[Updated] 2021 Ultimate Comparison Chart Of Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards; Supercharge Your Earnings By Creating Your Own Chase Quinfecta Killer Combo!

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Chase Ultimate Rewards cards

Consumer cards:

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is currently offering an incredible highest ever offer of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $4,000 of spending within 3 months. Read more here.
  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is currently offering a best in 4 years offer of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within 3 months. Read more here.
  • The Chase Freedom Flex Card is currently offering $200 cash back in the form of 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $500 of spending within 3 months.
  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is currently offering $200 cash back in the form of 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $500 of spending within 3 months.

Business cards:

Current signup rules

  • All of the cards above are subject to 5/24 restrictions, read more about that here. Note that business cards, even Chase business cards, do not get added to your 5/24 count of recently opened cards. However if you want to open a new business card they will check your 5/24 count.
  • Additional user consumer cards from any bank are counted by the system towards your 5/24 count as they appear on your credit report. However you can have them manually excluded from the 5/24 count by calling reconsideration after you are rejected for a card and pointing out which cards are additional user cards and that you are not responsible for paying the balance on those cards.
  • You won’t get approved for a Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card if you received a bonus for one of those cards within the past 48 months. You won’t be approved for a Sapphire family card if you already have an open Sapphire card. However you can change a Sapphire card to a Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex card, wait 2 days, and then apply for a Sapphire card, and you will get the signup bonus. If you apply and get rejected for being ineligible to open a Sapphire card due to these rules, your credit will not be pulled and your score won’t be affected.
  • As long as you are approved for a Chase Ultimate Rewards card, you will get the signup bonus.
  • If you are an additional user on someone else’s account you can still apply for the same card yourself and get the signup bonus.
  • You won’t get approved for a Freedom Flex card if you received a bonus for a Freedom Flex card within the past 24 months.
  • You won’t get approved for a Freedom Unlimited card if you received a bonus for a Freedom Unlimited card within the past 24 months.
  • If you apply and get rejected for being ineligible to open a Freedom card due to these rules, your credit will not be pulled and your score won’t be affected.
  • You can receive signup bonuses on Chase Ink cards multiple times. You can get the same card for the same business if you have a reason to need multiple cards or you can open the same card for different businesses.

Which cards are best?

All of these are excellent cards that each excel in their own areas. The good news is that you can convert from any of these consumer cards to another consumer card or from any these business cards to another business card as needed. There is no hard credit pull needed to change cards. You will only get a signup bonus for opening a new card, not for a card conversion. Note that some reps will only allow card conversions after you have had the card for 12 months.

How do these cards stack up against each other?

Ultimate Comparison Chart Of Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards

 Freedom FlexFreedom UnlimitedSapphire PreferredSapphire ReserveInk CashInk UnlimitedInk Preferred
Signup bonus20K points for spending $500 in 3 months 20K points for spending $500 in 3 months 100K points for spending $4,000 in 3 months
60K points for spending $4,000 in 3 months
75K points for spending $7,500 in 3 months.75K points for spending $7,500 in 3 months.100K points for spending $15,000 in 3 months.
Annual Fee$0$0$95 $550$0$0$95
Additional Cardholder Fee$0$0$0$75$0$0$0
Allows you to transfer Chase points from any card to airline milesNoNoYesYesNoNoYes
Annual Travel Credit (Airfare, hotels, car rentals, Uber, etc) $0$0$0$300$0$0$0
$100 Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee RefundNoneNoneNoneOnce every 4 years for Primary cardholderNoneNoneNone
Doordash Credit in 2021NoneNoneNone$60NoneNoneNone
Doordash Dashpass Membership3 free months3 free months12 free months12 free monthsNoneNoneNone
Lyft Pink, Grubhub+, Seamless+ MembershipNoneNoneNone12 free monthsNoneNoneNone
Peloton Credit in 2021NoneNone$60$120NoneNoneNone
Priority Pass membershipNoneNoneNonePrimary and secondary cardholders can bring 2 guests into a loungeNoneNoneNone
Value of points towards paid airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and activities1 cent1 cent1.25 cents1.5 cents1 cent1 cent1.25 cents
Chase Pay Yourself BackNoneNoneRedeem points at a value of 1.25 cents to offset dining, grocery store, and home improvement purchasesRedeem points at a value of 1.5 cents to offset annual fee, dining, grocery store, and home improvement purchasesNoneNoneRedeem points at a value of 1.25 cents to offset shipping and home improvement purchases
Points earned on everyday spending 1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar
Points earned on travel (Airfare, hotels, car rentals, Uber, etc) 1 per dollar (5 during bonus quarters)1.5 per dollar2 per dollar3 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar3 per dollar ($150K cap)
Points earned on travel booked via the Chase portal5 per dollar5 per dollar2 per dollar3 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar3 per dollar ($150K cap)
Points earned on advertising with social media sites and search engines 1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar3 per dollar ($150K cap)
Points earned on shipping 1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar3 per dollar ($150K cap)
Points earned on internet, cable and phone services 1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar5 per dollar ($25K cap on 5x categories)1.5 per dollar3 per dollar ($150K cap)
Points earned on office supply spending, including gift cards 1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar5 per dollar ($25K cap on 5x categories)1.5 per dollar1 per dollar
Points earned on dining 3 per dollar3 per dollar2 per dollar 3 per dollar2 per dollar ($25K cap on 2x categories)1.5 per dollar1 per dollar
Points earned on drugstores 3 per dollar3 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar
Points earned on $1,800+ Peloton purchases 1 per dollar1.5 per dollar5 per dollar through 3/31/2210 per dollar through 3/31/221 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar
Points earned on Lyft purchases 5 per dollar through 3/31/225 per dollar through 3/31/225 per dollar through 3/31/2210 per dollar through 3/31/225 per dollar through 3/31/225 per dollar through 3/31/225 per dollar through 3/31/22
Points earned on gas stations 1 per dollar (5 during bonus quarters)1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar2 per dollar ($25K cap on 2x categories)1.5 per dollar1 per dollar
Points earned on rotating quarterly categories 5 per dollar ($1,500 quarterly cap)N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
0% intro APR on purchases15 months15 monthsNoNo12 months with no effect on personal credit12 months with no effect on personal creditNo
Foreign transaction fee 3%3%0%0%3%3%0%
Cell Phone Damage and Theft Protection $800 of coverage with a $50 deductible.NoneNoneNoneNoneNone$600 of coverage with a $100 deductible.
US Car Rental CDW CoverageSecondarySecondaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasonsPrimary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasonsPrimary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasons
Worldwide Car Rental CDW CoveragePrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimary
Roadside Assistance Available for a $59.95 charge Available for a $59.95 charge Available for a $59.95 charge Free battery boost, flat tire service, 2 gallons of fuel delivery, towing, or lockout assistanceAvailable for a $59.95 charge Available for a $59.95 charge Available for a $59.95 charge
Purchase Protection for items damaged or stolen within 120 days$500 per item$500 per item$500 per item$10,000 per item$10,000 per item$10,000 per item$10,000 per item
Extended Warranty Protection1 extra year for items up to $10,0001 extra year for items up to $10,0001 extra year for items up to $10,0001 extra year for items up to $10,0001 extra year for items up to $10,0001 extra year for items up to $10,0001 extra year for items up to $10,000
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance$1,500 per person, up to $6,000 per trip with multiple travelers$1,500 per person, up to $6,000 per trip with multiple travelers$10,000 per trip or $20,000 per trip with multiple travelers$10,000 per trip or $20,000 per trip with multiple travelersNoneNone$5,000 per trip or $10,000 per trip with multiple travelers
Return Protection
NoneNoneNone$500/item up to $1,000/yearNoneNoneNone
Trip Delay ReimbursementNoneNone$500 per person for reasonable expenses (Hotel, food, toiletries, medicine, etc) required for delays more than 12 hours.$500 per person for reasonable expenses (Hotel, food, toiletries, medicine, etc) required for delays more than 6 hours.NoneNone$500 per person for reasonable expenses (Hotel, food, toiletries, medicine, etc) required for delays more than 12 hours.
Lost Luggage InsuranceNoneNone$3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, electronics)$3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, electronics)$3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, electronics)$3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, electronics)$3,000 per person per trip (limit of $500 per person for jewelry, watches, electronics)
Baggage Delay ReimbursementNoneNone$100 per day per person (max of 5 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, charger, etc) for delays more than 6 hours.$100 per day per person (max of 5 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, charger, etc) for delays more than 6 hours.$100 per day per person (max of 3 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, charger, etc) for delays more than 6 hours.$100 per day per person (max of 3 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, charger, etc) for delays more than 6 hours.$100 per day per person (max of 5 days) for essential items needed (Clothing, toiletries, charger, etc) for delays more than 6 hours.
Travel Accident InsuranceNoneNone$500,000 per person$1,000,000 per person$500,000 per person
$500,000 per person
$500,000 per person
Visa Savings Edge RebatesNoNoNoNoYesYesYes
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation due to injury or illness on a trip NoneNoneNone$100,000 for trips between 5-60 days, more than 100 miles from your homeNoneNoneNone
Repatriation of Remains Insurance NoneNoneNone$1,000 for a coffin and to return your body to your home country if you die on a vacationNoneNoneNone
Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit NoneNoneNone$2,500 for medical expenses on trips between 5-60 days, more than 100 miles from your home
NoneNoneNone
Subject to 5/24 rulesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Adds to 5/24 countYesYesYesYesNoNoNo
Download Guide of BenefitsFreedom Link

Freedom Flex Link
LinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

Create your own bifecta, trifecta, quadfecta, or quinfecta killer combo to supercharge your earnings

I’ve been talking about creating a Chase Trifecta since 2011. Over the years the components have changed, but the overall strategy to maximize your earnings has not.

As each Chase Ultimate Rewards card has their own benefits, the more diverse of a portfolio that you and/or your household has, the better you can optimize your spending. Chase allows you to transfer points between authorized users in your household, so you can maximize your spending and limit annual fees by taking advantage of household members. You can give authorized user cards to everyone in your household so that everyone can maximize their spending strategy.

You can transfer points from all of your Chase cards to your most valuable premium Chase card by clicking on combine points in the Ultimate Rewards portal. That portal also allows you to transfer points to authorized users, to airline miles, or to hotel miles. You can also check how much free travel or bonus category spending you’ve done on each of your cards in the portal. You can also book travel at a increased value of 1.25 cents or 1.5 cents by clicking on your most premium card in the portal.

