation

Capital One®

I have 2 Capital One cards: Capital One Venture X Rewards Card and the Capital One® Spark® Business Cash card.

The Capital One Spark Business Cash card was offering an insane 200,000 point welcome bonus when you spend $50,000. (Note: offer is no longer available.)

I was able to hit the welcome bonus on this card and earn $3,000 cash back. That was a nice check to receive!

capital one venture x military

Capital One Venture X Rewards Card
Learn how to apply at our partner's secure site

  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • $300 annual travel credit for hotels, airfare, rental cars, and other travel booked through Capital One Travel portal
  • 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary (at least $100 of travel)
  • 10 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. 5 Miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • Up to 4 free authorized users (with Capital One Lounge access)
  • $395 annual fee, terms apply
  • No foreign transaction fees, good for OCONUS military families or TDY servicemembers
  • Elevate your stay at luxury hotels and resorts from the Premier Collection with a $100 experience credit, daily breakfast for 2 and complimentary WiFi on every booking, plus other premium benefits like room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout when available
  • Read the full Capital One Venture X Rewards card review
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Card – learn how to apply

Welcome Bonuses on my Credit Cards

With these cards and the ones I've closed, I received the following cumulative welcome bonuses:

  • 575,000 Hilton Honors points
  • 480,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 420,000 Amex Membership Rewards
  • 310,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
  • 250,000 American Airlines miles
  • 100,000 IHG Points
  • 60,000 Citi Thank You Points
  • 75,000 Delta Skymiles
  • 50,000 Hawaiian Airlines miles
  • 50,000 Hyatt Points
  • $3,700 cash back

I also receive the following recurring benefits annually:

  • $1,420 Uber or Uber Eats credit ($100 per month, $220 in December)
  • $2,350 annual airline fee credit
  • $750 credit at Hilton hotels and resorts
  • $600 travel credit
  • Domestic first class companion pass on Delta

I also max out my “refer a friend” for cards every year, which results in the additional points with no spending:

  • 550,000 AMEX Membership Rewards (can cash out at 1.25 cents per point = $6875 minimum per year)
  • 240,000 Hilton Honors points
  • 110,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points
  • 55,000 Delta Skymiles

I pay $0 in annual fees thanks to the Chase Military Lending Act and Amex MLA policy The Spark Cash card is a $95 annual fee not waived for military, but I will probably close the account before the annual fee posts.

The Next Credit Card to Open

I keep this page updated with the best credit card welcome bonuses available to military servicemembers. I also have my recommended order to open credit cards for military servicemembers and their spouses.

Personally, I have maxed out my Chase 5/24 and Amex 5 credit card limit (not charge cards like the Platinum). My wife still has a lot of Amex cards she is eligible for so she will probably open more of those this year.

Impact on Credit Score

Opening up this many credit cards has not impacted my credit score.

Here are my March 2020 Credit Karma credit scores:

And here are my June 2023 CreditKarma scores:

Over the years my score has fluctuated a bit but never dipped below 760 for very long and is usually over 800.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does having a lot of credit cards hurt your credit score?

No. My score is above 800 and I have opened and closed 38 credit cards in the past 5 years.

How many credit cards can you have?

I read of people having 60+ cards. The Guinness Book of World Records says the most credit cards owned by one person is 1562.

Why have more than 1 Amex Platinum card?

The Amex Platinum card offers monthly benefits like a $15 Uber or Uber Eats credit ($35 in December), so with my 6 AMEX Platinum cards I get $90 per month of Uber Eats credit. In December I get $210 of Uber credit. That's a lot of free food!

33 thoughts on “32 Credit Cards in My Wallet 2024 | Current Credit Cards”

  1. Hey Spencer,

    I see you have the Amex Gold Business card. Have you been able to upgrade that to a Platinum Business Card so you can have 2 Platinum Business cards?

    Reply
  2. What is your exit strategy from all of these cards with annual fees when it is time for you to retire? The waiver no longer applies after you retire even if in theory you could get away with it for several more years.

    Reply
    • I covered my military credit card exit strategy in this article. Short version is I’ll keep open the cards I’m getting value from and close the other ones. Minimal short term impact on credit score.

      As a data point I’m a year into military separation and I haven’t been charged annual fee on any cards. My wife was charged one fee on her Amex Platinum. We’re keeping it open because of the benefits.

      Reply
      • “Because I was active duty military for 12 years, only the business credit cards have annual fees charged on them.” This is news to me – does amex have some rule where you don’t get charged military fees if you’ve served some minimum time? Or did you just keep them and have found that you haven’t been charged? If the latter is true, are you worried that one day Amex will see you have a plethora of cards and are no longer in the military and hit you with thousands of dollars of fees?

        Reply
        • No, it’s not a minimum time. Sometimes the fees continue to be waived after you leave active duty under SCRA. I just kept them and found I haven’t been charged except on 1 of my 7 Amex Platinum cards.

