Ultimate Comparison Chart Of Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards; Supercharge Your Earnings By Creating Your Own Killer Quinfecta!

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What’s in your wallet?

Chase Ultimate Rewards cards

Business cards:

  • The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card is currently offering 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $5,000 of spending within 3 months.
  • The Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card is currently offering $500 cash back in the form of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within 3 months.
  • The Chase Ink Business Cash Card is currently offering $500 cash back in the form of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within 3 months.
  • Previous cards like Ink Bold, Ink Classic, and Ink Plus are no longer being issued.

Consumer cards:

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is currently offering 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $4,000 of spending within 3 months.
  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is currently offering 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within 3 months.
  • The Chase Freedom Card is currently offering $150 cash back in the form of 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $500 of spending within 3 months.
  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is currently offering $150 cash back in the form of 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after $500 of spending within 3 months.
  • The JPMorgan Reserve card has the same offers as Sapphire Reserve, but is only available for JPMorgan Private banking clients.

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.
  • 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 can receive a signup bonus on the Sapphire Preferred/Sapphire Reserve family of cards once every 48 months. You won’t be approved for a Sapphire family card if you already have an open Sapphire card, though you can change your existing Sapphire card to a Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card before opening a new Sapphire card.
  • You can receive a signup bonus on the Freedom card once every 24 months.
  • You can receive a signup bonus on the Freedom Unlimited card once every 24 months.
  • You can receive a signup bonus on the Ink Cash card once every 24 months for each business that you manage.
  • You can receive a signup bonus on the Ink Unlimited card once every 24 months for each business that you manage.
  • You can receive a signup bonus on the Ink Preferred card once every 24 months for each business that you manage.
  • The 24 or 48 months period starts from when you received the last bonus on that card.

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.

How do these cards stack up against each other?

Ultimate Comparison Chart Of Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards

 Ink PreferredSapphire ReserveSapphire PreferredInk CashInk Unlimited FreedomFreedom Unlimited
Signup bonus80K points for spending $5,000 in 3 months.50K points for spending $4,000 in 3 months
50K points for spending $4,000 in 3 months
50K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.50K points for spending $3,000 in 3 months.15K points for spending $500 in 3 months 15K points for spending $500 in 3 months
Annual Fee$95$450$0 for the first year, then $95 $0$0$0$0
Additional Cardholder Fee$0$75$0$0$0$0$0
Allows you to transfer Chase points from any card to airline milesYes
Yes
Yes
NoNoNoNo
Annual Travel Credit (Airfare, hotels, car rentals, Uber, etc) $0$300
$0$0$0$0$0
$100 Global Entry/Pre-Check Fee RefundNoneOnce every 4 years for Primary cardholder
NoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Priority Pass membershipNonePrimary and secondary cardholders can bring 2 guests into a loungeNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Value of points towards paid airfare, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and activities1.25 cents1.5 cents1.25 cents1 cent1 cent1 cent1 cent
Points earned on everyday spending 1 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar
Points earned on travel (Airfare, hotels, car rentals, Uber, etc) 3 per dollar ($150K cap)3 per dollar2 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar (5 during bonus quarters)1.5 per dollar
Points earned on advertising with social media sites and search engines 3 per dollar ($150K cap)1 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar
Points earned on shipping 3 per dollar ($150K cap)1 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar
Points earned on internet, cable and phone services 3 per dollar ($150K cap)1 per dollar1 per dollar5 per dollar ($25K cap on 5x categories)1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar
Points earned on office supply spending, including gift cards 1 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar5 per dollar ($25K cap on 5x categories)1.5 per dollar1 per dollar1.5 per dollar
Points earned on dining 1 per dollar3 per dollar2 per dollar 2 per dollar ($25K cap on 2x categories)1.5 per dollar1 per dollar (5 during bonus quarters)1.5 per dollar
Points earned on gas stations 1 per dollar1 per dollar1 per dollar2 per dollar ($25K cap on 2x categories)1.5 per dollar1 per dollar (5 during bonus quarters)1.5 per dollar
Points earned on rotating quarterly categories N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A5 per dollar ($1,500 quarterly cap)N/A
0% intro APR on purchases/balance transfersNoNoNo12 months with no effect on personal credit12 months with no effect on personal credit15 months15 months
Foreign transaction fee NoneNoneNone3%3%3%3%
Cell Phone Damage and Theft Protection $600 of coverage with a $100 deductible.
NoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNone
US Car Rental CDW CoveragePrimary on rentals primarily for a business purpose, secondary on rentals for personal reasonsPrimaryPrimaryPrimary 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 reasonsSecondarySecondary
Worldwide Car Rental CDW CoveragePrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimaryPrimary
Roadside Assistance 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 Available for a $59.95 charge Available for a $59.95 charge
Purchase Protection for items damaged or stolen within 120 days$10,000 per item$10,000 per item$500 per item$10,000 per item$10,000 per item$500 per item$500 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$5,000 per trip or $10,000 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 travelers
NoneNone$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
Return Protection
None$500/item up to $1,000/year
NoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Trip Delay Reimbursement$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.
$500 per person for reasonable expenses (Hotel, food, toiletries, medicine, etc) required for delays more than 12 hours.NoneNoneNoneNone
Lost Luggage Insurance$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)NoneNone
Baggage Delay Reimbursement$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 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.NoneNone
Travel Accident Insurance$500,000 per person
$1,000,000 per person
$500,000 per person$500,000 per person
$500,000 per person
NoneNone
Visa Savings Edge RebatesYesNoNoYesYesNoNo
Emergency Evacuation and Transportation due to injury or illness on a trip None$100,000 for trips between 5-60 days, more than 100 miles from your home
NoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Repatriation of Remains Insurance None$1,000 for a coffin and to return your body to your home country if you die on a vacation
NoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Emergency Medical and Dental Benefit None$2,500 for medical expenses on trips between 5-60 days, more than 100 miles from your home
NoneNoneNoneNoneNone
Subject to 5/24 rulesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Adds to 5/24 countNoYesYesNoNoYesYes
Download Guide of BenefitsLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

