When I travel anywhere, I often bring a wallet full of credit cards. My recent trip to New York City was no exception; I was traveling with five people and needed multiple credit cards. I wanted cards that earned high rewards on travel and dining purchases, offered airline fee credits, perks at hotels and discounts on retail purchases. All of these benefits add up to substantial savings in an otherwise pricey city.

I don’t always use every card I bring with me, but they each serve a purpose and provide peace of mind. Here’s a look at the six credit cards I brought with me on a week-long trip to New York.

The World of Hyatt Credit Card for my hotel stay

During my visit to New York, I stayed at the Hotel 50 Bowery, a Hyatt property in Chinatown. I have The World of Hyatt Credit Card* that offers valuable benefits like an annual free night and bonus points at Hyatt hotels. I don’t use the card much, but I like to use it to pay for Hyatt hotel stays and earn an extra 4 points per dollar spent. I’ll also earn additional qualifying night credits (two credits per $5,000 spent).

Hyatt points are incredibly valuable — I often get at least 2 cents or more out of each point on award bookings. (In fact, according to Bankrate valuations, World of Hyatt points are worth 2.1 cents apiece.) Hyatt is also one of the few hotel loyalty programs still publishing an award chart, so you know exactly how many points you need for a free night.

Citi Prestige Card for dining and airline incidentals

The Citi Prestige® Card* isn’t accepting new applications, but the card has been in my wallet for years. I did talk about replacing it a while ago but had a change of heart. The card has a steep $495 annual fee but offers high rewards on travel purchases, so I bring it with me on almost every trip. The card offers 5 points per dollar spent on air travel and at restaurants, as well as 3 points per dollar on hotels and cruise line purchases. Since Citi doesn’t offer any travel insurance or purchase protections, I only use this card for my dining purchases and sometimes on hotel incidentals.

On this trip to New York, I mostly utilized my Citi Prestige for dining purchases. At 5 Citi ThankYou points per dollar spent, the points added up pretty fast, since I was traveling with five other people.

The card also offers a $250 annual travel credit, which I used on this trip to cover luggage fees for a single checked bag. It’s also valid on flight bookings; on the rare chance my travel plans change or I want to upgrade my flight, I can use this credit to cover the extra charge.

American Express Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card is more of an everyday rewards card for me, but it’s also very rewarding for travel. The card earns 4 points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in supermarket purchases per year, then 1 point per dollar) and 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or via the Amex travel portal. I mostly used the Citi Prestige for dining, but this was my go-to for Shake Shack, Milk Bar purchases and the Uber ride from the airport.

Cardholders receive $10 in monthly Uber Cash (up to $120 in annual credits for Uber Cash), which is valuable in a city where Uber rides can get expensive. Uber was cheaper than Lyft for rides to and from the airport, so I ended up using the service (and my $10 Uber credit) for the occasional rideshare.

Milk Bar is one of my favorite dessert spots (the cereal milk ice cream is a must!), and I used my $10 right away. One of my travel companions also had an Amex Gold card, and we used her credit toward a quick meal at Shake Shack. I can’t use the monthly credit toward Shack Shack or Milk Bar at home since I don’t live near one of these restaurants, so it was nice to use it and enjoy some of my favorite foods.

The Amex Business Platinum as a backup

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express isn’t the most rewarding card in my wallet, but I brought it with me on this trip as a backup. The card offers up to $200 in annual airline fee credits valid on a qualifying airline (I picked United Airlines). I didn’t need this credit, but I figured it could be useful if my travel plans changed and I had to fly United.

The Amex Business Platinum also gives me access to Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts (FHR), an exclusive travel booking portal with special perks at select hotels. Examples include a third night free (at certain locations), complimentary breakfast and dining credits. During a 2021 trip to New York, I stayed at a hotel that wasn’t up to par, so I quickly had to book another place to stay. I ended up splurging on the Soho Grand Hotel, where Amex FHR got me free breakfast, the third night free, a $100 on-site credit and a room upgrade.

While I didn’t need to use it during this trip, it gave me peace of mind. Travel doesn’t always go according to plan, and I wanted to be prepared on this trip in case I needed to switch hotels (and wanted the added perks afforded to Amex Platinum cardholders through FHR).

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Credit Card* is one of those credit cards I keep in my wallet even though I don’t use it often. The card’s $450 annual fee is steep, but it includes an annual Free Night Reward, a $250 airline fee credit, a $250 Hilton resort credit and a $100 property credit for two-night stays at select Hilton brands.

I pack this card on almost every trip because of the airline and hotel credits. I’ve been on trips where I’ve had to book a hotel at the last minute due to travel delays, or I’ve decided to extend my time in a particular destination and stay at a Hilton resort. That $250 resort credit and the $100 property credit can really come in handy on these shorter stays.

While New York City has no Hilton resorts, I never know where I might end up after a trip to the city. A mistake fare out of the John F. Kennedy International Airport might land me at a Florida resort where the Hilton Aspire can save me a substantial sum on a short stay. That didn’t happen during this trip, but it could have. That’s why I brought my Hilton Aspire Card — just in case.

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card

This trip to New York was technically a work trip. I wrote articles about my experiences during this trip, so many of my expenses were, in fact, business expenses. That’s why I brought along The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, which earns 2 points per dollar on all purchases (on up to $50,000 per year, then 1 point per dollar). The card is great for elevated earnings on spending categories where I’m not earning at least 2 points per dollar spent.

My Blue Business Plus Card gets targeted for some excellent Amex Offers, too. For example, I was targeted for a $10 discount at Magnolia Bakery, famous for its banana pudding. I love stopping there on every trip to New York. With five other people in tow, that credit went a long way. But earning 2 points per dollar spent on all purchases is incredibly valuable to me. Traveling to New York is expensive, and being able to maximize the points I earn on every dollar spent was crucial.

The bottom line

While I often use points to lower my travel expenses, I can never get it down to zero. Bringing the right rewards credit cards with me on this trip to New York helped reduce my expenses and maximize every dollar I spent. Many of these credit cards carry annual fees, but utilizing their perks on trips like these can be well worth it.

*The information about the World of Hyatt Credit Card, Citi Prestige® Card and Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.