It’s no secret that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is my favorite card for beginner travel hackers and Ultimate Rewards are my favorite points currency. The signup bonus on the CSP is awesome, the ability to transfer points to partners like United, Southwest, Hyatt, and more, the great travel insurance, and car rental coverage, there is a lot to like! One thing that I do wish this card had was more categories to earn extra points on. With this card, you earn 2x the points on travel and dining and 1x on all your other purchases. If you ask me, they could definitely bump that up or add another category. Luckily though, there is another card to pair with this card so I can earn more than 1x the points on my purchases outside of dining and travel. Enter, the Chase Freedom Unlimited. The combination of these two cards is what I like to call the Ultimate Rewards dynamic duo and they are my most used credit cards.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is the credit card I use the most! It is a cashback card but when you pair it with an Ultimate Reward card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred it earns Ultimate Rewards. This card comes with a signup bonus of $200 after spending $500 in 3 months (or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards). The card earns 5 points per dollar spent in the Chase Travel Portal, 3 points on dining and at drugstores, and 1.5 points on all other purchases.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great cashback card. If you just want cash back I recommend that or the Citi Double Cash. If you are wanting to use points for travel (which I am assuming you do since you are reading this blog) you can’t rely on this card alone. This card doesn’t allow you to transfer points to partners. You can access the travel portal with this card but each point is worth just 1 cent, the same as if you just cash out. Whereas the Sapphire Preferred transfers to partners and each point in the travel portal is worth 1.25 cents.
Here is what I would recommend. First, get the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Meet the minimum spend. Then I recommend referring your spouse to their own CSP card. Next, I suggest opening the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Once you open this card make sure you spend $500 on it within the first three months to earn the signup bonus. Once you earn the bonus you can use your Sapphire Preferred on travel purchases so you can take advantage of the great travel protection that comes with the card. This is also a great card to use when you travel outside of the country as it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. I then recommend using your Freedom Unlimited on all your other purchases as it earns more than the CSP in every other category.
My Chase Freedom Unlimited is my most used card. When I am not working on meeting the minimum spend on a new card, then I am using this card and trying to build up my stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Once I earn the points I simply move them into my Sapphire Preferred account and they are ready to use for travel! Together these two cards make up the Ultimate Rewards dynamic duo.
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