Super credit card combos

A number of banks have their own points programs, and in some cases it’s possible maximize value by combining the benefits of multiple cards.  For example, you can use one card to earn more points and another card to get the most value from those points.  In this post I’ll take a look at card combos from Amex, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo.

In each of the below cases, I believe that credit cards are better together. With the right cards, you can maximize point earnings and get the best value from your points. So, without further ado, here are my favorite credit card combos…

Ultimate Rewards

Chase Sapphire Reserve + Ink Business Cash + Freedom Unlimited

Excellent point redemption value; lounge access; 5X phone, internet, cable, office supplies, 3X travel & dining, 2X gas, 1.5X everywhere else.

Chase Sapphire Reserve and Freedom Unlimited View 2

This combo offers fantastic point earnings. Even though the Sapphire Reserve has a very high annual fee, the card’s annual $300 travel credit is incredibly easy to earn.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

FM Mini Review: Excellent all-around card for frequent traveler. Best when paired with no-fee Chase Freedom, no-fee Freedom Unlimited & no-fee Chase Ink Cash


Annual Fee: $450

Card Type: Visa Infinite

Earning rate: 3X Travel and Dining

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ $300 Annual Travel Credit ⚬ Points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel ⚬ Primary auto rental collision damage waiver ⚬ Priority Pass Select lounge access ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee credit

Note: This card is known to be subject to Chase's 5/24 rule.

See also: Sapphire Reserve Complete Guide

Chase Freedom Unlimited

FM Mini Review: Great to earn 1.5X Ultimate Rewards in categories with no bonuses. Excellent companion card to Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred!


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Visa Signature or Platinum

Earning rate: 1.5X on all purchases.

Note: This card is known to be subject to Chase's 5/24 rule.

See also: Transferable points programs

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

FM Mini Review: This one should be in everyone's wallet. Incredible signup bonus for a no-fee card. Great card for 5X categories. Excellent companion card to Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred!


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Visa Signature Business

Earning rate: ⚬ 5X office supplies ⚬ 5X cellular/landline/cable (on up to $25,000 in total purchases in 5x categories annually) ⚬ 2X gas and restaurants

Note: This card is known to be subject to Chase's 5/24 rule.

See also: How to sign up for Chase Ink cards

Combo details: Many of Chase’s no-fee cards are advertised as cash back cards, but they actually earn Ultimate Rewards points.  Once you have points in one of these accounts, you can move the points to your Sapphire Reserve account in order to make them more valuable.  Chase even lets you move points to another person in the same household, so it makes sense for a couple to earn points across a variety of Ultimate Rewards card and then move all of those points to a single Sapphire Reserve account.

Why this is a great combo: With points worth 1.5 cents each towards travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal, you’ll earn at least 2.25 cents in travel per dollar spent with your Freedom Unlimited card, 4.5 cents in travel per dollar spent on travel & dining with your Sapphire Reserve card, and 7.5 cents in travel per dollar on phone, internet, cable, and office supplies with your Ink Business Cash card. And while 1.5 cents per point is good value, you can often get even better value by transferring points to high value partners.  See: Chase Transfer Partners.  Also note that the Sapphire Reserve offers best in class automatic travel protections.  See: Ultra-Premium Credit Card Travel Insurance.

On the other hand: The Freedom Unlimited and Ink Business Cash cards charge foreign exchange fees, so you’ll want to use your Sapphire Reserve card when traveling outside of the US. Also, the Sapphire Reserve card’s lounge benefits are limited to Priority Pass lounges alone.

Add-on: Consider adding the no-fee Chase Freedom card which offers rotating 5X categories.

Amex Membership Rewards

American Express Gold Card + Blue Business Plus

Transferable points, 4X grocery, 4X dining, 3X airfare, and 2X everywhere else

American Express® Gold Card

FM Mini Review: This card offers an awesome return on US supermarket and dining spend, putting it at or near the top-of-class in both categories.


