Close to a year ago I wrote about my perfect credit card trifecta for maximizing my purchases. It’s funny how quickly things change in the points and miles world as I’m already re-evaluating my trifecta and how my household should be using a card rotation.
As a reminder here is my credit card trifecta. Based on valuations of 1.8 cents for both Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards points I also have included the overall return of each card.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: 3x points on travel and dining (5.4% return)
- American Express Everyday Preferred (EDP): 4.5x points on groceries (8.1% return), 3x points on gas (5.4% return), 1.5x on everything else (2.7% return) – with 30 transactions a month
- Chase Freedom: 5x points on rotating bonus categories (9% return)
With the above trifecta, and what I value points at, I’m pretty happy with my return. But, am I really maximizing my purchases effectively?
Re-Evaluating my “Perfect” Credit Card Trifecta
Compelling new cards are constantly coming out. And there are a few that I am overdue on evaluating for various reasons. Mostly for everyday spend purposes:
- American Express Blue Business Plus (BBP)
- Ben is constantly raving about this card in his posts. Sadly, I didn’t jump in when the 20,000 point sign-up bonus was around so I’ve been holding off. For 2x points on every purchase and no annual fee it’s a no-brainer though and I may need to pull the trigger vs. waiting for a targeted sign-up bonus
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- I just downgraded my Sapphire Reserve to a Freedom Unlimited (and became an authorized user on my husband’s Sapphire Reserve). This gives me 1.5x points on every purchase. Not as good as the 2x points on the BBP but I love the flexibility of Chase points vs. Amex points. For reasons Ben outlined nicely here. My Ultimate Rewards account can NEVER be high enough for my liking so that’s why this is so compelling.
- American Express Everyday Preferred (currently use)
- As long as I make 30 purchases a month I get 1.5x points on this card as well. Which I typically do with no problem.
The BBP is the clear winner here at 2x points. BUT, I love the flexibility of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. I can book experiences, have a great hotel transfer partner with Hyatt, etc. And, most importantly, easily book domestic travel getting 1.5 cents per point without having to worry about finding award availability.
Winner: Keep using EDP for small everyday purchases to get my 30 transactions a month. Put big purchases on Chase Freedom Unlimited to build up balance. And keep holding out hope for that 20k bonus to come back on BBP 🙂
After writing recently about this gap I picked up the Amazon card for 5% back on any Amazon purchases. It’s set up to automatically charge on my Amazon account and really just makes it a no fuss and no annual fee way to get 5% back.
At this point I’m basically now at 5 cards I’m rotating daily purchases on! That is a lot. But, For household sanity I’m still having my husband just use the Amex EDP and Chase Sapphire Reserve. He thinks even 3 cards are crazy so it works well for us! But, I’ll be switching up the strategy a bit overall for the household especially for large everyday spend purchases to build up my Ultimate Rewards balance.
P.S. also check out my post on ALL the cards in my wallet (also due for an update!)