Chase has several of the best rewards credit cards on the market, and they can work even better in combination. As a result, card users have created a popular strategy informally known as the Chase Trifecta.
When done well, the Chase Trifecta is a simple, effective way to earn more points. And since Chase Ultimate Rewards points are highly valuable travel rewards points, this strategy is worth considering if you have or are interested in any Chase credit cards.
A Chase Trifecta is a combination of any three Chase rewards cards that includes at least one travel card. Using multiple cards means you can choose the card that will earn the most points for a purchase, then later, you can move your points onto the travel card to redeem them.
This works because Chase lets you transfer rewards from one card to another, including from cash back cards to travel cards ($1 in cash back is worth 100 Ultimate Rewards points). When you have a Chase travel card, you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for a higher value in the card issuer's travel portal, or you can transfer them to travel partners.
You can create a Chase Trifecta using any Chase credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points. That doesn't include co-branded Chase cards that are issued by Chase and one of its partners, because those cards earn rewards in the partner's loyalty program. For example, Chase's credit cards with United Airlines earn miles with the airline, so they wouldn't work in a Chase Trifecta.
Here are all the Chase cards you can choose from:
|Card||Annual fee||Rewards rate||Value per point through Chase travel portal|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||$0||5% on up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter in rotating bonus categories you activate; 5% on Lyft rides through March 2022 and travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and at drugstores; 1% on all other purchases||$0.01|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$0||5% on Lyft rides through March 2022 and travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and at drugstores; 1.5% on all other purchases||$0.01|
|Chase Freedom® Student credit card||$0||1% on all purchases||$0.01|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||$95||5 points per $1 on Lyft rides through March 2022; 2 points per $1 on travel and dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out; 1 point per $1 on all other purchases||$0.0125|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||$550||10 points per $1 on Lyft rides through March 2022; 3 points per $1 on travel and dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out; 1 point per $1 on all other purchases||$0.015|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||$0||1.5% on all purchases||$0.01|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||$0||5% on first $25,000 in purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% on first $25,000 in purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; 1% on all other purchases||$0.01|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ credit card||$95||3 points per $1 on up to $150,000 in purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, and phone services, and on advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year; 1 point per $1 on all other purchases||$0.0125|
There are several reasons using multiple Chase cards is a good idea:
The best way to illustrate this is via one of the most popular Chase Trifectas:
By using all three cards together, you get more value than you would with any of them solo.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is the only one that offers 5% on up to $1,500 at rotating bonus categories you activate each quarter. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers 1.5% on non-bonus purchases, whereas the other two cards offer 1%. And the Chase Sapphire Reserve® gets you 50% more value when redeeming points through the Chase travel portal. It also allows you to transfer points to Chase's travel partners, which the other two don't.
To top it off, each card offers its own sign-up bonus. By opening all three, you have three opportunities to collect bonus rewards.
While having more than one credit card can help you maximize rewards, there are a few potential risks:
You'll also need to keep track of which card to use for each purchase to get the most points. Some people can do this by memory. If not, there are apps that can help, or go with the old-fashioned method of sticking a note on each card that lists its bonus categories. Even with these workarounds, it's still more complicated than having a one-card wallet.
You can build your Chase Trifecta with any three Chase rewards cards you like, as long as one of them is a travel card. The most common setup is one of the Chase Sapphire® cards and both of the Chase Freedom® cards.
There's only one annual fee to pay with that setup, since Chase cash back cards don't charge an annual fee. You'll be able to earn a high rewards rate on all your spending. If a purchase fits into one of your card's bonus categories, you'll earn 2 to 10 points per $1. If it doesn't, you can use the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to earn 1.5 points per $1.
When you're ready to use your points, you can move them to your Chase travel card. Then, you'll be able to transfer them or get more value for them through the Chase travel portal.
There's more to the Chase Trifecta than just choosing credit cards. You also need to apply for them and get approved. There are two requirements for that:
Your income is also important. Chase uses your income to calculate the maximum amount of credit it can offer you. Once you reach that amount with your Chase credit cards, then Chase will deny any additional card application because it isn't willing to extend you more credit. There's no specific income that guarantees you can open three credit cards, but a higher income helps.
Considering the value and versatility of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, it's smart to earn as many as possible on your purchases. The Chase Trifecta is the perfect way to do that. If you can manage multiple Chase credit cards, then you could earn a lot more points to put toward your travels.
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