This Is the ULTIMATE Card Combo (If You Can Get It!)

This Is the ULTIMATE Card Combo (If You Can Get It!)

Million Mile SecretsThis Is the ULTIMATE Card Combo (If You Can Get It!)Million Mile Secrets Team

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Card Name Sign-Up Bonus
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit CardInkBusinessPreferred80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Chase Sapphire Reserve℠50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Chase Freedom®Card Image Not Available$150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠Card Image Not Available$150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Do you want to be a miles & points earning powerhouse?

If so, you need a strategy.  You’ll want to fill your wallet with credit cards that have amazing sign-up bonuses, bonus categories for almost all of your spending, incredible travel benefits, and minimal fees compared to the card benefits.

My favorite points to earn are Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  So my strategy is to earn them as quickly as possible while traveling comfortably.

This Is The ULTIMATE Card Combo If You Can Get It
I Used Chase Ultimate Rewards Points for a Free Stay at the 5-Star Park Hyatt Milan

Here are the Fab 5 of Chase Ultimate Rewards points!  I’ll show you why these cards are so effective to get Big Travel with Small Money.

Big Travel Is a Breeze With These Cards

Link:   Why Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Are My Favorite

I get huge value from Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  So my miles & points strategy revolves around them!  Here are my favorite cards if you want to really boost your points earning:

Using these cards for all your spending can quickly increase your Chase Ultimate Rewards points balance!  And if you have the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Bold (both unavailable to new applicants) instead of the Ink Business Preferred, the same principle applies.

Whether you’re a beginner or a skilled miles & points enthusiast, you’ll get a lot of use from Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  That’s because you can redeem them like money to book airfare, car rentals, hotels, and more with NO blackout dates through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.  Or you can transfer them to different travel partners!

All Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning credit cards have different benefits that make them useful for particular things!  I’ll show you why these cards are the ultimate combination for Big Travel with Small Money!

Update:   Chase now restricts folks to only having one Chase Sapphire card at a time.  But if you already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’re be allowed to keep them both.

Great Points Value

The value you get from Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be very different depending on how you use them!

1.   Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

You can book nearly all flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.  When you do this, you’re using your points to buy travel at a flat rate.  But the rate depends on which cards you have!

For example:

So if you earn 10,000 points with your Chase Sapphire Preferred, they will be worth $125 through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal (10,000 points X 1.25 cents each).  But if you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer your points from your Chase Sapphire Preferred to your Chase Sapphire Reserve, and get a value of $150 through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal (10,000 points X 1.5 cents each).

Check out my post on how to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve from other cards.

2.   Transfer Partners

You can also transfer your points to Chase airline and hotel partners and often get more value than booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.

For example, a Business Class flight from Houston to Istanbul usually costs ~$2,950 one-way.  If you bought this ticket through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, you would pay ~196,667 points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($2,950 ticket / 1.5 cents per point).  But if you transferred your points to United Airlines, you could book the same flight for just 70,000 United Airlines miles on partner Turkish Airlines.

This Is The ULTIMATE Card Combo If You Can Get It
Team Member Joseph Flew Turkish Airlines Business Class to Istanbul Last Year

If you take some time to learn about airline award zones, hotel award charts, etc., you can get thousands of dollars of luxury travel from your points!

Valuable Sign-Up Bonuses

The fastest way to get Big Travel with Small Money is by earning sign-up bonuses!  And all Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning credit cards come with generous welcome offers.  You’ll get:

  • Chase Freedom – $150 bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited$150 bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Ink Business Preferred80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

All together, that’s 210,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points!  If you transfer all your points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, that’s worth $3,150 in travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal (210,000 points X 1.5 cents per point).  Or, you could transfer the points to a Chase travel partner for potentially even more value!

For example, the Park Hyatt Maldives costs 25,000 points per night.  But the rooms can sell for $1,700+ per night, especially during winter.  So you could transfer 200,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt for 8 nights at the Park Hyatt Maldives, and get a $14,000+ stay for free!

This Is The ULTIMATE Card Combo If You Can Get It
I Found Plenty of Award Nights in Mid-December at the Park Hyatt Maldives, When Prices Are Sky High!

Bonus Spending

Each Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning card has different bonus categories and earning rates.  Here’s what to expect from each card:

Because there are such a broad range of bonus categories, like grocery stores, internet and phone, restaurants, and travel, it’s not difficult to earn bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards points on nearly every purchase!  And for any purchase that does NOT fall under a bonus category, you can use the Chase Freedom Unlimited to earn 1.5X points.

