While Chase is not one of the oldest card issuers, it’s one of the most versatile. They currently have 22 personal cards and 6 business cards. But not all credit cards are created equally. The focus of this post is to highlight my favorite Chase cards.

The cards are divided into two sections: Ultimate Rewards (UR) points-earning and co-branded. Both personal and business cards are included. Each card will have some quick facts and then a paragraph about why they’re so great.

 

Ultimate Rewards Earning

Everyone who collects points and miles should have (and even start out with) transferrable points. Chase’s points are called Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. These points are special because they can be transferred to 13 different airline and hotel partners.

Premium Cards

These cards give you the ability to transfer points without holding another card. You receive access to the Chase travel portal and travel partners. Either option, especially the latter, lets you redeem UR points for high value.

Sapphire Reserve

Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 points for $4,000 spend in 3 months.

Earning: 3x points on Travel and Dining

Perks: $300 Annual General Travel credit, Priority Pass Airport Lounges, Pre-TSA / Global Entry Fee Waiver, Primary Car Rental Insurance, Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance

Annual Fee: $450 (NOT waived the first year)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve does not need much of an introduction, as its one of the most popular cards of the late 2010s. Chase’s premium card is simply a great balance between perks and earning potential. It’s also a favorite among points and miles enthusiasts everywhere.

 

Sapphire Preferred

Sign-Up Bonus: 60,000 points for $4,000 spend in 3 months.

Earning: 2x points on Travel and Dining

Perks: Primary Car Rental Insurance, Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance

Annual Fee: $95 (NOT waived the first year)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of my favorite cards for those just getting into points and miles. It’s a budget-friendly option to get into earning and transferring UR points. Plus, it can also be upgraded to the Sapphire Reserve after one year.

The Sapphire Preferred Card’s earning potential alone isn’t great. But potential rewards can be huge when its combined with any of the UR-earning cards mentioned next. Furthermore, the Sapphire Preferred has the best sign-up bonus of Chase’s personal cards. This is a major consideration if you’re trying to decide whether to apply for it or the Sapphire Reserve.

 

Ink Business Preferred

Sign-Up Bonus: 80,000 points for $5,000 spend in 3 months.

Earning: 3x points on Travel, Online Advertising, Shipping, Internet, Cable, and Phone purchases. There is a limit of $150,000 per year for bonus category spend.

Perks: Primary Car Rental Insurance, Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance

Annual Fee: $95 (NOT waived the first year)

Chase’s top business card is great for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to travel. The Ink Business Preferred will print UR points if you can spend within its categories. It comes with a high multiplier for its categories as well as Chase’s highest sign-up bonus among cards that earn UR points.

 

No Annual Fee

These cards require a premium card to transfer points to partners or use the Chase travel portal. The best redemption options are gift cards and cash back without having a premium card. Either option make UR points worth 1 cent apiece.

Freedom

Sign-Up Bonus: 15,000 points (or $150) for $500 spend in 3 months.

Earning: 5x points on Rotating Quarterly Categories. There is a limit of $7,500 per quarter for bonus category spend.

Perks: Standard Chase

The Chase Freedom is Chase’s original cash back card having been around since 2006. It earns a whopping 5x points on rotating quarterly categories. The earning potential can be huge if if you spend heavily within a given category.

 

Freedom Unlimited

Sign-Up Bonus: 15,000 points (or $150) for $500 spend in 3 months.

Earning: 1.5x points on all purchases

Perks: Standard Chase

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card was released in the spring of 2016 to much excitement. People who want a flat rate card or who have varied spend will love the Freedom Unlimited. I use this card as my non-bonus spend card because I want to collect UR points.

 

Ink Business Unlimited

Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 points (or $500) for $3,000 spend in 3 months.

Earning: 1.5x points on all purchases

Perks: Primary Car Rental Insurance, Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance

Annual Fee: $0

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card is the business counterpart of the Freedom Unlimited. The only differences are the higher sign-up bonus and a few benefits.

