When it comes to credit card setups, the Chase setup is the most discussed one. Depending on the cards you are eligible for, it could either consist of three or four different cards. Before getting into detail, there are some things that you should know about.
Chase’s 5/24 Rule
Before applying for any Chase credit card, they have a very infamous unofficial rule. If you have been approved for 5 or more credit cards from any issuer in the last 24 months, you will not get approved for a Chase card.
Assuming you are eligible for one of these credit cards, here are the list of credit cards the Trifecta/Quadfecta consists of.
Ability to Pool Points
The great thing about the setup involves the pooling of points. While some of the cards in this list are advertised as cashback, if you transfer the cashback you earned to an Ultimate Reward earning credit card, that cashback actually becomes Ultimate Reward points which makes that earring rate much better. Once they are pooled together, you can then either redeem the points in Chase’s travel portal or transfer them out to partners. Depending on which card you redeem the points with or which travel partner you transfer too the value of the points will change.
The Freedom card is a no annual fee credit card that earns 5% cashback on rotating categories. The categories rotate every quarter. There is a limit of $1500 worth of purchases you can make in the 5% category before you max it out until next quarter. If you max out the category, you will only earn 1%.
Make sure to activate the 5% offer every quarter, otherwise your purchase will only earn 1%. You can do online, over the phone, or through the mail.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Freedom Unlimited is the foundation for the Chase setup. It earns 1.5% on all purchases with no maximum. As far as this strategy, you will want to use this card at any point where the purchase you’re about to make would earn less than 1.5% (out of category purchases).
Chase Sapphire Reserve/Preferred
When it comes to the third slot on the setup, you will want either the Reserve or the Preferred; personally I would recommend the Reserve though.
The Sapphire cards come with either a $95 or $450 annual fee. Both cards earn Ultimate Reward points, and thus, allow you to transfer your cashback from the other cards. Once the cashback is transferred, they become Ultimate Reward points. Those points can then either be redeemed in the Chase travel portal for 1.25x or 1.5x or transferred over to a transfer partner for the potential for even more value. Depending on the card you have of course, you will want to make sure the transfer earns at least 1.25 or 1.5 cents per point.
*Bonus/Quadfecta Card: Chase Ink Preferred*
If you happen to be eligible for a business credit card (it’s easier than you think), you may want to add a fourth credit card to this setup. Chase has three different business cards, the Ink Unlimited (Freedom Unlimited), the Ink Cash (Freedom), and the Ink Preferred (Sapphire Preferred). It makes sense to add the Ink Preferred to this setup.
The Ink Preferred comes with a $95 annual fee, however it can really help earn some extra points. The Ink Preferred earns 3x in any telecommunication purchases (telephone, internet, tv), advertising on social media/search engines, and shipping purchases. While you may say that the Ink Cash earns 5x back on those telecommunication purchases, the Ink Preferred also comes with cell phone insurance if you pay your cell phone bill on the card. Its up to you then, if you’d like to earn extra points or get the added protection (for me it’s the Ink Preferred).
Ideal Strategy Summary
Now that you’ve got your cards all laid out, here is how you use this setup properly:
- Chase Freedom 5% Category
- Chase Sapphire Reserve/Preferred: Dining and Travel
- Chase Ink Preferred: Telecommunications, advertising, shipping purchases:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited: Everything else that doesn’t fall into either one of these categories.
Basically, you’ll want to check if your purchase counts for the 5% category on the Freedom. If not, check which category it falls under. If it falls under dining, travel, telecommunications, advertising, or shipping then use the appropriate card. If it doesn’t fall underneath any of those, then throw it on the Freedom Unlimited to earn 1.5x instead of 1.0x.
What do you think of this strategy? Let us know if you have the complete setup and if it’s worth it to you!