So for example, with this powerful combination of Chase cards, you can be:

  • Earning triple points with NO foreign transaction fees when you dine out while overseas using your Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Collecting triple points when paying your mobile phone bill with Chase Ink Business Preferred
  • Piling up quintuple points each quarter when you find quarterly Freedom bonus categories to your liking
  • Boosting your balance 1.5 points per $1 spent on purchases that don’t usually have bonuses like home repairs, dental bills, and bottles of wine from liquor stores (to help you cope with home repairs and dental visits!)

If you spend $40,000 annually, using the right card for your purchases could easily amount to a free vacation each year!

Credit Card Perks

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred Benefits Guide

Link:   Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits Guide

Link:   Ink Business Preferred Benefits Guide

The Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, and Ink Business Preferred all have very worthwhile card benefits apart from the valuable points they earn.

For example, both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve come with great travel perks, like primary rental car coverage.  That can save you a lot of money if you rent cars often!

You’ll also get trip delay insurance when you pay for a flight with either card.  If your trip is delayed by more than 6 hours, you could be reimbursed up to $500 for reasonable expenses, like food, lodging, and toiletries.  And you’ll get delayed baggage insurance, which will give you $100 per day (up to 5 days) if your baggage is delayed by more than 6 hours!

This Is The ULTIMATE Card Combo If You Can Get It
If Your Trip Is Delayed By 6+ Hours, You Could Be Reimbursed for Meals, Accommodations, and Toiletries by Chase!

The Chase Sapphire Reserve also comes with:

These benefits are extremely useful, and help to offset the card’s $450 annual fee!

And the Ink Business Preferred comes with cell phone insurance, which includes up to $600 of protection against damage or theft, 3 times per 12-month period, after you pay a $100 deductible.

Beware of Repetitive Benefits!

Two of these cards have very similar benefits.  So similar, in fact, that it’s likely not worth paying the annual fee to keep them both!

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve have the same travel protection and bonus categories.  But the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns more bonus points, and it comes with lots more travel benefits.

If you try out the benefits that come with the Chase Sapphire Reserve for ~11 months, and decide it’s NOT worth paying the $450 annual fee, you should stick with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which comes with a $95 annual fee (waived the first year).  The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card, and my top recommendation for miles & points newbies!

This Is The ULTIMATE Card Combo If You Can Get It
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve Both Earn Bonus Points for Travel and Restaurants

Note:   All of these cards fall under the Chase “5/24 rule”.  So if you’ve opened 5+ cards in the past 24 months from ANY bank (excluding certain small business cards), you will NOT be approved for any of these cards.

It’s also worth mentioning that you should NOT apply for all these cards in the same day.  There is no hard rule for how many Chase cards you’ll be approved for at once, but it’s a good idea to apply for a card or 2 and wait a few months before applying again.  You can raise a red flag with banks if you apply for too much credit in one sitting.

Bottom Line

If you want to get the most return from every dollar you spend, you’ll need a miles & points power plan!  Here are 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning credit cards to accomplish your goals extra quickly:

With these cards, you’ll get great travel benefits, like lounge access and primary rental car insurance.  Plus, you’ll earn bonus points for nearly every purchase you make!  Then you can use those points for thousands of dollars of travel.

But Chase points aren’t as useful to everyone as they are to me!  You should choose the points you earn based on your travel goals.

What’s your ideal credit card combination?

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Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

More Info

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the editorial content nor the comments on this site are provided by the companies whose products are featured. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Advertiser.

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39 comments

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The CSP serves no purpose other than a sign-up bonus if you already hold the CSR. I much rather have an Ink Cash/Plus as those categories are different than the Ink Preferred.

Comparing 130-140k miles (or so) for a Round Trip in Business class vs. 3,000 dollars for a discount revenue ticket is much more realistic.

It really pisses me off when you "bloggers" show a "one-way" price for a business class ticket for x--y in comparison to a mileage redemption. As you should very well know, revenue tickets in business class are almost never even remotely comparable for a one-way compared to a round-trip. However mileage tickets are almost always priced as one-way.

You're not comparing apples to apples. You're showing an apple on the credit card side and a fucking mango on the mileage side to push your agenda.

Let's start comparing equals???? Eh????

do you know what happens after the first year with reserve? does all the perk automatically restart?

I agree with this strategy to an extent. However it is much more valuable to just have 4 Chase Cards. Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Sapphire Reserve and Ink Cash. Then you only pay one annual fee and all points funnel to the Reserve. Doing the Ink and Sapphire Preferred just for the sign up bonus every 2 1/2 years is a no brainer, but these are not keeper cards and not worth the $95 fee on each if you have the Reserve and the Ink Cash. I would adjust this post to reflect this 4 cards strategy and emphasize that the Ink and Sapphire Preferred should not be kept.

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