Are you curious to know which credit cards money expert Clark Howard carries in his wallet?
You’re not alone. Many people approach Clark wanting to know which cards he chooses for his personal purchases.
This article will tell you which cards Clark has hand-picked for his wallet and explain why each of them landed there.
Along the way, we’ll provide some advice that may help you decide if you should follow Clark’s lead on these particular cards.
There’s one important thing to note before we get started: Clark always pays his credit card bills in full to avoid interest charges. If you’re not able to do that, he says you should ignore what’s in his wallet and either find a low APR credit card or avoid carrying one altogether!
What’s in Clark Howard’s Wallet?
- Citi® Double Cash
- Navy Federal cashRewards Card
- Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
- Sam’s Club® Mastercard®
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Citi® Double Cash
We’ll start with one of Clark’s newest additions to his wallet.
It’s a credit card that he’s recommended to listeners for years: Citi® Double Cash. This card rewards its users with up to 2% cash back: 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay.
Clark advises consumers to get a steady, unlimited cash back rewards credit card to use as an “everyday spender.” And this card fits that bill with up to 2% back on every purchase you make and no annual fees.
So why did Clark wait so long to add this card to his wallet?
He’s an avid traveler and a high-volume spender who typically earns better rewards from other types of credit cards.
But in 2020 Clark made a change to his wallet by adding a couple of cash back credit cards to adapt to the shift in his spending patterns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clark says his wife is the primary user of their Double Cash card, while he uses the next card on our list for his everyday purchases. That’s his family’s way of keeping their monthly spending sorted while getting similar rewards.
Read Team Clark’s full review of the card here.
Navy Federal cashRewards Card
The Navy Federal cashRewards Card is the other “new” credit card in Clark’s wallet. He added this one in 2020 when the credit union offered a promotional deal that gives him unlimited 2% cash back for three years.
Clark, who qualifies for credit union membership as a long-time member of the Georgia National Guard, says this card is “phenomenal” and that he uses it for his personal everyday purchases.
Unfortunately, the promotional deal he got is no longer available to new users.
“They don’t do the 2% anymore,” Clark cautions. “Only people who are grandfathered into the deal have that rate.”
This no-annual-fee credit card has a “normal” cash back rate of 1.5% on all purchases. It also offers both cell phone damage and auto rental insurance coverage if you the card to pay for those purchases.
Read Team Clark’s full review of the card here.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Anyone who knows Clark knows that he loves shopping at Costco. So it should come as no surprise that he carries the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi in his wallet.
This card earns Clark 2% back on purchases at the warehouse club. That’s huge for an avid Costco shopper, but that’s not all!
This also is his go-to credit card for dining, as it earns 3% back at restaurants. And though Clark drives an electric car, the card also earns 4% back on gas purchases and 3% back on travel.
If you’re already a Costco member, Clark says this card could be a great fit for your wallet.
“The Costco card is great, particularly if you are the kind of person who will say, ‘I can use this card at this place and that card at that place,’” says Clark. “You can take a card like this and really maximize your rewards with things like 4% cash back on gas.
“If you’re already a member anyway, I love the wholesale club cards as a no-annual-fee card option.”
Read Team Clark’s complete review of the card here.
Sam’s Club® Mastercard®
Next up is another warehouse club card in the Sam’s Club® Mastercard®.
The big perk with this card is 5% back on gas purchases. Clark’s primary vehicle is an electric car, but he still owns some gas-powered vehicles.
He uses this simple rule to decide which credit card to use when filling the tanks:
“If we’re filling up at Costco, I’ll use the Costco card. But if we’re filling up anywhere else, we use the Sam’s Club card,” Clark says.
This card also offers 3% back on dining purchases, but note that your Sam’s Club rewards may depend on your membership level. You can read more about this credit card here.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Finally, we reach the least used card still in Clark’s wallet.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is in his wallet because he’s a frequent Southwest customer who enjoys the benefits of the Companion Pass benefit during a normal travel year.
The combination of his number of flights and his charge volume with the card has allowed his wife to travel with him wherever he goes on Southewest free of charge. This has been the case for 17 consecutive years.
“It is GREAT,” Clark says of the Companion Pass. “When we’re traveling together I NEVER have to pay for her ticket.”
However, Clark says he now uses this card “almost never” because he’s able to achieve Companion Pass status through the use of a corporate Southwest credit card that he recently added for business expenses.
Clark says he keeps this card active to buy plane tickets for his family members during his frequent travels.
He also cautions against paying an annual fee for a travel card like this one unless you have enough travel volume to justify it.
While it’s neat to get a look inside the wallet of Clark Howard and try to understand the decisions he’s making with his personal finances, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should be following him step by step.
Clark’s general advice on credit cards is to make sure you have at least two of them and that they’re from different issuing banks.
If you’re always to pay your credit card bills in full each month, he says you should consider a cash back card to start padding your wallet with rewards.
If you sometimes have to carry a balance, Clark says to forget the rewards and focus on finding the lowest interest rate possible. The benefits of a low interest rate far outweigh the rewards when you’re carrying a balance.
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