Which Cards Should You Consider With the Stricter Chase Application Rules?

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

It’s rumored it will soon be harder for folks to be approved for all Chase cards, including Chase’s airline and hotel co-branded cards.

So you’ll want to employ a strategy to decide which Chase cards are most important for you to get BEFORE the tougher approval rules go into effect.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules

It May Soon Be Difficult for Folks Who Already Have Lots of Cards to Open a New Chase Card

I’ll show you which Chase cards to get 1st for the most Big Travel with Small Money!

Which Chase Cards Should You Consider?

Link:   Hot Deals

I don’t have confirmation of the new Chase rules and there’s nothing in writing.  But many folks are wondering which cards to apply for soon, before the rumored new rules take effect.

As always, consider your travel goals and future plans before you sign-up for new cards.  Read my post on how to decide which miles and points to collect for your trip for ideas!

If you’re new to our hobby, you likely haven’t opened 5 new credit cards in the previous 24 months, so you wouldn’t be impacted by these rules yet.

1.   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

My top pick for a travel rewards card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  Here’s why it’s my favorite.  In that I post I explain how the current sign-up bonus is worth at least $625 towards flights & hotels.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules

Dreaming of Your Next Vacation? The Chase Sapphire Preferred Gives You LOTS of Options for Big Travel!

This is the only personal Chase card that unlocks the ability to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners like United Airlines, Southwest, and Hyatt.  And that’s how you get Big Travel with Small Money!

Remember, if you’ve already opened ~5+ cards with ANY bank in the past 24 months, Chase will likely NOT approve you for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  So I suggest making it your 1st card!

2.   Chase Ink Plus

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

But if you own a small business, the Chase Ink Plus is another card to consider.  It also offers the ability to transfer points to travel partners.  You can read my full review here.

Because it’s rumored Chase will tighten the application rules for this card in March 2016, it’s important to get it soon if you’re interested!

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, if you have the Chase Ink Plus, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules

Have a Small Business? If You Like the Chase Ink Plus, Apply Before March 2016 When the New Rules May Take Effect

Emily and I don’t earn a commission on the Chase Ink Plus, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!

3.   Chase Hyatt

Link:   Chase Hyatt

If a luxury hotel stay is on your bucket list, consider the Chase Hyatt card.  You’ll earn 2 free nights at ANY Hyatt (even their most expensive hotels and resorts!) after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

Some top Hyatt hotels, like the Park Hyatt Paris – Vendome, cost over ~$1,000 per night!  So this card is an incredible deal.

So you might consider getting the Chase Hyatt card before April 2016.

We don’t get a commission for this card, but Emily and I always tell you about the best deals!

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules

Stay 2 Free Nights at the Top-Category Park Hyatt Sydney With the Chase Hyatt Card

4.   Chase Southwest

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier (Personal)

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier (Small Business)

Y’all know the Southwest Companion Pass is my favorite deal in travel!

With the Southwest Companion Pass, a friend or family member can fly with you for almost free for up to 2 years on both paid and award tickets.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules

Two Can Travel for the Price of One When You Have the Southwest Companion Pass

It’s been easy for many folks to earn the Southwest Companion Pass by signing-up for 2 Chase Southwest cards.  That’s because you need to earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year to qualify – and the sign-up bonuses from the Chase Southwest cards count toward that requirement!

If you’ve been thinking about earning the Southwest Companion Pass, the Chase Southwest Premier personal and small business cards currently offer a 50,000 Southwest point sign-up bonus after meeting the minimum spending requirement.

Remember, there are lots of ways to get the remaining points required to earn the Southwest Companion Pass!

We don’t earn a commission on this offer but it’s important to me that you always know about the highest sign-up bonuses.  Because I want you to travel!  (And then tell me all about it!) 🙂 

5.   Chase British Airways

Link:   Chase British Airways

British Airways Avios points aren’t just good for travel on British Airways!  Many folks prefer using them for short-haul domestic flights on partners Alaska Airlines or American Airlines.  Or for cheap award flights to Hawaii and Europe.