 

Ink Business Cash

Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 points (or $500) for $3,000 spend in 3 months.

Earning: 5x points on Office Supply Stores, Phones, TV, and Internet purchases; 2x points on Gas and Dining. There is a limit of $25,000 per year for bonus category purchases.

Perks: Primary Car Rental Insurance, Trip Cancellation / Interruption Insurance

The Chase Ink Business Cash Card is one of my favorite Chase cards and business cards. It has no annual fee and can earn points very quickly. This card has some of the biggest earning potential in Chase’s arsenal if combined with at least one premium card.

 

Hotel & Airline

Chase offers over 20 co-branded cards alongside those that earn Ultimate Rewards Points. I will spotlight four of my favorites below:

World of Hyatt Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 25,000 points for $3,000 spend in 3 months and another 25,000 points for another $3,000 spend within the first 6 months.

Earning: 4x points on Hyatt Purchases; 2x points on Dining, airline tickets purchased directly from the airline, local transit and commuting, and gym memberships.

Burning: Hyatt hotel nights

Perks: Hyatt Discoverist Status, Free Night

Annual Fee: $95 (NOT waived the first year)

Hyatt lovers will love the World of Hyatt Card. Despite the hard to obtain sign-up bonus, the free night and status will offset the annual fee for many. Loyalists will love this card because of the automatic status and the value of points.

This card also appeals to millennials and general travelers given its 2x categories. The Hyatt card is the only card that I have seen that has gym memberships as a bonus category.

 

IHG Premier Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 80,000 IHG points for $2,000 spend in 3 months.

Earning: 10x points on IHG Purchases; 2x points on Gas, Groceries, and Dining.

Burning: IHG hotel nights

Perks: IHG Platinum Status, Free Nights

Annual Fee: $89 (NOT waived the first year)

The IHG Premier Card is one of my favorite co-branded cards and favorite hotel cards. It has a great sign-up bonus and great perks, creating a great balance. Earning points is very easy, especially if you stay at IHG hotels often. And IHG loyalists could make this card a long-term keeper card because of its benefits.

 

United Explorer Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 40,000 points for $3,000 spend in 3 months and another 25,000 points after spending $10,000 total within the first 6 months.

Earning: 2x miles on United purchases, Dining, and Hotel purchases booked directly with the hotel

Burning: United airfare, travel partners

Perks: Pre-TSA / Global Entry membership fee waiver, Free first checked bag, 25% off in-flight purchases, and two United Club passes per year

Annual Fee: $95 (NOT waived the first year)

This card has upped its perks and rewards game in recent years. The United Explorer Card is the only mid-tier card that offers a Pre-TSA / Global Entry membership fee waiver. However, this perk is ubiquitous on premium cards. This perk and the others should be enough to make the United Explorer card a long-term keeper card for United loyalists.

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card

Sign-Up Bonus: 40,000 points for $1,000 spend in 3 months and another 20,000 points after spending $12,000 total within the first 6 months.

Earning: 2x points on Southwest purchases

Burning: Southwest airfare

Perks: A-List Status, 6,000 bonus points per anniversary year, free first and second checked bags, priority boarding

Annual Fee: $95 (NOT waived the first year)

Southwest lovers and domestic travelers alike will love the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card. Its perks are enough to justify its annual fee with just one flight per year. However, earning is not this card’s forte. Fortunately, you can transfer UR points to Southwest if you have the right cards.

 

Final Draw

If you’ve made it to this section, I hope that you’ve found a great Chase card for your needs.

Many people even have multiple Chase cards to combine points. Some people have three UR-point earning cards, which are together known as the “Chase Trifecta”. Some have more than three and others have fewer.

I currently have four UR-earning cards: the Sapphire Reserve, the Freedom Unlimited, the Freedom, and the Ink Business Cash. These cards are what I’m comfortable carrying given earning potential, perks, and annual fees.