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Define Chase Trifecta

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Super Contributor

Define Chase Trifecta

OK, educate me.

 

I'm up to three Chase credit cards now.  (Slate, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited)  At this point, the Slate sits empty and unused.  Freedom Unlimited is carrying a zero percent deal for a few more months, and Freedom is brand new and empty....I'll hit the SUB, then use it for another zero percent balance transfer.

 

So, it's not going to be today, but please do educate me regarding the Chase Trifecta.  I'm up to three cards, can I use them to my advantage post BT shuffle?

 

Please and thank you.

 

12/01/19 Fico 8: EX 732, EQ 732, TU 755.
11/08/19 Fico 9: EX 733, EQ 740, TU no idea...
Zero percent financing is where the devil lives...

Firmly in the garden until the next pre-approval arrives!
Message 1 of 17
16 REPLIES 16
Super Contributor

Re: Define Chase Trifecta

Chase Trifecta refers to having a trifecta of UR cards - Freedom and Freedom Unlimited paired with either CSP or CSR to get maximum value from travel partners (CSP and CSR can be replaced with an Ink card too I believe, I don't know the details there). 



01/2019:
12/2019:

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Message 2 of 17
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Define Chase Trifecta

The trifecta is defined as the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and either the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred.

 

Earn your UR (Ultimate Rewards) points by using the card with the best reward for a given purchase. Then transfer your points from the Freedom cards to the Sapphire for better redemption options.

 

Some will add a Chase UR-earning business card into the mix.

Message 3 of 17
Frequent Contributor

Re: Define Chase Trifecta

Chase Trifecta refers to having 3 or more UR-earning cards.  Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Sapphire Preferred/Reserve are commonly used as "trifecta" cards.  The UR earning business Ink cards are commonly used as well.

 

The idea is, you maximize your rewards earning by spending on the appropriate card:  Freedom for 5% categories, Sapphire for travel & dining, Ink for whatever categories it earns the most on, and Freedom Unlimited for everything else.  With a Sapphire Preferred or Reserve, you can get more for your points through the travel portal or by transferring points to partners like airlines/hotels.

 

 

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Message 4 of 17
Moderator

Re: Define Chase Trifecta


@tcbofade wrote:

OK, educate me.

 

I'm up to three Chase credit cards now.  (Slate, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited)  At this point, the Slate sits empty and unused.  Freedom Unlimited is carrying a zero percent deal for a few more months, and Freedom is brand new and empty....I'll hit the SUB, then use it for another zero percent balance transfer.

 

So, it's not going to be today, but please do educate me regarding the Chase Trifecta.  I'm up to three cards, can I use them to my advantage post BT shuffle?

 

Please and thank you.

 


Everyone else answered the trifecta part well, so I'll chime in on the bolded part.  If you end up with a CSP, you will be able to transfer all of your UR points to it and can either transfer to numerous airline and hotel programs, or use the points like cash (with a 25% bonus, i.e. 20,000 points are worth $250 off of the purchase) in the Chase travel portal.  With a CSR, you get the same transfers, but that bonus is 50% (using the same 20,000 points example, they are now worth $300 off of the purchase in the portal).  The portal will in the overwhelming majority of cases give you the exact same prices you would see on the airlines' own websites, or through an OTA like Expedia, Kayak, etc.  If elite status is a factor, note that you will usually not earn hotel points, nights, or receive elite perks when booking a hotel through any means other than booking directly with the hotel chain; for airlines, fortunately this is not an issue.

 

CSR will generally be a much better option for anyone considering one of the two cards, as long as they can qualify with a minimum $10,000 credit line.  Yes, it comes with a $450 annual fee instead of $95, but the $300 annual travel credit is extremely easy to use and really makes it a $95 vs $150 comparison.  The CSR earns 3x for dining and travel vs the the 2x on CSP, and comes with additional perks like Priority Pass.  If you plan to redeem through the travel portal, the redemption amount to cover that extra AF is very small.

 

If you are below 5/24 at the time the BT shuffle ends or if you have a green checkmark offer or in-branch preapproval, it would likely be best to apply for the CSR (or CSP) for the SUB, which is usually 50,000 UR points, worth at least $750 (for CSP, $625).  If not, you could PC your Slate to it as long as it's both a year old and has a credit line of at least $10,000 (for CSP, $5,000).  It is very quick and easy to move credit lines around between cards with Chase if you needed to do so.  Hope that helps!


Message 5 of 17
Moderator

Re: Define Chase Trifecta


@K-in-Boston wrote:

@tcbofade wrote:

OK, educate me.

 

I'm up to three Chase credit cards now.  (Slate, Freedom, and Freedom Unlimited)  At this point, the Slate sits empty and unused.  Freedom Unlimited is carrying a zero percent deal for a few more months, and Freedom is brand new and empty....I'll hit the SUB, then use it for another zero percent balance transfer.

 

So, it's not going to be today, but please do educate me regarding the Chase Trifecta.  I'm up to three cards, can I use them to my advantage post BT shuffle?

 

Please and thank you.

