Everyone wants to know the best way to maximize the number of points you earn with what you spend already on your credit cards. While the exact answer will depend based on the things you purchase, there is a popular strategy that works great for just about anyone. The Chase trifecta is a simple credit card strategy that will help you get the most Ultimate Rewards points out of your purchases. The best part about it, is that it can be tailored to fit the types of things you buy most.
Nobody likes earning a large number of miles, only to find out they’re difficult to redeem. For me, the more flexible a points currency is to use, the more valuable it is. That’s why one of my favorite ones to earn are Chase Ultimate Rewards points. With so many redemption options, they are extremely easy to use. Now I’m going to show just how easy they are to accumulate.
What Is The Chase Trifecta
The Chase trifecta is a strategy of utilizing three Chase credit cards to earn Ultimate Rewards points as quickly as possible. By leveraging the features of multiple cards, you’ll be able to earn points a lot faster than by just using one. Remember, there isn’t a credit card pairing that’s a perfect fit for everyone. However, I’m going to show you the pairing I think works best for most people, as well as other options to consider.
A Premium Card
The key to utilizing the Chase Trifecta strategy is by carrying one of their premium cards. You have the following three options to choose from.
By having one of these cards you are able to transfer Ultimate Rewards points earned from other cards into one account. The other Chase cards I’m going to discuss later are strictly cash back cards if you don’t have a premium card. Being able to transfer the points to a premium card gives you the ability to unlock a lot more value.
With a premium card, you can redeem points for travel at a higher rate than redeeming them for cash. You can also transfer the points to one of Chase’s 13 transfer partners that can be even more valuable. The right premium card will depend on where you spend your money. I’ll give you a brief description of all three and you can choose which one fits you best.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
In my opinion, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the one I think works best for most people. In fact, it’s the card I recommend most often to people starting out in the points hobby. I have written a Full Review of the card so you can see why I like it so much but I’ll give you the highlights here.
Welcome Bonus – You can earn a 60,000 point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. That’s worth $750 if you redeem them for travel with Chase. They could be worth even more than that if you utilize one of their transfer partners. That alone is a great value for the low $95 annual fee.
Bonus Categories – The Sapphire Preferred also gives you 2x points on all travel and dining purchase that you make with the card. You also receive 1 point for all other purchases.
Other Benefits – This card also has some really great benefits just for having the card. Some of my favorites are no foreign transaction fees, primary rental car insurance and extended warranty coverage.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is very similar to the Sapphire Preferred card but with some notable differences. I would recommend this card instead to anyone who spends a lot on travel throughout the year. This card does come with a $550 annual fee but also some outstanding benefits that easily offset most of that cost.
Sign-Up Bonus – You will earn a 50,000 point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. These are also worth $750 if you redeem them for travel with Chase because they are redeemed at a higher rate than the Sapphire Preferred card. They can also be worth more if you redeem them through one of their transfer partners.
Bonus Categories – The Sapphire Reserve card gives you 3x points on all travel and dining purchase that you make with the card. You will receive 1 point for each dollar spent on all other purchases.
Other Benefits – This card also has excellent benefits that will really appeal to frequent travelers. Each year you will receive a $300 statement credit on travel purchases that you make. You also get up to a $100 credit for your Global Entry/TSA Precheck application. You also get a free Priority Pass Select membership that can be used at airport lounges around the globe.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Ink Business Preferred card is an excellent option for anyone that runs a small business. This card also comes with a low $95 annual fee and benefits and bonuses that cater to small businesses.
Sign-Up Bonus – This card offers the highest welcome bonus of the three cards. Earn a 100,000 point welcome bonus after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months. These are worth $1,250 redeemed for travel with Chase, or possibly more, by utilizing one of the transfer partners.
Bonus Categories – The Ink Business Preferred card gives you 3x points on all travel. You can also earn 3x points for on advertising, phone, Internet, cable and shipping purchases made with the card. You also receive 1 point for each dollar spent on all other purchases.
Other Benefits – This card provides excellent benefits as well. Receive free cell phone insurance if you pay your cell phone bill with the card. You also get primary rental car insurance if traveling for business as well as no foreign transaction fees.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The next card in the trifecta is the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. This card is a straight forward cash back card that has no annual fee. For a limited time, new card holders will earn a $200 bonus (paid with 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 within the first 3 months of opening their account.
You will also earn up to 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (excluding Target & Walmart purchases) on the first $12,000 spent during the first year! You’ll also earn 5x on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus, you’ll earn 3x on both dining and drugstore purchases. This is a great way to earn points quickly!
After that, you will earn an unlimited 1.5 points on each dollar spent. This card is what I use to make purchases for every day items that don’t fall under a bonus category.
However, because you have one of the premium cards as well, you can transfer these points into that account. Once you’ve consolidated them, you can then unlock more value by redeeming them through the travel portal or by using one of the transfer partners.
Chase Freedom Flex
The last card I would recommend for the trifecta is the Chase Freedom Flex card. This card is also a standard cash back card that also has no annual fee. Right now, new cardmembers will earn a $200 (20,000 UR Points) bonus after spending $500 within 3 months of opening their account. Plus, you’ll earn 5% back on grocery store purchases made during the first year. The grocery store bonus is limited to the first $12,000 spent and does not include purchases made at Walmart or Target.
You’ll earn 5x on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You’ll also earn 3x on both dining and drugstore purchases.
Each quarter the card offers rotating bonus categories that earn 5 points per dollar spent. Each quarter, the bonus categories are capped at $1,500 in purchases. Plus, you’ll only earn an unlimited 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. I use this card to make purchases that fall under one of the bonus categories and then transfer my points to my premium card.
The last card in the trifecta can also be tailored to fit your spending habits. Since this card is capped at 7,500 (5 x $1,500) bonus points per quarter another card may be more beneficial to you. Don’t let the annual fees keep you from potentially getting two premium cards. If you can get more value out of the card than then annual fee, you should absolutely consider it.
Utilizing the trifecta is a great way for earning the most Ultimate Rewards points based on what you spend. If three cards seems like too much to handle at first, start with the best card that works for you. Once you get the hang of it, add the second best card for you to your portfolio. By utilizing a combination of the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Ink Business Preferred, the Freedom Unlimited and the Freedom cards, you can quickly accumulate valuable UR points.
Regardless of which cards you choose, don’t apply for all of them too quickly. We recommend waiting at least 3 months before opening another personal or business card. Keep in mind that each of these cards is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so make sure you have an open slot before applying. If you have any questions about this strategy, leave me a comment in the section below.