Annual Fee: $250

Card Type: Amex Charge Card

Earning rate: ⚬ 3X points for flights booked with airlines or on amextravel.com ⚬ 4x points at US Supermarkets (up to $25K in purchases, then 1x) ⚬ 4x US restaurants ⚬ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply. See Rates & Fees

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Up to $100 a year in statement credits for baggage fees and more with one qualifying airline ⚬ Up to $10 in statement credits monthly with participating dining partners (enrollment requirement) ⚬ Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc

The Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card

FM Mini Review: No other transferable points card offers 2X rewards for ALL spend. With no annual fee, this card is a winner. Big time.


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Earning rate: 2X Membership Rewards points on all purchases, up to $50K spend per calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Terms apply. See Rates & Fees

Noteworthy perks: 0.0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors as determined at the time of account opening

See also: The new king of everyday spend

Combo details: Amex automatically pools all of your Membership Rewards points together even if they were earned with different cards.  Unfortunately, you can’t move points from one person to another, but you can transfer points to a friend’s airline or hotel program account if they are an authorized user (or employee) on one of your accounts.

Why this is a great combo: This combination delivers almost unbelievable earning potential (2X to 4X everywhere in the US!), plus the ability to transfer points to a wide variety of transfer partners (see: Amex Transfer Partners).  Plus, Amex frequently offers transfer bonuses so that you can end up with even more miles.  And, for those who can make good use of the Gold card’s $10 per month dining credits and annual $100 airline fee credits, the $250 annual fee is easy to justify.  See: Is 4X worth $250 per year? How much are those Amex Gold 4X categories (grocery & dining) worth?

On the other hand: The Gold card’s 4X categories are limited to restaurants and grocery stores within the US; the grocery store 4X benefit is capped at $25K annual spend; and the Blue Business Plus card charges foreign transaction fees and limits the 2X bonus to $50K per year.  In other words, this is not the best combo for those who spend big, big money, or for those looking for great rewards on spend outside of the United States.

Add-on: Consider adding the Business Platinum Card in order to get fantastic perks, plus the ability to pay for certain flights with points at a value of approximately 1.5 cents per point.  Also consider the Platinum Card for Schwab which has similar great perks and lets you cash out points for 1.25 cents each.

ThankYou Rewards

Citi ThankYou Premier + AT&T Access More

Good point redemption value; 3X travel, gas, and online retail; 2X dining and entertainment.

Citi ThankYou Premier and ATT

This combination is great for those who spend a lot on travel, gas, or online purchases. Points can be transferred to select airline programs or used for 1.25 cents per point towards travel booked through ThankYou Rewards.

Citi Premier Card

FM Mini Review: One of the best all-around travel rewards cards: Very strong earnings for spend. Excellent bonus categories. Points transferable to select airlines.


Annual Fee: $95

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Earning rate: ⚬ 3X travel and gas ⚬ 2X dining and entertainment

Noteworthy perks: With this card, ThankYou points become worth 1.25 cents each towards travel; or transfer points to airline partners

AT&T Access More Card

FM Mini Review: Excellent choice for those who shop often online (thanks to 3X earnings)


Annual Fee: $95

Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Earning rate: ⚬ 3 points per $1 on products and services that are purchased directly from AT&T ⚬ 3 points per $1 on all purchases at online retail and travel sites ⚬ 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

Big spend bonus: 10,000 anniversary bonus points after $10,000 in annual spending

Combo details: Citi lets you pool ThankYou points together so that you can get the best possible value for your points.  You can also transfer points to anyone, but those points must then be used within 90 days or else they’ll expire.

Why this is a great combo: Low combined annual fee when you consider the AT&T card’s annual 10K points rebate (which is worth $125 in travel when combined with the Premier card). Free authorized user cards. This is the only combination that offers a great category bonus for most online purchases (3X with the AT&T card).

On the other hand: The AT&T card requires two steps to acquire (sign up for lesser card then product change) since it is no longer available to new applicants, plus it charges foreign transaction fees, so use the Premier card when traveling.  Also, neither card earns better than 1X for non-bonus spend.

Add-on: Consider adding the no-fee Citi Double Cash card to earn 2% cash back everywhere that the above cards don’t offer a bonus.

Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards

Propel + Visa Signature

Great point redemption value specifically for airfare. 3X travel, dining, gas and select streaming services.