Premium cards

The first key is to determine which of the premium cards to get. The no annual fee cards earn lots of points, but they can’t transfer points into airline miles and hotel points unless someone in your household has a premium card with an annual fee. There are 3 premium cards that will allow you to make those transfers, so someone in your household will want to have at least one of these cards.

The premium cards also don’t have foreign transaction fees.

  • The Sapphire Reserve is a consumer card with a $550 annual fee, but it’s actually only going to cost you $250 out of pocket. Or you can pay for part or all of the $550 annual fee with points at a value of 1.5 cents per point!
    • The signup bonus on this card is 60,000 points, worth $900-$1,200.
    • The card offers $300 in annual refunds that post automatically whenever you charge something that is categorized as travel, which includes airfare, Airbnb, car rentals, cruises, hotels, Lyft, subways, taxis, tolls, trains, Uber, UberEats, etc. It’s pretty easy to spend $300 over the course of a year given the wide range of eligible categories. For 2021, you can also get refunded for gas and groceries as part of the $300 refund.
    • You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on all travel or dining spend.
    • You’ll earn 10 points per dollar on Lyft through 3/31/22.
    • You’ll earn 10 points per dollar on $1,800+ Peloton purchases through 3/31/22.
    • You’ll get $120 back on Peloton membership fees through 12/31/21.
    • Cardholders get their first $60 of DoorDash spending in 2021 refunded!
    • Cardholders get a free year of DoorDash DashPass to save money on deliveries, a $9.99 monthly value.
    • Cardholders get a free year of Lyft Pink and Grubhub+ or Seamless+, a $19.99 monthly value!
    • You’ll get a Priority Pass lounge membership that allows you to bring 2 guests with you into over 1,000 airport lounges. There are now many airports with restaurants that have $28 credit per person with Priority Pass membership. I’ve used that to get free granola bars, potato chips, and drinks to go!
    • You’ll get a full rebate every 4 years when you buy Global Entry/Pre-Check membership. That means you can skip the lines and forms when flying back from abroad and you can leave your shoes on, laptops in their bags, and go through metal detectors when flying from the US. It makes flying so much easier!
    • You’ll get free roadside assistance and a plethora of travel/medical/baggage insurance and benefits.
    • All of your Chase points can be used for a minimum value of 1.5 cents each towards travel if you have this card. Or you can transfer Chase points from any of your household’s cards into airline miles or hotel points.
    • Your points are worth even more with Pay Yourself Back. You can points to offset any dining, grocery store, or home improvement purchases at a rate of 1.5 cents per point through at least 9/30 and the program is now a permanent feature of Ultimate Rewards. You also keep the points earned on purchases that you offset with points, which makes your points worth up to 1.57 cents each!
    • You can also pay back all or part of your annual fee at a value of 1.5 cents per point through at least 12/31/21 with Pay Yourself Back, so 36,666 points would cover the annual fee in full.
    • This is the only card that charges an annual fee for additional cardholders as they each get their own Priority Pass lounge membership. If you don’t care about that membership, you can always request replacement cards or non-metal to have spare cards. If you do add an additional user card you can cancel the card within 30 days to get back the fee. The secondary Priority Pass membership will be cancelled, but the credit card will still work as secondary Chase consumer cards have the same exact card number, expiration date, and CVV as the primary cardholder’s card.
  • The Sapphire Preferred is a consumer card with a $95 annual fee.
    • The signup bonus on this card is 100,000 points, worth $1,500-$2,000 when used ideally.
    • This card offers 2 points per dollar on all travel or dining spend.
    • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on Lyft through 3/31/22.
    • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on $1,800+ Peloton purchases through 3/31/22.
    • You’ll get $60 back on Peloton membership fees through 12/31/21.
    • All of your Chase points can be used for a minimum value of 1.25 cents each towards travel if you have this card. Or you can transfer Chase points from any of your household’s cards into airline miles or hotel points.
    • Your points are worth even more with Pay Yourself Back. You can points to offset any dining, grocery store, or home improvement purchases at a rate of 1.25 cents per point through at least 9/30 and the program is now a permanent feature of Ultimate Rewards. You also keep the points earned on purchases that you offset with points, which makes your points worth up to 1.28 cents each!

Note: The Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve’s spending categories are similar, so you’ll only need one of these cards as part of an optimized spending strategy. Personally, I prefer the Sapphire Reserve as that card allows you to redeem all of your Chase points (including the points of an authorized user) at a minimum value of 1.5 cents per point on paid airfare, car rentals, hotels, and vacation activities. You will still get trip insurances, even when you use points to pay for the trip.

My goal is to receive a value of 2 cents per point via transfers to miles, but having a minimum value of 1.5 cents per point when mileage redemptions aren’t valuable can be very useful and it makes your points much more versatile.

That being said, Sapphire Preferred also makes your points more valuable and transferrable to miles and points. Plus, you can signup for the richer Sapphire Preferred signup bonus and then upgrade to Sapphire Reserve at a later date.

It’s always important to check and see if you’ll do better with airline miles/hotel points for a redemption or if you’ll do better by just using Chase points for a redemption. You’ll also need to bear in mind the taxes owed on an award ticket and the miles you can earn by using Chase points towards a paid airline ticket or hotel stay. Finally you also need to bear in mind that it is typically free to cancel and refund an award ticket, while paid tickets may have free changes, but won’t have free cancellations.

