The Five Chase Cards to Apply for if You’re a Points Omnivore

8
0

In the context of food, an omnivore eats all types of energy sources: animals and plants, and even algae, fungi, and bacteria. In the context of travel rewards, a points omnivore collects any mile or point they can to get more travel. Their motto is a dollar saved is a dollar saved.

This post is for all my points omnivores out there and particularly for those who strive to be one and are just starting to collect rewards cards. Following the advice outlined here today will help you squeeze as much value possible out of Chase before they squeeze you out.

The Hard Truth

Chase will deem you ineligible for many (but not all) of their most lucrative cards once you’ve opened five credit cards from any bank whatsoever in the last 24 months (not counting most business cards). People refer to this as the infamous 5/24 rule. Chase issues travel rewards cards with valuable sign up bonuses and earning rates so there is an opportunity cost to signing up for credit cards from other banks first. Therefore, it behoves you to pick the Chase cards you want before moving on as most other travel rewards cards issued by other banks are not inhibited by a rule such as 5/24.

The bank issues a variety of credit cards to suit a variety of consumers and travelers. In this Five Chase Cards You Should Apply For series I’ve broken down three five-card combos so far, which you can read more about by clicking the links below.

Five-Card Combos

For the traveler who can open both consumer and business credit cards and is interested in Southwest Rapid Rewards, there is Combo #1:

  1. Sapphire Reserve
  2. Freedom
  3. Ink Business Preferred
  4. One Southwest consumer card
  5. Southwest Business Card

For the traveler who can open both consumer and business credit cards but is not interested in Southwest there is Combo #2: 

  1. Sapphire Reserve
  2. Freedom
  3. Ink Business Preferred
  4. Ink Business Cash
  5. Ink Business Unlimited

For the traveler who can only open consumer cards (check here if you’re not sure), there’s Combo #3:

  1. Sapphire Reserve
  2. Freedom
  3. Freedom Unlimited
  4. United MileagePlus Explorer Card (when bonus rises to 50k)
  5. Marriott Rewards Premier Plus
I would label myself a points omnivore without a doubt.
I would label myself a points omnivore without a doubt. I locked myself out of Chase cards years ago, as I jumped in the pond before 5/24 was publicized. If you check out the card on the far left of the spread in my hands, though, you can see that I JUST got approved for one recently! More on that to come…

And finally, for the traveler who can open both consumer and business cards and is a points omnivore, there’s the Bonus Combo:

  1. Ink Business Preferred
  2. Ink Business Cash
  3. Ink Business Unlimited
  4. United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card
  5. Southwest Business Card

+ Combo #3

Business credit cards do not typically count in one’s 5/24 total. So if you want to milk the Chase cards for as much as possible and you’re not particularly concerned with the possibility of getting locked out of any of the Chase consumer cards before you get to them, then go with combo #3 after working your way through all the valuable Chase business cards that appeal to you first. I want to emphasize the not particularly concerned with getting locked out of any Chase consumer cards clause of the above sentence, as this strategy is hypothetical. There’s an (increasingly probable) chance you may not get to the consumer cards you want if you hit five business cards first, as Chase becomes increasingly sensitive to credit histories/inquiries/new accounts over time. That’s why I went I over Combo’s #1 and #2 first, which are a balance of valuable consumer and business cards.

I personally think the Sapphire Reserve is the most valuable travel card out there, and wouldn’t recommend anyone potentially lock themselves out of it if they can help it. I’d always prioritize the Reserve first, then hit four business cards followed by any desirable consumer cards.

Credit card links have been removed from posts and added to the menu bar at the top of every page of MileValue under the heading Top Credit Cards.

Below I’ll talk about the business cards I chose as being the five most valuable to prioritize and what you’d earn total from those cards. I went over most of these cards in detail already in prior posts of this series, so instead of copy and pasting I’ll link to where you can read more if interested.

Ink Business Preferred

Read specifics in The Five Chase Cards You Should Apply For: Combo #1.

Ink Business Cash

Read more in The Five Chase Cards You Should Apply For: Combo #2.

Ink Business Unlimited

Read more in The Five Chase Cards You Should Apply For: Combo #2.

United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card

The United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card comes with 50,000 United miles for spending $3,000 within three months of opening the account.

