Chase credit cards are some of the best credit cards on the market. That holds especially true of cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, arguably the most versatile rewards points out there. Even for those cards that don’t, though, Chase’s sheer number and variety of credit cards mean it likely has a card that’s great for you. That includes some of the best get-out-of-debt free cards, travel cards, and solid co-branded airline and hotel credit cards.
The downside, though, is that Chase also puts serious restrictions on who it approves for its credit cards. If you already have a few cards to your name, you may be out of luck; but if you’ve got solid credit and want to really cash in on your spending, a Chase credit card is a great way to do it. Try out the CardCruncher tool to find the best rewards for how you spend, and read on to get the full lowdown on the best Chase credit cards.
The best Chase credit cards of 2020
Chase offers a huge variety of credit cards to fit different purposes: 0% APR cards for balance transfers; cash-back cards; and travel rewards cards, just to name a few. The bank also offers a bunch of great co-branded credit cards with airlines and hotels, so there’s likely a card that fits your travel habits, too. Here are a few of the best.
- Best cash-back card: Chase Freedom
- Best rewards card: Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Best 0% APR card: Chase Slate
- Best travel rewards card: Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Best business card: Chase Ink Business Preferred
- Best airline card: Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus
- Best hotel card: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
- Best for online shopping: Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
The Chase 5/24 rule
If you’re a credit card enthusiast, you’ll want to know about what’s known as the 5/24 rule.
Put simply, Chase’s 5/24 rule means that if you’ve opened more than five new credit card accounts with any card issuer in the last 24 months, your application for a new Chase card will be automatically denied. This includes accounts where you’ve been added as an authorized user.
There are, of course, exceptions to the rule. Business credit card activity, for instance, typically isn’t get reported to the consumer credit bureaus, so it doesn’t count toward your five credit card accounts. (Note: Capital One and Discover do report business card activity on your personal credit report.)
Additionally, you may be able to bypass the 5/24 rule if you receive a “selected offer for you” message on your online account and apply for the offered card.
Others have reported being able to get around the rule with certain in-branch offers and targeted offers, but your mileage may vary.
To find out how many new credit card accounts you’ve opened in the past 24 months, sign up for a credit monitoring service like Credit Karma. In addition to giving you free access to your credit score, the service also shows you each account on your Equifax and TransUnion credit reports, along with when you opened it.
You can also get a full copy of your credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com, which will provide the same information.
How does the Chase Ultimate Rewards program work?
Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program offers significant flexibility if you have the right card. You can earn Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire and Freedom credit cards, as well as the Ink business credit cards.
If you have the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited cards, you can redeem your points for cash back, gift cards, travel, or shopping on Amazon.com. The same goes with the Ink Business Cash Credit Card.
|Amazon Rewards Visa® Signature Card||$0||$70 for Amazon Prime members, and $50 for non-members||16.49% to 24.49%||Cash back|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$0||$0||16.49% - 25.24% Variable||Cash back|
|Chase Freedom®||$0||$150||16.49% - 25.24% Variable||Cash back|
|Chase Ink Business Cash||$0||$500||14.74% - 20.74% Variable||Cash back|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred℠||$95||80,000 points||17.49% - 22.49% Variable||Ultimate Rewards|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred®||$95||60,000 points||17.49% - 24.49% Variable||Ultimate Rewards|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve℠||$550||50,000 points||18.49% - 25.49% Variable||Ultimate Rewards|
|Chase Slate® credit card||$0||$0||0% for 15 months, then 17.24% to 25.99%||No rewards|
|Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Card||$95||75,000 points||17.49% - 24.49% Variable||Marriott Bonvoy|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus||$69||40,000||17.49% - 24.49% Variable||Southwest Rapid Rewards|
Premium Chase credit cards
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card you’ll get even more redemption flexibility.
For starters, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you’ll get 25% more value if you use your points to book travel through your Ultimate Rewards account. For example, if you have 50,000 points, they’d be worth $625 in travel.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, that bonus increases to 50%, giving you $750 worth of travel for 50,000 points.
These three cards also allow you to transfer points to any of Chase’s airline and hotel partners. As of April 2019, the Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners include:
- Aer Lingus AerClub
- British Airways Executive Club
- Flying Blue Air France KLM
- Iberia Plus
- JetBlue TrueBlue
- Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
- United MileagePlus
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- IHG Rewards Club
- Marriott Bonvoy
- World of Hyatt
Depending on how you transfer and redeem your points, you could squeeze even more value out of Ultimate Rewards points. Many credit card experts have managed to transfer points too book international flights in first or business class at an extremely high rate of value per point—often exceeding even $0.05 per point, based on the cash price of such tickets. For reference, when you redeem for cash back or gift cards, one point is worth just $0.01.
Note that you can also combine Ultimate Rewards points from different cards on the same account. So if you have the Chase Freedom card and Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer points you earn on the Chase Freedom to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. That unlocks all sorts of powerful bonus categories, along with more valuable partner transfers. Combining Chase credit cards is one of the most powerful tools in any rewards program.
