I compared your Rewards programs to having cash in the Bank this is true but it is really an investment in your Travel future.
That is why like your investments you have to diversify.
Every program has its strong and weak points so the more programs you belong to the more likely you will have an option to have a Reward available to you that you can use.
As an example Marriotts program may not have any options in Cairns, Australia but another program may offer you a attractive option.The same is true for Airline miles Asia miles can not offer the same options in Europe as American Airlines can with their program.
Once you have done some research online with all the programs available you then can decide what can work for you or your Business or your family.
There is not a universal answer as to how you should start but I prefer having cards like a Amex card that gives Membership rewards because their program has so many options.
Chase has been building its Ultimate rewards program but its weakness is that transfers often take much longer then Membership rewards with Amex.
It is also more useful to belong to a Hotel rewards program like Marriott because their portfolio is so large which gives you so many more options.
I believe in learning in short amounts so will continue this Primer in my next Post.