  • The Ink Preferred is a business card with a $95 annual fee.
    • The signup bonus on this card is 100,000 points, worth $1,500-$2,000 when used ideally.
    • This card offers 3 points per dollar on up to $150K in annual spending on online advertising, shipping, and travel.
    • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on Lyft through 3/31/22.
    • All of your Chase points can be used for a minimum value of 1.25 cents each towards travel if you have this card. Or you can transfer Chase points from any of your household’s cards into airline miles or hotel points.
    • Your points are worth even more with Pay Yourself Back. You can points to offset any shipping and home improvement purchases at a rate of 1.25 cents per point through at least 9/30 and the program is now a permanent feature of Ultimate Rewards. You also keep the points earned on purchases that you offset with points, which makes your points worth up to 1.28 cents each!
  • The Ink Plus card is no longer offered to new customers. The Ink Plus card is a premium card with a $95 annual fee. Benefits are similar to the Ink Cash card, with 5 points per dollar earned at office supply stores and telecom, but it has a higher annual cap of $50K in 5x spending instead of $25K on the Ink Cash card. The Ink Plus card also earns 2 points per dollar on up to $50K of annual spending on gas and hotels and it has no foreign transaction fees. You can convert an Ink Plus card into any existing business card, but you can’t convert back to an Ink Plus card again.
  • The JPMorgan Reserve card is only available to JPMorgan private bank clients. It mimics the Sapphire Reserve card, with some added benefits like United Club membership and a credit line that is not reported on your personal credit report.

Non-premium cards

The next step is to determine which of the non-premium cards to get. These no annual fee cards earn lots of points, but they can’t transfer points into airline miles and hotel points unless someone in your household has a premium card with an annual fee. There are currently 4 non-premium cards to choose from, and it’s ideal for someone in your household to have 1-3 of these cards. These cards all carry a 3% foreign transaction fees.

  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a consumer card with no annual fee.
    • The signup bonus on this card is marketed at $200, but will actually come in the form of 20,000 points. Used ideally, those points will be worth $300-$400.
    • This card markets itself as earning 1.5% cash back, but really it earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. Used ideally, that’s 2.25%-3% back everywhere.
    • This card earns 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstore purchases, plus 5 points per dollar on travel booked via the Chase portal.
    • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on Lyft through 3/31/22.
    • 0% APR on purchases for 15 months.
  • The Chase Ink Unlimited is a business card with no annual fee.
    • The signup bonus on this card is marketed at $750, but will actually come in the form of 75,000 points. Used ideally, those points will be worth $1,125-$1,500.
    • This card markets itself as earning 1.5% cash back, but really it earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. Used ideally, that’s 2.25%-3% back everywhere.
    • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on Lyft through 3/31/22.
    • 0% APR on purchases for 12 months, with the added benefit of there being no effect on your personal credit score as this is a business card.

Note: The Freedom Unlimited and Ink Unlimited cards are very similar, so you’ll only need one of these cards as part of an optimized spending strategy.

  • The Chase Freedom Flex is a consumer card with no annual fee.
    • The signup bonus on this card is marketed at $200, but will actually come in the form of 20,000 points. Used ideally, those points will be worth $300-$400.
    • This card markets itself as earning 5% cash back in rotating categories, but really it earns 5 points per dollar in rotating categories. Used ideally, that’s 7.5%-10% back in rotating categories.
    • The maximum spending in the rotating categories is $1,500 per quarter.
    • Rotating categories have included restaurants, Amazon, Walmart, telecom, department stores, grocery stores, gas stations, wholesale stores, mobile payment purchases, and more.
    • This card earns 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstore purchases, plus 5 points per dollar on travel booked via the Chase portal.
    • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on Lyft through 3/31/22.
    • 0% APR on purchases for 15 months.

Note: The old Freedom Visa card is no longer offered but you can still change from another consumer Chase Ultimate Rewards card to it. The Freedom Visa is very similar to Freedom Flex Mastercard. The Freedom Flex Mastercard adds cell phone insurance, as well as 3x points on dining and drugstores and 5x points on travel booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. One potential downside of the Freedom Flex Mastercard is that Costco only accepts Visa, so the Freedom Flex Mastercard won’t work there. Generally speaking, this isn’t a good card for Costco anyway as it only earns 1 point per dollar there, but when Freedom has wholesale clubs or gas (which works at Costco) as the quarterly bonus then you may want the Freedom Visa. However, you can also purchase Costco Cash cards on Costco.com with a Mastercard that can be used in store.

