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With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, the Nerds have couples on the brain. But probably not the kinds of couples you’re imagining – we’re thinking about credit card couples. These are pairs of cards you should use in tandem to maximize rewards.
Wondering which credit cards are a match made in heaven? Take a look at some of our favorite couples below:
Chase Freedom® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best for: Travel junkies
Getting the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card might seem strange at first – after all, one is for cash back and one is for travel, right? But actually, using these two cards together couldn’t be a better fit.
With the Chase Freedom®, you’re earning 5% back, up to the quarterly maximum of $1,500 in rotating bonus categories throughout the year (you must opt-in each quarter to get those earnings.) You’ll also earn 1% back on all other purchases. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card you’re earning 2 points per dollar spent on dining and travel and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Once you have both cards in hand, using them strategically is key. For example, you’d always use the Chase Freedom® when it’s earning 5% cash back in a particular category. Most of the time, using the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card on dining and travel purchases is probably smart (unless, of course, the Chase Freedom® is featuring restaurants as a 5% bonus retailer). This will help you rack up as many Ultimate Rewards points as you can.
Now for the fun part: redeeming all those rewards you’ve been building up. Because the Chase Freedom® technically earns Ultimate Rewards points, you’ll be able to transfer the points you’ve earned with it into your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card account and cash them in for travel. If you decide to redeem directly through Chase, each point will be worth 25% more. But remember, you’ll also have the option to transfer them to the participating frequent traveler program of your choice at a 1:1 ratio.
Using this tactic could really make those 5% bonus categories offered by the Chase Freedom® go far, which is why we think it’s a great partner for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
Discover it® Cash Back and Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Best for: Cash-back enthusiasts (especially those who love to shop)
Optimizing the cash back you’re earning on every purchase might seem complex, but you can do pretty well with just two cards. With the Discover it® Cash Back, you’ll earn 5% cash back in rotating quarterly bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
With the Citi®
Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, you’ll earn 1% cash back every time you spend, then an additional 1% cash back when you pay your purchases off. By now it’s probably obvious why the Discover it® Cash Back and the Citi®
Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer are such a good pair. You can use the Discover it® Cash Back when it’s earning 5% back and the Citi®
Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer otherwise. This will ensure that you’re scoring hefty rewards every time you swipe.
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card and Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
Best for: Families
Raising kids is expensive, so most heads of household are looking to maximize rewards on the ample spending they’re doing. If this sounds familiar, the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card and the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card are two cards you’ll definitely want to keep in your wallet.
With the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card, you’ll earn 5% cash back in two categories you choose, on up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter; unlimited 2% cash back in another category you pick; and 1% on everything else. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card earns 3% back on a category of your choice and 2% back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 spent in both categories combined per quarter; and 1% back on these purchases after meeting that spending limit.
This card combination will yield you bonus rewards in nearly everyday spending categories that families value – groceries, gas and dining out. So whether you’re stocking up on diapers, shuttling the kids to and from practice, or taking the family out to dinner on Friday night, you’ll be racking up rewards.
Updated Aug. 11, 2017
Image via iStock.