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 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.

Personally, I’d recommend the Sapphire Reserve, but you can definitely make the argument for the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred.

  • The Sapphire Reserve is a consumer card with a $450 annual fee, but it’s actually only going to cost you $150 out of pocket.
    • The signup bonus on this card is 50,000 points, worth $750-$1,000.
    • 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.
    • You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on all travel or dining spend.
    • You’ll get a Priority Pass lounge membership that allows you to bring 2 guests with you into over 1,000 airport lounges, including lounges with kosher food and wine in Newark and Tel Aviv. 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 if you have this card. Or you can transfer Chase points from any of your household’s cards into airline miles or hotel points.
    • 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, which is waived for the first year.
    • The signup bonus on this card is 50,000 points, worth $750-$1,000.
    • This card offers 2 points per dollar on all travel or dining spend.
    • All of your Chase points can be used for a minimum value of 1.25 cents each if you have this card. Or you can transfer Chase points from any of your household’s cards into airline miles or hotel points.

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.

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 cheaper to cancel an award ticket than a Chase point redemption towards a paid airline ticket or hotel stay.

  • The Ink Preferred is a business card with a $95 annual fee.
    • The signup bonus on this card is 80,000 points, worth $1,200-$1,600.
    • This card offers 3 points per dollar on up to $150K in annual spending on online advertising, shipping, and travel.
    • All of your Chase points can be used for a minimum value of 1.25 cents each if you have this card. Or you can transfer Chase points from any of your household’s cards into airline miles or hotel points.
  • The Ink Bold and Ink Plus business cards are no longer offered to new customers. Ink Bold cards were recently converted into Ink Plus cards. 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 $150, but will actually come in the form of 15,000 points. Used correctly, those points will be worth $225-$300.
    • This card markets itself as earning 1.5% cash back, but really it earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. Used correctly, that’s 2.25%-3% back everywhere.
    • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
  • The Chase Ink Unlimited is a business card with no annual fee.
    • The signup bonus on this card is marketed at $500, but will actually come in the form of 50,000 points. Used correctly, those points will be worth $750-$1,000.
    • This card markets itself as earning 1.5% cash back, but really it earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere. Used correctly, that’s 2.25%-3% back everywhere.
    • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers 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 is a consumer card with no annual fee.
    • The signup bonus on this card is marketed at $150, but will actually come in the form of 15,000 points. Used correctly, those points will be worth $225-$300.
    • This card markets itself as earning 5% cash back in rotating categories, but really it earns 5 points per dollar in rotating categories. Used correctly, 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.
    • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
  • The Chase Ink Cash is a business card with no annual fee.
    • The signup bonus on this card is marketed at $500, but will actually come in the form of 50,000 points. Used correctly, those points will be worth $750-$1,000.
    • 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 correctly, 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.
    • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, with the added benefit of there being no effect on your personal credit score as this is a business card.
  • The Ink Classic business card is no longer offered, but mimics the features found on the Ink Cash card.

