Laurel & Hardy, Sonny & Cher, Mary-Kate & Ashley. Sometimes a pair is just better than one.
Find your perfect card match with Credello’s Card Pairing Tool in just a few simple steps. When paired together, their benefits for you and your money will be unstoppable.
Why pair credit cards with Credello?
Maximize cash rewards
Tailored to your spending to help you save overtime
No more math or calculations when swiping your cards
Recommendations suited for your wallet, not ours
AI-driven solutions to make the best of your money
Personalized to your unique needs
How Credello finds your card pairing
Find your perfect credit card match in 3 easy steps.
1. Answer a few questions for us
We will ask you a few basic questions about how you spend your money, your credit score, and what you want from your credit cards.
2. Benefit from our state-of-the-art algorithm
Our algorithm then picks cards that should be paired based on your responses and current information on cards from all the major brands including Amex, Citi, Capital One, etc.
3. Cards that are just right for you
We find the best matched card pairs for you and your spending habits and estimate how much cash back you will earn based on your card pair.
What is credit card pairing?
Many credit cards offer perks for using the card, such as a certain amount of points back when using the card to purchase specific items. Credit card pairing involves taking card combinations that maximize those points back, essentially only using certain cards for certain purchases that give you the most back.
For example, one credit card may offer 3x points back on grocery purchases and 1x points back on retail purchases, whereas another card offers 4x on retail purchases and 1x for groceries. Combining these two cards and using them for each of their maximized respective categories is a common example of credit card pairing.
How does credit card pairing work?
As outlined briefly above, credit card pairing is about taking the best credit card combination in order to maximize rewards. This process is a personal one that takes evaluating your own personal finances to determine where the majority of your expenditures are. For this process, you need to identify credit cards that offer the majority of points back in your most used categories such as dining or travel.
As you go through your daily life making purchases, be cognizant of which credit cards in your wallet provide the most points back for the purchase you choose to make. By always using the credit card that provides many points back, you can quickly increase your cash-back rewards through credit card pairing.
Does pairing credit cards affect credit score?
Combining credit cards, in and of itself, will not affect your credit score. However, having multiple credit cards means having access to more credit which is a large responsibility. Should you begin to fail to meet payments on your cards or simply forget to pay one off during a month because you have too many cards in your wallet, it can damage your credit score.
On the other side of things, on-time and in-full payments on all of the credit cards will benefit your credit score in the long run, potentially faster than just using a single card.
How to choose the right card combinations?
Pairing credit cards is relatively useless if the rewards category offered does not line up with any of your common purchases. That’s why, to successfully pair cards, it’s important to follow a few crucial steps to maximize the benefit of this strategy.
1. Start with where you spend the most
The first step in choosing the right credit card combination is to identify what you spend the most money on in a month. Should the majority of your expenditures be on groceries, gas, and online purchases, these should be the categories you target when looking at different credit cards.
2. Next, fill in the gaps
After identifying the categories in which you spend the most and identifying a credit card that targets those categories, look at your next most common expenditures. When choosing the card you wish to pair with the first, your goal should be to fill in the most gaps that the first card misses.
3. Determine your deal breakers
After identifying your most common spend categories and filling in the gaps, determine if there are any categories that are deal breakers for you. There are certain personal preferences that need to be taken into account when choosing cards, such as whether or not you are willing to pay an annual fee.
Some cards will come with additional benefits such as access to airport lounges, Global Entry, and other perks. It’s important to look at these additional factors beyond the reward categories to determine what you desire.
4. Stay organized
Balancing multiple credit cards is no easy feat and taking on too many cards can quickly cause damage to your credit history. However, it’s also important to remember which credit cards offer the most points back in each category. Remembering to use those cards when making the purchases in which they offer the most back can be a challenge. Try writing down on a piece of paper the reward values for each card and memorizing those values.
5. Know your redemption goals
Earning credit card rewards just to never use them defeats the entire purpose of earning the rewards in the first place. Create goals for your credit card rewards and identify what it is you are hoping to use those points on, whether it be cash back, travel credit, or something more.
Are you using the right credit cards for pairing?