This card is 1 of my top picks because it currently offers a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points after meeting the tiered spending requirements.  (EXPIRED.)  That’s enough for 4 round-trip coach flights to Hawaii from the West Coast!

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules

Hawaii on Your Bucket List? You Could Get There Cheaply With British Airways Avios Points!

This is the highest sign-up bonus I’ve seen on this card.  While the tiered minimum spending requirements are high, there are lots of ways to meet them.  And you can still earn lots of points even if you don’t want the full bonus.

6.   Chase United Explorer

Link:   Chase United MileagePlus Explorer (Personal)

Link:   Chase United MileagePlus Explorer (Small Business)

Many experienced miles & points enthusiasts collect United Airlines miles because you can use them in so many ways.

You can book award flights on United Airlines or Star Alliance partners, like Lufthansa, Air Canada, and Singapore Airlines.  And they never add fuel surcharges to award flights.  Including flights to Europe, India, and Australia!

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules

With So Many Partners, United Airlines Miles Can Take You All Over the World!

The Chase United MileagePlus Explorer personal and small business cards are a good option for folks who think they’ll be flying United Airlines or Star Alliance airlines in the future.  Here’s my review.

And here’s my series on how to earn and use United Airlines miles.

Emily and I earn nothing from these Chase United MileagePlus Explorer offers.  But they’re the best deals we’ve seen!

7.   Chase IHG

Link:   Chase IHG

You can splurge on luxury resorts or stretch your points with affordable award stays with the sign-up bonus on the Chase IHG card.

Currently, you’ll earn 60,000 IHG points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  And a $50 statement credit after your 1st purchase!

This isn’t the highest sign-up bonus offered for the card, but you might consider applying for it anyway.  That’s because the most valuable perk is the free night at ANY IHG hotel you’ll get each year on your card anniversary.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules

Use Your Annual Chase IHG Free Night to Stay at Amazing Resorts Like the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

The $49 annual fee (waived the 1st year) is a bargain for a free night at any IHG hotel, which could be worth hundreds of dollars.  That’s why many folks (including me!) keep this card in their wallet year after year.

Check out these excellent IHG hotels in the US and Europe where you can use your annual free night!

We don’t earn anything for this offer, either.  But it’s a better deal than the link that pays us a commission, so we’ll tell you about it!

8.   Chase Marriott

Link:   Chase Marriott Rewards Premier

There’s an increased 80,000 Marriott point sign-up bonus on the Chase Marriott Premier card after meeting minimum spending requirements.  That’s worth ~2 nights in some of Marriott and Ritz-Carlton’s top hotels!

But the increased bonus isn’t the only good reason to consider this card.  Marriott and Starwood will merge later this year to create the world’s largest hotel chain.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules

Wherever You Travel, There’ll Soon Be a Marriott Brand Hotel – It Will Soon Be The World’s Largest Hotel Chain!

So even if you don’t know where your travels will take you, the Chase Marriott Premier card is a good bet.  That’s great flexibility!

I’m looking forward to seeing what the new combined Marriott and Starwood award chart will look like.  And stay tuned for some of my favorite Marriott hotels where you can stay using the increased sign-up bonus!

Bottom Line

Chase cards are some of the most valuable cards for earning Big Travel with Small Money.  But if the rumored new application rules come into effect for all Chase cards, many folks will consider signing-up for a new card soon.

Evaluate your travel goals and read my tips for deciding which miles & points to collect for your trip before you jump in and start applying for new cards!

My favorite card for beginners is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  But if you already have that card, or prefer airline and hotel cards, consider the Chase cards in Hot Deals, such as the Hyatt and Southwest cards.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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26 responses to “Which Cards Should You Consider With the Stricter Chase Application Rules?

  1. For Hyatt, if I apply in Feb and my min. spending is met in April, when do I get 2-night free certificate? Will it be valid till Feb.2017 or April 2017?

