Maximize Your Points by Pairing a Chase Freedom Card with a Chase Sapphire Card

Pairing a card that offers a chance to earn lots of rewards with a card that makes reward redemption more valuable is a winning strategy.
Last updated Sep 14, 2020 | By Brandon Neth
A woman holding two credit cards

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

Chase credit cards are incredibly popular, partly because Chase points are both valuable and versatile.

Thanks to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, Chase points can be used for travel, merchandise, statement credits, and more. Chase points can also be transferred to many partner rewards programs, increasing their flexibility even further. And when strategically redeemed, Chase points can be some of the most valuable of any card rewards.

If you’re serious about getting the most bang for your buck from Chase’s rewards program, though, combining more than one Chase card can be beneficial. That’s because some Chase cards make it easier to earn rewards while others have better redemption programs that elevate the worth of those rewards points.

The good news is that it’s possible to transfer Chase points from one card to another. However, the bad news is that Chase’s unofficial 5/24 rule limits how many cards you can open within 24 months — which means you need to be smart about which Chase cards you choose. If you have recently applied for a Chase card, learn how to check on your Chase credit card application status.

For most people, the two cards that make the most sense are one of the Chase Freedom cards and one of the Chase Sapphire cards. This guide will explain why pairing a Chase Freedom card with a Chase Sapphire card can help you earn the maximum possible rewards and redeem them in the smartest possible way.

Jump To

Why combine Chase Freedom and Sapphire points?

To understand why you should pair a Chase Freedom with a Chase Sapphire card, it helps to look at what these cards have to offer.

There are two Chase Freedom cards: the Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

  • The Chase Freedom has a $0 annual fee and offers up to 5% cash back.
  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited also has a $0 annual fee. With this card, you can earn 5% on Lyft rides, 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases.

Both of these cards give you the chance to earn great rewards. But these generous cashback rewards actually become even more valuable when you also have a card that offers generous redemption options — such as one of the Chase Sapphire cards. The two Sapphire options are the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred.

  • The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $550 annual fee, but it provides a $300 statement credit for travel purchases. You also get a 50% rewards bonus when you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards; points can also transfer to hotel and loyalty programs at a 1:1 value.

    When you use your card, you earn 10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else.
  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee. It also provides a 1:1 points transfer to travel partner programs, including a dozen airline and hotel travel partners. Plus, you get a 25% rewards bonus when you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

    As for rewards, you earn 5X on Lyft rides, 2X points on eligible dining and travel, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases.

Since rewards can be transferred among Chase cards, you can take that cash back you earn on a Chase Freedom card, transfer it to a Chase Sapphire card, and then redeem it using Chase Ultimate Rewards. Each $1 of cash back you earn is worth 100 Ultimate Rewards points with this specific transfer. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are generally valued at 1.5 cents each (or potentially more) if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

How to use a Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire together

To better understand how pairing a Chase Freedom with a Chase Sapphire card can allow you to earn amazing returns for everyday spending, consider what would happen if you had a Chase Sapphire Reserve and a Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

You could use your Chase Sapphire Reserve for all restaurant and travel spending, earning three points per dollar. If you spend $5,000 per year on travel, you’d get your $300 statement credit right away on the Sapphire Reserve, bringing your actual spending down to $4,700 per year. You’d earn your three points per dollar on that amount, leaving you with 14,100 points.

You could then make all your other purchases with your Chase Freedom Unlimited, allowing you to earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. If you spent $20,000 in non-bonus categories during your first year, this would give you $300 cash back — or you could transfer your rewards to your Sapphire Reserve at a rate of 100 points per dollar, or 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points.

At this point, you’d have 44,100 Ultimate Rewards points to spend. If you transfer to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card, points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which would mean your 44,100 points would be worth about $662 in free travel. When transferred to partner travel programs, points can be worth as much as two cents each, potentially giving you the equivalent of $882 in free travel.

Now you’d have as much as $882 in free travel for $25,000 in spending — which is around a 3.5% rate of return on the charges you made on your Chase card. Combining the two cards essentially allowed you to double the value of the cash back you earned and get stronger returns on your spending.

How to transfer Chase Freedom points to a Sapphire Card

Transferring Chase Freedom points to a Chase Sapphire card is very easy. You simply need to:

  • Log into the Chase Ultimate Rewards website and select “Combine Points” from the menu
  • Review the list of credit cards that currently have transferable points and choose your Chase Freedom card
  • Select the Chase Sapphire card as the account you want to transfer your points to
  • Specify the number of points you want to transfer; your options include transferring all your points or choosing a specific amount
  • Review your transaction and select “Confirm & Submit”

Points transfer instantly and you can use them to redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards or transfer them to a travel partner of your choosing.

FAQs about combining Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Can you transfer Chase business points to personal cards?

Yes, it’s possible to transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards you’ve earned between your business and personal credit cards. You do need to have all of your cards registered under the same Chase login for this to work. If this is the case, then you’ll be able to access the “Combine Points” option in the Ultimate Rewards menu when you’re logged in to your account.

How many Chase credit cards can you have?

There is no hard limit to how many Chase credit cards you can have by official policy. However, there seem to be some rules about whether applying for multiple cards too quickly will mean one application is automatically rejected. The sometimes-cited, but unofficial 2/30 rule indicates that a second application in 30 days has a higher likelihood of rejection.

Additionally, there seem to be credit card application rules within card families such as Sapphire or Freedom. For example, if you have a Chase Freedom card, you wouldn’t be able to also have a Chase Freedom Unlimited. Another example is if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred. You’d need to upgrade that card if you want a Chase Sapphire Reserve — you can’t have one of each card in the Sapphire family.

What is the 5/24 rule?

The famous 5/24 rule limits your ability to qualify for a Chase card if you’ve opened five credit cards from any issuer within the past 24 months. Although this rule is unofficial, there are many data points in the credit card community to back up its existence and application by Chase. Not every Chase credit card is subject to the rule, but both the Freedom and Sapphire cards are. So if you have opened five new cards from any issuer in the past two years, you may not be able to get approved for a Freedom or Sapphire card.

Do Chase points expire?

Chase Ultimate Rewards points don’t expire as long as your account is open.

Can I combine Chase points with my spouse?

Yes, it’s possible to transfer points between account holders in the same household. However, Chase allows you to declare only one official household member to receive these transfers. You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to another person’s hotel or airline loyalty account, but that person must be an authorized user on your Chase card. You can make this kind of transfer in 1,000-point increments.


Combine Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire points to supercharge your rewards

Many credit cards can't beat the return on your spending that you can get by pairing Chase Freedom and Reserve cards.

Transferring your points happens instantaneously, so there’s no stress involved when converting your cash back rewards into valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards. All you have to do is sign up for your chosen Chase cards to get started.

#1 Premium Travel Credit Card

Benefits

  • 50,000 point sign-up bonus
  • 10X points on select streaming services (up to $1,500) from July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020
  • 5X points with Instacart (up to $3,000), and at gas stations (up to $1,500) from July 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020
  • 3X points on travel and at restaurants
  • $60 annual DoorDash credit in 2020 and 2021
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access