          Amex sent a letter warning me several months in advance before charging me an annual fee. If they do charge the annual fees, I will close the cards I’m not getting value from, keep the ones I am getting value from open, and possibly downgrade other cards. For instance, I probably won’t keep 7 Amex Platinum cards open if I’m being charged 7 annual fees, but I’ll keep 1 Amex Platinum open and gladly pay the annual fee on one of the cards.

          Reply
  3. Hi Spencer, thank you for providing such a great manual!
    I see that you have 2 Hilton Aspire card, one was upgraded from Hilton Surpass?
    I currently have 1 Hilton Aspire, can I apply for the Surpass? Will they deny me since I already have the highest tier of the Hilton brand credit card?
    Also, with 2 Hilton Aspire card, do you get to choose 2 airlines for the airline incidental credit?
    Can you share more detail on that?
    Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Yes, upgraded one of the Amex Hilton Aspires from a Hilton Surpass.

      Yes, you can apply and get approved for Amex Hilton Surpass. Amex won’t deny you because you have a higher tier card.

      Yes, you choose an airline incidental credit per card account.

      When you’re ready to upgrade the Hilton Surpass to Aspire, create a new Amex login to make the upgrade process easier and all online without having to call in. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Hello Sir! Thank you for the quick response.
        Upon more careful reading, I saw you have 8 AMEX Platinum!! I am guessing you upgraded from other AMEX card as well? How frequent can I apply and then upgrade?
        Does this mean I can do it with CSR? My current CSR was upgraded from Preferred. Will I be able to apply for the Preferred again and then upgrade?
        Um I thought I was doing okay owning most of the cards you’ve mentioned, but the ability to have multiple and multiples of the benefits is a game changer! I am still in awe since discovering your website yesterday. Good thing I am only 5 years behind! Time to set up for the next 20 years!

        Reply
  4. Hello Sir!

    Truly appreciate your knowledge and willingness to share with others.
    Would you have an excel sheet that you utilize to manage your cards?

    Thank you!

    Reply
        • Hello. If you opened the account before active duty started, fees are waived under SCRA. If you open the account while on active duty, fees are not waived under MLA.

          Reply
          • By account do you mean the card specifically, or the account the card falls under?
            I have a CapitalOne plat opened prior AD, was wondering if upgrading it to Venture X would still fall under SCRA, or if that counts as ‘opening’ an account still.

            Reply
            • The card specifically. Your online account login means nothing to MLA.

              An upgrade of an account established before active duty will count for SCRA and should get fees waived.

  5. Have you heard anything about AMEX limiting the number of credit cards that you can carry? Did you get “grand-fathered” in? Just trying to figure out how I can start stacking some the Platinum’s.

    Reply
    • The usual limit is 5 credit cards and 10 charge cards. The Amex charge cards are Amex Platinum, Amex Gold, and Amex Green.

      Reply
  6. Hi Spencer!

    First, thanks for all your amazing content! I love your site and forward any and all of my military friends to your site!

    I see that you have a Charles Schwab Platinum. Before applying I wanted to confirm that MLA/SCRA waives the annual fee for that card as well (I know there are other ways to waive the AF of the Charles Schwab & Morgan Stanley Platinum cards that require $$$$$ sitting in your checking account with them).

    Thanks in advance,
    Morgan

    Reply
  7. Spencer,
    Do you have a spreadsheet or word template for how you manage all the cards, offers and “misc” information. I am sure it would be easy to make one but figured I would see if you had a recommendation first. I am a big fan of your podcast and the information you are putting out here, I wish I had been introduced this during my first 10 years on active duty. Thank you.
    Zach

    Reply
  8. I know you have been collecting the cards for years. How many cards were you applying for at a time? How did you get around the inquiries that come along with applying for the cards?

    Reply
    • When I was acquiring many cards it was usually 1 card per month. Took me 2 years to accumulate the majority of my stable. The important thing is to keep track of the cards and hit the minimum spends. Don’t over extend yourself.

      Inquiries don’t affect your credit score that much. Just make sure to get into Chase before you run out of 5/24 slots.

      Reply
  9. I’m retired military going on 11 years and have three credit cards: a Mastercard with cash back points originally initiated through my college’s alumni association (I don’t use it that much), a cash-back Visa through a popular military-supporting bank (the card I currently use the most), and an Amex blue card I sort of inherited a few years ago by taking care of my then ill parents (I presently only use it for estate reasons). Please explain to me the logic of having so many (29 +/-) cards open, pros and cons. It seems almost dangerous in this day and age of ID theft and fraud to have so many active accounts. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  10. Spencer,

    I’m close to retiring from the army (eligible next month but planning 5 more years). Once I retire will the credit companies automatically change me annual fees?

    Reply
  11. Hi Spencer. You said that you don’t pay annual fees on any card in your 37-card picture but the Capital one card. Under the chase card section you say MLA doesn’t apply to chase business cards. You have 2 chase business cards pictured in the 27. Do you or do you not pay fees on those?

    Reply
    • All of my Chase Freedom accounts were opened before Chase MLA kicked in Sep 2017, so out of luck on that front. One of them is a downgraded CSR opened before Sep 17. Once my wife got her CSR’s annual fee waived, she added me as an authorized user and we just share that one.

      Reply

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