Killer Combos

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.

A Chase Bifecta would consist of a household that has the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve and the Freedom Unlimited or Ink Unlimited. The total effective annual fees would be either $95 or $150. With the Sapphire Preferred you would earn 2 points per dollar on travel/dining and 1.5 points per dollar elsewhere. With the Sapphire Reserve you would earn 3 points per dollar on travel/dining and 1.5 points per dollar elsewhere. Either way you’ll be able to transfer all of your points into airline miles or hotel points, but with the Sapphire Preferred you can also use the points with a value of 1.25 cents each towards travel, while the Sapphire Reserve allows you to use the points with a value of 1.5 cents each towards travel.

A Chase Trifecta adds a no annual fee card like Ink Cash or Freedom into the mix, so your total effective annual fee will still be just $95 or $150. 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 points per dollar everywhere else with an Ink Unlimited or Freedom Unlimited card.

A Chase Quadfecta would add both the Ink Cash and Chase Freedom on top of a Sapphire card and an Unlimited card, so your total effective annual fee will still be just $95 or $150. 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 into the mix. This card also carries a $95 annual fee like the Ink Preferred card, but may be more useful to many people if they don’t need the Ink Preferred’s bonus categories. This card doesn’t earn Ultimate Rewards points, but it makes your Ultimate Rewards points more valuable. Having that card enables you to have access to significantly expanded United saver and standard award space in addition to benefits like 2 free club passes, a free checked bag, a free carry-on bag, and priority boarding, even when you’re on a basic economy fare. See more about those benefits here.

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 quinfecta, here is the the correct way to spend

  • 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)
  • Everyday spending: Freedom Unlimited or Ink Unlimited 1.5x (2.25%-3% back)
  • Federal taxes (1.87% 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/Taxis: Sapphire Reserve 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Office supplies: Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Restaurants: Sapphire Reserve 3x (4.5%-6% back)
  • Rotating category spending (Up to $1,500 of mobile payments, gas, grocery, dining, 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)
  • Telecom/Internet/Cell Phones/Cable: Ink Cash 5x (7.5%-10% back)
  • Uber/UberEats: Sapphire Reserve 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.
  • While Ink Cash does earn 4% cash back at Alamo and National in addition to 1 point per dollar, it only offers primary car rental insurance on business trips. Sapphire Reserve offers coverage on all trips worldwide.
  • 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.
  • The value received per point is highly variable based on how you will use it. The nice thing about having a killer combo with 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 $25,000 ANA First Class Suite round-trip from the US to Tokyo, I can instantly transfer 110K or 120K points to Virgin Atlantic. That’s a value of up to 23 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)
  • JetBlue
  • Southwest
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Marriott

Should you transfer points into miles to redeem Chase points for paid travel?

 

What cards do you have in your killer combo?

I have 14 active Chase credit cards, including all of the cards in the Quinfecta mentioned in this post (Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred, Freedom Unlimited, 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, 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

182 Comments On "Ultimate Comparison Chart Of Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards; Supercharge Your Earnings By Creating Your Own Killer Quinfecta!"

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SH

Can I get this chart in Excell?

duh

sure. Just copy and paste. takes a second

Ab

I’m loving the Title

Davidrotts63

TLDR

Jk…well done

Davidthebest

Dan, on another topic , do you know to say if barclyas business credit cards are showing up on the credit report , and counting against 5/24 ?

Joegee

Dan, on the business card, does chase consider how much credit they have extended you on your personal credit cards? I have a credit limit of over 100k on personal credit cards with chase.

Davidthebest

1.Does chase allow to transfer points between your household even if they are not an AU on your account?

2. Can I transfer points between any AU or there is a limit of 1 AU that i can transfer points to ?

Oleg

Yes and Yes

Malya

So the only time I should be using my regular Freedom card is for the bonus categories?

