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The 5 Best Credit Cards Combos of 2024: Maximizing Rewards & Travel with Minimal Fees

Hello credit card lovers!

Ready to make your credit cards work smarter? If you’re all about getting the most bang for your buck without hefty fees, this is just the place for you. We’re zooming in on the best credit card pairings that can boost your rewards on everyday activities.

Whether you’re a fan of stacking up points at supermarkets, treating yourself to meals out, or you’ve got the travel bug, we’ve got tips for you. It’s time to make every penny you spend count.

We’re diving deep into the world of credit card combinations, exploring how to maximize rewards, minimize costs, and transform your everyday spending into a treasure trove of benefits. So, let’s jump in and explore how to make your credit cards do more for you, hassle-free!

What To Look for in a Credit Card Combination

Choosing the right credit card combo is like picking the perfect travel buddy – it should match your style and make every trip (or purchase) more enjoyable.

Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

  1. Look for Low Fees: Who likes paying more than they need to? A card with a low or no annual fee means more money stays in your pocket.
  2. 2. Diverse Bonus Categories: Some cards give you extra points for things like grocery shopping and dining out. If you spend a lot in these areas, these cards can be super rewarding.
  3. Travel Perks are Key: If you’re bitten by the travel bug, a card that offers travel rewards, like points on flights and hotels or no foreign transaction fees, is a must-have.
  4. Global Friendliness: A card that’s widely accepted and offers benefits worldwide can be a lifesaver when you’re globe-trotting.

Next, let’s explore the top 5 credit card picks for 2024 and see why they could be your wallet’s new best friends.

Our Top 5 Credit Card Picks for 2024

#1. Chase Freedom Flex

  • $200 Welcome Bonus
  • 5% Gas and Grocery
  • 0% Intro APR– First 15 months
  • No Annual Fee

Chase Freedom Flex


The Chase Freedom Flex is a credit card that helps you earn cash back on your everyday purchases with no-annual fee. The card is especially known for its rotating bonus categories – every three months, you can earn 5% cash back on different types of purchases.

  • 5% on rotating bonus categories each quarter
  • 5% on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% on dining including eligible delivery services and takeout
  • 3% on drugstore purchases

This card is an excellent choice for beginners and remains valuable indefinitely.

The Chase Freedom Flex is a great choice for anyone who wants a no-annual-fee card that gives good rewards on dining and drugstore purchases. It’s fun to use because it offers different bonus categories with 5% back every three months, so you can earn extra rewards on various types of spending.

C-L-Credit’s tips

What’s cool is that if you earn points with the Chase Freedom Flex and then use a Chase Sapphire card, like the Sapphire Preferred, to redeem them, you get a 25% bonus when booking through the Chase Travel Portal. This combo of using the Freedom Flex for earning and a Sapphire card for redeeming is a smart way to make the most of Chase’s credit cards.

Although the famous Chase Trifecta involves three cards, in this case, we’re focusing on just two Chase cards, which is still a powerful setup.
if you want to know the chase trifecta, check this post:

#2. Bilt Mastercard®

  • A Only card has reward on Rent
  • Double points on Rent Day
  • No Annual Fee

Bilt Mastercard®


Paying rent just got rewarding! With no annual fee, The Bilt Mastercard® lets you earn points on your biggest monthly expense – rent. It’s a game-changer for renters looking to get more from their payments.

  • 1X per dollar on Rent
  • 3X per dollar on Dining
  • 2X per dollar on Travel (booked directly through a hotel, airline, or car rental)
  • 1X per dollar for all other purchases
  • 5X on Lyft ride

The Bilt Mastercard® is a unique credit card, perfect for renters and those who love travel and dining perks. It stands out because it lets you earn points on your rent without any extra fees. Imagine getting rewards for your biggest monthly bill – that’s what Bilt does!

But there’s more. You’re not just earning on rent. The card gives you points for dining and travel too. So, whether you’re grabbing a meal out or booking a trip, booked directly through a hotel, airline, or car rental, you’re racking up rewards.

The Bilt Rewards program is super versatile. You can use your points for travel, merchandise, or even future rent payments. Plus, it’s got different status tiers, from Blue to Platinum, each with its own cool benefits, like extra points and exclusive gifts.

The best part? No transaction fees when paying rent, even if you’re using PayPal or Venmo (but no Zelle yet). And if you’re into traveling, the card’s got you covered with travel protections and perks like trip cancellation coverage and a collision damage waiver for rental cars.

For those who love deals, the Bilt Mastercard® offers merchant discounts and a concierge service. And on the first of every month, it’s a points bonanza with double rewards on non-rent purchases.

