The 4 Chase Cards I Currently Have (And Why!)

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Over the years, I’ve earned lots of miles and points from credit card sign-up bonuses.

But there are 4 cards I’ve kept year after year because they have great ongoing benefits.  And earn lots of bonus points on everyday spending!  

With rumors that Chase might make it tougher to be approved for their cards in April 2016, you might consider opening 1 or 2 more before then.

Because you can get free stays at top hotels, and award flights to nearly anywhere in the world when you choose the right cards.

The 4 Chase Cards I Currently Have And Why

I’ve Used My Chase Cards to Unlock Amazing Trips All Over the World, Including to Sydney! Find Out Which 4 Chase Cards I Have Now

I’ll tell you about the 4 Chase cards I have in my wallet.  And why I’ve decided to keep them!

Which Chase Cards Do I Think Are Keepers?

Chase credit cards have been a big part of my personal Big Travel with Small Money strategy.  Depending on your situation, you might decide other cards are a better fit.  And that’s great, because there are a lot of fantastic choices!

Here are the 4 Chase cards I’ve picked to keep for the long-haul.  In fact, I’ve had to close other Chase cards to make room for these.  Or I decided after a while the other ones no longer fit my travel or spending habits.

Note:   There are rumors that starting April 2016, Chase will make it tougher to be approved for ANY of their cards (including airline & hotel cards) if you’ve opened ~5+ credit card accounts with any bank within the past 24 months.

1.   Chase Sapphire Preferred 

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

This is my #1 card of all.  I keep it because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are my favorite kind of points!

And it’s also the top card I recommend if you’re starting out with miles and points.

You’ll earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  The $95 annual fee is waived the 1st year.

The 4 Chase Cards I Currently Have And Why

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Earns 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 Spent on Travel and Dining. I Love to Eat Out and Travel, So This Card Is a No-Brainer for Me!

Another thing I like about this card is you talk to a person when you call.  That’s why I call this the best card for impatient people.

This is 1 of my go-to cards while overseas.  Because when I use it there are NO foreign transaction fees.  I also like earning 2X points when I try new restaurants in the places I visit.

It also comes with excellent built-in trip delay and cancellation insurance and purchase protection.  I use it when renting cars because it has primary rental insurance (and I like to drive fast!).

Rumor 100,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Point Sign Up Bonus With New Card Coming Soon

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Directly to Airline & Hotel Partners When You Have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold Cards!

Plus, when you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to air and hotel transfer partners including United Airlines, Southwest, and Hyatt (some of my favorites!).  I’ve made unforgettable Big Travel memories with Chase Ultimate Rewards points!

If I could only keep 1 card, it would definitely be the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

2.   Chase Freedom

Link:   Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom has quarterly rotating 5X points (5% cash back) bonus categories.  In the past, this has included department stores, Amazon.com, and dining.  So it’s a great card to have because it earns bonus points for everyday spending.

You’ll earn $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

The 4 Chase Cards I Currently Have And Why

Like to Shop, Dine Out, or Earn Bonus Points on Gas? If You Said Yes to Any of Those, the Chase Freedom Is an Excellent Card to Add to Your Wallet!

And through March 31, 2016, you can earn 5X points on gas and commuter expenses when you activate the bonus.

If you spend the $1,500 maximum each quarter, you’ll earn an extra $300 per year ($1,500 x 5% x 4 quarters).

Even better, if you also have the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Plus, or (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold, you can transfer your points to Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partners.  So you can earn up to 30,000 extra Chase Ultimate rewards points each year with the Chase Freedom card!

It also has NO annual fee.  So it’s a terrific card to keep forever because it’s free to have.  And keeping your cards open for a long time can increase the average age of your accounts and potentially improve your credit score.

3.   Chase IHG Rewards

Link:   Chase IHG Rewards

I like the Chase IHG card because you get a free night certificate each year on your cardmember anniversary.  And you can use it at ANY IHG hotel in the world!

You’ll earn 70,000 IHG Rewards points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  And an additional 5,000 IHG points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the same timeframe.

The 4 Chase Cards I Currently Have And Why

Rooms at the InterContinental San Juan in Puerto Rico Can Cost Nearly $500 a Night! Stay for Free in Exchange for a $49 Annual Fee With the Chase IHG Card

The Chase IHG card has a $49 annual fee which is waived the 1st year.  But considering a room at their fanciest hotels, like the InterContinental San Juan, can cost close to $500 a night, I’ll gladly pay it to get a free night each year!

Emily and I stayed at the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora.  And you can stay here too with the annual free night certificate.  Or any other IHG hotel!

4.   Chase Ink Bold

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

The Chase Ink Bold is no longer available for new sign-ups.  So I’ve had it for a while.  But you can still get the Chase Ink Plus card, which has very similar features.

