At Last, I Have The Chase Credit Card Holy Grail

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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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:

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 $645 in annual fees, including the $550 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:

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.

Bottom line

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?”

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  1. Why are there 7 cards in the pictures, but six cards listed in the text? Are you an authorized user on someone else’s Sapphire Preferred? In the text you say you product changed the Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom Unlimited, so you wouldn’t have that anymore unless you just added your old card to the picture.

    I think most “normal” people don’t need the Ink Preferred if they have a Sapphire Preferred/Reserve (so they have points transfer capabilities) and the Ink Cash. You still get the 5x points on cable/internet/cell bills with the Cash. Don’t think the cell phone protection is worth $95/year.

  2. How the hell do you keep track of which card to use for which purchases? I have just three cards and I struggle to remember which ones give the best points for which purchases.

  3. I’ve got the Chase quad, CSR, Ink Business +, CFU and Freedom. The points earning for all 4 cards compliment each other nicely and make sure I am always receiving more than 1 point per dollar spent.

    Hopefully Chase can come up with some transfer partners to make up for losing Korean Air.

  4. @DCJoe, it says that he got the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and the changed to the Freedom Unlimited, and Inguess he kept the card

  5. I have all but the Ink Bus Unlimited… I see no need for it, not only since I am about 4 years from being 5/24 (see what I did there :-)), but also because I don’t have as many business needs/purchases as others.

  6. You didn’t name a single reason to have both Freedom Unlimited and Ink Unlimited.
    Similarly, if you have a Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred offers relatively small value (3x shipping/advertsement) over Ink Cash for most people.

    But then again, this is a commissioned advertisement post.

  7. I want to sign up for the Chase Ink Business Preferred, but already have Chase Ink Cash. Looking at the terms, I’m hesitant because of this line:

    “Chase cardmembers who currently have or have had a Chase credit card in any Rewards Program associated with this offer, may not be eligible for a second Chase credit card in the same Rewards Program. Chase cardmembers currently receiving promotional pricing, or Chase cardmembers with a history of only using their current or prior Chase card for promotional pricing offers, are not eligible for a second Chase credit card with promotional pricing.”

    Does this strictly refer to Chase Ink Business Preferred, or does this disqualify someone for the bonus if they already have a different Ink card?

  8. I notice that Chase’s 5/24 rule is mentioned in many posts regarding Business credit card offerings (including this one), however it has seemingly never been mentioned in any post mentioning Capital One’s offerings since their transfer option to travel partners was introduced.

    Why is this?

  9. @oleg – I guess if you wanted to segregate business and personal expenses then it might make sense to have both the Ink and Freedom Unlimited.

  10. @ Kevin Swanquist — You can get all three Ink Cards and get the bonuses on each (that’s what I’ve done). The terms above are in reference to getting the same product.

  11. @ UA — I’m not sure I totally follow? I mention 5/24 in this post because it’s a restriction for being approved for Chase cards. Sometimes when writing about other cards I mention that applying for them doesn’t count as a further inquiry towards the 5/24 limit. That’s because those cards are useful for those looking to stay under or get under limit.

    Hopefully that clears it up… let me know if you have any other questions.

  12. @ oleg — I have a business, and it’s useful to keep business and personal expenses separate. Along similar lines with the Ink Preferred, I try to keep personal and business expenses separate, and being able to earn 3x points on travel on the Ink Preferred is an awesome category for me.

  13. @ DCJoe — I figured it made sense to photograph the entire portfolio since I think it could make sense to have either the Preferred or the Reserve. Ford has the Preferred separately from me, so I added his card to the picture.

  14. Kind of funny that you completed the collection about the same time you decided to use the Citi Prestige for restaurant and air purchases. To each their own but this seems more like collecting baseball cards than actually having a useful credit card portfolio.

  15. I don’t understand the need to have a single 1.5% card, let alone two, unless you’re just going for the sign up bonus.

    Why not simply use the Amex Biz Plus Blue card for all your nonbonused spned? I’ll take my 2x MRs on unbonused all day long.

    FWIW, I have CSP, Ink Unltd, and Freedom; wife has CSR. How am I missing out?

  16. I had this until recently and while it’s a great combo it may not be optimal or necessary for most people to maintain. The best reason for everyone to eventually get all 6 (or 7) is for the signup bonuses. Keeping them after the first year just depends on individual preference and spend patterns.

    For the 4 no fee cards, there’s no cost to keeping them other than opportunity cost of potentially not being able to signup for another Chase card. Although (unless you’re disciplined about keeping personal and business spend separate) you might be even better off having just one of the Freedom Unlimited or the Ink Unlimited and multiple of the Freedom and Business Cash to max out the 5x categories further. The no annual fee personal cards are nice because you can keep them forever which helps your credit score.

    For the premium cards with a fee, you definitely need 1 to fully utilize the points but most people probably don’t need both unless you have a ton of personal and business spend in the applicable bonus categories that you want to do with just Chase.

  17. Is you Chase Business Cash the old grandfathered card that offers 3X for Gas, Restaurants, Office Supplies, and Home Repair? If so, this is the best card of them all!

  18. For chase business cards… Do they ever effect your 5/24 or is that only personal cards. Thought maybe Chase takes in to account business cards you’ve opened with them to 5/24

  19. I’ve had all for a few years. I dumped the business preferred card for an additional Ink cash card. Don’t need the phone insurance, and I am never letting go of my Sapphire Reserve, so transferring points isn’t an issue. Love Chase; will be back under 5/24 come October, and will pick up Hyatt, Marriott and United cards.

  20. When I got the Ink Business Unlimited a few months ago, I finally achieved the Holy Grail– I can’t believe I actually beat Lucky in doing anything travel-related! Now if I can only manage to use the points to visit the places you’ve been and stay at all those nice Hyatts you’ve reviewed. Thanks for writing the best travel blog day in and day out.

  21. Lucky, isn’t the Chase Sapphire Reserve now useless w/ the great perks of the Amex platinum, the amazing 4th night free of the Citi Prestige, and its 3X on travel and dining is surpassed by the Citi Prestige by a long shot (5X), and by the amex platinum if we’re just looking at flights, (though not dining).

    Also, ultimate rewards points are probably the least valuable compared to membership rewards and thankyou points — they have the fewest transfer partners and no really unique ones apart from, perhaps Hyatt?

    I’d like to see your thinking on this but truthfully I do not understand what makes Chase so special with all the new competition.

  22. With the loss of Korean Airlines as a transfer partner, Hyatt really is what makes Chase so special. Hyatt has the best hotel award chart and with so many Chase cards, including several with no annual fees, it’s possible to get 3-5X UR on most spend. No other flexible currency has a good transfer ratio to other hotel partners (or the other hotels’ award charts are ridiculously expensive). Granted, it’s possible to get 15-20 cents/ mile on airline award redemptions vs. 2-5 cents/point on better hotel redemptions. It’s just nice to get both.

  23. My favorite card last yr/til April this yr is my 3x CFU. I will apply for the CIU in April (after the 3x CFU runs its course) & be very relieved & satisfied, too!

    Chase is in a league of their own. AMEX, Citi, Cap1 have decent offerings but unless Chase makes some drastic changes to their card usage, my biggest expenditures remain with them.

  24. Sam, I think it is a rather unusual view that UR points are less valuable than TY because of the transfer partners. United and Hyatt are both unique and valuable, while Citi does not have any US airlines.

  25. Why the sapphire preferred in the picture? I mean why hold both the reserve and the preferred? makes totally no sense, unless you don’t really hold it and this is a commissioned advertisement post (and the pic serves that) as oleg pointed out

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