This is something that actually happened several weeks back, though I thought it would be useful to look at how I got to this point and how you can (potentially) as well.
What Chase does better than any other card issuer
In my opinion what Chase has done better than any other card issuer is create a card ecosystem where you can pool points across various cards, whether you’re looking at a premium card or a no annual fee card, or are looking at a personal card or business card.
Chase realizes that there’s not a “one size fits all” card for consumers, and therefore being able to pool points across Chase cards with different benefits and bonus categories gives them the edge over competitors.
The Chase “holy grail”
In the past I’ve talked about how the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® are the best personal credit card duo out there, and about how the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card might be the best business card duo out there, for example.
While those duos are nice, then there’s the Chase “holy grail,” in my opinion. Call it whatever you’d like — the Chase sextuple, the Chase royal flush, or whatever.
Specifically, I’m referring to having the following six cards:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (personal cards, $450 and $95 annual fees, respectively)
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card (business card, $95 annual fee)
- Chase Freedom® (personal card, no annual fee)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® (personal card, no annual fee)
- Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card (business card, no annual fee)
- Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card (business card, no annual fee)
It wasn’t easy to get the full six card “collection,” but boy was it worth it.
By having all of these cards I get some pretty incredible bonus categories:
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3x points on dining and travel
- The Ink Business Preferred offers 3x points on the first $150,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable, phone services, and advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
- The Chase Freedom offers 5x points on rotating quarterly categories, on up to $1,500 of spend
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5x points on all purchases
- The Ink Business Unlimited offers 1.5x points on all purchases
- The Ink Business Cash offers 5x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on office supply stores, internet, cable TV, mobile phones, and landlines, and 2x points on the first $25,000 of combined purchases per cardmember year on restaurants and gas stations
When you add it all up, I’m earning 1.5-5x points per dollar spent, which I consider to be an excellent return. Best of all, four of these cards have no annual fee.
What about the annual fees?
It’s true that I’m paying $545 in annual fees, including the $450 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and the $95 annual fee on the Ink Business Preferred. However, I’m getting a lot in return for that.
In the case of the Sapphire Reserve I’m getting a $300 annual travel credit (which I value more or less at face value), a Priority Pass membership, a 20% discount on Silvercar rentals, and more.
In the case of the Ink Preferred I’m getting an incredible cell phone protection benefit.
Best of all, by having these cards I have the flexibility to transfer my points to one of the Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners, or I can redeem them for 1.5 cents each towards a travel purchase, which is some great flexibility to have.
How do you actually get all of these Chase cards?
I’ve had points credit cards for over a decade now, so part of the reason I’m so excited to finally have all of these cards is because of how tough it is to actually get to the point where you have all these cards, at least if you’re as impatient as I am.
Chase has quite a few restrictions in place when it comes to getting approved for their cards. These include:
- The 5/24 rule, whereby you typically won’t be approved for a card if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months
- You typically don’t want to apply for more than one Chase card every 30 days, just to be on the safe side
- There’s generally a maximum total amount of credit Chase will extend you, which varies by person (this means that sometimes to be approved for new cards you’ll need to switch around your credit lines)
So for me, getting this card portfolio has taken a long time:
- I’ve had the Chase Freedom and Ink Business Cash for many years
- I had the Chase Sapphire Preferred for years, and then product changed that to the Chase Freedom Unlimited
- I applied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve in late 2016, shortly after it was introduced
- I then had to get under the 5/24 limit, which took a while, and then applied for the Ink Business Preferred in October 2018 and the Ink Business Unlimited in November 2018, a bit over a month later
If you are looking to get to a point where you have all of these cards, slow and steady is definitely the approach to take.
No doubt the credit card landscape is evolving, as we see more issuers introduce more compelling cards.
However, being able to have all of these cards while paying reasonable annual fees on just two cards is a great value, in my opinion. It took many years to get to the point where I had the entire six card collection, and I’m very happy about it.
Anyone else have the Chase “holy grail?”