Wells Fargo Propel World American Express® Card

FM Mini Review: Combine points with the Wells Fargo Visa Signature to get 1.5 cents per point in value towards travel (or 1.75 cents per point if you spend $50K per year on the Visa Signature and combine your points).


Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Amex Credit Card

Earning rate: 3X flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, dining, gas, rideshares, transit, and streaming services

Wells Fargo Visa Signature Card

Annual Fee: $0

Card Type: Visa Signature

Earning rate: 5X gas, grocery, drugstore for 6 months

Big spend bonus: With $50K spend, points become worth 1.75 cents each towards airfare

Noteworthy perks: ⚬Points worth 1.5 cents each towards airfare ⚬ Points worth 1 cent each for most other redemption

See also: A card I wrongly ignored

Combo details: Wells Fargo’s Go Far Rewards points can be gifted from one person to another.  When points are moved from a Propel card to a Visa Signature card, the points can then be redeemed for 1.5 cents per point value towards airfare.  If you spend $50K in a year on the Visa Signature card, points will then be worth 1.75 cents each towards airfare.

Why this is a great combo: No annual fee!  Plus, get the equivalent of 4.5% back when points are used for airfare for many popular categories of spend: travel, dining, gas and select streaming services (Apple Music, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Sirius XM, and Spotify Premium).  If you meet the Visa Signature $50K spend threshold you do even better: 3 X 1.75 = 5.25% back in all of those categories.

On the other hand: Go Far Rewards points cannot be transferred to airline or hotel programs.  If you want to use rewards for anything but airfare, you’ll only get 1 cent per point value.  And neither card is particularly rewarding for “everywhere else” spend.  It’s also a bit difficult to get both of these cards if you want both signup bonuses since Wells Fargo limits you to just one signup bonus per 16 months.  But a couple could work together to each sign up for one of the cards and then redeem points only for airfare via the Visa Signature card.

Wrap Up

I’m a big fan of the Amex and Chase combos shown above.  They offer outstanding point earning capability both within categories of spend and everywhere else.  And both offer a number of great transfer partners.  Chase has a big edge though in offering an easy way to get excellent value for your points: use points to purchase any travel available through the Chase portal to get 1.5 cents per point value.

The Citibank combo is particularly good for those who spend a lot at gas stations or on online shopping.  Unfortunately, Citi doesn’t have a card that offers 1.5X or 2X rewards everywhere else as does Chase and Amex.  So I’d recommend supplementing this combo with a Citi Double Cash 2% everywhere card.

I’m much less excited by the Wells Fargo combo.  Even though the Wells Fargo cards can be lucrative when points are used towards paid flights, I don’t like the fact that paid flights are the only option to get good value.  Those attracted to the fact that there are no annual fees on those cards, might be more interested in a no-fee cash back combo such as the Uber Visa (4% dining + 3% travel) plus the Citi Double Cash (2% everywhere).

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

More articles by Greg The Frequent Miler »

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Robert from Milenomics
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Robert from Milenomics

Good stuff, Greg.

On the AT&T Access More, I’m unable to product change as of yet. I converted a Citi AA Platinum to an AT&T Acces [the free version]. When that arrived I tried to product change to the Access More and was told I could not. Maybe I have to wait a while?

Ryan Thompson
Guest
Ryan Thompson

The att access more is no longer available for product changes.

Ed. C
Guest
Ed. C

Thanks to your guidance, Greg, I’ve opened the CSR, CFU, Ink Cash, and Freedom. Just since April when I opened my first Chase card I’ve accumulated over 200,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Have to say, I’m really surprised how fast they add up!

Adam
Guest
Adam

You mentioned US Bank at the top but no detail was included about what cards made the best combination. Can we expect your thoughts on US Bank? I’m also curious if you’d add BoA to the combo list, especially if you have 100k+ in BoA checking/savings/investment accounts.

Kent
Guest
Kent

Hi Greg.

Great analysis and super useful information for considering new options. What happened to the “US Bank combo.” you mentioned. I personally find great value in the USB Altitude (3X) mobile wallet categories and often combine points from other USB cards earning 3X on gas, restaurant, grocery and travel giving a 4.5 return rate overall. Low annual fees and other perks make these a nice choice.