C-L-Credit’s tips

If you’re into maximizing rewards, pairing the Bilt card with others like the Chase Freedom cards and Sapphire cards can be a power move. Both Bilt and Chase share some cool travel partners, so your points can go even further.

In a nutshell, the Bilt Mastercard® is a game-changer, especially for renters. It turns your rent payments into a path for earning rewards, making it a smart pick for anyone who wants to get the most out of their credit card.

#3. Capital One SavorOne

  • $200 Welcome Bonus
  • 0% intro APR (for 15 months)
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
  • A Complimentary Uber One Membership
    (until November 14th 2024)

Capital One SavorOne


For all you foodies and entertainment enthusiasts, The Capital OneSavorOne stands out for anyone who loves to spend on dining, entertainment, and groceries. With no annual fee and great cash back rewards in these fun areas, it beats many other cards hands down.
If you love making the most of your everyday spending, the SavorOne card is a smart choice.

  • 3% cash back on dining.
  • 3% cash back on entertainment.
  • 3% cash back on grocery stores.
  • 3% cash back on streaming services.
  • 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars.
    (Booked via Capital One Travel)
  • 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchase.
  • 10% cash back on Uber rides and Uber Eats.
    (until November 14th 2024)

The Capital One SavorOne is a great card for daily spending. This is a fantastic no-annual-fee cash-back credit card for those who love dining, entertainment, and grocery shopping. It offers unlimited 3% cash back in these categories, making it perfect for food enthusiasts and social butterflies. Plus, you’ll get 1% back on everything else.

Travelers will love this card too. You’ll get 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. There are cool travel perks like 24-hour assistance and travel accident insurance.

Security-wise, the SavorOne is top-notch. It offers virtual card numbers for safe online shopping and $0 fraud liability, keeping your finances secure.

And for those who love special events, the SavorOne card gets you VIP access and 8% cash back on purchases through Capital One Entertainment.

Are you comparing it to other cards like the Amex Gold? The SavorOne stands out for its simplicity, no annual fee, and generous cash-back rates on fun stuff like dining out and entertainment.

#4. Chase Sapphire Preferred®

  • 60,000 bonus points
  • $95 Annual Fee
  • $50 annual hotel credit
  • 10% anniversary points bonus points
  • 25% bonus
    (when redeeming points for travel through the Chase travel portal)
  • No foreign transaction fees

Chase Sapphire Preferred®


Travelers, this one’s for you. Earn big on travel and dining, and say goodbye to foreign transaction fees. Plus, it comes with sweet travel perks like primary car rental insurance, making your trips worry-free.

  • 5X on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3X on dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases (excluding Walmart, Target, and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points per dollar on all other travel purchases
  • 1X point per dollar on everything else

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is really good for people who travel a lot and like to eat out. It’s perfect if you have a good credit score and can make the most of the card’s travel perks, like bonus points and the option to swap points with airlines and hotels.

The card has an annual fee, but it’s worth it if you’re going to use all these cool features.The annual fee is $95, but you get a $50 hotel credit every year, making it more affordable. The welcome bonus is great too, giving you a big points boost if you spend enough in the first few months.

If you can spend enough to get the welcome bonus when you first get the card, that’s a big plus. But, if you’re not into traveling much or the fee seems a bit much for your budget, there might be other credit cards out there that are a better fit for you.

The real perk of this card is getting more value when you use points for travel through Chase, with a 25% bonus. You can combine it with other Chase cards like Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex to earn even more points. And you can transfer your points to different airline and hotel partners, which gives you more travel options.

C-L-Credit’s tips

After considering the $50 hotel credit, the $95 annual fee for the Sapphire Preferred effectively drops down to just $45. This is the reason why this card is called one of the best travel cards!

Plus, every year, you get a bonus of 10% on all the points you’ve collected. And, there’s no extra cost for using it abroad. Added bonuses include free DashPass membership for cheaper food deliveries and primary rental car coverage.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a great choice if you’re into earning rewards for your travel and dining expenses.

#5. Capital One Venture X

  • 75,000 bonus miles Welcome Bonus
  • $300 in yearly credits
  • 10,000 bonus miles on every account anniversary. (equivalent to $100 for travel) 
  • $395 Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee

Capital One Venture X


This is the heavyweight champion of travel cards. It’s ideal for those who want to earn massively on every dollar spent, especially on travel and hotel stays. With its travel credits and hotel perks, it’s like having a VIP pass to the world.

