The Chase Trifecta is a flexible 3-card combination of credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points. The goal is to find which combination earns you the best overall return and value.
The most common and popular Chase Trifecta consists of:
When it comes down to it, the best Chase Trifecta for you could consist of totally different cards. It could also consist of just two Chase credit cards or maybe five Chase credit cards. It will all come down to your spend habits and which card benefits you value.
Card Details At-A-Glance
How To Build
When it comes to building the best combination of Ultimate Rewards credit cards, you have seven options to choose from. This includes three Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards and four Chase cash back credit cards.
Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards
The first part of building the Chase Trifecta usually begins with one of the three available Ultimate Rewards credit cards which are:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Outside of earning rewards, each of these cards allow you to redeem Ultimate Rewards Points for high value towards travel. This will be either through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or through point transfers to Chase's airline and hotel partners.
So if you plan on mostly redeeming your points for travel such as airfare, hotels, and car rentals, you'll want to add at least one of these cards to your combination.
If you're aiming more at cash redemptions such as cash back, statement credits, and gift cards, then picking up one of these cards will not matter as much unless you can make use of the card's bonus categories.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premium/luxury travel card with a $550 annual fee. While the fee is high, it offers more than enough value to easily make up that plus more if you frequently travel.
It earns a high amount of points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards as well as bonus points on general travel and dining spend.
It offers an annual $300 travel credit, Priority Pass lounge access, and up to $100 towards a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee. Plus, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has some of the best travel insurance available which can easily save you more money than the annual fee itself if a trip doesn't go as planned.
The big plus to this card outside of the travel benefits is the 50% point value boost to travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards which bumps up the value of Ultimate Rewards Points to 1.5 cents each.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best well-rounded travel cards on the market. It has an annual fee of $95 per year and offers a good amount of benefits to back that price tag up.
This includes high earning rates on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and solid return across online grocery purchases, select streaming services, dining, and travel purchases.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers a 25% point value boost to travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards which gives points a value of 1.25 cents each.
Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Business Preferred is the only business credit card in the Ultimate Rewards program, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best business credit cards in the market.
At an annual fee of $95 per year, it offers an excellent 3X points across travel and select business categories including shipping, internet, cable, phone, and advertising.
Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, it offers a 25% boost to point value when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards for an easy redemption value of 1.25 cents per point.
Which Card Is Best?
Which card is best depends heavily on your spending, but how much you value card benefits also plays a big role. Here are my opinions on which cards are best based on a few factors:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve is best if:
- You're looking for lounge access with Priority Pass
- You plan on redeeming your points for 1.5 cents each for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- You plan on booking most travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards to earn 10X/5X
- You plan on booking dining reservations through Chase Dining to earn 10X
- You spend heavy across the categories of general travel and dining (3X)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred is best if:
- You frequently travel, but don't need the lounge access benefits
- You can earn as many points with this card as the Reserve, but plan on transferring points to partners (meaning the point value boost doesn't matter)
- From time to time, you may want to redeem your points for cash-related redemptions (e.g. cash back, statement credit, gift cards)
- Chase Ink Business Preferred is best if:
- You plan on redeeming points mostly for travel
- You want top-notch travel insurance for your business travel
Do You Need An Ultimate Rewards Credit Card?
As previously mentioned, if you're not looking to primarily redeem your points for travel and the categories featured on the three Ultimate Rewards credit cards aren't the best fit for your spend, then these cards do not necessarily need to be part of your card combination.
Just note that without these cards you will not be able to transfer points to Chase's travel partners and all redemptions will give your Chase Ultimate Rewards an average value of 1 cent per point.
Chase Cash Back Credit Cards
The next part of the Chase Trifecta involves Chase's four cash back credit cards consisting of two personal/consumer credit cards and two business credit cards.
Each of these cards earn 'cash back' but you are rewarded in the form of Ultimate Rewards Points. Each point can be redeemed for 1 cent each towards cash back.
These cards do not allow you to transfer your points to Chase's travel partner and you will not earn any kind of point boost for redeeming them through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
So how do you get value out of these points? You pair them with the Ultimate Rewards credit cards.
