Rewards and cash-back credit cards allow cardholders to get a bigger bang for their buck with every purchase. These financial products are great on their own, but sometimes they can boost the user’s earning potential when combined — such as the “Chase trifecta” and its earning-maximizing possibilities.
The Chase Trifecta: What Exactly Is It?
Chase offers over 30 rewards credit cards, including:
- Chase Freedom Flex
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Ink Business Unlimited
- Ink Business Cash
- Ink Business Preferred
About the Chase Trifecta Credit Cards
Juggling between three cards allows Chase cardholders to make the most out of the Ultimate Rewards program. It notably increases the number of points accumulated through purchases in eligible spending categories. Additionally, it enables users to redeem their earnings for a much greater value than they’d normally be able to.
As mentioned above, the cards that constitute the Chase trifecta are the following:
This Chase credit card has no annual fee and offers 1.5% cash back on purchases, plus bonus rewards for certain categories. Chase Freedom Unlimited also rewards you with an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy — on up to $20,000 spent in the first year — worth up to $300 cash back. Cardholders can also earn $200 cash back after spending $500 within the first three months.
The Freedom Unlimited card is essentially a cash-back credit card. It yields:
- 5% back on up to $6,000 in gas station purchases in the first 12 months as a cardmember
- 5% on travel booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards — 1.5 points plus 3.5 bonus points
- 3% on drugstores, dining, takeout and delivery — 1.5 points plus 1.5 bonus points
- 1.5% on all other purchases
A 0% intro annual percentage rate makes this product rather attractive for those looking to make purchases or a balance transfer. Once the 15-month promotional period is over, the Freedom Unlimited credit card will have an APR of .
For an annual fee of , the Sapphire Preferred card offers outstanding travel-related rewards, beginning with an 60,000-point welcome bonus when you spend $4,000 in the first three months after opening your account. That’s a $750 value — 25% more if you redeem the points through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You also get:
- 5 points per dollar spent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards — excluding hotel stays that qualify for the $50 annual Ultimate Rewards credit
- 3 points per dollar spent on dining, select streaming services and online grocery purchases — excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs
- 2 points per dollar spent on travel that doesn’t qualify for 5-point reward
- 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you several other ways to accumulate rewards. You’ll receive a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel statement credit for hotel stays purchased through Ultimate Rewards, plus a 10% anniversary points boost each year for purchases made the previous year.
You can also earn redemption rewards. The Pay Yourself Back program boosts your points value by 25% when you redeem the points for statement credits against purchases made within the past 90 days in select, rotating categories. Redeeming points for Chase Ultimate Rewards instead of cash also earns you a 25% premium.
This product has an APR ranging from .
This card is meant for business owners to earn attractive points rewards you can redeem for cash back on your corporate spending. It offers a $750 cash-back bonus when you spend $7,500 in the first three months after you open your account. You’ll also receive 1.5% cash back on all your business purchases.
Purchases that can earn you rewards include:
- Social media and search engine advertising
- Phone services
- Business travel
There’s no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn, and your rewards never expire. Add employee cards to accumulate rewards even faster.
The Ink Business Unlimited card has the added bonus of a 0% introductory APR on all your purchases for the first 12 months. After that you’ll pay a rate of APR.
How Do These Cards Work Together?
Each card in the trifecta has its own unique benefits. That’s why, when used together, they can significantly diversify and increase a user’s earning options. Here are some tips and tricks to maximize earnings through the trifecta:
- Use the Sapphire Preferred card as much as possible during the first three months to take advantage of its 60,000-point welcome bonus.
- Once you’ve earned the bonus, book air travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal using the Freedom Unlimited card for 5% cash back.
- Take advantage of the $50 hotel credit for purchases made with the Sapphire Preferred card, then charge hotel stays to Freedom Unlimited for its higher rewards.
- Make your first $6,000 in gas purchases, after earning the Sapphire Preferred bonus, using the Freedom Unlimited card.
- Pay for business purchases, services and utilities through the Ink Business Unlimited to earn the $750 welcome bonus.
- Use the Freedom Unlimited card for 1.5% cash back on purchases that don’t fit into the categories listed above.
The idea is to closely analyze which cards give you the best boost value and under what conditions. This helps you decide what the most beneficial redemption method is so you can make the most out of your Ultimate Rewards. Understanding which categories earn more with each card is another way to maximize earnings with the Chase trifecta.
Who Is the Chase Trifecta For?
The Chase trifecta requires the ability to manage three cards at once, which not everyone can do. Users may need good to excellent credit — above 670 — to qualify for the cards. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure you can afford to pay all three balances on time and in full.
It’s important to note that the Ink Business Unlimited is not a personal credit card. It has its special eligibility requirements for companies and self-employed individuals. Because this card is not for everybody, users can substitute it with another personal card to form a customized trifecta.
Good To Know
It may take some time to fill your wallet with three cards and start maximizing your Ultimate Rewards points. Chase limits membership in some cards to customers who’ve not received a new cardmember bonus within the past 24 months. And although not officially stated on its website, rumor has it that Chase also imposes a “5/24 rule” whereby you’ll likely be denied a new card if you’ve opened five others in the past 24 months, as noted by Select.
How To Apply for a Chase Credit Card
Applying for one or all of the cards listed above takes only a few minutes through the credit card page on the Chase website. Here’s what to do once you’ve selected the “Apply Now” link for the card you want:
- Enter your personal and financial information on the form.
- Consent to the card’s terms and conditions.
- Electronically sign the credit card agreement.
- Submit the application.
Many customers receive an instant decision. However, the bank may ask for additional documentation in some cases, which may delay the process.
What To Consider Before Applying for the Chase Trifecta Cards
Having one credit card requires a lot of financial responsibility, and having three is a much bigger commitment. Before applying, consider the following:
- Whether the rewards outweigh the annual fees
- Ability to keep track of spending
- Ability to pay on time
- Interest rates
- Fine print on earning and redemption policies
If all of the above click — and opening multiple accounts won’t jeopardize your ability to get other credit you might need in the near future, such as a car loan or mortgage — there is no reason to not take advantage of this rewards-earning strategy. However, applying for one card at a time is the most sensible approach to get familiar with each card’s ins and outs before moving on to the next one.
Is the Chase Trifecta Worth It in 2022?
The answer is that it depends. Those with poor credit or who lack the means or discipline to successfully manage multiple cards may want to steer clear of this opportunity until their situation changes.
The Chase trifecta is an excellent way of optimizing a cardholder’s day-to-day spending. This card combination allows users to maximize the amount of money they could make with the Ultimate Rewards program. However, to take full advantage of it, some strategizing is necessary.
Information is accurate as of Sept. 20, 2022.
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The information related to Chase Freedom Unlimited, Sapphire Preferred, and Ink Business Unlimited was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of these cards. Product details may vary. Please see issuer website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for these products.