The OTR Flow Chart to Guide You to the Best Everyday Credit Card for You

One of the questions I get most is about what credit card someone should get as their everyday spending card. This is a separate question from churning – if you churn, you’re going to need to put some spend on those cards to hit minimums. This is about what card you should use when you’re not hitting minimum spends (or if you’re not a churner).

It pains me when I see people using the Marriott credit card or the American Airlines credit card because there are better ways to maximize rewards (or cash) from your everyday spend.

Also, if you’re someone who likes to use 7 different cards to maximize your spend for every category, this is not for you – by all means, use those cards.

But for 85% of the world, this chart (which I’m excited about since I’ve been playing with a moderately fun flow chart program) should answer all your questions. I look forward to everyone telling me how wrong the chart is.

(Click the image to see more detail)

Choose Your Everyday Credit Card


  1. Will you redeem the points primarily on heart hour flights on American or US Airways? :p

    Seriously though, very good summary!

  2. No one ever seems to mention the pain of having your one card be an American Express (or Discover). Maybe I was brainwashed by those “But they don’t take American Express ads” decades ago, but I hate having to ask every merchant “Do you take…?” So it’s Chase Sapphire Preferred for me until some better non-AmEX comes along.

  3. I have been using the fidelity amex for about six years now and it is truly rare that a merchant will not accept it. I think things have changed in this respect.