Straight cash back (Citi Double Cash, Costco Everyday ) is becoming more lucrative in a loyalty point environment fraught with devaluations, but don’t abandon point systems just yet. Miles & Points systems still have lucrative redemption sweet spots and there are creative ways to multiply the benefits of any one card by combining points.
The Two Cards That Are Powerful in Their Own Right
The Chase Freedom card earns 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on commonly used spend categories (like groceries, gas stations, home improvement stores). This Chase program recently released their Q4 promotional categories: department stores, wholesale clubs, and drug stores.
That means you will earn 5 points per dollar for Costco/Sams Club/Walgreens/Cvs/Kohl’s purchases on your freedom card and those are categories many people use regularly.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the single most powerful Chase card. If I could only have one Chase card in my wallet, this would be it.
- Earn 100K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s $1,500 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card
- 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,500 toward travel
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 900+ airport lounges worldwide with complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre√®
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
I wrote a whole post about the benefits, so read it to catch up.
How to Make the Two Cards Dance Together
Since both cards are Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, you can transfer the points earned with the Freedom card to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card. When you have a Reserve card, you can redeem the points at a fixed rate of 1.5 cents per point.
So if you spent $100 dollars at Costco next month, you will earn 500 points that you can redeem for $7.50 in travel costs.
Thus, you will yield a 7.5% cash back equivalent for a wide range of purchases for the rest of the year.
Summary of Credit Card Combo: One – Two Punch
By combining the benefits of certain cards as described above, you will increase your earnings and accelerate your progress towards the next vacation redemption.
Another example that was often used was to combine points from Citibank’s Prestige and Premier cards. Both cards are part of the Citi Thank You Points system, similar to Chase’ Ultimate Rewards system. I don’t leverage the Citi TY system as much because the sweet spot is redemptions for American Airlines flights (minimum 1.6 CPM redemption, which is good) and I don’t fly AA often.
Get creative to multiply the benefits of any one card by combining the points from another!
Will you be taking advantage of this two card combo?