Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

If you could only have three rewards cards...

Established Contributor

Re: If you could only have three rewards cards...

1) BCP

2) GO


Message 21 of 38
New Contributor

Re: If you could only have three rewards cards...

1.US Bank Altitude Reserve 

2.Citi Premier 

3.Citi Double Cash 

Message 22 of 38
Not applicable

Re: If you could only have three rewards cards...

Since I am fully expecting a nerf on the AOD card I would say NFCU More Rewards, Amazon (Chase or Synchrony), and Citi DC. 

It is really hard to stick to just three though. The perfect line up for me would be More Rewards, Amazon (either Chase or Synchrony), BBVA ClearPoints for a 3% category of my choice, Discover It, Freedom Flex, Cash+, and a 2% card (most likely would choose DC because I already have a Rewards+ I could PC but if I was starting over, I would pick the PenFed PCR because the limit would likely grow more and it has no minimum redemption for cash back).  

ETA: Switched Discover It to Amazon for primary three card line up and added Amazon to my perfect line up. I spend more money on Amazon than anywhere else except the grocery store and my Comcast bill. That 5% is a large chunk of my cash back. 

Message 23 of 38
Valued Contributor

Re: If you could only have three rewards cards...

Excluding the AOD Siggy from consideration (since it covers so much), I would probably say a good 2% card, likely the PCR, a BCP, and a Disco It CB.  Which I guess isn't any different from saying AOD, BCP, and It CB...

Message 24 of 38
Established Contributor

Re: If you could only have three rewards cards...


@SpiritSoul11 wrote:

So I'm new to this, but I want to get your opinions about the top three rewards cards you would have and their other benefits.


For me, I don't believe in paying annual fees, and having a low APR doesn't matter since I like to pay mine off every month. 


So the top 3 for me at the current moment (and I am willing to change my mind with your help) would be:


1. Navy Federal More Rewards American Express

3X points at restaurants and on food delivery
3X points at supermarkets
3X points on gas and transit
1X points on everything else


2. Apple Card

3X points at Apple

2X points everywhere when you use Apple Pay

No fees


3. Chase Freedom Flex

5% in revolving bonus categories

5% on travel booked through Chase

3% cash back at restaurants and drugstores

1% on other purchases.

New cardholders also get 5% back on up to $12,000 in grocery store purchases in the first year (not including Target or Walmart)

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.


Let me know what you think, and your picks.

Seems like we have an evergreen topic: (asks about "which three cards")


Anyways... I am fine with annual fees if I can make the value I get exceed the fee I pay (this might not be true for everyone). I can understand someone's need for simplicity and just having three cards, but that's not me either (maybe I'll get there someday).

In my opinion, you're missing a 2% or better no annual fee cashback card, if your goal is maximizing cashback and having a very simple card setup. You're leaving money on the table if the base spend rebate on all your cards is 1% (though signup bonuses on the Chase and NFCU cards will help that in the short term). I'd probably swap your 2%+ card out with the Apple Card unless you spend a ton on Apple Card 3% categories. AOD would be fine, there's a thread here:


Your other cards seem fine- broad buckets to chunk category spend into, some decent signup bonuses.

I'm not 100% on Team Cashback/Team No Annual Fee (I spend a lot of time on Team Premium Travel Card) but I'm not exactly immune to the siren's lure of 2% cashback everywhere (I have a number of those cards).

First Tech FCU Choice Rewards World MC 35k | AMEX Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 15k | Bilt Rewards MC 14k | Capital One Venture X 12k | Fidelity VISA Signature 11.5k | AMEX Hilton Aspire 9.8k | Charles Schwab AMEX Platinum NPSL | Amex Platinum (I know) NPSL | Amex Green NPSL | SoFi MC World Elite 8k | Petal2 VISA 7.8k | Rakuten Synchrony Visa 7k | PayPal Synchrony MC 6.4k | Citi AA Mileup 6.9k | Capital One SavorOne 5.5k | DiscoverIt Cashback 5k | Amazon/Synchrony 5k | 5k | AMEX Delta Gold 3k | Target 800 | Ch 13 filed 12/13 discharged as paid 1/19
Message 25 of 38
Valued Contributor

Re: If you could only have three rewards cards...

This is really really hard to decide. I'm quite fond of all of my cards except my SD'ed ones.


AOD VS - 3% Everything is a no-brainer

Affinity VS - Too good to let go

US Bank Cash+ VS - Too good to let go

Amex BCP - 6% Grocery at Walmart Marketplace

Ducks UNL - Grandfathered-in to 5% gas - Can't let go


Ok, yeah......I can't do it. I need a minimum of 5 cards for my major spend....

My Wallet
Sock Drawered

On Deck:
Message 26 of 38

Re: If you could only have three rewards cards...

@notmyrealname23 thanks for the links.  Made my copy and paste a lot faster!


"Sophie's choice since I'd have to give up Marriott Bonvoy, but if I could only have three: Amex Business Platinum, Amex Gold, and Amex Delta Reserve."


Unlike OP, I'm a big believer in annual fees.  😂


So the reason for that combo is that maintaining Delta status is huge for me and overall gives me much more in net rewards than any other rewards possibly could without bonus chasing.  So, if it were just those three, Business Platinum for minimum 7.7% back toward airfare (using it for 1.54x multiplier on MRs for airfare purchased through the portal) and for perks, then restaurants and groceries on Gold for minimum 6.16% back toward airfare, and Delta Reserve for everything else.


That would be a nice and simple setup, but unfortunately I maximize rewards quite a bit and so the spend is all over the place and constantly changing.

Message 27 of 38
Regular Contributor

Re: If you could only have three rewards cards...

1. Discover It


2. NFCU More Rewards


3. Amex Gold Card

Message 28 of 38
Frequent Contributor

Re: If you could only have three rewards cards...

To meet OP's conditions for 3 no annual fee cards with big rewards, my choices would be:


Amex grandfathered "old" Blue Cash

Chase Amazon Prime Rewards Visa

Citi Double Cash World Elite MC


3 different banks and 3 different payment networks.


August 2022 Scorecard: Clean, Thick, Mature, New Revolver
AAoA: 11 years | AoOA: 35 years | AoYA: less than 1 year | New Accounts: 1/6, 1/12, 2/24, 3/36
Installment Loans: none open (4 closed mortgage tradelines reporting)
TCL: $270k personal, $32k biz, $42k AU | Utilization: 1% | DTI: 1%
Message 29 of 38
Regular Contributor

Re: If you could only have three rewards cards...

Welcome to the forums!!!!

My three preferred cards would be three in my current lineup.


2) Abound FCU Visa Platinum

3) US Bank Cash+ VS

Message 30 of 38
Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party advertisers from whom FICO receives compensation.