- Petros Ring
Chase Ultimate Rewards has industry-leading credit cards with best-in-class transfer partners, travel portals, and cards to choose from. By using three of their cards, a trifecta, you can maximize your points earnings with your everyday spending.
You do this by using the card for its best category for each of the three cards. In this guide, we’ll go through which cards to get from Chase, how to target your spending on each card, and how many points you can earn a year just through everyday spending.
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Chase Trifecta in 2022
The Chase Trifecta consists of a combination of a Chase Sapphire, Freedom Flex, and a Freedom Unlimited card. The goal of the chase trifecta is to utilize each card for its most effective spending categories. The Chase Sapphire has main bonus categories of 3x points on restaurants and travel, the Chase Freedom Flex on its rotating quarterly bonus categories where you earn 5x points for up to $1,500 of spend per quarter, and the Chase Freedom Unlimited on every other purchase earning 1.5x points per dollar spent.
If you’re a new user, or haven’t had one of these cards in 4 years (like me), then you’ll be able to receive up to 100,000 combined bonus points for $5,000 of spending in the first 3 months of opening the cards. One item to note as well with signing up for these cards is Chase limits you to opening 2 cards in 30 days so you’ll need to stagger opening all 3 cards to fit into this rule.
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The first choice to make in your trifecta is between the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Preferred is a great choice if you’re just starting with its low annual fee of $95 and it currently has a great signup bonus of 60,000 points for $4,000 of spending in the first three months.
The key difference between the Sapphire Preferred is instead of the main bonus categories being 3x on restaurants and travel it is 3x on restaurants and 2x on travel. Additionally, the travel portal will only give you 1.25 cents per point when booking through it versus 1.5 cents per point with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a fairly hefty price tag of $550 per year for the annual fee. You can offset that with a $300 travel credit per year which works on almost any form of travel – think Ubers, hotels, airplane tickets. So your effective annual fee if that is the only useful benefit of this card comes down to $250 per year. In terms of comparing the cards, if you’re going to be spending over $15,500 per year on travel then it makes sense to get this card for the increased travel category earnings, otherwise, stick with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Chase Freedom Flex
The Chase Freedom Flex allows you to earn up to 7,500 additional points per quarter by giving you 5 points per dollar spent up to $1,500. If you maximize this you’ll be getting up to 30,000 points per year through this card. The quarterly categories this year have ranged from grocery stores to Amazon and even gas stations currently.
Also when you sign up for the card you’ll be eligible for a sign-up bonus of 20,000 (advertised as $200) points after spending only $500 in the first 3 months. This is one of the best sign-up bonuses for this card in years and they’re also offering 5% back at gas stations (up to $6,000) for the first year you have the card. Which will certainly help with the prices at the pump these days.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Finally, you’ll want to get either the Chase Freedom Unlimited card to use for spending on everything else you might buy. With a consistent 1.5 points per dollar spent with this card, you’ll be able to fill in all the gaps where the other two card’s spending categories aren’t useful. Currently, the card is also offering 3% back on drug store purchases and dining at restaurants.
Just as with the Chase Freedom Flex you’ll also receive a 20,000-point sign-up bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months.
Is the Chase Trifecta Worth It?
It depends on how much you spend but below we have some example spending categories based on the average American's yearly spending. With just restaurants, grocery stores, and gasoline you could earn 38,500 points, worth over $770 based on a 2 cents per point valuation.
|Spending Category||Card To Spend||Average American Yearly Spend||Ultimate Reward Points|
|Groceries||Chase Freedom Unlimited||$4,000||6,000|
If you also maximize the Chase Freedom Flex categories over the year with $6,000 of spending you’ll be able to receive an additional 30,000 points. With this combination of cards, it’s not unreasonable to be earning over 75,000 Ultimate Rewards points just by using the right card when you spend your money.