Here at The FrugalTravelGuy, we talk a lot about maximizing points and miles from credit cards, and sometimes you need multiple cards to achieve the best results. But what if you don’t want to carry five or 10 cards in your wallet? If you’re comfortable with just two credit cards, you have an opportunity to earn great rewards. Let’s look at some possible combinations of cards that go hand in hand.
Best for Travelers: Chase Sapphire Reserve + Chase Freedom Unlimited
If you’re a travel junkie, you must value travel rewards the most. Chase Ultimate Rewards program is considered to be one of the best as far as flexible points go, but what on earth does a cashback card have to do with travel rewards?
The no-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited is a cashback credit card that earns 1.5 percent back on all purchases, and the rewards are not capped. However, when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, cash back earned with the Freedom Unlimited Card turns into Ultimate Rewards that can be transferred to Chase’s travel partners.
To make the most of your points, there’s a bit of strategy involved. Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3X points per dollar spent on dining and travel, and the Chase Freedom Unlimited provides the option to earn 1.5X UR points on all other purchases. When used together, the cards provide a killer opportunity to rack up tons of points for all your travel needs quickly.
Best for Cashback Enthusiasts: Discover it Card – Cashback Match + Citi Double Cash Card
If it’s cash back you’re after, then you can’t go wrong with a combination of the Discover it Cashback Match Card and the Citi Double Cash Card. This Discover Card earns 5 percent cash back on rotating quarterly categories. These categories range from Amazon purchases and wholesale clubs to gas stations and grocery stores. The best feature of the Discover it Cashback Match Card is…the cashback match at the end of your first year as a cardholder, which means all your bonus spending earns 10 percent cash back on all purchases.
With the Citi Double Cash Card, you’ll earn 2 percent back on every purchase—1 percent when you swipe the card plus 1 percent when you pay off the balance every month. You will earn double cash back on all purchases that do not fall into bonus categories with the Discover credit card.
Keep in mind that after the match is applied, you will earn double points on all non-bonus spending in the first year of being a Discover it Cashback Match card member. However, the benefit does not apply afterward, so you can use the Discover card for one year and apply for the Citi Double Cash Card a year later. This way, you get to keep your bonus categories plus double cash rewards on everything else.
Best for Business Owners: The Business Platinum Card from American Express + American Express Blue Business Plus Credit Card
This credit-card duo works similarly to the Chase card combo, but it’s geared toward small-business owners and the earning structure is a little different.
The Amex Business Platinum Card earns 5X points per dollar spent on flights and hotels purchased directly with Amex Travel, and all purchases of at least $5,000 in one transaction earn 1.5X points per dollar spent.
The zero-fee Amex Blue Business Plus Card earns double points on every purchase (up to $50,000 annually). The card’s points can be pooled into your business Membership Rewards account and transferred to travel partners.
Additionally, as a Platinum card member, you qualify for a 35-percent rebate on economy flights with your pre-selected airline or business- or first-class flight redemptions with any airline booked via Amex Travel. By earning and redeeming your rewards in a smart way, you have all the booking power when it comes to award travel.
What are some your favorite credit-card combinations?
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