  2. FYI there is a current link to an offer for IHG Card with 80,000 points (though no $50 statement credit) I discovered it when signed into my IHG Rewards account. And to see if publicly available I googled and found an 80K link. And I imagine one can debate whether it is better to get 60k IHG points and $50 statement credit or 80k in IHG points. But if you prefer the points, this is a great offer!

    I already have the card, but I know you have a rule of always posting the Best Offer (even if you have affiliate link that would earn you money but is not the best offer). So here it is https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/ihg/ihgsaml80

  3. The 80k offer is not available to me in my IHG account. The public offer is also dead if you click the link via google search. However, DoC pointed out that you can apply over the phone (Call 8772740851). I followed his instruction and was approved instantly late last week:


  4. @katye Thanks. I stand corrected. I did not realize that link was dead, as I didn’t go through to apply (since I already have the card). I did see the offer on my IHG account last night but it no longer appears.

    Thanks for the info and correction.

  5. For business card, if there are two partners, will each person receive their bonuses? Or the bonus is tied to the EIN number from the business, and each sign up is tied to EIN instead of social security?

  6. I noticed today that I have an offer for 80,000 points + $50.00 credit. My husband on the other hand has only the 60,000 points + $50.00 credit. I guess it varies from person to person. When speaking to a Chase rep this morning I mentioned this and she informed me that there are different offers at this time. She then said that my husband should call and someone there will help him out.

  7. Best cards are Chase Freedom (free, has 5X points in various categories), Chase Ink Cash (free, 5X points as per all Ink cards), and Sapphire ($95, 2X points on travel, dining). Ink and Freedom points can be transferred to Ultimate Rewards through the sapphire card. Those are my 3 cards to bank ultimate rewards points efficiently and inexpensively–only $95 annual fee across all 3 cards.

  8. For the IHG offer, apply at the current 60k offer. After being approved, send a secure message to Chase with a screenshot of the expired 80k offer. They will give you the option to keep the $50 credit + 60k points or pass up the statement credit and take the 80k points.

  9. @Shah – Your Hyatt free night certificates are good for 1 year from the date of issue. So if you meet the minimum spending in April, you should receive your certificates shortly after your statement closes. And they’ll be valid for a year after that.

    @Brian @katye @Cory – Thank you for the heads-up! I’ll write about this today.

    @silverorchid – I believe it’s 1 bonus per EIN.

    @Csilla – I just called Chase and they’re offering 80,000 IHG points and no $50 credit for the IHG card over the phone. That’s great if you got targeted for an offer with a $50 credit!

    @Steve – I agree, that’s a great combination!

  10. Your link to SWA business card has been removed. Need access to one with 50K miles

  11. If I want to apply for both the Hyatt and IHG card, how should I go about this? Is it safe to apply for both online on the same day, should I apply for one and then the other the following day, or should I apply for them a few weeks apart?

    Thanks in advance!

  12. Recently got denied for Sapphire, does that impact the chance to get approved for 3 hotel cards? Is it practical to apply for 3 Chase cards on same day?

  13. @rob black – The link for the Chase Southwest Premier small business card still works for me.

    @Brandon – Lots of folks report getting approved for 2 cards in 1 day.


    @Tara – I’d wait at least 30 days before you apply again. Many folks report Chase won’t approve more than 2 personal cards in a 30 day period.

  14. THE RULES HAVE ALREADY GONE INTO EFFECT. Spoke with Chase last night. They didn’t even pull my credit, just said that it was automatically denied because i’ve received the bonus in the last 24 months.

  15. In addition to the 5 card apps in 24 months, what is the current rule on “only 5 personal Chase cards per person”.
    Is this really a rule they enforce or is it just a rumor? Both my husband and I currently have 5 personal cards each (CSP, Freedom, UA Explorer, IHG, Marriott) and we are still 3 months away from the time we received the Hyatt bonus. We are both AUs on each others Marriott cards – I got mine in Dec. and he got his in Jan and is still working on the minimum spend – eventually we will keep only 1 Marriott account.

