AMEX Trifecta vs Chase Trifecta
American Express Membership Rewards Points or Chase Ultimate Rewards Points? It can be a tough decision since both rewards programs offer so much in terms of perks, benefits, and rewards. Depending on your style of travel or your everyday spend, one program will be better than the other. The calculator on this page will help you calculate the cash value of both of groups of cards based on bonus categories, how much you value card perks, and the annual fees. I will briefly cover the bonus categories, card perks, sign up bonuses, and fees of each trifecta. Following this information you will find the Trifecta Rewards Points Calculator.
AMEX and Chase Trifectas
The American Express Trifecta consists of the AMEX Platinum, AMEX Gold, and the AMEX Blue Business Plus cards. The Chase Trifecta consists of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Business Preferred and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards. The Chase Trifecta is not set in stone. For example you can swap the Chase Ink Business Preferred with the Chase Ink Business Cash or the Chase Freedom Unlimited with the Chase Ink Business Unlimited if you wish. But for today we will be looking specifically at the Ink Business Preferred and Freedom Unlimited. You can click any of the cards above to calculate the cash value of the card individually and compare them against each other or any other rewards card side by side.
The AMEX Platinum earns 5 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent on airfare purchased directly with the airline, airfare purchased through the American Express travel site, and hotels purchased through the American Express travel site.
The AMEX Gold earns 4 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent on the first $25,000 in purchases for both U.S. supermarket and U.S. restaurant purchases. After the cap is hit, you will receive 1 Membership Rewards Point per $1 spent for the remainder of the calendar year.
The Blue Business Plus earns 2 Membership Rewards Points per $1 spent on the first 50,000 in purchases. After that, the card earns 1 Membership Rewards Point per $1 spent on all purchases for the remainder of the calendar year. This card is used for all miscellaneous spending that is not covered by the bonus categories featured on the AMEX Platinum or AMEX Gold Card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent on both travel and dining. Chase has a very broad term of travel which includes:
- Hotels, Motels, Timeshares
- Car Rental Agencies, Taxis, Buses, Trains, Limousines
- Cruise Lines
- Travel Agencies, Travel Sites
- Ferries, Toll Bridges, Highways
- Parking Lots, Garages
- Anything else related to travel
The Chase Ink Business Preferred earns 3 Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 spent on the first $150,000 in combined spending between travel, shipping, internet services, cable services, phone services, and advertising. After the cap is hit, you will earn 1 Ultimate Rewards Point per $1 spent on all categories for the remainder of the year. It's best to keep travel purchases to the Chase Sapphire Reserve since it does not have a cap on that category.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases which is equal to earning 1.5 Ultimate Rewards Points on all purchases. This card is best used for all category spending that the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Ink Business Preferred does not feature.
Perks and Benefits
The AMEX Platinum Card features a $200 annual airline credit, $200 annual Uber credit broken down to $15 per month with a bonus $20 in December, $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit, and a $100 worth of Saks Fifth credit split up into $50 for each half of the calendar year. On top of those credits, cardholders will receive airport lounge access to Centurion lounges, Delta SkyClubs (when flying Delta), and Priority Pass lounges. Complimentary Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Gold Elite is also offered along with access to Fine Hotels and Resorts, Incircle membership, ShopRunner membership, and status with both National Car Rental and Avis Car Rental. The Platinum Card comes with extra benefits such as cruise discounts, roadside assistance, return protection, car rental insurance (secondary, primary for $20 per rental), and more. The Platinum Card is best known for the aforementioned lounge access and the excellent purchase protection. It's also worth noting that this is a charge card meaning it has No Personal Spending Limit (NPSL) and that the balance is due in full every month after the statement closes.
The AMEX Gold Card features a $100 annual airline credit and a $120 dining credit. This is also a charge card with No Personal Spending Limit (NPSL) meaning the full balance will be due every month after the statement closes.
The AMEX Blue Business Plus does not feature any card specific perks. While the Blue Business Plus does have a visible credit limit, it is still treated as a No Personal Spending Limit (NPSL) card. You can spend over the actual card limit. I've went as much as $4,000 above the card's credit line. Just be aware that when the statement closes, you will be have to pay the full amount you went over along with the minimum payment.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve features a $300 annual travel credit and $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit. In addition to those credits, cardholders will receive Priority Pass access, hotel benefits through the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection, and a 50% boost to the value of Ultimate Rewards Points when used for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. Since the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite Card, you will also receive primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation and delay coverage, and lost luggage reimbursement. These are key perks for travelers (especially business traveler) who wants some extra peace of mind knowing they're protected from unforeseen circumstances.