  • The Chase Ink Cash is a business card with no annual fee.
    • The signup bonus on this card is marketed at $750, but will actually come in the form of 75,000 points. Used ideally, those points will be worth $1,125-$1,500.
    • This card markets itself as earning 2% cash back or 5% cash back in select categories, but really it earns 2 or 5 points per dollar everywhere. Used ideally, that’s 3%-4% or 7.5%-10% back in those categories.
    • The 2 point categories include up to $25,000 of annual spending on gas stations and restaurants.
    • The 5 point categories include up to $25,000 of annual spending at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and cell phone bills.
    • Stores like Office Depot/Max and Staples sell gift cards to hundreds of other stores and you’ll earn 5 points per dollar. If you shop at Amazon, Airbnb, Bed Bath & Beyond, Bloomingdale’s, BP, Cabela’s, Delta, DisneyLand/DisneyWorld, eBay, Express, Gap, Google Play, Groupon, Home Depot, iTunes, JCrew, Kohl’s, Lands End, LLBean, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Marshalls, Nike, Nordstrom, Safeway, Sears, Shell, Southwest, Starbucks, StubHub, Target, TJMaxx, Uber, Whole Foods, and more, you can be earning 5 points per dollar by buying their gift cards. Some gift cards are available online and many more are available in store.
    • You can even buy $300 Visa gift cards from Staples from the comfort of your home, which will earn 5 points per dollar. Office Depot/Max and Staples often run promotions to save even more on Visa gift cards.
    • Your local school or charity will be more than happy to accept donations of Amazon gift cards for supplies or any other useful gift cards for chinese auctions, raffles, fundraisers, etc. They will give you a tax deductible receipt for the full face value-the price you paid for the gift cards. And at the same time you’ll earn 5 points per dollar. So while doing good you can still get a nice chunk of points and you’ll save on your taxes.
    • You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on Lyft through 3/31/22.
    • 0% APR on purchases for 12 months, with the added benefit of there being no effect on your personal credit score as this is a business card.

Creating a Killer Combo with Hybrid Points:

Having cards from the same bank that compliment each other can help you rack up the miles more rapidly and spend them more lucratively. The sum of a killer combo is worth more than its parts.

While airline miles and hotel points can allow you to get some truly insane values for your points, they can also be devalued at any time. That’s why I keep transferable points and send them over to airlines and hotels on demand as needed.

I call points like Chase Ultimate Rewards “hybrid points” as you can get an increased value for your points when they are used towards travel or you can transfer the points into airline miles or hotel points.

The increased value of points sets a minimum value you can get from your points and it protects you from points being devalued. You can get a higher value for your points by transferring them into airline miles and hotel points, but having the ability to use your points at an increased value for paid travel makes them into hybrid points. You can choose to redeem them for either paid travel or award travel, depending on which provides a better value.

Creating A Chase Quinfecta Killer Combo

Stacking multiple Ultimate Rewards cards together can supercharge your earnings by getting you more points per dollar while increasing the value of all your points.

Chase Bifecta would consist of a household that has the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve or Ink Preferred and the Freedom Unlimited. The total effective annual fees would be either $95 with Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred or $250 with Sapphire Reserve after accounting for that card’s $300 annual travel credit, though you can use points to cover the Sapphire Reserve card’s annual fee. With the Sapphire Preferred+Freedom Unlimited bifecta for $95/year you would earn 1.5 points per dollar everywhere, 2 points per dollar on all travel, 3 points per dollar on dining and drugstores, and 5 points per dollar on travel booked via Chase. You’ll be able to transfer all of your points into airline miles or hotel points or use the pay yourself back feature.

A Chase Trifecta adds a no annual fee card like Ink Cash or Chase Freedom Flex into the mix, so your total effective annual fee will still be $95 or $250. Both of those cards give options to earn a whopping 5 points per dollar in various categories on top of the 2-3 points per dollar that the Sapphire cards offer and the 1.5-5 points per dollar everywhere else with a Freedom Unlimited card.

A Chase Quadfecta would add both the Ink Cash and Chase Freedom Flex on top of a Sapphire card and an Unlimited card, so your total effective annual fee will still be just $95 or $250. The Quadfecta is the sweet spot and allows you to really supercharge your spending everywhere.

Chase Quinfecta could add the Ink Preferred to that mix, adding $95 to the annual fee total. This make sense if you spend money on shipping, social media advertising, or search engine advertising, or if you want free cell phone insurance.

Alternatively, you can create a Chase Quinfecta by adding a card like the Chase United Explorer card or United Quest Card into the mix. You can read more about those cards here. While those cards don’t earn Ultimate Rewards points, they make your Ultimate Rewards points more valuable when transferred to United. Having a United card enables you to have access to significantly expanded United saver and standard award space in addition to benefits like 1 or 2 free checked bags, free carry-on bags, and priority boarding, even when you’re on a basic economy fare.

Or you can add a card like the Chase World Of Hyatt Card which offer exclusive promotions and award rebates for cardholders, and comes with an annual free night at Hyatt category 1-4 hotels. It’s my favorite hotel credit card and program and you can transfer your points to Hyatt to make your Ultimate Rewards points more valuable.

Again, all of these cards don’t need to be in one person’s name. 2 people from the same household can split up the requisite cards that make up the Quinfecta, as they can transfer the Ultimate Rewards points back and forth between themselves freely and they can add each other as an authorized user on their cards!

