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Comparing Credit Card Offers from Chase
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
If you want a credit card with superior travel rewards, excellent cash back or a waived balance transfer fee, Chase offers that and more. While part of a full-service national bank, the company also issues about two dozen cards with a host of features and benefits. Here, we look at:
- What is Chase?
- Best Chase credit cards
- Editor's notes on the best Chase credit cards
- How many Chase credit cards can I have?
- Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
- How to earn and use Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Additional Chase benefits outside of cashback/rewards
- Recap of the best Chase credit cards
What is Chase?
JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., or Chase Bank, is a national bank and credit card issuer. That means the company grants cards to qualifying consumers. It partners with two networks, which process charges made at retailers. The primary networks are Visa and Mastercard. Most Chase credit cards are Visa cards, except the IHG Rewards Club Premier, which is a Mastercard.
Chase credit cards are best known for their generous sign-up bonuses and boosted redemption travel rewards. In some cases, such as the Sapphire and Freedom cards, products can be partnered to fully use the Ultimate Rewards portal. A good to excellent credit score is typically needed for this brand, with its portfolio of business, cashback, travel and balance transfer products.
Chase credit cards can be used internationally in most locations. Along with rewards that come with travel and dining in the U.S., some Chase cards reward you for foreign travel. Also, in the case of such cards as the Sapphire products, there is no foreign transaction fee, which applies to both foreign travel and foreign purchases.
Best Chase credit cards of 2019:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: best overall offer
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®: best for flat-rate cash back
- Chase Freedom®: best for rotating cash back categories
- Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card: best for flat-rate business rewards
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: best for travel
- Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card: best for overall business rewards value
- Ink Business CashSM Credit Card: best for no annual fee business card
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card: best for Avios bonus
- UnitedSM Explorer Card: best for United miles
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card: best for Southwest rewards points
Editor's notes on the best Chase credit cards
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
As a premier Ultimate Rewards card, the Sapphire Preferred allows you to redeem 25% more in value when you use the portal. So, when you earn 60,000 points after a $4,000 spend within the first 3 months of card membership, those points can translate into $750 in travel. You'll also earn 2X points on travel and dining; just know that there is a $95 annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
While not a premier card with the Ultimate Rewards portal, you can transfer your Freedom Unlimited rewards to the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred. With this card, you can earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year on up to $20,000 spent. After that, you'll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which is pretty solid. There's no annual fee.
The Freedom card allows you to transfer your rewards, then enjoy the points value offered by the premier Ultimate Rewards cards. With the Freedom, earn 5% back on select rotating categories each quarter, and earn $150 back after a $500 spend within the first 3 months of card membership. There's no annual fee with this card.
Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card
A few small-business cards offer rewards with no annual fee, and this is one of them. Earn $500 back after a $3,000 spend within the first 3 months. Also, earn 1.5% back on all purchases made for your business. Then, any rewards you reap can be transferred to the premier Ultimate Rewards cards to enjoy those cards' bonus through the portal.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
This exclusive travel card may have a high annual fee ($450), but its high rewards value justifies it for frequent travelers. Earn 50,000 points after a $4,000 spend within the first 3 months, then earn a $300 travel credit each year and 3X points toward travel and dining after that. Also, the Sapphire Reserve offers an incredible 50% more value when you redeem points toward travel with the Ultimate Rewards portal. So, your 50,000 sign-up points are worth $750 toward travel.
Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card
Chase's premier Ink Business card, the Ink Business Preferred will reward you with the same 25% boost toward travel made in the Ultimate Rewards portal that the Sapphire Preferred offers. Earn 80,000 points after a $5,000 spend within the first 3 months and earn 3X points on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel and select business categories. There's a $95 annual fee for this card.
Ink Business CashSM Credit Card
Like the Ink Business Unlimited, you can connect this card with the premier Ultimate Rewards cards to enjoy a boost in rewards toward travel. Earn $500 back after a $3,000 spend within the first 3 months; earn 5% back on the first $25,000 spent on office supplies, as well as internet, cable and phone services each anniversary year; and earn 2% back on the first $25,000 spent each anniversary year at gas stations and restaurants. There's no annual fee.
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
The British Airways Visa Signature Card has an unusual rewards program – spend up to $30,000 your first year on all purchases and earn 4X Avios per dollar spent, making it up to 120,000 Avios. After the first year (or upon reaching the $30,000 spend cap), you will then earn 3X Avios for British Airways purchases. Also, every calendar year that you spend $30,000, you earn a Travel Together Ticket that's good for 2 years. There's a $95 annual fee.