I value United miles at 1.6 cents each, so a 50k bonus is worth $800 to me. Other benefits:

  • 2 miles per dollar spent at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores, and on United purchases
  • $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit
  • a free checked bag when ticket is purchased on card and flying United for traveler + 1  companion
  • Priority Boarding
  • 2 one-time passes each year to the United Club
  • 25% off United inflight purchases
  • More award space (more award space available to you compared to non-cardholders)
You can book award flights on any of these airlines with United miles and not have to worry about fuel surcharges flying any of them.
You can book award flights on any of these airlines with United miles and not have to worry about fuel surcharges flying any of them. 

United miles’ biggest strengths are that economy (flying United or partners) and Business Class (flying specifically United) awards are fairly priced and there is a good deal of award space compared to other programs. There are never any fuel surcharges on United awards, searching for award space and booking is easy, and you should be able to avoid close-in booking fees.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

Beyond just the Rapid Reward points, you may also be interested in the Southwest Companion Pass, in which case you should apply for this card at a strategic time of year (typically the very end or very beginning of a year). Read specifics in The Five Chase Cards You Should Apply For: Combo #1.

What You’ll Get Total From the Bonus Combo 

Not considering category bonuses nor the bonuses for adding authorized users, you’d earn at least 192,500 Ultimate Rewards, 53,000 United miles, and 63,000 Rapid Rewards from spending $17,000 to meet the minimum spending requirements for the sign up bonuses on the Ink Business Preferred, Ink Business Cash, Ink Business Unlimited, United MileagePlus Business Explorer, and the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card. 

  • 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent at office supply stores, and with internet, cable and phone services via the Ink Business Cash
  • 3 Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent on shipping and search engine or social network advertising via the Ink Business Preferred
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent at gas stations via the Ink Business Cash
  • 2 United miles per dollar spent at restaurants, gas stations, office supply stores, and on United purchases via the United Business Card
  • 2 Southwest Raid Rewards per dollar spent on Southwest purchases via the Southwest Business Card
  • 1.5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent on everything else via the Ink Business Unlimited

Timing of Applications

The general consensus is that Chase won’t, automatically at least, approve more than two applications in a 30 day period. It is possible to get approved for more than that, but you’ll almost certainly have to put in a reconsideration phone call and Chase representatives are known for being rather difficult in that aspect, especially with business cards. If you want smoother sailing, keep it to two applications every 30 days.

It’s wise to apply for two at the same time (on the same day), as the two hard credit inquiries should combine into one as long as both are personal cards or both are business cards. I’d recommend putting some time–at least two months if not three–between these double application days though, as Chase has been shutting down accounts recently for too many new accounts too quickly (makes you look risky to lend more credit to).

Bottom Line

If you’re a points omnivore who doesn’t care about getting locked out of any of the Chase consumer cards for a while, then apply for five of Chase’s business cards before moving on to consumer cards as they are known not to count towards your 5/24 total.

Card combo recommendations in this series will apply to the majority of people, but not everyone. If you have a very specific destination in mind and/or already have some rewards but need more to compliment, use our Free Credit Card Consultation Service. I’ll make sure you’re set up with the right cards.

And that’s all she wrote.


Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

8 COMMENTS

  1. What do you suggest for the strategy for a more complex but very common 2 player mode? My wife and I both have gotten all the way back from lol 24 to 0 /24. The reason for this great sacrifice is that we are Southwest companion pass addicts. We are trying to renew our pass in January for our 7th and 8th year. To be honest we haven’t gone total cold turkey without any new cards. We built a good supply of Amex Membership Rewards with Amex business cards and got some Bank of A Alaska business cards as well. Chase doesn’t hold all the cards but they do have some of the best ones.

    • I assume you only need one Companion Pass between the two of you, yes? And that at least one of you is eligible for a business and consumer card? If that’s the case, then one of you should go for the Southwest Business Card (first) followed by one of the consumer cards (same person applies for both). Just make sure you time it so you earn all 110k points at the very beginning of 2019 and not 2918. That post was written for earning the Companion Pass for 2018 and 2019, but the same principles still apply.

      As I don’t know what Chase cards you two already have, it’s hard for me to answer this question fully. I’d be happy to help you if you fill out this Free Credit Card Consultation Form… then I’ll have all the details I need to give you responsible recommendations.

  2. It may be worth mentioning for probably most people they need to take into consideration the min spend when opening a card (not just the hard pull or keeping chase happy). Going for a CSR and CIP in one day, for example, would be $7k in three months. That could change spending habits.

  3. Nice post, Sarah.
    I too am curious about Scott’s departure since there was never any mention of it on the website. It would have been nice had he written a farewell post.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.