Once you have these cards and create your own killer combo, here is the the ideal way to spend

  • Everyday spending: Freedom Unlimited or Ink Unlimited 1.5x (2.25%-3% back)
  • Airfare: Sapphire Reserve 3x (4.5%-6% back) or buy gift cards at office supply stores on Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Airbnb: Sapphire Reserve 3x (4.5%-6% back) or buy gift cards at office supply stores on Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Amazon: Buy gift cards at office supply stores on Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Car rentals: Sapphire Reserve 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Cruises: Sapphire Reserve 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Drug stores: Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Federal taxes (1.96% processing fee applies): Freedom Unlimited or Ink Unlimited 1.5x (2.25%-3% back)
  • Foreign currency transactions: Sapphire Reserve 1x or 3x depending on the spending.
  • Gas: Ink Cash 2x (3%-4% back or 5%-6% back on Chevron, Sheetz, or Texaco with Visa Savings Edge) or buy gift cards at office supply stores on Ink Cash 5x, or buy during Freedom 5x Quarterly spending (7.5%-10% back).
  • Gift cards for other stores or Visa gift cards: Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Groceries: During rotating quarter on Freedom 5x (7.5%-10% back), buy gift cards for stores like Safeway or Whole Foods at office supply stores on Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back), or Freedom Unlimited 1.5x (2.25%-3% back).
  • Hotels: Sapphire Reserve 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Lyft: Sapphire Reserve 10x (15%-20% back)
  • Office supplies: Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Peloton over $1,800: Sapphire Reserve 10x (15%-20% back)
  • Restaurants and restaurant delivery: Sapphire Reserve, Freedom Flex, or Freedom Unlimited 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Rotating category spending (Up to $1,500 of mobile payments, gas, grocery, Amazon, Walmart in their respective quarters): Freedom 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Shipping: Ink Preferred 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Social media and Search Engine advertising: Ink Preferred 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Starbucks: Sapphire Reserve 3x (4.5%-6% back) or buy gift cards at office supply stores on Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Subways/Trains: Sapphire Reserve 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Taxis: Sapphire Reserve 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Telecom/Internet/Cell Phones/Cable: Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back). However Ink Preferred 3x (4.5%-6% back) and Freedom Flex 1x (1.5%-2% back) come with cell phone protection.
  • Travel booked via Chase portal: Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Uber/UberEats: Sapphire Reserve, Freedom Flex, or Freedom Unlimited 3x (4.5%-6% back) or buy gift cards at office supply stores on Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Wholesale Clubs: During rotating quarter on Freedom 5x (7.5%-10% back) or Freedom Unlimited or Ink Unlimited 1.5x (2.25%-3% back)

There are some caveats to all this of course…

  • This scenario is just for Chase cards and ignores other point currencies. It’s a good idea to have multiple currencies.
  • Using gift cards means the loss of credit card protections like extended warranty or air travel protections, so use them only when it makes sense to earn more points at the expense of potential protections.
  • You may want to prioritize Sapphire Reserve spending for travel related categories like Uber/UberEats before buying gift cards on an Ink Cash card if you otherwise would not hit the $300 in annual free travel spending, though in 2021 gas and groceries also count towards that $300 credit.
  • The value received per point is highly variable based on how you will use it. The nice thing about having a killer combo with a Sapphire Reserve is that you’ll receive a minimum of 1.5 cents per point. 2 cents is a good goal to set, so just compare the cost of a ticket or hotel to the amount of miles you’ll need for it to see how much value you are receiving.

Business card information, benefits, and 5/24

The Ink cards are business cards, but you may already have a business that needs a card to keep track of expenses. For example if your name is Joe Smith and you sell items online, or if you have any other side business and want a credit card to better keep track of business expenditures you can open a business credit card for “Joe Smith” as the business name. You don’t need to file any messy government paperwork to be allowed to do that. Just be sure to select “Sole Proprietorship” as the business type and just use your social security number in the Tax Identification Number field.

It’s important to just write your own name as the business name if you are just applying for your own small business as a Sole Proprietorship that doesn’t have any business paperwork.

If you’re like me and you run more than one business you can signup for multiple of the same card for each business to manage each businesses expenses separately.

All Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards are subject to 5/24 restrictions. That means it will be nearly impossible to get approved if you have been approved for 5 or more consumer credit cards in the past 24 months. Read more about that here. 

However, it’s important to note that business cards from most banks, including Chase business cards, do not get added to your 5/24 count of recently opened cards. That’s because business cards from most banks don’t show up on your personal credit report and the 5/24 count is based off of your personal credit report. That means that applying for these cards won’t “hurt” your 5/24 count.

Another benefit of business cards not reporting on your personal credit report is that your credit score won’t be hurt when you spend money on your cards. When you spend money on personal cards your score will be hurt even if you pay your bill on time. That’s because a whopping 30% of your credit score is based on credit utilization, so you lose lots of points even if you pay your bills before the statement due date. You can pay off your credit card bill before your statement close date to avoid that, but that takes effort and laying out money well before you have to. Additionally it’s good to have the statement close with a couple dollars to show the card is active and being paid every month. On business cards from banks like AMEX and Chase the spending is not reported on your personal credit report, so you can wait until the money is due without it having a negative effect on your score. That also means if you close the card, it won’t have an effect on your credit score.

The great thing about Chase Ultimate Rewards is how versatile and valuable they are

The Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred card allow you and anyone in your household to transfer Chase points into miles. They also allow you to use points at a value of 1.25 cents each towards travel.

The Sapphire Reserve also allows you and anyone in your household to transfer Chase points into miles. Plus it allows you to use points at a value of 1.5 cents each towards travel.

The fixed value is excellent and doesn’t require hunting down award space, but those points can be much more valuable by transferring them into airline miles or hotel points.