UnitedSM Explorer Card
This card is packed with rewards and benefits: Earn 40,000 miles after a $2,000 spend within the first 3 months, an additional 20,000 miles after a $8,000 total spend within the first 6 months, 2X miles at restaurants and hotel stays as well as United purchases, and 25% back on in-flight purchases. Also, experience priority boarding and access to the United Club with 2 one-time passes each anniversary year; get up to $100 toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck; and your first bag is free. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
This is a good card for domestic travel, allowing you to earn 2X points on Southwest Airlines purchases, as well as Rapid Rewards hotel and rental car purchases. Earn 40,000 points after a low $1,000 spend within the first 3 months of card membership, and earn 3,000 points after your anniversary. Points don't expire, and there are no blackout dates or seating restrictions. The annual fee is only $69.
How many Chase credit cards can I have?
While in theory there is no limit to the number of Chase cards you can hold, the Chase 5/24 rule requires that you not open more than 5 cards of all issuers in a 24-month period in order to be approved for a Chase credit card. There are reported exceptions to this rule:
- IHG Rewards Club Premier Card
- Disney Rewards Visa
- Ritz-Carlton Rewards
- Marriott Rewards Premier Business
Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve are two of the best travel credit cards on the market. If you're looking for a premium travel card, you may be wondering which is better for you. Below are some of the key similarities and differences between the CSP and CSR.
|Rewards & Benefits||Chase Sapphire Preferred||Chase Sapphire Reserve|
|Sign-up Bonus||60k pts, $4,000/3-mth spend||50k pts, $4,000/3-mth spend|
|Ongoing rewards||2X pts worldwide travel, dining||3X pts worldwide travel*, dining|
|Travel redemption, Ultimate Rewards||25% more||50% more|
|Foreign transaction fee||None||None|
|Annual credit||None||$300 for travel purchases|
|Global Entry/TSA Pre-Check credit||None||Up to $100 application fee credit|
|Airport lounge access||None||Yes|
|Rental Car privileges||None||Yes|
|Select complimentary hotel upgrades||Yes||Yes|
|Travel & purchase coverage||Yes||Yes|
*3x pts on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit
How to earn and use Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase products are among the best in the credit card business, whether you are looking at business cards or personal cards. That’s because the redemption rewards can be superior, depending on the card you use. Also, sign-up bonuses are lucrative, benefits are excellent and ongoing rewards are rich.
What kind of points do I earn with Chase?
Chase Ultimate Rewards. These are the points that you earn by spending on certain categories with your Chase credit card. Read below for information on redeeming your Chase Ultimate Rewards.
What can I use Chase Ultimate Rewards for?
You can redeem your Chase points for a number of rewards, including travel, gift cards, Amazon.com purchases, Chase Pay purchases and more. However, all points aren’t equal. For example, with the Chase Sapphire cards and the Ink Business Preferred, you can get $0.0125-$0.015 more on travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards, while points used on Amazon purchases only redeem at $0.008.
What counts as dining and travel to Chase?
Chase counts travel as such purchases from airlines, hotels, rental car agencies, timeshares, campgrounds, parking lots and garages, toll bridges and highways, taxis, and trains. Dining is considered everything from fast dining to fine dining, but it may not include such merchants as casinos or stadiums.
What airlines can I use with my Chase Ultimate Rewards?
- Aer Lingus
- Air France/KLM
- British Airways
- Iberia Plus
- Korean Air
- Singapore Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic
What hotel partners can I use with my Chase Ultimate Rewards?
Additional Chase benefits outside of cash back/rewards
Chase credit cards offer a variety of benefits in addition to the rewards you earn. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers primary coverage when you use it for car rentals, providing reimbursement for damage due to collision or theft. The benefits vary from card to card and include the following:
- Chase Pay
- Access to airport lounges
- No foreign transaction fees
- Visa Infinite concierge
- Car rental privileges
- Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check fee credit
- Annual credit
- No annual fee or waived fee first year
- Extended warranty
- Fraud protection
- Purchase protection
- Return protection
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
- Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Emergency evacuation and transportation
Recap: Best Chase credit cards of 2019
|Card Name||Best For||Annual Fee||Review Score|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Best overall offer||$95||3.9 / 5|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Flat-rate cash back||$0||3.8 / 5|
|Chase Freedom®||Rotating cash back categories||$0||3.1 / 5|
|Ink Business UnlimitedSM Credit Card||Flat-rate business rewards||$0||3.5 / 5|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Travel||$450||4.6 / 5|
|Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card||Overall business rewards value||$95||3.8 / 5|
|Ink Business CashSM Credit Card||No annual fee business card||$0||3.3 / 5|
|British Airways Visa Signature® Card||Avios bonus||$95||4.2 / 5|
|UnitedSM Explorer Card||United miles||$95, waived first year||3.7 / 5|
|Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card||Southwest rewards points||$69||4.1 / 5|
Laura is an editor and writer at CreditCards.com. She has written extensively on all things credit cards and works to bring you the most up-to-date analysis and advice. Laura's work has been cited in such publications as the New York Times and Associated Press. You can reach her by e-mail at email@example.com and on Twitter @creditcards_lm.