Pad18

wow what a well done job !

THANK YOU !

Malya

Also, is there a way to actually get my points as a cash back? I have tons of points that I thought I would use for travel but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. How else can I redeem my points besides travel/ hotels?

Davidthebest

I have the ink preferred instead on the sapphire as it gives 3 points on travel as well. And for dining I have the ink cash. And If I want to use points towards paid airfare I can at any time upgrade one of my freedoms to a sapphire

A.H.

So Dan you only use Chase Cards or is there a gap where Amex or Citi comes in? (Besides for sign up bonuses)

Davidthebest

Bookmark saved for this post…

Yoni

If I have a sapphire reserve, and it’s been 2 years beyond when I received the bonus, is the correct move to demote the card and reapply for it? Should I do it just before the next annual fee?

Avi

Dan, in order to rack up so many UR points, I’m assuming you really need to spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on credit cards, even if taking into account all the sign up bonuses and bonus categories.
Can I realistically expect to rack up a lot of points that can earn me some amazing trips or hotel stays, if I’m not a very big spender and I don’t have that many expenses overall?
Basically is it worth having so many cards if I don’t have that much to spend on them?

mf

Dan
will chase approve you for a card if your not eligible for the signup bonus?
I applied for a second ink unlimited and got approved will i get the signup bonus?

JohnnieD

I’m getting 3X on all spend for a year with CFU.

Grace

$2,500 for medical expenses on trips between 5-60 days, more than 100 miles from your home

Can I take a 5 day vacay to get a (otherwise not covered) root canal job done? Any experience with this benefit?

Eli

You can rest assured you won’t.. It’s most probably only for medical emergencies occurred then.

Going10

Find your nearest College Dentistry school is what I would suggest

Dan the man

Hey Dan i’m wondering, i have the sapphire reserve with 2 authorized users on it. Are those 2 cards adding to my 5/24? Thanks

Pad18

No. They don’t show up on your credit.

Eliraps

Thank you!!!
If i apply for a Sapphire preferred, how long do i have to wait before upgrading to a Reserve?

Yudi

I’m a bit confused here. The post starts off with mentioning 3 business cards and 3 consumer cards. Then the next paragraph it says that all of the above are subject to 5/24, but the next sentence says that even Chase business cards aren’t subject to 5/24. Can you clarify? Thanks

ckmk47

Business cards are subject to 5/24 but they don’t COUNT towards your total 5. So you’re eligible for a business card when you’re 4/24, and the new card won’t make you 5/24, you’ll stay 4/24.

Eli

Dan, Which office supply store sells Amazon GC? Staples doesn’t, unless you can use a Whole foods GC at amazon ??

Jb

always wondered this. Let’s say I purchased as airline ticket with miles but used the chase reserve to pay the $5 taxes. Does that automatically qualify me for the full insurance in case bags r lost, flight delays or trip cancellation?

Pad18

I am 99% that yes you qualify.
But wait to be on someone to confirm that.

Slots

Dan I recently asked for a replacement card for my saphire reserve and then sent me a card with a different CVV.

Pad18

Of course you got a different, usually you ask a replacement because of lost/damage, so they change in case someone else finds your lost one and try to use it

chaim

if you book your trip via the chase rewards ultimate website for your sapphire reserve at the value of 1.5 per dollar do you get all the benefits of the card – i know for the cdw coverage it works but what about for the lost luggage ,trip interruption etc.

Phil

Awesome research and efforts!! Thanks, Dan! You rock!!

Me

I have the quinfecta plus the Amex Gold Card to capitalize on the 4 points on groceries. I don’t have the United Explorer tho as I’m not sure I can justify the additional $95. (I can’t replace the Ink preferred because a) I do a lot of shipping in my business and b) I sometimes do business travel and can’t use my personal Sapphire Reserve to get the 3 points).