  • If I want to stay in a 5 star Park Hyatt in the Maldives, Melbourne, NYC, Paris, Sydney, or Tokyo that would cost over $1,000/night, I can instantly transfer 25-30K points to Hyatt to do that, a value of up to 6 cents per point.
  • If I need a one-way flight from Cleveland (or Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Montreal, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Toronto, etc) to NYC that can cost $500 each way, I can instantly transfer 7.5K points to British Airways to book a short-haul on American with no last minute booking fees. Or if American doesn’t have availability I can instantly transfer 10K points to United for their short-haul award. That’s a value of up to 7 cents per point.
  • If I want to stay in a non-chain hotel that costs $300/night and don’t want to pay cash, I can redeem 20K points for the room thanks to my Sapphire Reserve card’s minimum redemption value of 1.5 cents per point.
  • If I want to fly in a $15,000 ANA First Class Suite round-trip from the US to Tokyo, I can instantly transfer 55K or 60K points to Virgin Atlantic. That’s a value of up to 27 cents per point.
  • If I want to book a $2,285 business class ticket on Air Canada to Tel Aviv I can redeem 152K points for the flight thanks to my Sapphire Reserve card’s minimum redemption value of 1.5 cents per point. Plus I’ll earn 25K United miles as it’s considered a paid flight.
  • And thousands of other possibilities from Singapore couples suites to booking Southwest awards with 2 free bags and free cancellations, to stealing 2nd base in middle of an MLB game.

 

Chase 1:1 transfer partners include:

  • United (Star Alliance)
  • Singapore (Star Alliance)
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue (Skyteam)
  • British Airways (OneWorld)
  • Aer Lingus (OneWorld)
  • Iberia (OneWorld)
  • Emirates
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Marriott

Pay yourself back:

Back in May 2020, Chase added the ability to pay yourself back and redeem your Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve Ultimate Rewards points to offset any dining, grocery store, or home improvement purchases at a rate of 1.25 or 1.5 cents per point. They also added select charities to the program, which you can offset your donation with points.

That makes Chase points more versatile than ever.

Chase has extended those categories through 9/30/21 and tells me that Pay Yourself Back will be a permanent feature of the Ultimate Rewards program, and that they will add more cards and categories for the program in the future. This adds a ton of value to the Ultimate Rewards program as you can buy anything from those stores, even gift cards to other stores, and make them free by redeeming points at a value of 1.25 or 1.5 cents each. The ability to get that kind of value from your points even when you’re not traveling is outstanding.

A great feature of the program is that you keep the original points that the purchase earned, even though you paid yourself back for the purchase. That means your points will be worth more than 1.25 or 1.5 cents each!

In other words, if you spend $300 on groceries or dining on Sapphire Preferred, you can use 24,000 points to offset that purchase and make it free. Plus, you’ll still earn the 600 points for groceries or dining, so you effectively used 23,400 points to offset the purchase. That means your points were actually worth 1.28 cents each!

If you spend $300 on groceries or dining on Sapphire Reserve, you can use 20,000 points to offset that purchase and make it free. Plus, you’ll still earn the 900 points for groceries or dining, so you effectively used 19,100 points to offset the purchase. That means your points were actually worth 1.57 cents each!

Plus until at least 12/31/21, you can offset all or part of the $550 annual fee on Sapphire Reserve by using points at a value of 1.5 cents each!

What cards do you have in your killer combo?

I have 15 active Chase credit cards, including all of the cards in the Quinfecta mentioned in this post (Sapphire Reserve, Freedom Unlimited, Freedom Flex, Ink Cash, United). I also have multiples of cards like Chase Freedom, Ink Cash, and discontinued Ink Plus cards, as those cards have caps on their bonus spending categories.

That has allowed me to build up a nice stash of Ultimate Rewards points over the years:

By transferring points into airline miles and hotel points on demand as needed, I’ll make them worth far more than Chase thinks they are worth.

I don’t save the points as they don’t earn interest. Instead I spend 7 figures of miles every year and see the world in ways that I never imagined possible.

Some will call that crazy, but I just call it the best hobby on Earth.

So, which cards do you have to create a killer combo?

Leave a Reply

64 Comments On "[Updated] 2021 Ultimate Comparison Chart Of Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards; Supercharge Your Earnings By Creating Your Own Chase Quinfecta Killer Combo!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

Bill

Very useful chart, thanks Dan

S

Wow great write up will bookmark it

S

Now we need with amex

Boomerang

Doesn’t the Flex have cell phone insurance?

Matt

Verizon charges me extra to use credit card vs debit. It is a lot more so I can’t really justify this.

Dav

“All of your Chase points can be used for a minimum value of 1.5 cents each towards travel if you have this card. Or you can transfer Chase points from any of your household’s cards into airline miles or hotel points”

Only towards travel booked thru chase direct, correct?
And also the points from the other cards needs to be transferred first to the reserve to be able to redeem them at 1.5. Correct?

Danfan

Wow what a useful chart.
I would like to see chase eventually providing cell phone insurance protection on the sapphire reserve and as a hint I recently got an email offer if I charge $20 to my chase account they’ll give me a $10 credit on my reserve card would live to see where this is going maybe they’ll add it …

@yungermanchik

Just a note: the Old (regular) Freedom is still available for a product change (i.e. downgrade)

Yoel

I have tried to get a chase Ink card but they keep asking me for my official papers, which I dont have as it is just a side hustle. ANy way around it?