  • 10X Mile on Hotel and Rental Cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • 5X Mile on flight booked through Capital One Travel.
  • 2x Mile on All other purchases, unlimited.

The Capital One Venture X card shines for those who love to travel, blending high-end perks with practical rewards. Though the $395 annual fee might initially seem high, it’s effectively reduced thanks to a $300 travel booking credit and a 10,000-mile bonus each year. These benefits will cover all of the annual fees, This is awesome.

This card goes beyond just earning miles – it’s about making your travel smoother and more enjoyable. You get access to Capital One Lounge and over 1,300 Priority Pass lounges with Priority Pass, TSA PreCheck, and Hertz President’s Circle status. It’s a great fit for frequent travelers, who will find the card’s benefits particularly valuable.

Venture X really stands out in the world of travel rewards credit cards. With its generous 75,000-mile welcome bonus, which could be worth up to $1,388 with transfer partners, it’s a card that can easily justify its annual fee for regular travelers. Smart spending to hit the welcome bonus threshold is key.

When you consider the benefits against the annual fee, frequent travelers actually come out ahead, effectively turning that fee into a small profit for all the luxury experiences the card offers. Along with these travel benefits, Venture X provides solid travel protection and everyday perks like mobile device insurance.

In the premium card arena, Venture X competes well, even with a lower annual fee compared to cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and American Express Platinum. While it doesn’t have as many U.S. airline partners or flexible travel credits as these competitors, its other benefits are still very appealing.

C-L-Credit’s tips

This is only one luxury travel card that can offset the annual fee.
The actual annual fee will be:
AF $350 – Hotel credit $300 – Anniversary mile 10,000 (worth $100)
This is the cheapest luxury travel card to compare to other cards, like Amex Platinum (AF $695) and Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550)

Overall, the Capital One Venture X is an excellent choice for those who travel often and can make the most of its rewards and perks. However, if you don’t travel much or are looking for cash back rewards, other cards might suit you better. Consider how often you travel and what you spend most on to see if Venture X is the right card for you.

Why We Love These 5 Cards

These five cards are not just pieces of plastic; they’re powerful tools for maximizing your rewards and minimizing fees. Here’s why they’re our top picks:

  1. Versatility in Rewards:
    Each card offers unique bonus categories. Whether it’s the Chase Freedom Flex with its rotating bonuses or the Bilt Mastercard® earning points on rent, these cards cater to a variety of spending habits. These 5 cards cover almost all of the categories of daily expenses.
  2. Low to Reasonable Fees:
    We understand that fees can be a dealbreaker. That’s why our picks include cards with low or reasonable annual fees. The value you get in rewards and benefits far outweighs the cost.
  3. Travel Friendly:
    Whether you’re a frequent flyer or just someone who loves a vacation once or a few times a year (and who doesn’t?), these cards are perfect for your journeys. Imagine enjoying your travels more and spending less, thanks to perks like zero foreign transaction fees with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and travel credits from the Capital One Venture X. They turn globe-trotting into a more rewarding, cost-effective experience.
  4. Universal Appeal:
    No matter if you’re often in the air, a foodie at heart, or an avid online shopper, these cards cater to all. They come with rewards and benefits tailored to fit a range of lifestyles and spending habits.
  5. Daily Spending Perks:
    The Capital One SavorOne enhances your streaming and dining experiences, making entertainment and eating out more delightful.

Total Annual Fee Breakdown for the 5-Card Strategy

When you combine the Chase Freedom Flex, Bilt Mastercard®, Capital One SavorOne, Chase Sapphire Preferred®, and Capital One Venture X, the total nominal annual fee adds up to $490. Here’s how it’s distributed:

  • Chase Freedom Flex: $0
  • Bilt Mastercard®: $0
  • Capital One SavorOne: $0
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred®: $95
  • Capital One Venture X: $395

However, when you factor in the benefits, the actual annual fee comes down significantly to just $40. Let’s see why:

  • Venture X’s effective annual fee becomes -$5, considering a $300 hotel credit and 10,000 anniversary miles (valued at $100).
  • Sapphire Preferred’s fee is reduced to $45 after accounting for a $50 hotel credit.

So, the real annual cost across these cards is just $40, making this an attractive setup for savvy spenders and travelers.

The fees might initially seem high, but the travel credits, lounge access, and extra points significantly enhance their value. For those who make the most of these benefits, the annual fees are not only justified but can lead to substantial savings and rewards.