The Chase Business Ink Card features cellular telephone protection. This offers up to $600 in protection with a $100 deductible.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a cash back earning card. The Chase Freedom points you receive on this card can be redeemed for the standard 1.5% cash back, but the value comes into play when you use them as Ultimate Rewards Points. This card has that ability when you own the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred credit card. This makes the Chase Freedom Points you earn with the Chase Freedom Unlimited more valuable since they can now be redeemed for 1.25 to 1.5 cents each or be transferred to airline partners for even more value.
Sign Up Bonus
The AMEX Platinum Card has a standard sign up bonus 75,000 Membership Rewards Points, but bonuses can be as high as 100,000 points. The AMEX Gold Card hovers around 40,000 to 50,000 Membership Rewards Points. The higher bonus for the Gold Card can sometimes be triggered by private/incognito browsing. The Blue Business Plus Card doesn't usually have a sign up bonus, but you can apply through The Point Calculator for 10,000 Membership Rewards Points. Combined you're looking at a minimum of about 125,000 Membership Rewards Points with sign up bonuses worth $1,250 (1 cents each) at the lowest, but valued as high as $2,500+ (2 cents each) if used with various transfer partners.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a standard sign up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards Points but was 100,000 points when the card was first introduced. The Ink Business Preferred has a sign up bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards Points which is very nice. Lastly, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has a $150 sign up bonus which can also be redeemed as 15,000 Ultimate Rewards Points. This is a total of 145,000 Ultimate Rewards Points worth around $2,175 (1.5 cents each) if used on the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal for travel. It can of course be worth as much as $2,900+ (2 cents each) if transferred to airline and hotel partners.
Credit Card Fees
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The AMEX Trifecta will cost you $745 per year to maintain, but the combination of cards offer $720 in annual credits and a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck Credit so you're getting most to all of this back if you're able to use all of the credits and bonuses.
The Chase Trifecta will cost you a total of $545 per year to maintain which is cheaper than the AMEX Trifecta, but Chase Sapphire Reserve is the only card to offer $300 in annual credits along with the $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit. So you're left with a little bit more to pay out of pocket every year.
Authorized User Fee
The AMEX Platinum charges $175 to have up to 3 additional Platinum Cards added to the account. Every Platinum Card after the first 3 will cost $175 each. The AMEX Gold and Blue Business Plus does not charge for additional users.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve charges $75 for each additional Reserve Card. The Ink and Freedom Unlimited does not charge for additional users.
Foreign Transaction Fee
The Blue Business Plus has a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%. The AMEX Platinum and AMEX Gold Cards do not have foreign transaction fees, but neither card is useful overseas. The Gold Card's grocery and restaurant categories are only good for U.S. spending. This makes American Express a bad choice for international spending meaning you will have to have a card or two for international spending such as the Barclays Uber Visa or a cash back combo such as the Quicksilver and Savor/SavorOne combo.
The Freedom Unlimited has a foreign transaction fee of 3%. The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Business Ink Preferred cards do not have foreign transaction fees. Chase's cards aren't strictly tied to U.S. shopping like AMEX Cards so you will be able to earn an excellent return on Ultimate Rewards Points on several categories such as travel and dining when spending internationally. You can sub out the Chase Freedom Unlimited for the Ink Business Unlimited which earns 1.5% on all purchases and has no international transaction fee.
You can use this rewards calculator to calculate how many points, miles, or cash back you can earn based on your spend per category for both cards. This calculator will also give you the dollar value of the cards based on rewards earned and how much each benefit is worth to you minus the fees.
All category spend entered in the first column will carry over to all credit card pages on the site. This means you don't have to re-enter the same information over again. You can use the Copy functions under the Options menu within the Categories & Bonuses section.
AMEX Trifecta vs Chase Trifecta
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About These Calculators: These calculators are provided to help you estimate the value of points, miles, and cash back you can earn with various rewards programs and using reward earning credit cards. These calculators are meant to provide an estimate of rewards earned and are not meant to reflect the exact amount of points you may receive. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of any credit card before you apply as benefit and perk changes may not be reflected immediately on this website.
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