Points earned with Chase's four cash back credit cards can be transferred to any of the three Ultimate Rewards credit cards. This then allows you to redeem those points for high value using the point boosts and point transfers to partners.
This is why if you're big on travel, you'll want to grab at least one of the available Ultimate Rewards credit card and pair it with as many of Chase's cash back credit cards that you see fit since all of them have no annual fee.
Chase Freedom Flex
The Chase Freedom Flex is most known for it's quarterly rotating 5% back categories. This means that every three months, the categories that earn 5% back will change.
These are usually great categories such as Walmart, Gas Stations, Wholesale Clubs, Home Improvement Stores, and more. Chase doesn't list out all of the categories for the year, so you will not know what a quarters categories are until 15 days before the new quarter starts.
You can check out the Chase Freedom Flex Point Calculator which lists the 5% categories the card has had since 2018 to get an idea of what the card normally offers.
This is typically the best card in the trifecta if you can make use of the 5% back categories, especially if you plan on using your points for travel as you'll be able to take advantage of the 25% or 50% boost or transfer the equivalent to 5X points to airline miles or hotel points when combined with an Ultimate Rewards credit card.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is popular due to the 1.5% back it earns on all non-bonus category spend. This is the best card to use when spending across a category in which your other Chase credit cards will earn you 1% back.
The 0.5% difference may not seem like a lot, but it is going to add up very quickly over the course of the year because you generally will not have a card that fits every category of spending. If you're redeeming points for travel, you'll be earning an additional point that you can transfer to partners for every $2 spent that you wouldn't have earning at 1% back.
Regardless of whether or not you're using points for travel or cash back, this is one of the most important cards in the Chase Trifecta as well as any other combination of Chase credit cards.
Ink Business Cash
The Ink Business Cash is one of the best business cash back credit cards available. It earns a whopping 5% back across office supply stores, internet, cable services, and phone service spending.
If you're look to maximize that 5% towards travel, you can pair this card with the Ink Business Preferred for the ability to transfer those 5X points to partners or redeem them for 25% more value towards travel booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Yes... the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Preferred features several overlapping categories, but having both cards increase the value towards travel and the overall amount of points you can earn.
You can also transfer points between personal and business cards. So points earned with the Ink Business Cash can be transferred to the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve if you own either one.
Ink Business Unlimited
The Ink Business Unlimited is the best business card to cover purchases that you would normally earn 1% back on with other Chase credit cards. It's a great option if you're looking to stick to using a business card for miscellaneous purchases.
If you're not trying to stick to a business card, then I recommend getting the Chase Freedom Unlimited instead since you'll get a few extra bonus categories.
Popular Trifectas & Combos
There are many different combinations of Chase credit cards that can be created. You could create a Chase Trifecta, a Chase Quadfecta, or even a Chase Quinfecta. Basically, you can have any combination of cards that you see fit.
Listed below are a few of the most popular Chase Trifecta combinations.
Original Chase Trifecta
Cards: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Freedom Flex, and Chase Freedom Unlimited
This is the original Chase Trifecta, the most popular, and (typically) the most efficient for travelers.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve bumps the redemption value up to 1.5 cents each for travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards, grants the ability to transfer points to Chase's travel partners, earns a very good return across several categories, and grants elite travel benefits.
The Chase Freedom Flex earns you 5X back on quarterly rotating categories for an excellent return on spend.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited backs up both cards by earning 1.5X back on all miscellaneous purchases.
Original Chase Trifecta Alternative
Cards: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom Flex, and Chase Freedom Unlimited
This is popular alternative Chase Trifecta that swaps out the Chase Sapphire Reserve for the Chase Sapphire Preferred. It can be the better option if you don't need all of the benefits that come with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
This particular trifecta is great if you primarily plan on transferring points to partners and know how to redeem them for great value. It can also be great if you plan on redeeming points for cash back related redemptions, but want the ability to redeem for travel just in case.
If you plan on primarily redeeming points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you may want to compare this trifecta against the original because the 50% point boost makes a big impact over the course of a year.