Bonus categories with all 5 cards

This helps you easily compare the rewards offered by the Chase Freedom Flex, Bilt Mastercard®, Capital One SavorOne, Chase Sapphire Preferred®, and Capital One Venture X across various spending categories. Each card has its unique strengths, making it suitable for different spending patterns and preferences:

Spending CategoryChase Freedom FlexBilt Mastercard®Capital One SavorOneChase Sapphire Preferred®Capital One Venture X
Welcome Bonus$200N/A$20060,000 points75,000 miles
Grocery3%3X on online grocery purchases
Travel5% on travel through Chase2X on direct bookings5% on hotels/rental cars via Capital One Travel5X on travel through Chase,
2X on all other travel
10X on hotels/rental cars,
5X on flights via Capital One Travel
Streaming Services1%3%3X2X
Drugstore Purchases3%2X
Rotating Bonus Categories5% (Up to $1,500 in purchases quarterly)Double points on Rent DayN/AN/AN/A
Lyft Rides5%5X
Other Purchases1%1X1%1X2X
C-L-Credit’s tips

The approach primarily involves the Capital One Duo and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards. Use Capital One Savor One for groceries, and Venture X for non-category expenses like online shopping.
We suggest using Sapphire Preferred for dining expenses, as points receive a 25% boost when used for travel purchases through the Chase Travel Portal. This effectively turns 3X dining points into 3.75X.

Understanding strategy

breaking down each strategy’s benefits. Before going to act to get these 5 cards, you need to know this:

Understanding Your Credit Score

Before you start with any credit strategy, it’s important to know your credit score. This score is a key factor that banks and lenders look at to decide if they should give you a credit card or loan. It’s based on how you’ve handled your finances in the past, like if you pay bills on time and how much debt you have.

A good credit score means you might get better deals, like lower interest rates, when you borrow money. If your score isn’t that high, you might have fewer choices or pay more in interest.

You can easily check your credit score for free through some credit card companies or online. Once you know your score, you can work on improving it by paying bills on time and not using too much of your available credit. Keeping your credit score healthy is a good step for any financial plans you have.

Check this post to understand credit score more:

The Chase Trifecta Strategy

Think of the Chase Trifecta as a super team of credit cards. It combines the Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and a Chase business card like the Ink Business Preferred. Use the Freedom Flex for its rotating 5% cashback categories every quarter, and the Sapphire Preferred for more points on travel and dining. The Chase business card boosts your points on business expenses. This combo helps you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points really fast.

Chase 5/24 Rule and 48-Month Rule

Just remember, Chase has a couple of rules. The 5/24 Rule means if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months, Chase might not approve you for a new one. And with the 48-Month Rule, you can’t get a new Sapphire card bonus if you got one in the last 4 years. So, it’s smart to plan your card applications and use each card where it gives you the most points.

The Capital One Duo Strategy

If you’re looking for an easier way to rack up rewards, consider the Capital One Duo strategy.

This involves teaming up the Capital One SavorOne with the Capital One Venture X. The trick is to use the SavorOne card for your dining and entertainment expenses, where it offers cash back, and switch to the Venture X for travel-related purchases to accumulate miles. This approach covers a wide range of spending, making it a versatile combo for earning rewards on almost everything you buy.

Capital One 6-Month Rule

However, keep in mind Capital One’s application policies. The 6-Month Rule means Capital One is less likely to approve you for a new card if you’ve already opened one with them in the last six months. Also, there’s a general guideline that you can’t have more than two Capital One cards at a time. So, plan your credit card applications accordingly and use each card in the areas where they offer the most rewards to maximize your benefits.

Cashing in Your Rewards: Travel and More

Once you’ve built up your rewards, whether it’s with Chase Trifecta, Capital One Duo, or Bilt Rewards, you’ve got some great options for using them. With Chase, you can transfer your points to lots of different travel partners, helping you save on your next vacation. If you’re not traveling, you can turn those points into a statement credit to lower your bills.

For Capital One Duo and Bilt users, you also get the freedom to redeem for travel or get cash back. Plus, Bilt lets you use your points for rent payments, which is a unique perk. So, whether you’re planning a trip, streaming your favorite shows, or just managing everyday expenses, these rewards programs give you plenty of ways to make the most of your points.

Travel Partners and Shared Benefits

Step into a realm of endless travel opportunities with your Chase, Capital One, and Bilt cards. These cards are your gateway to a vast network of airline and hotel partnerships, broadening your horizons for redeeming your hard-earned points. Whether you’re dreaming of a relaxing weekend escape or an adventurous journey across the globe, these cards help turn your travel aspirations into reality by offering access to a range of memorable experiences.

