Travel on Point(s)

How do you maximize earning Chase points? That's easy. Obtain the Chase Trifecta. CSP/CSR, the Freedom Flex and the Freedom Unlimited (or Ink Unlimited) make an almost perfect trio of cards for bonus and non-bonus spending!

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How do you maximize earning Chase points? That's easy. Obtain the Chase Trifecta. CSP/CSR, the Freedom Flex and the Freedom Unlimited (or Ink Unlimited) make an almost perfect trio of cards for bonus and non-bonus spending!
Travel on Point(s) is an independent, advertising-supported website. This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites like Cardratings.com. This compensation does not impact how or where products appear on this site. Travel on Point(s) has not reviewed all available credit card offers on this site. Reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any partner entities.
So you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or a Chase Sapphire Reserve and you're really excited to continue the award travel journey. But what is your next move? How do you maximize earning Chase Ultimate Rewards? That's easy. Obtain the Chase Trifecta. CSP/CSR, the Freedom Flex and the Freedom Unlimited (or Ink Unlimited) make an almost perfect trio of cards for bonus and non-bonus spending! Let's dig deeper, shall we?

Part One: CSP/CSR

As we have discussed over and over again, everyone should have a CSP or a CSR. These cards are incredibly versatile, earning 2x or 3x for food and travel, and both offering industry-leading insurance. The CSP has a current offer of 60,000 and the CSR has the same standard offer of 60,000 point sign-up bonuses, both for $4,000 spend in the first 3 months. The CSP comes with a $95 annual fee and the CSR has a $550 annual fee, but includes a $300 travel credit per anniversary year. The first step in the Chase Trifecta is always a CSP or a CSR. If you're still on the fence, ask us questions to figure out which direction to go. There really isn't a wrong choice, other than not making one of these cards your first award travel card!

Part Two: CFF

The second piece of the Chase Trifecta is the Chase Freedom Flex. Arguably the 2nd best card in the Trifecta, the CFF currently offers a 20,000 UR sign-up bonus for a $500 spend in the first 3 months. It earns 5%/5x for travel booked in the Chase travel portal, 3%/3x at restaurants and pharmacies, and 5%/5x on up to $1,500 per quarter in rotating categories. Like the CFU, the CFF is a $0 AF card. Remember that CFU and CFF each state that they are a cash-back card. However, if you hold a CSP, CSR or Chase Ink Business Preferred, the “cash-back” earned is UR points that you can use in the Chase portal or by transferring to Chase's 13 travel partners. If you hit the $1,500 quarterly maximum, you'll earn $75/7,500 UR per quarter, for a total of $300/30,000 UR per year. While it is mildly annoying to track (and remember!) the various bonus categories each quarter, trust us when we say it is worth your time and effort to do so. We value UR at over 2 cents each, so you can earn over $150 in UR per quarter ($600/year) by tracking the quarterly bonus categories and hitting the $1,500 quarterly maximum. Once you hit the maximum of $1,500 per quarter, or for all non-bonus spend, the CFF earns 1x on all other spend.

Part Three: CFU/CIU

The last step in the Chase Trifecta is the Chase Freedom Unlimited. This card offers a $200/20,000 UR sign-up bonus for $500 in 3 months. Additionally, earn 5%/5x for travel booked in the Chase travel portal, 3%/3x at restaurants and pharmacies,  earns 1.5%/1.5x UR on all other purchases, and has no annual fee! Remember that CFU and CFF each state that they are a cash-back card. However, if you hold a CSP, CSR or CIBP, the “cash-back” earned is UR points that you can use in the Chase portal or by transferring to Chase's 13 partners. If you are eligible for business cards, the Chase Ink Business Unlimited(review) earns an identical 1.5x UR on all purchases and has an offer of 75,000 URs after $4,000 spend in 3 months. The CIU is the better option here, as it does not add to your 5/24 count. Sign-up bonus aside, the CFU (or Ink Unlimited) deserves a spot in your wallet. The CFU earns 1.5%/1.5x UR per dollar on all purchases. No restrictions or limitations whatsoever. If you swipe it for a purchase, you will earn 1.5%/1.5x URs or more. This card is a great option for all non-bonus spend in the short-term and long-term. With a $0 AF, this card should never leave your wallet!

Conclusion

So there you have it: the Chase Trifecta. While many argue that neither the CFF nor the CFU are worthy of a 5/24 spot (and you should only downgrade another UR-earning card to one or the other),ToP disagrees with this out-dated logic. That out-dated advice made sense when you could sign-up for both a CSP and a CSR and then downgrade one of them to a CFF or CFU, but that is no longer possible. Therefore, we believe that signing up for one or both definitely makes sense.  All three cards deserve a place in most wallets! As always, please leave your comments or questions below or in our Facebook group!
Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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