Chase

How do you do a trifecta do you call chase or you can do it online

Tlv

You get all three cards.
If u are referring to combining points. You can do that online

Anonymous

Dan, are upgrade offers considered a pull to 5/24 or a credit check?

Jose

Excellent comparison! Could you add to your chart the United Club card and the new one United Quest which gives you 100,000 sign up bonus? Thanks.

Tlv

It is not part of the Ultimate Rewards family

micha levy

Thanks for this article. I wish there was more clarity how to redeem or transfer the points.

Points

That’s a lot of $ in points. Does it scare you that Chase could just shut you down on a whim and you’d lose it all? That thought bothered me after I read about some red flags that could endanger my accounts. I redeemed about 80% through ‘pay yourself back,’ so I could sleep at night. I guess if everything you do is kosher no need to worry? Still seems scary.

Will

Awesome write up Dan, so than you should always book travel with the sapphire reserve regularly and than after redeem for 1.5 (so u get 1.57) as opposed booking straight up at 1.5 is that correct?

Daniel

Yes, but the travel itself cannot be redeemed, only groceries, dining and home improvement. I paid $4,000 for Israel tickets and then redeemed $4,000 worth of groceries and dining with pay yourself back on the same statement.

L

Good post. Chart should be updated to reflect 5x points earned on travel booked via the Chase portal for Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited, right?

Zack

What is return protection??

N P

My husband and i both have sapphire cards, his we downgraded and i have my preferred for the 1.25 exchange. we want to get a sapphire reserve, is it worth getting rid of a plain sapphire in order to be eligible for the reserve? How long must we wait from when we close the other reserve

KMC

Thanks for the info.

I know transferring UR is best, but lets say I wanted to use the travel portal with a reserve. Do I lose member perks such as late checkout, free wifi etc when booking OTAs like chase/expedia portal?

Chaim

Everyday spending: Freedom Unlimited or Ink Unlimited 1.5x (2.25%-3% back)
*********
What are the numbers in parenthesis? Is it 1.5% or 2.25%-3%?
Confused….

TC

It’s 1.5 points. based on Dans minimum value of 1.5 to 2 cents per point, 1.5 points is worth between 2.25 to 3 percent back.

Pay day

Whats the best cc to use for nys income tax ?

TC

Read the post…
Everyday spending, Freedom Unlimited or Ink Unlimited where you earn 1.5 points per dollar.

Chashu Ramen

Would you mind comparing the high annual fee credit cards like CSR vs Platinum vs Hilton Aspire vs Marriott Brilliant as well?

RR

Yes I second that. Would love a post like that!

Matt

Awesome work on this Dan. I am going to stick with Cash back and 5% categories on multiple cards. I don’t travel enough to really capitalize on this but I am amazed by your knowledge on this. My game is below.

Chase Freedom Flex 5% categories
Chase Freedom Classic 5% categories
Discover 5% categories
Bank of America Cash Rewards 3% Online
U.S. Bank Cash + 5% on Categories
Fort Knox/Abound Credit Union 5% unlimited on gas
PayPal Key to utilize BofA and or 5% categories above and Amazon Debit Gift card reload.
Citi Double Cash for anything I can’t catch above

I’m averaging about 3% on my spending.

Jeff Horowitz

If you have a chase freedom can you open a freedom unlimited and get 0% APR on purchases and the sign up bonus still?

AAA

Please add the “all about” tag to it.
I was searching for it last week and couldn’t find it by “all about”.

Elina

I still have the old Freedom card. does it make sense and can it be changed into Freedom/Unlimited?

Y

I already have the Sapphire Reserve and the Freedom set (all 3) as well as the Ink Cash, flew United a few times and hoping to book a few tickets to Israel using Chase points when there’s another sale, do I gain much by getting a United card, which might help if I can transfer Chase points to United and get a better deal on the tickets? Or will I not gain much if I don’t fly too often? And if it’s worth getting a United card, which would you recommend I sign up for?
Going to sign my wife up for the Sapphire Preferred later, so I already have to spend a bunch on that to hit that bonus, and I’m not sure I can spend that much more right now, unless I wait for the United sign up…
Thanks so much!!

aron

I applied for a freedom unlimited card and i am am authurized user on a different freedom unlimited card and i was denied i called to reconsider and was asked if i am responsible to pay the bills and i didnt understand what she meant so i said i am responsible; can i call back and ask to reconsider and say its not my responsibility
please let me know thank you

Harvey

Just wanna say thank you for the comprehensive comparison chart. Extremely helpful and not available anywhere else (that I could find). Kudos!

MC

Hi Dan, I’m not sure that I understand, in regards to the Chase Freedom Flex you write the following:

“This card markets itself as earning 5% cash back in rotating categories, but really it earns 5 points per dollar in rotating categories. Used ideally, that’s 7.5%-10% back in rotating categories.”

If you transfer the points to the Sapphire Reserve I see how the 5% becomes 7.5% but how do get it to 10%? TIA

Sim

@Dan, I just tried to add a user on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and it stated that there was a $75 Additional Cardholder Fee. Please update your chart above.

Dovid

Why use pay yourself back, wouldn’t I be better off using a 2 percent cash back card like citi double cash for everyday purchases, rather than freedom unlimited 1.5 percent cb with then transfering to a sapphire preferred where ill get 25 percent bonus with using ‘pay yourself back, Which will only get me to about 1.87 percent cash back per dollar?

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