The Ultimate Credit Card System for Maximizing Ultimate Reward Points and Free flights: The Chase Quadfecta (2017)

The Chase Quadfecta is the four card system by Chase to maximize your everyday spend. We've talked about the Chase Trifecta, which consists of the Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Freedom, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Reserve. The Chase Quadfecta takes the trifecta to the next level. 

To create the Quadfecta, you'll need the Chase Ink Cash card. 

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Chase Ink Cash

The Chase Ink Cash is a business credit card. To qualify, you'll need a sole proprietorship, LLC, or corporation. This may seem complicated, but it's easier than you think. If you generate revenue outside of your full-time job, then you are a business owner. 

For example, I have a friend that gets paid by clients to create a workout and diet plan. This counts as a business because he is generating income outside of his full-time job. His business has been around for one year, and he reported $6,000 of income to Chase and got approved for a Chase Ink card. YMMV.

So why do we want to add the Ink Cash to the Quadfecta? The real benefit is that it has a 5x category without an annual fee. Even though the website says cash back, you earn Ultimate Rewards points.

Chase Ink Cash:

Earn 5x (up to $25,000 of spend) at:

  • Office supply stores
  • Internet, cable, and phone services

Earn 2x (up to $25,000 of spend) at:

  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants

Earn 1x (no maximum) on everything else

The 1x isn't relevant because the Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5x on all purchases. We're going to focus on the 5x and 2x categories. 

5x Categories

For most people, you probably have an internet, cable, and phone bill. My internet bill is $50/month, and my phone bill is $70/month. Depending on how much your bills are, you could get a lot of value from this.

Office supply stores like Office Max and Staples earn 5x back. These stores sell gift cards from other retailers like Gap, Lowe's, Target, Whole Foods, Sephora, Hotels.com, and much more. 

With gift cards, there are two considerations:

1. Don't use gift cards for electronics or items that you would want extended warranty on. Buying the items with a gift card would void any credit card benefits you would usually get.

2. If you buy cash equivalent gift cards like Visa gift cards, your account can get shut down. Most credit card companies can see third-level data, meaning they can see what kind of gift card you purchased. 

2x Categories

Earn 2x back on gas and restaurants. For gas, this is a good benefit because no other cards in the Quadfecta offer 2x back on gas. The Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Preferred earn 3x and 2x back on dining, respectively. Depending on the card you have, the 2x might not make a difference.

Redeeming Points

For me, the main value of the Chase Ink Cash is that it opens up more doors to earn 5x back, plus there is not an annual fee. 

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If you're looking to redeem points for cash back, you're only getting 1 cents per point (CPP). 

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can redeem points for 1.25x using the Chase Travel Portal and 1.5 CPP with the Reserve. You can use transfer partners to get 2 CPP. 

The % in the image above represents the return on spend. For example, 5x point redemption using the Chase Sapphire Reserve comes out to be 7.5% return on spend. 

Optimal Strategy

Looking through the decision flow:

Try to use the Chase Freedom first for 5x categories, if not then move on to the Chase Ink Cash to see if the item falls into a 5x category (store gift cards).

Next in the flow is the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Preferred to see if the purchase falls into a respective 3x or 2x category.

If it doesn't fall into any of the 5x-2x categories, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited is the catch all card to earn 1.5x on all other purchases.