As the saying goes, there are plenty of fish in the sea. This expression isn’t only true of romantic partners but also of credit cards. The options are endless, they all have different qualities, and you aren’t sure if they have your best intentions at heart when you first meet.
In the endless sea of credit card choices, I’ve ended up dating these 3: the Capital One Venture Card, Amex Blue Cash Preferred, and the Chase Freedom Credit Card. Like my romantic partners, each one of these credit cards has served a different purpose in my life. They all had some wonderful qualities, other not-so-great ones, and out of all of them, there’s one that stands out far above the rest.
If you’re looking to start a relationship with a new credit card and are finding it hard to navigate the sea of possibilities, this article will help narrow your focus. In it, I’m going to tell you why I got into a relationship with each card, the pros and cons I experienced during each of these relationships, and rank each card by which I would fuck, marry, and kill.
Capital One Venture Card
You know that electrifying feeling you get when you walk into a room and see a smokin’ hot person across it? How you try to focus on everything else but can’t fight the urge to look over in their direction every 30 seconds, even though they’ve already caught you staring several times? That’s what finding the Capital One Venture Card was like for me. Only in this case, it wasn’t the good looks that got me, it was the sign-up bonus. 60,000 points right off the bat! I was smitten at first glance.
I kept toying with the idea of whether or not I should go up to the Venture Card and get to know it better. I was nervous about starting a relationship with another credit card and wasn’t sure if he would like my credit score. It was above average, but so are lots of other people’s. But I just couldn’t stop staring, so I got up the courage and went over to him.
That’s when I found out how easy going he was. With him, I would get 2 points for every dollar I spent, no matter what I bought. There were no special categories to remember or extra savings to activate each month. My ex (more on him later) used to make me sign up to get extra cashback in certain spending categories and only offered 1 point for every dollar I spent on items outside of those “special” categories. The thought of earning more points with less effort gave me butterflies.
The only downside to the Capital One Venture Card was the $95 annual fee. I wasn’t excited at all about the prospect of paying for some parts of our relationship. But being the understanding and easy going guy that the Venture Card is, he decided to waive my annual fee for the first year. After he did that, I decided to sign up.
It’s been over 5 years, and I’m happy to report that we’re still going strong! I gladly pay the $95 annual fee these days because the benefits I’ve experienced being in a relationship with this card far outweigh the cost.
Pre Covid, this card and I traveled the world together. The best part about having him as my travel companion was that he never made me pay any foreign transaction fees. This saved me loads of money. He also fully reimbursed me for getting my Global Entry Pass, so now I get special TSA and customs treatment when we travel.
I can say without a doubt that the Capital One Venture Card is definitely the best credit card to ever happen to me. My Prince Charming. To summarize why it’s so great, here are its best qualities.
- It’s super easy to use because you don’t have to monitor deals and “special” spending categories
- You get 2 points for every dollar you spend
- There are no foreign transaction fees
- It offers periodic additional perks like reimbursing for Global Entry Passes
- It has a low annual fee of $95
Amex Blue Cash Preferred
While the Capital One Venture Card and I have had a strong relationship from the start, I did get a wandering eye a couple of years ago. That’s when I met the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card.
He was nothing like my Capital One Card. He had a long list of spending categories with different earnings for each of them and a low sign-on bonus. He was complicated and kind of stingy, but as soon as I saw that he offered 6% cash back at supermarkets, I lusted after him.
I spent a lot of time calculating whether it was worth having an affair with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card. He offered more than 2 points in 4 spending categories: supermarkets, streaming subscriptions, transportation, and gas, but he would definitely complicate my life. I couldn’t stop fantasizing about him, though. These are all categories that I have a relatively high amount of spending in, so even though it complicated things, I started having the affair.
I now use my Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card in these four spending categories and use my Capital One Card on all other purchases. The additional savings I get by using my Amex only amount to several hundred dollars a year after factoring in the $95 annual fee, but I think it’s worth it.
Like is often the case with affairs, the complication of having one pales in comparison to the excitement. Having to remember to use my Amex instead of my Capital One Card is of little consequence compared to the exhilaration of saving even more money. So while my Amex definitely isn’t as amazing a credit card as my Venture Card is, I’m not planning on ending our relationship any time soon.
Chase Freedom Credit Card
The Chase Freedom Card is the one that took my credit card virginity. We never really had that great of a relationship because I didn’t really know what I was doing, and he never had the best intentions. Nonetheless, he was still a significant part of my life.
The first thing I noticed about him was his $0 annual fee. Talk about sexy! But it didn’t take me long to get annoyed with some of his other qualities. He only offered me 1 point for every dollar I spent and would make me chase after his savings by requiring the 5% cashback categories to be manually activated every quarter.
Despite all of the negatives, I was in love, so I let him sneak into my parent’s basement one night and take my V-card. While this experience wasn’t the romantic encounter I envisioned, I continued our complicated relationship for several more years until I met the Capital One Venture Card.
I don’t ever use my Freedom Card anymore, but I do still keep the account open. The length of your credit history is considered when your credit score is calculated and the longer your history is, the better. Since he was my first, my Freedom Card gets to stay open.
Even though we’ve gone our separate ways, I totally understand why this is one of the most popular credit cards and think it’s a great entry-level one. It gave me a couple hundred dollar sign-up bonus, a limited balance so I couldn’t get myself into too much trouble, and taught me A LOT about how important it is to build a healthy relationship with credit. So while the Chase Freedom Credit Card and I are not together anymore, I wish him all the best.
While I 100% recommend the Venture Card for pretty much everyone because of its ease of use, low annual fee, and great rewards program, you may not be ready to swipe right on that card just yet. If you’re looking to compare cards, NerdWallet is like Tinder for credit cards. You can take quizzes to help NerdWallet figure out what you’re looking for, and they’ll come back with the profiles for your potential matches.
If you decide to swipe right and start dating one of them, it’s important to take steps to keep your relationship from becoming toxic. It’s great if your card trusts you enough to give you a credit limit well above your spending, but only if you pay your balance off in full every month. If you don’t, your credit card company will charge you an astronomical rate of interest. All credit card companies turn into fuck boys the moment you don’t pay your balance off in full, and fuck boys should be avoided at all costs.
As long as you’re paying your card off in full and getting great rewards, you’ll have a healthy relationship with whatever credit card you choose. It’s true that there are plenty of fish in the sea, but by narrowing your search using my recommendations and apps like NerdWallet, you’ll be able to find one that makes your life easier and you can’t live without. You may even decide you like it so much you want to marry it.