It’s worth getting for its sign-up bonus AND points-earning potential.

You’ll earn 60,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months, which is enough for Big Travel like 2 domestic round-trip coach award flights on United Airlines.  Or 2 nights at the best Hyatt hotels in the world, like the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome where Emily and I stayed.

The 4 Chase Cards I Currently Have And Why

Do You Have a Cell Phone, Internet, or Cable Bill? You Could Earn Thousands of Extra Chase Ultimate Rewards Points per Year!

I like the powerful bonus categories.  You’ll earn:

  • 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on cable, internet, and phone service on up to $50,000 in spending per year
  • 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent at office supply stores on up to $50,000 in spending per year
  • 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards per $1 spent at gas stations on hotel rooms purchased directly from the hotel on up to $50,000 in spending per year (combined)
  • 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1 spent on other purchases

There are NO foreign transaction fees.  And the $99 annual fee is NOT waived the 1st year.

The 5X bonus categories are huge!  

This is a small business credit card.  But you don’t need to earn millions in revenue to get this card.  As long as you aim to make a profit, it’s worth putting in an application.  Here’s how you might already qualify.

Say, for example, you spend $100 per month each on your cell phone bill and cable bill.  And $50 on your internet service.  That’s $250 per month, and $3,000 per year.

You’d earn 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($250 per month X 12 months X 5X points = 15,000 points).  Even if you got a statement credit where each point is worth 1 cent, you’d get $150, which more than covers the annual fee.

The 4 Chase Cards I Currently Have And Why

Get a Free Night at a Hyatt Category 4 Hotel, Like the Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf, From Common Monthly Expenses!

But you’d do much better to transfer to Chase Ultimate Rewards points travel partners.  Because that’s enough for:

All for paying for expenses you already have!  In my book, that makes this card a keeper!

We don’t earn a commission on this card, but again, we’ll always let our readers know about the best deals.

Bottom Line

Chase has lots of cards with incredible sign-up bonuses, terrific benefits, and rewards for ongoing spending.  The 4 I currently have in my wallet are:

If I had to pick just 1, I’d keep the Chase Sapphire Preferred because you have access to valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards air and hotel transfer partners.  Because of that, it’s also the top card I recommend if you’re new to miles and points.

Remember, Chase may be tightening their application rules starting April 2016.

Tell me which Chase card is your favorite!

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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.

26 responses to “The 4 Chase Cards I Currently Have (And Why!)

  1. The IHG card is offering 80,000 bonus points, not 60,000! I can confirm it still works. I just had my significant other, mom and dad all call 877-274-0851 and the agent offered 80,000 points right off the bat. You don’t even have to ask for it!

  2. Hi Daraius,

    Thanks for the post. I’ve currently got Ink bold, freedom and sapphire preferred, but not putting more than 25K/yr on the Ink. I was thinking of downgrading the Ink to the Cash card to avoid the fee – since I can no longer get the Bold do you see any downside to losing my Bold?

  3. My Chase cards are Freedom, Sapphire, Ink Cash, & Ritz Carlton. The first 3 all funnel points into Ultimate Rewards for a total of $95 across all cards. The Ritz card is expensive at $395, but gives you $300 back towards airline incidentals as well as $100 toward Ritz stays and club level upgrades. I find that much more valuable than 1 free night at an IHG branded hotel even though I stay at Willard in DC a lot.

  4. I currently have the Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, Marriott, British Airways and United Business cards. I’m planning on closing the British Airways and United Business cards eventually, but the other 4 are long term cards for me. I use UR points a lot and the Marriott card is good for an annual free night. I wish I could also get the Hyatt for the same reason, but I think I am maxed out right now for new cards with Chase.

  5. My Chase cards are the Sapphire Preferred, Freedom, Ink Plus, IHG, Hyatt and Marriott. I may cancel the Marriott as they keep devaluing their award chart and the annual free night is still only category 1-5. My SW Companion Pass will expire at the end of the year so I’m going to reapply for the SW Plus and Premier cards next year. By that point I should be within their 5/24 rule.

  6. my long term cards with chase are the IHG, hyatt, freedom and just got approved for a ink plus.

  7. Hi Daraius,

    I’m surprised you keep the Ink Bold instead of switching to the Ink Cash since you already have the Sapphire Preferred Card you can tap into any points you earn on the Ink Cash for transfer partners in the same way you currently tap into points earned on the Freedom Card. And Chase Ink Cash earns rewards similar to earning structure you have on the Bold (or can get on the Plus).

    The only real significant difference in terms of rewards is the the lower cap on the 5x categories. You are capped at 25k in each of the two 5x categories instead of 50K. Unless you spend significantly more than 25K in those categories, I don’t the Bold or Plus seems worth paying the $95 annual fee.