United

Just wondering if I buy a gift card for Staples on the MIleagePlus X App using the Ink Cash card, will that be considered office supply spending and get 5 points per dollar?
Not sure why that App hasn’t yet received full coverage on DD.
I needed to buy something in Staples. Before I checked out, I went on the app and bought a Staples gift card for the exact amount that I needed to spend. (took a few seconds – the app has all the credit cards which are stored in my United Mileage plus account). Because I used a chase card, I received a 25% bonus. Usually you get 3 United miles per dollar for Staples (4 points for OfficeMax). With this promo, I got 1875 miles for buying a $500 gift card. And the miles were credited immediately!! I understand that when buying with a gift card I don’t get the protection that buying with a credit card has. But if the Ink Cash card will give 5 points per dollar when buying a Staples or OfficeMax gift card, on top of the 3.25 points per dollar that United credits IMMEDIATELY, the oppotunities here are infinite….
The charge for the Staples gift card shows on my Chase account as “MPX*STAPLES”

mordy

Any reason to keep ink Bold if i also have Sapphire Reserve (I do spend some $$ on Telecom)

Sara Leah

Two novice questions –

1) I have had a Freedom card for quite a while now (don’t know how long but more than 24 months). Can I just close the account and reapply in order to get the signup bonus? Should I change to Freedom Unlimited?
2) I just purchased 2 tickets to Israel (Air Canada) using UR points on a Sapphire Preferred card. I was under the impression that I get all the trip protection benefits automatically by redeeming through that card, but your post and the comments seem to imply otherwise. Will I be covered? If not, is there anything to be dome at this point or is it too late (short of paying the $300 per ticket change/cancellation fee)?

S

If you don’t mind mixing Chase and Amex – get the Amex Business Blue Plus for a minimum 2% points everyday spending (up to $50k a yr) and the Chase Freedom for the rotating 5% categories. I have the Business Blue Plus and actually just got the Saphhire Preferred because significantly better sign up bonus than Freedom, but will downgrade it to the Freedom after a year.

S

I wasn’t aware that you can only transfer to airline miles with one of the premium cards. So without the premium cards, they’re worth way less??

Beth

Can you downgrade from a business card to a personal card? Say a Chase Ink Preffered to a Chase Unlimited? Thanks!

Bl

Is there a website/app to check when I last received a sapphire bonus? To know when I can apply again and receive bonus?
Thanks.

neil amstrong

wow! an amazing post with tons of useful tips.
keep up to be ‘mezake rabim’

Eli

How about reserving a car rental from the ultimate rewards portal, with reserve points to get the 1.5 value, I noticed they don’t charge the hefty car rental taxes, but what’s with canceling such a reservation, does anyone have experience with this?
And how about getting to choose from national aisle choice when reserving a midsize through chase? (same question applies when booking through Expedia, Hotwire etc.)

Joetraveller

I’ve studied the post, and I don’t see how purchasing amazon gift card with an Ink card yields 7.5-10%. What am I missing?

A.H.

Any recommendations for a wallet that can accommodate me for this post?

Chaim

Dan, what is your opinion on Capital One Venture Card, which offers 60k sign on bonus and 2 points per dollar on all spending categories. Thank you.

MK

Is my spouse covered when purchasing tickets with my sapphire Reserve, without being an authorized user?

Steven

Too bad the Reserve doesn’t offer a rebate on a Nexus card

MOSHE NEUMANN

i want to apply for the Ink Preferred, would i get the travel medical insurance, travel cancellation insurance, luggage insurance benefits if i already booked booked flights with a different card?

Michael

I have a Sapphire Reserve. If I use it to purchase 2 airline tickets for me and my wife on the same reservation, will she enjoy the same travel benefits, such as Trip Cancellation, Travel Accident Insurance etc. as I do?

dave

what kind of benefits does an authorized user have on sapphire preferred card if they do not reside at same address as primary cardholder?

for example: can authorized user get primary car rental insurance? can primary cardholder transfer points to authorized user’s United mileage account?

SM

If you’re first starting out with Chase credit cards and can open a business account, which 2 would you start with?
Would you do the Ink Preferred for the sign up bonus right now and a Sapphire Reserve for the 1.5X value? Or is it smarter to open 1 of the above along with a Freedom Unlimited for the 1.5X on everyday spending?

Moshe

Is 80k sign up bonus considered good or should I wait around till the give a 100k offer?

blurrb

An advantage to the Sapphire Preferred over Reserve is that additional card users are free and get primary rental insurance. Was helpful for my spouse who needed it and would have been more expensive to add an additional user on the Reserve.

jim smith

You can get around this by asking for a free replacement card

SaraE

I live abroad but my cc address is in the States. When flying to the States to visit family, I am really traveling but I am now staying at my home address… How does the reserve travel insurance work in such a case?

