I like to travel light and I only carry a card wallet (see the pics). Luckily I don’t need more than four cards and chances are you don’t need more either. I’ll explain the rationale behind these choices and refer you to the full points programmes playbook for additional insights.
The first card is the American Express Platinum. Nowadays I use it for lounge access when a BA (Oneworld) lounge is not available or when I’m not traveling on BA or one of its partners.
The second card is the Barclaycard Avios Plus. I use it for most business expenses because it offers the highest reward, 1.5 Avios/1£, 50% more than the 1 points/1£ on the Amex. After spending £10,000 in one year, you also get an upgrade voucher. Amex has a similar card (the BA Premier Plus) with the same 1.5 Avios/1£ reward. I prefer the Mastercard because it’s accepted at more places.
The third card is the Marriott Bonvoy Amex. I use when staying at a Marriott hotel because it offers 6 Bonvoy points/1£, which is roughly three times the value of the Barclaycard reward. As an added bonus, the card helps you get Marriott status faster.
The fourth and final card is one with 0 foreign exchange fees. I have the free Monzo card but feel free to take you pick here. Most of these cards are offered from online banks but if you prefer a regular bank, Halifax Clarity Credit card is an option.
Getting the Cards
There is no minimum income requirement to be approved for the Amex card. You can use their eligibility checker to get an answer without affecting your credit score. Then use the links below to get a bonus on the sign-up bonus.
IMPORTANT: if you apply for both the Amex Platinum and the Amex Bonvoy, apply for the Bonvoy first. Having a Platinum makes you ineligible for the Bonvoy sign-up bonus but not the other way around.
Amex Platinum: 65,000 points (instead of 35,000) when applying before June 2023.
Amex Marriott Bonvoy: 43,000 points (instead of 40,000) + a Free Night Award