One of the main topics in the credit card rewards game is maximizing the rewards you earn on the spend you already do daily.
Whether you have been earning rewards for years now or you’re just getting started, you shouldn’t change your spend much now that you have rewards credit cards.
In my opinion (along with lots of others), there is no better set-up than the Chase Trifecta.
This trifecta allows you to spend what you normally spend but still rack up tens of thousands of points a year which can mean hundreds to thousands of dollars of vacations and travel to get you enjoying your life even more.
In this post, I’m going to run you through the entire Chase Trifecta and why you should be using it. So let’s get started.
Why The Chase Trifecta Is Important
The reason why the Chase Trifecta is one of the most popular credit card set-ups out there is because of how versatile it is. If you’re on this post, you probably understand how credit cards rewards systems work.
Depending on what you’re buying, you can get 5 points per dollar when you purchase something, you can get 3 points, 2 points or 1 point, etc.
Well, we all know that life makes us buy different things almost daily. We go grocery shopping one day of the week, get gas the next day, go to the doctor, and then run out of groceries and eat at restaurants for the rest of the week.
This set-up makes it so you are always earning as many Chase Ultimate Rewards points as possible. We’ll talk later about how valuable these are and what you can get with them.
This game is all about maximizing the spend you are already doing and picking the cards that will give you the most points for your hard earned dollars.
I want to clarify that the Chase Trifecta is probably the best out there but you can only get these cards if you are under the 5/24 rule.
This means if you have been approved for 5 or more credit cards from any provider in the last 24 months, you will automatically be denied for these cards.
Now that we know why getting this trifecta is important and the one rule preventing you from getting it, let’s get to the three cards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The first card I’m going to recommend to get is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. This card is actually the glue sticking all of this trifecta together which is why I’m mentioning it first.
The reason why this card is so important is because you can take all your Chase UR points and if you book for travel through the Chase Portal, your points get an extra 25% boost.
That could sound intimidating so let me show you what this means.
Let’s say within all your cards you have 25,000 points. If you want to book a plane ticket, your 25,000 points equals a flight worth $250.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, your 25,000 points isn’t worth $250. Chase multiplies the value of those points by 1.25. This makes your 25,000 points actually worth 31,250 or $312.50.
So in my mind, having this card allows you to basically make an extra 62.50 appear out of thin air. That’s how great this could be. (not to mention the travel partners which I’ll talk about later!)
This only involves the redemption of the points. The card itself is a great deal as well.
You get 2x points on anything dining or travel related and I can vouch that these are my two biggest expense categories out of everything I buy.
This study shows food is our most expensive purchase every year and we all know depending on our lives how expensive travel can be as well.
Wouldn’t you want a card that can give you double the points back every time you used it? This would ultimately allow you to use your UR points on some of your travel, allowing you to save the money that you would have spend anyway. How sweet is that!?
So if you’re a foodie or a roaming traveler, you’re going to end up wanting to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred pronto.
Now like I said earlier, the reason why the trifecta is so powerful is because you can capitalize on what you’re buying to get the most points using these three special cards.
With the Chase Freedom, 5x Chase UR points based on what the rotating category is for that specific quarter. Basically, every quarter (3 months) Chase announces new categories that are covered.
In recent quarters, there has been gas stations, drug stores, restaurants, and even Amazon.
Chase allows you to earn 5x points on up to $1500 in purchase in these categories per quarter or 7,500 points. When you combine this with the superpower from the Chase Sapphire Preferred where you get 1.25x the points, this equals 9,375 points.
This is an extra $93.75 towards travel that most of us spend anyway on these categories. These points add up to a lot at the end of the year.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Now we have your food and travel covered and we have the rotational categories down per quarter.
Now you’re probably thinking, “what about those doctor appointments and when I need to change the oil in my car? What card do I use then?”
This is where the Chase Freedom Unlimited comes in.
The Freedom Unlimited is the simplest card out of all of three of these because it earns 1.5x points for every purchase no matter what it is.
If you’re getting a haircut or paying off your Netflix subscription, you’re going to earn 1.5x UR points for both of these.
And once again, you can pair this up with the Sapphire card and get 2.25 points back basically that can be used on travel.
Basically this card is your last resort card, if you don’t have any card that will get you more, at least you’ll get 1.5x back.
How you could spend your points
Just for fun, now that you’ve learned the three cards that give you the best chance at maximizing your points in the credit card game, let’s see what you can get with these points.
You can fly around the United States and Caribbean for cheap with Southwest points
I’ve found deals for as low as 4,500 points each way. Southwest is tricky because their point value actually changes with the price of their tickets unlike United, but sometimes this can be a good thing.
When Southwest runs their sales of one-way flights for $49 or around there, make sure to check the points values for the flights. They almost always drop as well.
You can stay at a luxury hotel with Hyatt
Transfering your points to Hyatt is one of the best transfers you can make in the travel hacking game.
For example, you can transfer 25,000 points and get a free night at the Park Hyatt Maldives. This can easily be worth $1,000 depending on the time of year you go and would be worth every point.
To Wrap It Up
Everyone will have their own opinion on what the best card set-up is. Some only want cash-back cards or some will only want cards that help them with a specific airline or hotel.
In my opinion, if you want a general and diverse travel rewards option, the best one out there is the Chase Trifecta. It really helps you make the most of your everyday purchases.
Do you use the Chase Trifecta? Which cards are you missing if you don’t?
Let me know in the comments down below.
If you’re interested in learning everything about travel hacking, I have a post on the Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking for 2019 that will surely help you out so be sure to check that out.
And if you know someone that would enjoy this resource on the Chase Trifecta, please share it with them because it will probably help them out. Thank you!