K Johnson
Guest
K Johnson

What happened to the US Bank combo?

SDO
Guest
SDO

Greg,

It appears I’m not eligible for the Amex Gold card bonus because I’ve previously owned the PRG card. Do you think it is still worth applying? Unfortunately, none of my other cards (SPG, SPG Biz, ED, BCP, OBC) are eligible for conversion.

Denise
Guest
Denise

Thanks for a great analysis. I just got the CSR. Already have the CFU & Freedom. I also have the Ink Business Plus–I’ve been holding on to it until I got below 5/24 to get the CSR. I’ve been considering closing it, but would it be better to product change to the Ink Business Cash? Also, I have the Citi Prestige & AT&T Access More. Is there any benefit to keeping the Prestige or should I go to Premier? Product change or apply new?

I have been putting at least $25k a year on my United Select Visa for status but will make Million miler in the next couple of months SO that frees up a lot of spending. Therefore, I am trying to reassess our card holdings. We play with 2 players so I know my husband’s cards play into this, but…all he says is “Do what you think is best”!

I don’t MS much at all, so most of the spend is organic. You guys all do a great job! You’ve moved to my first blog read of the day!

Barry
Guest
Barry

Hi Denise. I wouldn’t get rid of the Ink Business Plus card. If you get rid of it, Chase won’t allow you to get it again. A few months ago there were rumors floating around that Chase may end point sharing between the no annual fee cards and the premium cards. Nothing ever came of that rumor yet, but if you close the Ink Plus card (or product change to the Ink Cash card) you may be cutting off a path of having 5X Ultimate Rewards available for travel. I would keep the CSR in player #1’s name and the Ink Plus in player #2’s name. This would give you the ability for either person to transfer points to the Chase transfer partners.

Rob
Guest
Rob

This is a great suggestion about the 2-player mode. I have the CI+ and have been contemplating (procrastinating) to product change to CIC. Now I will consider Player1 for CSR and Player2 for CI+.

The ability to transfer Chase UR point between players (same household) is invaluable; just wish AMEX will add this feature with MR points.

Big Al
Guest
Big Al

My citi thank you premier and sears mastercard with thank you points work great together as well. Until sears goes bankrupt

Blue
Guest
Blue

Wells Fargo may be a little more interesting if you consider the GoFar 15:1 to 50:1 points promotions they’ve been offering at places like CVS.

Tamas
Guest
Tamas

Great article Greg! You mentioned that the Chase business ink cash is subject to 5/24, I was under the impression that the Chase business cards do not play into the 5/24 calculations.

Tamas
Guest
Tamas

Thanks for the explanation!

Rob
Guest
Rob

Great article. If one were to diversify their points between different programs say Chase UR and AMEX MR, would one just put spend on the card that offers the best multiplier?

Ell
Guest
Ell

Thanks for the analysis Greg. I enjoy reading what people are using in their wallets.

If one wanted to diversify between UR and MR, do you think a PRG, CSP, F/FU combo is optimal?

JJJ
Guest
JJJ

You’re missing the AMEx Platinum 5x on airfare, it’s an absolute must have in the MR combo

Mohammad M
Guest
Mohammad M

Greg, you may include BofA’s premier rewards, cash rewards combo too with 100k in assets. gas 5.25%, (travel, dining, grocery) 3.5%, 2.625% elsewhere.

Rabbmd
Guest
Rabbmd

Mohammad don’t forget warehouse clubs in your 3.5%.
And you can have both a visa cash rewards, and a mc cash rewards mlb themed card. I find having both boa cards handy to get around the $2,500 per quarter cap per card. I also like having the mastercard earning 1.75% on everything, 3.5% on groceries wharehouse clubs to use the various mc only Plastiq and previous FuelRewards deals.

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[…] the post “Super credit card combos,” I identified combinations of bank credit cards that can lead to huge earning potential […]

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[…] Super credit card combos: This post covered several great combinations of cards to use when you want to earn points that can be redeemed for outsized travel value by paying for travel or by transferring points to airline or hotel programs to book high value awards. […]