BACK

Products

Earn more Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase trifecta

Juggling the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards might be the best way to rack up rewards

Summary

Fans of Chase Ultimate Rewards can maximize points earning by juggling these three top-tier rewards cards.

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

The following post has been sponsored by our partner Chase. The analysis and opinions in the story are our own and may not reflect the views of Chase. Learn more about our editorial policy

If you’re a fan of Chase Ultimate rewards, you’ve probably heard that pairing more than one card from the issuer is the best way to boost your points and maximize redemptions. In fact, juggling two, three or even four Chase credit cards can fast track you to your next vacation, thanks to different bonus categories and point boosts.

One of the most commonly recommended combinations consists of three of Chase’s powerhouse rewards cards – the Chase Freedom®, Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. All three include generous rewards rates that make it easy to rack up points, and the Sapphire Preferred offers a higher value on those points when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards Portal.

Plus, the Chase Freedom Unlimited recently revamped its sign-up offer – allowing cardholders to earn 3 percent cash back on up to $20,000 in purchases in the first year. This unlocks the potential for even more rewards, making it a great time to take advantage of this card combination.

Read on to see why juggling these three cards might be your best bet.

Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Sapphire Preferred: At a glance

Each of these credit cards offers a unique rewards rate, focused on racking up points on a different area of spending. The Chase Sapphire Preferred, for example, earns the most points on travel and restaurant purchases.

 Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Rewards rate
  • 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories that you must activate each quarter (up to $1,500 per quarter)
  • 1% cash back on general purchases
1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • 2 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases
  • 1 point per dollar on general purchases
Sign-up bonus$150 if you spend $500 in first 3 months3% cash back on purchases in the first year (up to $20,000 in purchases)60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Annual fee$0$0$95
Average yearly rewards value ($1,325 monthly spend)$304$288$408

In addition to a generous rewards rate, the Sapphire Preferred includes a 25 percent higher point value when you redeem them for travel in the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Combined rewards rate

On their own, each of these cards offers great value. But when used together, you can get even more out of your spending.

Both the Freedom and Sapphire Preferred earn bonus points in certain categories of spending, while general purchases only get one point per dollar. When you combine either of these two cards with the Freedom Unlimited, you can earn at least 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase you make – boosting your overall rewards rate.

If you use all three cards, that rate gets even better. For example, in Q2 2019, Chase Freedom cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back (up to $1,500 in purchase, after activation) at grocery stores and home improvement stores. Then, you can use the Sapphire Preferred to earn 2 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases. If you use the Freedom Unlimited for all other transactions, you’ll earn the following rewards rate:

Chase trifecta rewards rate Q2 2019

Chase Freedom + Chase Freedom Unlimited + Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • 5 points per dollar at grocery stores and home improvement stores (up to $1,500 in purchases, upon activation)
  • 2 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases
  • 1.5 points per dollar on general purchases

That comes out to an average rewards rate of around 2.44 points per dollar, by our estimates. If you then transfer all the points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred and redeem them for travel in the Ultimate Rewards portal, you can stretch them even further with the point boost.

Potential earnings with $3,975 quarterly spend: Sapphire Preferred, Freedom Unlimited and Freedom card combined

$3,975 spend x 2.44 points/dollar = 9,699 points
9,699 points x 1.25 cent point value = $121.24 (when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards)

In contrast, the Chase Sapphire Preferred on its own only earns about 1.27 points per dollar. The rewards potential is therefore only about half of what you could earn by juggling three cards.

Potential earnings with $3,975 quarterly spend: Chase Sapphire Preferred

$3,975 spend x 1.27 points per dollar = 5,048 points
5,048 points x 1.25 cent point value = $63.10 (when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards)

Restrictions to consider

If you plan to juggle more than one Chase credit card, there are a few things to consider before applying. First of all, all three of these credit cards require a good to excellent credit score (above 670) to be considered for approval. It is also worth noting that applying for a new credit card results in a hard pull on your credit. If you are on the lower end of the approval range, you might want to make a few months of on-time payments to boost your score back up before applying for the next card.

Chase is also pretty strict when it comes to issuing credit cards – holding customers to the 5/24 rule. This means if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards with any issuer in the past 24 months, you aren’t eligible for a new card.

Luckily, Chase is a little less strict on who is eligible for a sign-up bonus on each of these cards. Introductory offers are limited to new cardholders, but you can receive a bonus from more than one product. For example, if you’ve had or received a sign-up bonus from the Chase Freedom card in the last 48 months, you can’t earn the Freedom bonus, but you still can earn a bonus from the Chase Sapphire preferred.

How to maximize the Chase trifecta

Combining these three Chase cards is one of the best ways to rack up Ultimate Rewards points. Follow a few simple tips to get the most out of the grouping.

  • Use the Chase Freedom Unlimited card for everyday spending, the Chase Sapphire Preferred for travel and dining and the Chase Freedom for rotating bonus categories to maximize points.
  • Be sure to activate your Chase Freedom categories each quarter.
  • Use the Sapphire Preferred card when traveling abroad to avoid foreign transaction fees.
  • Transfer all the points you earn to your Sapphire Preferred to get the highest point value when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Take advantage of deals like Chase Offers and Shop through Chase to earn even more points.

Final thoughts

Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most flexible and valuable points on the market. If you are eager to start racking them up, it might be best to sign up for more than one Chase credit card. In fact, juggling the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom unlimited can get savvy spenders an incredible rewards rate and point value.

What’s up next?

In Products

Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers 3 percent cash back

New Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders can earn 3 percent cash back during their first year, on up to $20,000 in purchases.

Published: April 5, 2019

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: May 20th, 2019
Business
15.61%
Airline
17.50%
Cash Back
17.60%
Reward
17.62%
Student
17.79%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on CreditCards.com is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.