Ben

I only have 2 freedoms and an ink cash. Is there any way to get more value then a cent a point?

mo

Fantastic. Always a wonder that the cc themselves cant figure out how to do this…

cf

@Dan i have the Chase ink Business Plus, i do not see you mention this card, why?

jim smith

@Dan – Can you convert any card (legacy Ink card ) or any personal card into the Ink Preferred and receive the 80k signup bonus or do you have to apply for the card as a new card?

Miriam

Thanks Dan for this amazing post!!!
I opened a reserve 2 years ago and last year before the AF i downgraded it to the freedom unlimited.
Can i upgrade it back to the reserve (of course without 50k sign up)? Will i get all other benefits like $300 credit on travel?

Miriam

How would you compare between the Roadside Assistance benefit and AAA?

Moot

Dan,

Thank you so much for these types of posts! I really look fwd to them. One question though. Why would someone get the Freedom unlimited over the Ink unlimited? I cant find one benefit that it has over the ink (as long as you have the regular freedom as well to get the trip cancelation insurance). Plus the ink wont count towards 5/24 and wont hurt your credit utilization %. Am I missing something?

el

regarding all the examples of uses of Chase points mentioned at the end of the post, what is the exact formula you use to determine if it is more valuable to book through Chase portal or through mileage program. i am trying to figure it out (and i happen to be good at math), but i cannot seem to find the formula you use….

Moot

My formula would be to use 1.5 cent value as a baseline for anything. If you can find a hotel/airline program that you would be able to transfer to and receive a value higher than that, it would be worth it to transfer. So for example, in the first example Dan gave of the $1000/night to stay at a Park Hyatt, he is using 25k – 30k through a transfer to Hyatt program whereas using points as cash at a 1.5 redemption would require 66k points for a $1000 room. So basically calculate how many points would be required to use if you were to use them as cash at 1.5 and then see if you can find a program that requires less miles for that same award.

aa

Thanks Dan for all your wonderful posts and updates

Please write some good spending options for the people that got banned from chase.

Capital One

@Dan any info on capital one’s 5/24 rule?

joe

dan are you sure on the ink preferred it 3x on travel when i log in and download a statement it comes up like this
+ 2 Points per $1 on trvl, ship, adv, telecom

Sam

Dan,
I have the old Ink Plus which I pay $95AF for, and recently signed up for Ink Cash no AF…any reason for me to keep the Ink Plus as I can get 5x on office supplies with no AF.. what are your thoughts on this? thanks

Josh

Hi Dan, thanks for all you do. I’m in the construction business and am looking for a credit card that does more then 1 point per dollar in this category?

IGBES

Can I get the reserve for my business?

dave

Hi:
You never clarified whether primary cardholder(sapphire preferred) can transfer UR points to authorized user’s who does NOT live in same household United mileage account

dave

If I have an ink business plus card can I get the bonus on a new ink business cash card for the same business? Thanks

bo

dan, can you let me know what I am missing? I have the reserve with 150k miles, and when I looked into booking tickets, it was coming out way more expensive than just using a regular travel agent? it seems like I would get much more just selling them to a company that takes miles, but am I missing something? thanks.

chaim

not strictly related to the trifecta but is there a non chase credit card that offers a rebate on global entry with a reasonable annual fee

eli

Dan,

I would sign up for the ink unlimited using your link today.
However should I be nervous of chase shutting me down if I just closed the ink cash 2 months after having it for only 3 months?

Chaim

Dan would applying for a ink card affect applying for a residential mortgage In 6 months?

Avi

Hey Dan, thanks for this exceptionally great post.
Just want to bring to your attention, Chase has targeted 30,000 points sign up bonus for the freedom card.

Shlepper

How can i dispute hard inquiries? I opened a chase card and my credit score dropped with 62 points! Any leads?

yh

Dan can you do a write up on the best way to make 0% Apr credit cards and get free balance transfers? ( Or do you have a link to an article discussing this already?) I have $60k credit card balances I need to pay up shortly ( to avoid having to pay interest) and would love to know how I can transfer them so that I will have another 12-15months (or more) to pay up this balance.
Thank you!

Javier

Dude, you are amazing!!! Thanks for taking the time and sharing such a valuable information. Keep up the great work!

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