  16. Should I Join the hotel loyalty program before applying for the hotel card? Does that make any diff? Thanks!

  17. I just applied and was approved for the Chase Hyatt card. I would also like the British Airways card, but what would be the best course of action? Would it be better to apply for it today, or wait a month or so?

  18. I want to share that I was able to get IHG’s 80k + $50 statement credit offer today. I read on another blog (sorry I don’t remember the name of the blog) that by logging into IHG account and make a booking, on the “payment” page, you will see the 80K offer. I tried this morning, and it worked, which is amazing given Chase’s upcoming new rule. Hope this helps other readers.

  19. Hi Darius,

    My husband had the Chase Sapphire card for a year and closed it in November 2014. Will he be rejected if he applies for it again now? If he is rejected what are the consequences to his credit rating?

    Also, I’m wondering If I can apply for the Sapphire card. It requires an “Excellent credit rating”, what would that be numerically in FICO rating terms? Also, I appplied for a Chase Slate card last year and was turned down because I had applied for a Chase card too recently, whatever that means. I had obtained a Freedom card maybe a year before. Would this stop me from getting the Sapphire card?

  20. If anybody needs a Chase Sapphire Preferred referral message me your first name and your email and I will submit it to chase.

  21. I just got approved for both SW cards so I can get my 2nd companion pass, and boy was it tough. I was on the phone a guy for about an hour and got grilled like never before. He pointedly ask me why I have so many cards (not just Chase, all cards) and why I wanted these two cards, and I finally got them just by cutting credit on other Chase cards. He told me that I already had about $10,000 in credit limits over my current income and they needed to reduce that (what doesn’t make sense to me about that, is for the business cards we have, we at times will pay invoices that are $15,000 just for one, I don’t see how my personal income should be the deciding factor when considering the business income. The business had a revenue of over 1.7 MIL last year, doesn’t that count for something?

  22. @Tom – your denial for receiving the bonus in the past 24 months may not be an indicator the rules are in effect. If you are applying for the same card after 24 months, I believe you have to do so 24 months after the bonus was *received*, not when the account was *opened*.

  23. @Tom – The 24 month rule for receiving a bonus again on Chase cards is different from the rumored ~5+ cards in 24 months rule.

    @Marilyn B – The number of cards you can get depends on many factors, including your credit score, income, and the total amount of credit banks are willing to extend you. That said, I know several folks who have more than 5 Chase cards open.

    @Veena – It’s not necessary. If you don’t have a loyalty account, they’ll create 1 for you.

    @Katie – Typically Chase won’t approve more than 2 cards every ~30 days. Many folks have gotten approved for 2 cards in a day or in a short period of time.

    @SFL – Thanks and congratulations!

    @tetay – Chase says – “This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.” So if it’s been more than 24 months since your husband received the bonus, he could be eligible again. Banks take many factors into account when deciding to approve you for a card, so it depends on your personal situation.

    @Marlin Yoder – Congrats on getting 2 Southwest cards and working towards the Companion Pass! Sometimes the bank will ask you to move credit lines around, but I’ve never heard of your exact situation before.

    @Steve – Thanks for helping!

  24. If I had the Ink Business card, and got the sign-up bonus almost a year ago (but closed it recently), would this preclude me from getting the 60k Ink Plus bonus?

  25. My hub recently applied for Chase Ink Plus again (tried to apply end of last year, but got denied due to he got few Chase Cards, not major one, just those airlines and hotels), they asked him to call the customer line and he did. But it has been several weeks long, still did not get any response from Chase (neither emails nor formal letters). Does it mean that they’re gonna disapprove him again? Is it normal to take this long for the process? How long does it normally take for Chase to process?

  26. I travel all the time, often with miles and points, but I seldom stay in 5* hotels. As I stay a long time in each place, I typically go for local guesthouses and families. I am wondering if it is worth my while to get an IHG and/or Hyatt card. I am already a Hilton Honers member. Is it better to concentrate on the one Citi HH card or pick up one or two of these other attractive Chase offerings before April? I already have Sapphire, Ink and Freedom cards as well as a few other bank’s products. Thank you in advance for your opinions.