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credit card annual fees

December 6th, 2023 at 06:54 am

Decided to add up my credit card fees annually.  I know it's a lot because we have a lot of cards.  How much?  $1420 for the year.  Yowsa. How'd it breakdown?

Alaska DH $95.00
Alaska LAL $95.00
Sapphire Preferred $95.00
Chase Ink $95.00
CS Amex Platinum $695.00
Amex Gold $250.00
Marriott Chase $95.00
Total $1,420.00

The alaska cards we get a companion fare and I used both already this year for $1000 tickets to hawaii.  So $95 for $1000 coupon.  Win.  Plus a free checked luggage when traveling.

Sapphire preferred gives a $50 hotel credit plus 1.5 points for travel booked through their website.  So $45 for the bonus 50% travel credit?  Keep.

Chase Ink - $95 is maybe a lot for an occasional use card. I mostly keep it to charge all my business expenses on it and keep it straight.  But it also gives better earnings in travel and business expenses.

Charles Schwab Amex Platinum with the $695 price tag.  This is for DH alone but we get $200 credit from Charles Schwab for having accounts with them. Annually these are the savings I use

$200 Hotel Credit 

$200 Airline Credit

$189 Clear

$100 saks

$240 digital credit - NYT, WSJ, Sirius, 

$180 walmart+ - use for free paramount plus

$200 Uber ($15/month plus $35 in december)

So $1509 in credits for the year means it's a keep.  I did drop the extra card which was an extra $175.  Still debating on that one.  I have $60 in pending american express offers statement credit so we'll see if it works.

Amex Gold I got when I downgraded my Amex Platinum and switched it to DH getting the amex platinum.  $250 is really steep and I'm not sure it's worth it.  

$120 year ($10 a month) Dining Credit

$200 Uber ($15/month plus $35 in december)

Even with the $320, I only kept it because when I tried to cancel they gave me $125 bonus to stay, so it became $125 annual fee. I also made $71 in Amex Offers with the gold card which helped offset the costs.

Finally the marriot chase card for $95.  This one I'm also not sure but disneysteve swears by it.  And $95 for 1 night in a hotel seemed like a no brainer to try it out.  Just got it and we'll see how it goes.

I've settled into a routine of credit cards.

I've been rolling in the bonuses this year with Amazon CC and Costco CC.  Those plus the points i've gotten on chase since my daily CC is Chase Freedom card where you get 1.5% back on everything and 3% on eating out.

What credit cards do you like?

10 Responses to “credit card annual fees”

  1. mumof2 Says:

    Are the cards paid off when you use them?? and do you travel enough to use all that each card offers?? I don't understand having more than 1 CC (but thats just me)...if you do owe on them and they aren't paid off every month what is the interest you pay on them?? Would it be cheaper to put that money away and buy what you need when you need it?

    Our cards in Aust don't do offers like these so I'm not sure how they all work...thats why I am asking questions

  2. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    No cc fees. I don't charge more than we can pay off and I typically am not spendy. We do travel enough. Hawaii twice a year currently with me and the kids or more so the companion fares for Alaska cc is worth the $95. The Amex gold I'm on the fence on. I only use it for the Uber and dining credit. So that's about $25 in credit to have the card. If I don't get the $125 bonus every year I likely will cancel it.

    The sapphire and ink credit cards I'm also on the fence about it. But it appears to be working for booking for travel and transferring to travel partners. I keep reading about the chase trifecta so I keep both but sometimes I wonder if it's not better to cancel the sapphire.

    The Marriot has a bonus night every year so I'm going to try and use it. $95 for a hotel room a year seems pretty reasonable.

  3. disneysteve Says:

    As you mentioned, we have the Marriott card for the $95 annual fee. It's the only card we have with a fee but for us, it's well worth it. Just the "free" night each year more than covers the cost since a moderate hotel stay is at least $150-200 these days if not more. Having the card also spots you 15 nights credit for the rewards program making you silver automatically and making it easier to get to gold or platinum. You also get night credits based on your spending (I never figured out the formula). That's allowed us to become Lifetime Gold even though we haven't actually stayed nearly enough nights to qualify, and we're very close to Lifetime Platinum. So for us, the $95 pays off, but that may or may not be true for you.

  4. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I think you convinced me steve of the hotel room for $95 is a deal.

  5. terri77 Says:

    My one credit card with an annual fee is my Barclay’s American Airlines card. The big perk that I use is the no fee for checked luggage.

  6. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    Terri that is definitely a good perk. I have the same with alaska

  7. patientsaver Says:

    No credit card fees for me! I'm sure you can just as many trips/mileage without the extra fees. There are so many cards available today; maybe it's time to look into replacing some ofyour most expensive cards?

  8. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I've considered replacing the amex, but I'm not sure it would be worth it.

    The Alaska I typically get $1000 ticket (christmas to hawaii) for $121 taxes and fees plus $95 annual fee. Thus why DH and I each get a ticket. It pays for more than itself. Even a $500 ticket would be worth it.

    I'm thinking the amex gold is on the bubble. But for $125 I can definitely use that at shake shack so it's a keeper for now. The amex platinum again we do get back the credits for the cost.

    The ones i'm on the fence are really the sapphire or ink plus the marriott. But we have been using the marriott more and more.

  9. disneysteve Says:

    "Why do you have cards that charge annual fees? "

    I think that's been explained pretty clearly. Those cards provide perks that are worth way more than the annual fee. For example, the Marriott card is $95/year but includes a one-night stay that would cost as much as $250 or more so we get a nice getaway trip for only $95.

  10. Dido Says:

    You've convinced me that, should I ever have a period where I travel (possibly for a brief period post-retirement), it's probably worth looking into some of these fee cards. I know that my Supervisor has the Marriott card and gets good value from it.

    My income has always been such that I've felt that I could afford EITHER travel or pets, but not both, and my choice has ALWAYS been pets. I only wish there were credit cards that offered "pet perks." I just googled "best credit cards for pet owners," but what they list are general rewards cards, nothing that actually has a benefit for pet-related expenses.

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