    The other others rewards difference is in the 2x categories where with the Bold (or Plus) your earn 2x for gas stations and hotels and the Ink Cash your earn 2x for gas station and restaurants. That really should not make a difference for you as you have Sapphire Plus which will get you 2x for Restaurants and Travel (which will include hotels and much more) so you just charge the hotels to Sapphire Plus anyway.

    And yes the Ink Cash has foreign transaction fee but you already have Sapphire plus that eliminates foreign transaction fee that you can turn (unless you regularly get office supplies at stores outside the United States).

    And while the Bonus is better on Plus and than Ink cash, after the bonus, there doesn’t seem much reason to keep the Plus (or Bold) after 1st year and pay another annual fee.

    So assuming you can meet the 5k min spending requirements to earn a Bonus on Ink Plus, than it might make sense to sign up and than downgrade after first year. Though that is high min spending requirement and a little higher than I’m comfortable with. (as such I just applied this weekend for Ink Cash with its 3k min spending requirements as I feel more confident in hitting the bonus, and even if I missed it still is great for ongoing spending in its 5x categories.

    In your case Darius, do you spend much more than 25K in the 5x categories that makes up for the Ink Bold annual fee? And if not, why do you keep it as opposed to downgrading (or replacing it if you want the sign up bonus) with Ink Cash, when you have Sapphire plus?

    Would you not agree that, bonuses aside, for purposes of ongoing spending, if one has Sapphire Preferred, there is no reason to keep the Ink Bold/Plus and pay annual fee for it (instead of Ink Cash) unless you spend much more than 25K in the 5x categories that it offsets the fee? And if you disagree, I honestly want to understand why because perhaps I’m missing something that makes it worthwhile for those who won’t ever hit the 25k caps? I am not seeking to argue, just trying to understand.

    thanks.

  8. Brian, if you transfer UR points to the travel partners you can’t compare the value of the Ink Plus to the Ink Cash. Even $25K in spending on the Ink Plus in 5x categories is worth much more than $25K at 5% cash back.

  9. @MilesMethods Points earned via Ink Cash are earned as Ultimate Rewards Points (even though it promotes it as cash back, the way the Freedom Card is promoted as CashBash but are actually earned as Ultimate Rewards Points). Now while you can’t transfer URs directly from Ink Cash or Freedom you can transfer between URs accounts. So if you have Sapphire Plus, you can transfer points from Ink Cash to Sapphire Plus and than transfer from there.

    See the image that above in this post that shows which cards can transfer.

    Or see other Million Miles Secrets posts:

    http://millionmilesecrets.com/2014/12/11/chase-ink-cash-is-great-for-cash-back-and-good-for-travel-awards/ (review of Chase Ink Cash).

    And for a more recent post discussing this from last week:
    http://millionmilesecrets.com/2016/02/24/a-worthy-competitor-to-chase-ink-cash-amex-simplycash/ (go down to part of card talking about Chase Ink Cash).

  10. MilesMethods – b/c he has the Sapphire he can transfer UR points from the cash card to the Sapphire and redeem the same way. Even though it says “cash” the currency is still UR points.
    Brian’s point (and my question to Dariaus) is that if you are not spending more than $25K, you can still earn the 5x categories on OfficeSupply/Phone/Internet, transfer UR points to the Sapphire and avoid the $95 fee.
    I’m trying to figure out if I lose anything by ditching my Ink Bold. The lounge access is no longer a benefit so I’m not seeing anything I can’t get with my Sapphire.

  11. Right, but the card to ditch IMO is the Sapphire Preferred and the Ink Plus is the keeper. The Citi TY Premier is a better travel card than the Sapphire Preferred IMO.

  12. MilesMethods – therein lies the new argument. 🙂 There are good points on both sides, but I think the Sapphire is still generally edging the Premier.
    You’re going to be hard-pressed to find most of the points and miles crew willing to give up a Sapphire for the Ink let alone a Citi Premier or Prestige. Travel categories on the Sapphire covers hotels on the Ink. Also, it’s pretty well accepted that UR points are still more valuable than Thank Yous (though they are getting closer). Even people that are switching to Citi are still using the Sapphire for dining and many travel purchases. By itself, the Sapphire’s insurance for travel purchases is a defining item on that card.
    But then again I’m always up for a convincing argument to the contrary 😉

  13. Hello. Quick question… I was approved for the Sapphire card on 1/20/16 and my application for the Bold card is currently under review. Do you think I would be automatically disqualified for another card if I apply for the Hyatt card before April? My concern is that I will have applied for too many cards in such a short time span. As always, thanks for all your great information.