How do Chase Offers work?
Chase Offers is a relatively new program on personal Chase credit cards that gives you cash back or statement credits when you spend at a given merchant.
Using the Chase mobile app or Chase Pay mobile app, you can search for and add offers to your card, then earn a statement credit for a percentage or set dollar amount on that offer. You’ll typically get the statement credit within seven to 14 business days. You’ll still earn at your normal rewards same rate, too, in addition to getting a statement credit.
Chase Offers vary by card, but, unfortunately, not all credit cards are eligible. If you have a card that comes with Chase Offers, check back regularly for new ones.
What credit score do you need to get one of the best Chase credit cards?
In general, Chase credit cards require good to excellent credit for approval. Some cards may even be targeted only to people with excellent credit.
Unlike most other card issuers, Chase doesn’t offer any credit cards for people with fair or bad credit; that includes secured and student credit cards. For those kinds of products, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Are Chase credit cards Visa or Mastercard?
As of April 2019, all Chase credit cards process payments through the Visa network, which means you can use your credit card anywhere Visa is accepted. In general, though, some credit cards may switch back and forth between Visa and Mastercard, depending on the card issuer’s partnerships with both networks.
So while you won’t see a Chase Mastercard today, that could change in the future.
Chase Freedom vs. Unlimited: Which is better?
The Chase Freedom is a cash-back credit card that offers 5% back on up to $1,500 each quarter in rotating categories. Those categories typically fall in the everyday spending bucket, but they change every three months. Those cateegories have historically included things like purchases at gas stations, drug stores, ride services, and department stores. All other purchases net you only 1% back.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited, on the other hand, earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase, regardless of category. Which of these Chase credit cards best fits you will depend on a few factors.
Beyond the rewards programs, the two cards are virtually identical. The right card for you depends on your spending habits and preferences. Check the Chase Freedom cash-back calendar to get an idea of what you’ll earn 5% cash back on for the year, and decide whether you spend enough in those categories to get a significant rewards.
If not, you may be better off with a high, but flat rewards rate. The same goes if you just don’t want to keep track of ever-changing bonus categories.
If, however, you want the Chase Freedom for its 5% bonus rewards and plan to use another high-earning card on other spending categories, it can be a great way to maximize your rewards.
Best Chase credit card details
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Annual Fee: $95
APR: 17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Bonus: 60,000 points
Pro: Ultimate Rewards points offer a lot of flexibility. You can redeem for cash back or gift cards, or get 25% more value when booking travel through Chase’s travel portal. Even better, the Chase Sapphire Preferred allows transfers to travel partners, which mean even more lucrative redemptions.
Con: Low base rewards rate.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Annual Fee: $550
APR: 18.49% - 25.49% Variable
Bonus: 50,000 points
Pro: Get 50% more value when booking travel through Chase. The Chase Sapphire Reserve also allows travel partner transfers, along with offering a $300 annual travel credit, along with incredible travel insurance and perks.
Con: Steep annual fee.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Pro: Offers up to 5% cash back on everyday spending categories that rotate every few months.
Con: Most purchases will net just a 1% rewards rate.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Pro: Offers a relatively high rewards rate on every purchase you make.
Con: No opportunities for bonus rewards.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% for 15 months, then 17.24% to 25.99%
Pro: Waives its balance transfer fee for the first 60 days, and offers a great 0% introductory APR.
Con: Doesn’t offer any rewards.
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 16.49% to 24.49%
Bonus: $70 for Amazon Prime members, and $50 for non-members
Pro: Offers up to 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market if you’re an Amazon Prime member.
Con: Offers lower rewards for non-Prime members.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 14.74% - 20.74% Variable
Pro: Offers up to 5% cash back on a number of small business-related purchases.
Con: Caps bonus rewards and offers only 1% back on non-bonus spending.
Ink Business Preferred Credit CardAPR: 17.49% - 22.49% Variable
Bonus: 80,000 points
Pro: Gives you 25% more value when booking travel through Chase, and earns a high rewards rate on travel with a low annual fee.
Con: Doesn’t waive the annual fee for the first year.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card
Annual Fee: $69
APR: 17.49% - 24.49% Variable
Pro/strength: Offers 3,000 bonus points every year to help make up for the card’s annual fee.
Con/weakness: Limited redemption flexibility.
If you’re looking for a massive sign-up bonus or a heavy-hitting rewards program, the best Chase credit cards do not disappoint. If you’ve opened fewer than five credit card accounts in the last 24 months, it’s well worth getting a Chase credit card now instead of waiting and missing out on the opportunity.
Don’t apply for a card based on the fear of missing out, though. Take your time to shop around and compare credit cards within the Chase lineup, as well as from other card issuers.
In addition to comparing sign-up bonuses and rewards programs, also look at other features, including fees, types of rewards, and extra perks.
There’s no single best credit card out there for everyone, and that includes the best Chase credit cards. So consider what you want in a card, as well as your credit score and spending habits, and find the card that’s best suited to your needs.
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