Rewards Credit Cards

How to Combine Chase Cards to Maximize Rewards

If you have a Chase rewards credit card, you're probably already aware of the valuable points you can earn for your spending. But what if you could earn even more by keeping another Chase card in your wallet?

There are many advantages to having more than one Chase rewards credit card—including earning rewards for different types of spending and redeeming your points at a more favorable rate. By choosing the right cards and planning ahead, you may be able to take your rewards earnings to the next level. Read on to learn how.

Do Chase Cards Earn Different Rewards?

Each Chase rewards credit card is different from the next, mainly in how you earn and redeem your points. Some Chase cards allow you to earn Chase Ultimate Reward (UR) points for your spending, while others allow you to earn points that can be used with specific hotel or airline reward programs.

The value of your rewards earnings will depend on what you want to use the points for. If you are a frequent flier and are loyal to one airline—like United, for example—you may want to get the Chase UnitedSM Explorer co-branded card so you can get United-specific benefits when flying with that airline. Similarly, if you have a family and stay in hotels often, you may consider getting a co-branded hotel credit card, like the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM card.

If you don't want your rewards tied to a specific brand partner—and you want the ability to maximize your Chase card rewards—you can opt for a more flexible card that earns points you can use in various ways. The cards listed below make up the four core Chase personal cards.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
    This card earns 3 points per $1 spent on travel and at restaurants, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred®
    This card earns 2 points per dollar spent on travel and at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
    This card earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Cash back with this card is stored as UR points: Every $1 spent is equivalent to 1 point.
  • Chase Freedom®
    This card earns 5% cash back up to $1,500 per quarter in rotating bonus categories each quarter you activate. All other purchases earn 1% cash back automatically. Cash back with this card is stored as UR points: Every $1 spent is equivalent to 1 point.

Choosing one or more of these cards will greatly depend on what you typically use your credit cards for each month. If you spend a lot on eating out and traveling, one of the Chase Sapphire cards is your best bet. If you spend more on merchandise or other retail and less on travel and restaurants, consider one of the Chase Freedom cards. Your Chase rewards really add up, however, when you carry more than one of these cards, which can allow you the flexibility to use travel rewards and perks when you need them or cash back when that's more to your advantage.

Redeeming and Transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

The Chase Sapphire cards offer amplified reward redemption values when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. So instead of redeeming your rewards at the usual 1 cent per point earned, you'll get a boosted value of 1.5 cents per point earned with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card and 1.25 cents per point earned with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® when booking on the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. That's 50% and 25% more value, respectively—which makes booking through Chase highly attractive.

Another great advantage to the Chase Sapphire and Freedom cards is your ability to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points from one card to another, giving you further opportunity to get that amplified rewards rate. As long as you have one Chase card from the Sapphire family in your wallet, you can transfer your earned Freedom card points to your Sapphire account to get the higher-value redemption. There is no penalty for doing this, and the payoff can be significant depending on your purchase.

Which Chase Cards Should I Have in My Wallet to Maximize Rewards?

To achieve maximum earning and redemption potential with your Chase cards, you'll want to have at least one Chase Sapphire card, which offers extra rewards for travel and dining, and one Chase Freedom card, which helps you earn amplified rewards for general purchases. This strategy allows you to maximize your point earnings—and get an extra bonus when you redeem your rewards through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

How to Get a Chase Credit Card

Applying for a Chase credit card is just like getting any other card, but there is one thing to consider before sending in your application. Chase's 5/24 rule is an informal rule that essentially restricts consumers from getting approved for a new Chase card if they've opened five or more credit cards in the past 24 months. So before applying for a new Chase card, consider getting a free copy of your credit report so you can check how many credit cards you've opened in the past 24 months if you're unsure.

If you want to apply for a Chase card, or want to browse other cards that might be right for you, check out Experian CreditMatchTM, which will show you offers matched to you based on your credit profile.

The information related to the Chase UnitedSM Explorer credit card, Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM credit card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve® credit card has been collected by Experian and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card.