Tips for strategic combination of cashback credit cards for different categories
Everyday purchases, such as groceries, food, goods, and more, are the most common category to seek rewards from credit cards. Considering they are where the majority of a person’s expenditures are, the best credit card strategy should include a card that offers benefits in this category. Consider taking on a rotating category card, that offers additional rewards in a category that changes on a quarterly basis.
Beyond standard day-to-day expenditures, gas is another extremely common expense. There are some credit cards with gas rewards up to 4-or-5x points back, depending on the card. Some everyday purchase credit cards may also offer gas rewards, so read the categories covered by a card before investing in a credit card combination for gas.
Travel is a major focus for many individuals, and a travel credit card can help provide points in this category. Whether you are on planes for work or for personal travel often, airline tickets are expensive which means they can be a quick way to earn points back in your account.
When looking for the best credit cards to pair together or the best credit cards to pair with cash rewards, cards that are restaurant focused can be a great addition to your wallet. Whether it be food delivery or going out to eat, a restaurant focused credit card can fill in the gap of your common expenditures.
As with airlines, hotels are another important aspect of travel where credit card points can be particularly beneficial. Whether using rewards points to stay at hotels or simply putting hotel purchases on your credit card, this is a category that should be considered when applying for different cards.
Questions to consider before applying for a new card
Beyond determining what your common expenses are, there are a number of questions to consider when looking at the best combination credit cards: • What do I hope to use rewards on? • Are there additional perks this card offers? • Is this a tiered reward card of flat reward card? • Do I use all of the reward categories this credit card offers?
Do not choose to add a credit card to your wallet to simply have another credit card. Be sure that you are receiving the most benefit out of every card you have inside of your wallet.
Is credit card pairing a good idea?
Many people who are new to the idea of credit card combinations often wonder if it’s a necessary strategy. The best credit card pairings can provide countless benefits across many different spending categories. For example, tiered credit cards will offer bonuses in different spend categories, such as gas and groceries. Pairing a tiered credit card with a travel credit card, for example, is a great way to maximize your rewards that you wouldn’t normally get.
Want to learn more about credit card pairings?
Try it out here
Pros and cons of pairing credit cards
As with any type of credit, there are both pros and cons that can be expected. The best credit card pairings will offer more pros than cons, but being aware of the risks is crucial:
Pros of pairing credit cards
• Increased prospective rewards • Different reward redemption options (cash back, travel redemptions, etc.) • Bonus periods with increased rewards offered for some credit cards
Cons of pairing credit cards • Increased debt can pose a risk to your credit score in the event of lack of payment
Increased prospective rewards
Increased debt can pose a risk to your credit score in the event of lack of payment
Different reward redemption options (cash back, travel redemptions, etc.)
Bonus periods with increased rewards offered for some credit cards
Frequently asked questions
What credit cards work well together?
The best combination of credit cards to have are those which do not overlap. When evaluating the best credit card pairs, an everyday purchase card, restaurant or general food card, and travel card are some excellent combinations to consider.
How do I maximize multiple credit cards?
Maximizing multiple credit cards to create the best credit card pairings is about filling all the possible gaps in your expenditures. Ensure that every time you make a purchase, you are receiving some type of reward in return. Avoid many overlaps between your credit cards, as it will defeat the purpose of having the card at the end of the day.
Can I combine reward point from different credit cards?
Creating a card combo with transferable points can typically only be done by credit cards of the same company. For example, Chase Freedom points can be combined with Chase Sapphire points, but points from a Chase card cannot be combined with points from an American Express card. However, if the credit cards you have offer cash-back redemption, you can simply redeem for cash-back on all your cards and combine that cash.
How can I use 2 credit cards smartly?
The best bank and credit card pair will allow you to maximize your points. Use your credit cards to only make purchases that fall into their respective reward categories, and you will be well on your way to smartly using both cards together.
Disclaimer: Credello is not a licensed credit repair organization, credit counselor, debt management company, debt settlement company, or any other organization in the business of offering advice as to how to improve or repair your credit. Any information provided on this website that pertains to your credit is not to be construed as credit improvement or credit repair advice from Credello.