 


Everyone else answered the trifecta part well, so I'll chime in on the bolded part.  If you end up with a CSP, you will be able to transfer all of your UR points to it and can either transfer to numerous airline and hotel programs, or use the points like cash (with a 25% bonus, i.e. 20,000 points are worth $250 off of the purchase) in the Chase travel portal.  With a CSR, you get the same transfers, but that bonus is 50% (using the same 20,000 points example, they are now worth $300 off of the purchase in the portal).  The portal will in the overwhelming majority of cases give you the exact same prices you would see on the airlines' own websites, or through an OTA like Expedia, Kayak, etc.  If elite status is a factor, note that you will usually not earn hotel points, nights, or receive elite perks when booking a hotel through any means other than booking directly with the hotel chain; for airlines, fortunately this is not an issue.

 

CSR will generally be a much better option for anyone considering one of the two cards, as long as they can qualify with a minimum $10,000 credit line.  Yes, it comes with a $450 annual fee instead of $95, but the $300 annual travel credit is extremely easy to use and really makes it a $95 vs $150 comparison.  The CSR earns 3x for dining and travel vs the the 2x on CSP, and comes with additional perks like Priority Pass.  If you plan to redeem through the travel portal, the redemption amount to cover that extra AF is very small.

 

If you are below 5/24 at the time the BT shuffle ends or if you have a green checkmark offer or in-branch preapproval, it would likely be best to apply for the CSR (or CSP) for the SUB, which is usually 50,000 UR points, worth at least $750 (for CSP, $625).  If not, you could PC your Slate to it as long as it's both a year old and has a credit line of at least $10,000 (for CSP, $5,000).  It is very quick and easy to move credit lines around between cards with Chase if you needed to do so.  Hope that helps!


+1 what he said and others above him.  He put a very nice wrapping around it and summarized all

Message 6 of 17
Super Contributor

Re: Define Chase Trifecta

I would add that CIP could be substituted for CSP, it depends a lot on your restaurant spend though, if you eat out a lot than maybe CSP may be a better fit for you. Or you can you do what I did and add ink cash for restaurant spend. 

 

CIP gives you 3x travel at same AF as csp you don't get first year of AF free though so that something to keep in mind, but you also have a higher sub usually 80k vs 60k or 50k with CSP. Also CIP won't add to your 5/24 count like CSP will. 



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EQ SW bank enhanced 11/16/16 839 CK fako 822 11/16/16
TU Fico discover 10/19/16 814 Fako 819 Creditkarma 11/16/16
Message 7 of 17
Valued Contributor

Re: Define Chase Trifecta

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Message 8 of 17
Established Contributor

Re: Define Chase Trifecta

I've never found value in the Chase trifecta. Sure, you can maximize points and get 4-4.5% back on travel using the 3 cards, but I always look at the total cost of travel relative to competitors. I found that using the Chase portal costs more for the same travel options in a lot of their offerings than a Priceline or Orbitz. Both are non-refundable offerings, and I think it negates the 4+% advantage.  

 

Even using points from my Propel for hotels or flights directly through the Wells site costs more for the identical offerings from Priceline or Orbitz, so I always redeem points for dollars and use the other sites to book travel.

 

And I'm willing to bet that Chase and Wells sub out their offerings directly from Priceline or Orbitz with a slightly different interface but with elevated prices. 

 

I took a hard look at it and decided against such a construct because of what I found.

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Total CL: $238,000
Message 9 of 17
Super Contributor

Re: Define Chase Trifecta


@CardNut wrote:

I've never found value in the Chase trifecta. Sure, you can maximize points and get 4-4.5% back on travel using the 3 cards, but I always look at the total cost of travel relative to competitors. I found that using the Chase portal costs more for the same travel options in a lot of their offerings than a Priceline or Orbitz. Both are non-refundable offerings, and I think it negates the 4+% advantage.  

 

Even using points from my Propel for hotels or flights directly through the Wells site costs more for the identical offerings from Priceline or Orbitz, so I always redeem points for dollars and use the other sites to book travel.

 

And I'm willing to bet that Chase and Wells sub out their offerings directly from Priceline or Orbitz with a slightly different interface but with elevated prices. 

 

I took a hard look at it and decided against such a construct because of what I found.


Imo using chase travel portal isn't the optimal use of UR points so that why value isn't the best. You want to use UR to transfer directly to their travel partners. If you are looking at cash back values than UR isn't the right currency for you there are other cash back cards out there. 

 

If you are patient and are fairly flexible with your schedule you can really get good value, if not a cash back travel card may be a better fit for you. While I am not the biggest fan of UR these days I have been able to get some good value out of them redeeming for J or F flights to Far East to visit family. Usually at least 8x , or as high as 19x on my most recent redemption for Jan flight to Japan. 



EX Fico 804 11/16/16 Fako 800 Credit.com 11/16/16
EQ SW bank enhanced 11/16/16 839 CK fako 822 11/16/16
TU Fico discover 10/19/16 814 Fako 819 Creditkarma 11/16/16
Message 10 of 17
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