Chase Trifecta 1
Cards: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Business Preferred, & Chase Freedom Unlimited
This is another one of the most common trifectas. With this trifecta, the Chase Ink Business Preferred earns you 3X on the categories of shipping, internet, cable services, phone services, and advertising. This is a great combo if you spend big on shipping and advertising specifically.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Freedom Unlimited provides the same great benefits as the original trifecta.
Chase Trifecta 2
Cards: Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Business Cash, & Chase Freedom Unlimited
This trifecta consists of the Chase Ink Business Cash Card which is particularly great for earnings an incredible return of 5X on office supply store, internet, cable services, and phone services purchases.
This is another extremely popular Chase trifecta since office supply stores typically offer gift cards which opens up the ability to earn 5X across pretty much any retailer that sales a gift card.
For example, you can buy a $500 AutoZone gift card and that would be the equivalent of earning 5X at Autozone. This is because you can use the gift card at Autozone and you earned 5X.
Do note that the 5X categories on the Chase Ink Business Cash are capped at $25,000 per year. After that cap is hit, you'll earn 1X for the remainder of the year.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Freedom Unlimited provides the same great benefits as the original trifecta.
Chase Trifecta 3
Cards: Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Business Cash, & Chase Freedom Unlimited
This Chase Trifecta features the Chase Ink Business Cash Card and is a great trifecta if you're looking for the 5X earnings of the card. This is a solid option if you plan on transferring points to Chase's partners for maximum value, but don't need the perks offered on the Chase Sapphire Reserve
Category earnings and main benefits between these cards:
Chase 2-Card Combos
If you're only looking to pair two Chase Cards together, there's a few options you can choose from. You can pair any Ultimate Rewards Card with the Chase Freedom Unlimited to maximize your return on travel. You can also pair the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited (personal/consumer) or the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited (business) if you're look to maximize your cash back earnings.
All of these combinations are great for making sure you earn no less than 1.5X back per $1 spent on non-category/miscellaneous purchases.
Chase Points Value
The value of Ultimate Rewards Points will vary depending on which cards you have and what you plan on redeeming your points for.
Ultimate Rewards Points earned with Chase's Ultimate Rewards credit cards (Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, and Ink Business Preferred) will be worth 1.25 to 1.5 cents when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Transferring points from these cards to Chase's travel partners can also give you high value depending on the airline/hotel and how you use them once transferred. Other redemptions will give you 1 cent and lower in value.
Ultimate Rewards Points earned with Chase's cash back credit cards (Freedom Unlimited, Freedom Flex, Ink Business Cash, and Ink Business Unlimited) will be worth 1 cent on average for most redemptions including travel, cash back, statement credits, gift cards, and more.
Points earned with Chase's cash back credit card cannot be transferred directly to Chase's travel partners, but you can transfer the points to Chase's Ultimate Rewards credit card and then transfer them to partners.
|Redemption Option||Average Value (in cents)|
|Point transfers to airline and hotel partners||0.6 - 2.1|
|Booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards||1 - 1.5|
|Pay Yourself Back||1.1 - 1.5|
|Redeeming points for cash back||1|
|Redeeming points for gift cards||1|
|Using points for Amazon.com purchases||0.8|
Chase Points Transfer
Ultimate Rewards Points earned with the Chase credit cards can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to 13 travel partners.
If you're looking to get the most out of your Ultimate Rewards Points, transferring them to airline and hotel rewards programs is the best option as it gives you the chance to redeem your points for more than the average value.
Use the Chase Trifecta Point Calculator to calculate how many points you can earn, the value of those points, and the transfer of points to partners.
Chase Trifecta 1 is the primary combo in the calculator. You can compare the card side by side Chase Trifecta 2-4 as well as any other credit cards featured on the site.
Do note that the Chase Freedom Flex is not included in any of the calculators due to the fact the it's categories aren't known throughout the year. Plus, the calculations for that card is hard to incorporate into calculations with other cards.
You can check out the Chase Freedom Flex Point Calculator if you want to calculate points for that card on the side.
Chase 5/24 Rule
If you've opened up more than 5 new accounts in the last 24 months, it may be hard to get approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and other Chase credit cards. This includes any kind of new account and not just new credit card accounts.
If you're unsure of how many accounts you've opened up in the last 24 months, you can use Credit Karma to check for free without hurting you credit score.