Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
I’ll show you credit cards that work well together to help you get Big Travel with Small Money!
Here are 3 great combinations for earning more miles, points, or cash back!
Cards That Benefit From Having a Mate
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Link: Chase Freedom
You’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.
I like to use this card to try new restaurants all over the world because there are NO foreign transaction fees. The $95 annual fee is waived the 1st year.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is also your key to transferring to Big Travel partners. For example, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio to fly on Star Alliance partners like ANA or TAP Portugal.
And when you transfer them to British Airways, you can fly on partners like Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. Or any other member of the oneworld alliance!
Moving your points to Hyatt can get you luxurious hotel rooms in fantastic cities, like the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome where Emily and I stayed.
The Chase Freedom card makes an excellent companion to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You’ll earn $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.
It has NO annual fee, so it’s free to keep forever and potentially help increase your credit score.
It also has rotating quarterly categories where you can earn 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent. In the past that’s included department stores, home improvement, and shopping on Amazon when you activate the bonus.
With this combination, you can use the Chase Sapphire Preferred for travel and dining (and when you’re abroad). And keep the Chase Freedom fee-free to earn extra Chase Ultimate Rewards points throughout the year!
2. Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and AMEX EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card
You’ll earn 3 AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent for flights booked directly with airlines. And 2 AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at US gas stations, US supermarkets, and US restaurants. Plus, you’ll get a $100 airline incidental fee credit with an airline you choose, and NO foreign transaction fees.
The sign-up bonus is 25,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 on purchases within 1st 3 months of account opening. The $195 annual fee is waived for the 1st 12 months. And after that, the $100 airline fee credit will help to cover some of the cost.
You can transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to Delta at a 1:1 ratio to fly on SkyTeam partner airlines, like Korean Air. And on other partners, like Virgin Australia.
Or you could transfer to Flying Blue (the frequent flyer program for Air France and KLM) to take advantage of monthly promo awards to Europe.
Sometimes AMEX has bonuses when you transfer points, like the recent 50% bonus on transfers to Virgin America, which is great for visiting Hawaii or Australia.
The AMEX EveryDay Preferred card earns 3 AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases. And 2 AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at US gas stations.
But even better, you’ll earn 50% more points when you make 30+ purchases in a single billing period. So when you meet those requirements, you effectively earn:
- 4.5 AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year
- 3 AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at US gas stations
- 1.5 AMEX Membership Rewards points on all other purchases
With the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold, you can earn 3 AMEX Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on airfare (directly from the airlines). And even more points on your groceries, gas, and everything else you purchase!
If you like to collect AMEX Membership Rewards points, this is a great duo to have in your wallet!
3. SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express and Discover it
Link: Discover it
You’ll also get 5% cash back at US office supply stores and US wireless service. And 3% cash back in 1 out of 7 categories you choose (including airfare, US restaurants, and US gas stations). There’s also NO annual fee, so it’s free to keep for the long-haul.
This is a small business credit card. But you don’t need to earn a lot of revenue to get this card. As long as you’re trying to make a profit, it’s worth putting in an application. Here’s how you might already qualify.
And after your 1st 12 billing cycles (or if you previously registered), Discover will DOUBLE the cash back you’ve earned for the year. So you can effectively earn 10% cash back in rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 in spending each quarter.
If you spend the maximum each quarter, you’ll earn an extra $600 per year ($1,500 X 5% X 4 quarters X 2). Remember, you’ll also get double cash back on any purchases you make through the Discover Deals shopping portal.
You’ll also earn $50 when you sign-up for the Discover it card and make your 1st purchase in the 1st 3 months of opening your account (that gets doubled, too!). And, there are no foreign transaction fees, so it’s a great card to keep with you when you travel.
Smartly pairing certain cards helps you earn bonus points in more categories. And that can help you get more Big Travel with Small Money faster!
A few great combinations are:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom
- AMEX Premier Rewards Gold and AMEX EveryDay Preferred
- AMEX SimplyCash small business card (or consider Citi Double Cash or the Fidelity Visa) and Discover it
Depending on your goals, you can earn more miles, points, or cash back when you find the pair that works for you!