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Since starting in the miles and points hobby, there’s no question my wife and I have had the most success using Chase Ultimate Rewards points to save on airfare and hotels. We’ve used these flexible points to take an around-the-world honeymoon, family trip to New Zealand and Australia, and most recently used points to book family members at 5-star New York City hotels for the holidays.
Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are so valuable, my wife and I are always motivated to apply for Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards to earn the lucrative sign-up bonuses. Our strategy has always been to apply for cards separately. This way, we can each earn the sign-up bonus.
It’s not unreasonable to ask why we would need 12 Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards. Here’s my answer – besides earning the sign-up bonus on each card, they all offer different bonus spending categories. This means we can be selective when making everyday purchases to maximize the number of points we earn. As a result, we’re able to continuously earn lots of points that we can use to offset travel expenses! And 8 of our 12 Chase Ultimate Rewards cards have no annual fee, so they’re free to keep forever.
Here’s a look at the Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards in my wallet:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve – This card is my favorite. I love earning 3X points on travel & dining purchases. In 2018, I earned 80,000 points just with this card.
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card – (I have 2 of these cards) – The cell phone insurance perk has saved me $264. And this card currently has the largest sign-up bonus among any Chase Ultimate Rewards cards.
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card (I also have 2 of these cards) – This no-annual-fee card has a 5% cash back (5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) bonus category
- Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card – Straightforward 1.5% cash back (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all purchases
- Chase Freedom Unlimited – I use this card for all personal purchases that don’t earn a bonus with one of my other cards (like shopping at CVS or Walgreens)
And here are the cards my wife has:
- Chase Freedom – (My wife has 2 of these cards)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
- Ink Business Cash Credit Card
What About the Chase “5/24” Rule?
My wife and I have had to navigate Chase’s tougher application rules over the past few years. That is, Chase won’t approve you for most of their cards if you’ve opened 5+ credit cards from any bank (with the exception of certain business cards) in the past 24 months.
This means we’ve had to be more selective when applying for personal cards with Chase and other banks. Also, it’s required a bit of patience. For example, my wife was over the “5/24” limit for a brief period, which meant she couldn’t apply for the Chase Ink Business Preferred. But eventually, she dropped below the limit and was approved for additional Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards.
Another trick for overcoming the Chase “5/24” rule is to apply for small business credit cards that do NOT appear on your personal credit report. This includes Chase small business credit cards. When a card doesn’t show up on your credit report, Chase won’t see it either! This means it will NOT count toward your 5-card limit.
The 80,000-Point Ink Business Preferred Offer Is Currently My Favorite Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Card Deal!
When you sign-up for the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Here’s a guide with tips on how to meet minimum spending requirements for this card.
Ink Business Preferred cardholders also get:
- 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for every $1 you spend on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites, and search engines (up to a maximum of $150,000 in combined purchases per account anniversary year)
- 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all other purchases
- Up to $600 in cell phone insurance when you pay your cell phone bill with the card
- 25% bonus when you redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
- Primary auto rental insurance (CDW) when renting for business purposes, plus purchase and extended warranty protection
The card has a $95 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year. But the value of the sign-up bonus and ongoing 3X bonus category make it a card worth keeping in my opinion.
How many Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards do you have in your wallet?