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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 any Chase credit cards.
A Chase Trifecta is a combination of any three Chase rewards cards, including a 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 also 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®||$0||5% on up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter in rotating bonus categories you activate; 1% on all other purchases||$0.01|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$0||1.5% on all purchases||$0.01|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||$95||2 points per $1 on travel and dining; 1 point per $1 on all other purchases||$0.0125|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||$550||3 points per $1 on travel and dining; 1 point per $1 on all other purchases||$0.015|
|Chase Ink Business Unlimited credit card||$0||1.5% on all purchases||$0.01|
|Chase 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 $150,000u00a0 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: the, the Chase Freedom® credit card, and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The table below breaks down how many points you'd earn by card based on annual spending of $36,000.
For each spending category, we've bolded the highest number of points you could earn if you used the right card. Here's an example using the first category, travel. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® would be the top earner there, so the 12,000 points it would earn is in bold.
|Category||Annual spending||Chase Sapphire Reserve® rewards||Chase Freedom® credit card rewards||Chase Freedom Unlimited® rewards|
|Chase Freedom® bonus categories||$4,000 ($1,000 per quarter)||4,000||20,000||6,000|
|All other spending||$24,000||24,000||24,000||36,000|
|Total rewards (per card)||--||52,000||52,000||54,000|
|Total rewards with Chase Trifecta||--||--||--||84,000|
As you can see, if you had just one Chase card that you used for all your spending, you'd earn between 52,000 and 54,000 points. If you carried all three Chase cards and always paid using the card that would earn you the most rewards, then you'd earn 84,000 points.
By combining cards, you'd earn at least 30,000 more points. That's worth an additional $450 towards travel using the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, thanks to the $0.015 per point it offers through the Chase travel portal.
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 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.
To build your Chase Trifecta, you'll need to decide which combination of cards will get you the most value. We recommend the following method:
There's only one annual fee to pay with this method, since Chase cash-back cards don't charge annual fees. You'll also be able to earn an above-average number of reward points on all your spending. If a purchase fits into the bonus categories on one of your cards, you'll earn from 2 to 5 points per $1. If not, you can use your flat-rate cash-back card to earn 1.5 points per $1.
You may find that a different combination -- such as two travel rewards cards or bonus-category cash-back cards -- suits you better. Or you may want a bonus-category cash-back card first, then a card that earns an unlimited 1.5% back. But for most, the method above is a good way to go.
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 obviously 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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