The personal finance blog group, The Money Writers, came up with the idea of writing a post about the contents of a blogger’s wallet.  As it’s a regular occurrence for me to bare all (financially) on this blog, I agreed to play along as some of my readers may be curious as well.

What’s my philosophy on what I carry in my wallet?  I try to keep things as minimalistic as possible, but as a fan of rewards points, it can lead to more than a few cards in the wallet.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a picture I took last night of the contents of my wallet:


  • The Wallet – Starting at the very top, you’ll see my 12 year old wallet that has seen better days.  What else did you expect from a frugal guy?
  • Credit Cards – At the top left, you’ll see my main credit card – The MBNA Smart Cash credit card.  This is a no annual fee card and is my pick for the top cash back credit card in Canada.  This card will give you 2% cash back on gas and groceries, up to $400 in spending per month and 1% on everything else.  Next to that you’ll see the American Express SPG credit card.  You may be thinking, what is a fee based card doing there?  I signed up for this SPG card as I’m already committed to the program from collecting points via the canceled MBNA SPG Mastercard.  The first year annual fee was waived with the AMEX, so I figured it would extend my points by another year as points get lost after one year of inactivity.  I’ll likely cancel the card before they charge me for the next year.

Update April 2013 – We’ve cancelled our SPG AMEX and added the Capital One Aspire Cash World card to complement the Smart Cash Card.  We use the Smart Cash for gas/groceries up to the monthly 2% limit, then use the Capital One card for everything else (1.5% cash back).  Here is a thorough Capital One Aspire Cash World Review (now discontinued).

Update Sept 2013 – The Capital One Aspire Cash World has been discontinued.  You can see my picks for the next best cash back credit card here.

  • Rewards Programs – To the right of the AMEX, you’ll see my Esso Extra card.  I tend to stick with the same gas station which I’ve read is good for the car, and also good on the points.  I use the Esso points mostly for free car washes.  Other rewards programs that I follow are Airmiles and on occasion, we share a Subway sandwich if we are on the run.
  • Bank Cards – I used to carry two bank cards, but have reduced to only carrying my CIBC card as I rarely use the bank machine for my PC financial account.  I’ve been doing my banking with CIBC for years, thus the black convenience card.
  • Other Cards – In my “misc” cards pile, there’s my Costco Executive Membership, my drivers license, insurance,  and, of course, a library card.  Since we’ve been doing a lot of our shopping at Costco, the upgrade to the Executive membership made sense as it pays for itself with 2% cash back.  The library card also gets quite a bit of use as it’s a fun destination for the kids.
  • Cash –  Hard to believe but I didn’t know how much cash was in my wallet until I took everything out.  I like to have a few $20’s around in case cash is needed which is actually quite rare.  I tend to use a credit card for everything possible.

How do the contents of my wallet compare with yours?

Here are the wallet contents from some of the The Money Writers:

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