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The Best Cards To Pair With the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve

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Katie Seemann
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Katie Seemann

Senior Content Contributor and News Editor

360 Published Articles 64 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 28U.S. States Visited: 29

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, F...
Edited by: Stella Shon
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Stella Shon

News Managing Editor

106 Published Articles 738 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 25U.S. States Visited: 22

With a degree in media and journalism, Stella has been in the points and miles game for more than 6 years. She most recently worked as a Corporate Communications Analyst for JetBlue. Find her work in ...

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The Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are incredibly popular, and for good reason. These cards open up the ability to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which is one of the best transferrable points currencies available today.

Not only that, but they both have a new, elevated welcome offer:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve card: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred card: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

I applied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card as soon as it was introduced in 2016, and it’s been in my wallet ever since. My husband has a Chase Sapphire Preferred card (you can’t have both), so we are intimately familiar with both cards in my household.

While both of these cards are worth it on their own, there are additional cards that pair with them perfectly, giving you access to supercharged earnings and additional benefits.

The Ultimate Chase 3-Card Combo

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card are excellent options on their own. However, they are even better when paired with other travel rewards credit cards.

My first 2 suggestions form a powerful 3-card combo from Chase. When combined, these cards will help you earn lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited®

There’s no reason not to have a Freedom Flex card and a Freedom Unlimited card in your wallet:

  • Freedom Flex card: $0
  • Freedom Unlimited card: $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Chase Freedom Flex Upgraded Points LLC
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

The Freedom Flex card earns 5% cash-back on rotating quarterly categories, and the Freedom Unlimited card earns at least 1.5% cash-back on all purchases.

Both are cash-back cards, but the points earned are not transferrable to Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners on their own. However, when you pair these Freedom Unlimited card or Freedom Flex card with a Chase Sapphire Preferred card or a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, the points you earn can be combined and subsequently transferred to Chase’s travel partners, thus increasing the value you can get.

Transferring the points to your Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card can also unlock a higher value if you want to book through Chase Travel.

You can earn points on a Freedom Unlimited card or Freedom Flex card and redeem them through the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card, which offers 25% to 50% more value.

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Credit Card

Value of Points When Booking Through Chase Travel

Freedom Flex card or Freedom Unlimited Card

1 cent

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

1.25 cents

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

1.5 cents

Here’s what your spending strategy might look like if you had both a Freedom Flex card and a Freedom Unlimited card, plus either a Chase Sapphire Preferred card or a Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

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For example, I put all of my travel and dining expenses on my Chase Sapphire Reserve card to earn 3x points. Then, I’ll use my Freedom Flex card for any purchases that fall into that quarter’s bonus categories for 5x points. Finally, I will put any other purchases on the Freedom Unlimited card to earn 1.5x points.

Using this 3-card combo will help you earn more Chase points than you could by putting all of your expenses on just 1 card — and you’ll still only have to pay a single annual fee.

Hot Tip:

If you have an old Chase Freedom® card, you can still apply for a Freedom Flex card.

Additional Cards To Pair With Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

If you already have a Freedom Flex card and/or a Freedom Unlimited card, there are a few other cards you may want to consider to round out your wallet.

The World of Hyatt Card

If you are collecting Ultimate Rewards points to be able to transfer them to Hyatt (like me!), you’ll definitely want the World of Hyatt card.

I keep this card in my wallet year after year because I get more value from just 1 benefit (the annual free night certificate) than the cost of the annual fee. Plus, this card earns 4 points per $1 spent at Hyatt properties and comes with automatic Discoverist status.

Andaz Savannah pool
I used a free night certificate earned from my World of Hyatt card to stay at Andaz Savannah. Image Credit: Katie Seemann

A Card for Airport Lounge Access

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with a Priority Pass membership and access to Chase Sapphire Lounges, which is a great reason to get this card if you don’t have it already.

However, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll want to consider pairing it with a card with access to airport lounges.

To determine the best option, think about what lounges are at your home airport (or an airport you frequently travel through.) For example, if there’s a Capital One Lounge, first consider yourself lucky because these are some of the best lounges in the country, and next, think about getting the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card so you can access them.

Amex Platinum Capital One VentureX Upgraded Points LLC Large
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

The only lounge at John Glenn Columbus International (CMH), which is my home airport, is an Escape Lounge, so I keep The Platinum Card® from American Express in my wallet so I can access it every time I fly. The Amex Platinum card also gives me a Priority Pass membership (upon enrollment) and access to Centurion Lounges.

Bottom Line:

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you may want to pair it with a card that comes with airport lounge access, like the Amex Platinum card or Capital One Venture X card.

Final Thoughts

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card and Chase Sapphire Reserve card both have elevated welcome bonus offers, which means it’s an excellent time to apply if you don’t already have one of these in your wallet.

Once you have one of these cards, you may want to consider rounding out your wallet to maximize your points-earning abilities and access elite travel benefits.

Both the Freedom Flex card and Freedom Unlimited card complement the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred card perfectly. Additionally, the World of Hyatt card, Amex Platinum card, and Capital One Venture X card all pair well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Katie Seemann's image

About Katie Seemann

Katie has been in the points and miles game since 2015 and started her own blog in 2016. She’s been freelance writing since then and her work has been featured in publications like Travel + Leisure, Forbes Advisor, and Fortune Recommends.

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