My Perfect Trifecta – 10,050 points a month for $2,700 in expenses

On the Why Travel Cards page the basics of why travel and rewards cards are the best option vs. cash back cards are covered. There isn’t an individual “perfect” card but instead I found the best three credit cards for me. To some people (ahem, my husband) this is overkill. For simplicity’s sake he only uses our Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) and American Express Everyday Preferred (AmEx EDP) instead of keeping track of the rotating bonus categories on the Chase Freedom.

My brother Ben is an SPG fanboy but I prefer the Amex Everyday Preferred for gas, groceries, and everyday spend. With the Amex EDP you do need to make 30 transactions a month to get the 50% bonus reflected in the table below though. I haven’t found any issue hitting that by putting all recurring payments, everyday spend, as well as gas and groceries – when they’re not bonus categories on the Chase Freedom.

The Chase Freedom has rotating bonus categories of 5x points when used in conjunction with the CSR. Q1 of this year is gas stations and local commuter transportation – including Uber! Between that and the 3x points on Dining and Travel on the CSR my trifecta rounds itself out quite nicely.

Sample spend scenario:
Category of Spend Monthly Spend Chase Sapphire Reserve Bonus Points American Express EDP Bonus Points Chase Freedom Bonus Points – Q1 2017 Total Points
Groceries $1,000 1 4.5 1 4,500
Dining/Bars $700 3 1.5 1 2,100
Travel $250 3 1.5 1 750
Gas $300 1 3 5 1,500
Uber $150 3 3 5 750
Other $300 1 1.5 1 450
$2,700       10,050

*this does not reflect my personal finances!*

Of course YMMV based on what you spend money on and you do need to incorporate the annual fees of the CSR and AmEx EDP. The AmEx EDP annual fee is $95 while the CSR is $450 but with the annual travel credit of $300 I consider it to be $150.

With an estimated value of 1.7 cents each you can get at least $170.85 a month in value before annual fees or $1,805 a year after annual fees!

There are a lot of credit cards, strategies, and opinions out there on the “best” credit card options. These are the three best credit cards for me but always interested to hear more!


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