Airline Transfer And Hotel Partners

Here’s a look at the airline and hotel transfer partners for the Chase Freedom Flex/Sapphire Preferred, Bilt Mastercard®, and Capital One SavorOne/Venture X cards, showcasing the variety and extent of their travel networks:

Airline Transfer Partners:

Transfer PartnersChase Freedom Flex / Sapphire PreferredBilt Mastercard®Capital One SavorOne / Venture X
Aer Lingus AerClub🔵🔵
Air Canada Aeroplan🔵🔵🔵
Air France-KLM Flying Blue🔵🔵🔵
American Airlines AAdvantage🔵
Avianca LifeMiles🔵🔵
British Airways Executive Club🔵🔵🔵
Cathay Pacific Asia Miles🔵🔵
Emirates Skywards🔵🔵🔵
Etihad Guest🔵
Finnair Plus🔵
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles🔵
Iberia Plus🔵🔵
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer🔵🔵
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards🔵
TAP Miles&Go🔵
Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles🔵🔵
United MileagePlus🔵🔵
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club🔵🔵🔵
EVA Air – Infinity MileageLands🔵
Qantas Frequent Flyer🔵
Virgin Red🔵

Hotel Transfer Partners:

Transfer PartnersChase Freedom Flex / Sapphire PreferredBilt Mastercard®Capital One SavorOne / Venture X
IHG One Rewards🔵🔵
Marriott Bonvoy🔵
World of Hyatt🔵🔵
Wyndham Rewards🔵
Choice Privileges®🔵

Shared Airline Partners

Air Canada Aeroplan, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, British Airways Executive Club, Emirates Skywards, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club are partners shared by all three programs.
This means you have more flexibility in choosing flights.

For instance, if Japan is on your radar, you can redeem points with Air Canada Aeroplan for flights on ANA and United Airlines. Also, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club’s partnership with ANA offers great deals, especially for business and first-class flights.

Check this post to get more details for booking a Flight to Japan with Air Canada Aeroplan and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club:

Managing Your Cards and Rewards with MaxRewards


MaxRewards is a tool that can help you maximize your card’s offer. It’s like having a smart assistant in your pocket, always ready to recommend the best card to use for every purchase, especially for local shopping. It keeps track of all your offers, monitors how you’re utilizing those well-deserved rewards, and organizes all your card details – such as due dates and balance – in a tidy manner. Curious about which card offers the most cash back at a specific store? MaxRewards has your answer.

It’s also proficient at exporting your reward balances into convenient Excel and PDF files, and it’ll even alert you when those points are about to expire. If you enjoy keeping tabs on your rewards, recent purchases, and total earnings, the free version will suit you perfectly. But remember, MaxRewards doesn’t replace professional financial advice, so it’s always wise to consult a financial advisor for personalized advice.

Bottom Line: Making the Most of Your Credit Cards

With these top 5 credit card combinations, you’re equipped to elevate your spending game. Whether it’s earning more points, enjoying travel perks, or simply getting cash back on your daily purchases, these cards are your ticket to a smarter financial lifestyle in 2024.

Perfect! Let’s wrap up the blog with a Frequently Asked Questions section to address common queries about the best credit card setups.

Frequently Asked Questions

Best Credit Card Set Up with Minimum Fee

Absolutely! By carefully selecting cards with complementary benefits, you can maximize rewards on different spending categories. For instance, use one card for dining out and another for travel expenses to get the most points or cash back.

It depends on your spending habits and the card’s benefits. Cards with annual fees often offer higher reward rates and additional perks. If these align with your spending and lifestyle, the fee can be well worth it.

Choose a card specifically designed for travelers, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Capital One Savor One, or Capital One Venture X. These cards typically waive foreign transaction fees, saving you money on purchases made abroad.

The best redemption strategy depends on your personal preferences and needs. Some may prefer travel rewards, while others might opt for cash back or statement credits. Consider what’s most valuable to you and choose accordingly.

It can be, but tools like Chase Credit Journey can help you keep track of your spending and rewards. Staying organized and paying attention to billing cycles is key to managing multiple cards effectively. Using the app called MAXREWARDS can be helpful to manage multiple cards.

No. it’s only in the same credit card program. For instance, points earned on the Chase Freedom Flex can be transferred to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, where they can be worth more when redeemed for travel. But there are some common transfer partners. You can redeem different rewards for the same partner.

Yes, cards like the Chase Freedom Flex offer rotating bonus categories, which often include online shopping. These can give you extra points or cash back for your digital purchases. And, Venture X has 2X for all purchases.

Check the other recommendations in Japanese: https://credit.meoto-ny.com/best-credit-card/

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