In this blog post, we'll be interviewing CEO John Taylor Garner on what's in his wallet, some of his personal travel experiences and preferences, and his credit card habits.
Steven: What kind of wallet do you carry and what do you keep in it?
Taylor: I use a Bellroy Slim Wallet in navy blue. It takes up about half the size of a normal wallet and fits a surprising amount of cards in there. Inside it, I keep my ID and Amex Gold card and on the outside I have my Amex Blue for Business, Healthcare card, PennCard, SoFi World debit card, Citi Double Cash card, and Chase Ink Business Preferred card. I don't carry any cash! SoFi World helps with that, as it has no ATM fees anywhere in the world, nor any foreign transaction fees.
S: What's your most frequently used card?
T: I primarily use Amex Gold by a good mile. I use it mostly on dining, groceries, and airfare. I like it because it has the most partners, but it requires a bit more work to use because there are more options to choose from.
S: Which cards have unique benefits and how do you leverage the benefits and disadvantages of your cards?
T: Chase Freedom is great with rotating 5x categories; right now it's superstores which isn't useful to me. Chase Ink Business Preferred is helpful with 3x travel, social media, and advertising so that'll be perfect with promoting Card Curator. When I travel, I avoid cards with foreign transaction fees like Amex Blue for Business and Citi Double Cash.
S: How often do you rotate your wallet and apply for credit cards?
T: I usually rotate my wallet every 3-6 months. 6 months ago I had the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Amex Platinum, Amex Gold, Chase Freedom Unlimited, and Amex Blue. That's about 50% different from what it is now. With applying for cards, I do it a lot less now as an entrepreneur. Prior to Card Curator full time, I used to apply 20-25 times a year!
S:What do you like to splurge on? Do you always use points and miles to get the best bang for your buck?
T: Definitely experiences — I don't need any physical items. I love going out to eat and traveling for sure... but you can't always do it on points and miles. When you're with a group, it can be necessary to use Airbnb over a hotel to make things less complicated. Sometimes your dollar may also go farther than points and miles... especially now with COVID.
S: What's on your bucket list for places to go to?
T: Good question. I'd say Sri Lanka, Antarctica, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Mongolia, Central China, Israel, Central Asia (like Uzbekistan and others), and New Zealand.
S: What's your strategy when you travel? Do you stick with the major attractions for tourists or do you like to experience things as locals do?
T: I always try to immerse myself in the culture and avoid tourist traps. I try to go for local restaurants and check out highly rated restaurants and bars. I love museums, especially if they're well known. It depends on the trip... but if I've never been to a country, I'll go and see the sights. I don't do big tourist buses when this is the case though; I prefer private tours with a small group.
S: If you were forced to stay in one place for the rest of your life, where would you go?
T: This is a tough one. I'd probably go to the South of France near Provence. The food is amazing. The weather is amazing. The scenery is to die for. Plus, it's a short driving distance to the beach in the beautiful Mediterranean and you can also go to the alps to ski.