  14. If you don’t have 5 credit card applications in the last 2 years then don’t worry about it; just wait another 3 months and apply for the Hyatt. If you do have 5 applications I would wait to see what happens with the Bold. Even if the Bold is approved Chase may deny you the Hyatt so you don’t want to risk them denying both. I’ve heard of very few instances where three Chase cards were approved in the same application period (same day, or near each other in date). Usually the rule of thumb is one personal and one business in the same application period.

    HTH

  15. Sorry, meant to say one personal and one business CHASE card in the same application period.

  16. @Joe. Do you mean the Ink Plus (as opposed to Ink Bold). It is my understanding that the Bold is not open to new applications. So if u found an old link and somehow applied, you may never hear.

  17. TravlingOn, it’s not difficult to max out the 5x category on the Ink Plus, which translates into 250K UR points. You would need $125K of spending on the Sapphire Preferred to do that.

    I agree that UR points are more valuable than TY points, but the TY Premier earns 3x points for everything that the Sapphire Preferred earns in the 2x category and more. Even gas is included.

    I just personally value the Ink Plus far more than the Sapphire Preferred for the point earning potential.

  18. @MilesMethods – I agree that if you can max out the 5x for the Ink then that’s pretty lucrative and a good reason to keep it around.
    Down the road I might start putting more spend on my premier instead of Sapphire. Still giving the Premier a whirl. It will have to convice me 😉

  19. @RIchard – That’s excellent news! Thank you for adding your experience!

    @TravelingOn – There’s not much of a downside. It’s a good option to avoid the $95 annual fee. The major differences are the reduced bonus limits, which you noted, and I believe the 2X categories are different. So you might check those before you make your final decision.

    Hope that helps!

    @MilesMethods – Lots of people are in the same boat re: Chase applications. Thank you so much for your interactions here! I appreciate it.

    @scott – Sounds like a plan! 🙂

    @Al – That sounds like a great combo!

    @Brian – You are exactly right. The higher limit on the bonus categories more than makes up the annual fee. That’s really the biggest difference between the Chase Ink Bold (and Plus) and Chase Ink Cash, other than the different 2X categories, as you noted. (And of course the ability to transfer to travel partners, which you also noted).

    As always, pick the 1 that’s best for your spending patterns.

    @Joe – Let Chase review it and make a decision. After you see what they say, you can either give them a call or enjoy your new card. Let us know what happens!

  20. Thanks, Dariaus!

  21. My Chase cards are Disney card, Marriott, Ritz, Hyatt, both SW cards (companion pass expired) thinking of cancelling one of them. I feel I might be better off with a different Chase card that I can transfer to but not sure if I would get approved.

  22. TravelingOn

    @Boonie – Canceling one won’t help with the new 5/24 rule. I would think your best bet is to try applying for the new Chase cards you want till you max them out with the new system. Then take a look at your cards and decide down the road what you should cancel. When the cards start coming up for their annual fee is a good time to reconsider that. No reason to cancel them before that – all that happens is your max credit line across cards starts getting smaller which puts a small dent in your credit score. The only thing that could happen by keeping an extra chase card open is that Chase could conceivably say you have too much credit for a new card. If that happens you could politely ask them to transfer some credit off an existing card. Rule of thumb, though, is never to ask for that credit line shift unless they actually tell you that they can’t extend any more credit to you.
    If you could get only one more Chase card I would recommend going for the Chase Sapphire. If you can get two, make the second the Freedom before the 5% categories potentially go away (any day now).

    HTH

  23. TravelingOn

    @Boonie – Hi, canceling one card won’t help with the new 5/24 rule. I would think your best bet is to try applying for the new Chase cards you want till you max them out with the new system. Then take a look at your cards and decide down the road what you should cancel. When the cards start coming up for their annual fee is a good time to reconsider that. No reason to cancel them before that – all that happens is your max credit line across cards starts getting smaller which puts a small dent in your credit score. The only thing that could happen by keeping an extra chase card open is that Chase could conceivably say you have too much credit for a new card. If that happens you could politely ask them to transfer some credit off an existing card. Rule of thumb, though, is never to ask for that credit line shift unless they actually tell you that they can’t extend any more credit to you.
    If you could get only one more Chase card I would recommend going for the Chase Sapphire. If you can get two, make the second the Freedom before the 5% categories potentially go away (any day now).

    HTH

  24. Brain,

    For your situation, you are spot on!!!

  25. Hi, I currently have ink bold card which I was expecting to change to plus soon but never happened. still have bold card on it after receiving a new card with the chip. Do you think I could still apply for ink plus card?

  26. @Boonie – As long as you haven’t opened more than 5 cards in the past 2 years, it’s worth a shot!

    @MMM – Yes, because Chase considers them different cards. You are eligible to apply for the Chase Ink Plus if you have another business. And you have the best chance of being approved if you haven’t opened more than 5 cards in the past 2 years.

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