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It’s easy to customize your cards based on your own travel goals, whether that’s more award nights at luxurious hotels, domestic award flights with the family, or fancy Business or First Class award flights around the world!
And 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.
I’ll tell you about the 5 Chase cards Emily currently has. And why she keeps them!
Which Chase Cards Does Emily Have?
I like that you can personalize your card choices to match your travel style. Check out which Chase cards I currently have.
Over the years, Emily’s closed a few cards. Because she decided others would be a better match with her travel plans. Here are the 5 Chase cards Emily decided to keep.
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
Like me, Emily likes to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Because they’re flexible. That gives her the option to transfer them to several excellent air and hotel partners, like Southwest, United Airlines, or Hyatt.
You’ll earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your Chase Sapphire Preferred account. The $95 annual fee is waived the 1st year.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent option if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, like to redeem United Airlines miles, or want award nights at fancy Hyatt hotels, including the Park Hyatt Milan where Emily and I stayed.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has NO foreign transaction fees. So Emily earns 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on travel and dining anywhere in the world!
It also comes with built-in trip delay and cancellation insurance that can come in handy.
And purchase protection covers the treasures you find while shopping. Emily loves to shop, so this a great perk for her!
2. Chase Freedom
Link: Chase Freedom
The Chase Freedom card has quarterly rotating 5X points (5% cash back) bonus categories. In the past, this has included department stores and Amazon.com. These bonus categories are an easy way to rack up even more Chase Ultimate Rewards points!
You’ll earn $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. There’s NO annual fee on this card, so it’s a great 1 to open and keep forever (you can even improve your credit score this way!).
But it’s not just about shopping! Nearly anyone will find the bonus categories useful at some point in the year. They’ve previously awarded bonus points for dining, gas and commuter expenses, and home improvement store purchases – just make sure to activate the bonus each quarter!
If you spend the $1,500 maximum each quarter, you’ll earn an extra $300 or 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per year ($1,500 X 5% X 4 quarters).
And, if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold, you can transfer your points to Chase Ultimate Rewards travel partners.
3. Chase British Airways
Link: Chase British Airways
The sign-up bonus on the Chase British Airways card is a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points when you meet the tiered spending requirements. (EXPIRED.) To get the full bonus, you’ll have to spend:
- $2,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account (earn 50,000 British Airways Avios points)
- $10,000 (total) on purchases in the 1st 12 months of opening your account (earn an additional 25,000 British Airways Avios points)
- $20,000 (total) on purchases in the 1st 12 months of opening your account (earn another 25,000 British Airways Avios points)
The $95 annual fee is NOT waived for the 1st year. But it’s worth it for 100,000 British Airways Avios points!
British Airways Avios points are excellent for award flights on expensive routes. You’ll pay 7,500 British Airways Avios points each way for domestic coach award flights under 1,150 miles on partners American Airlines and Alaska airlines.
And if you travel overseas, you can get award flights under 650 miles on international partners for 4,500 British Airways Avios points. That’s a great deal!
You can also earn a Travel Together Ticket when you spend $30,000 on the Chase British Airways card in a calendar year. A companion flies with you on a British Airways award flight for the cost of taxes and fees.
Emily and I used a Travel Together Ticket for First Class award seats on British Airways to London. Here’s how to decide if earning a Travel Together Ticket is worth it for you.
4. Chase United Explorer
Link: Chase United Explorer
Emily likes the Chase United Explorer card because it’s a great way to earn extra United Airlines miles. Plus, you (and a traveling companion on the same reservation) get a free checked bag when you use the card to pay for your ticket.
You can currently earn:
- 30,000 United Airlines miles after spending $1,000 on purchases within 1st 3 months of opening your account
- 5,000 additional United Airlines miles by adding authorized user who makes a purchase within the 1st 3 months
- $50 statement credit after your 1st purchase
We don’t earn a commission on this card, but we always let readers know when there’s a better offer!
You’ll also get 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $25,000+ on your card each year, and 2 United Club passes per year.
Another extremely useful benefit is cardholders will see more available award seats than folks who don’t have the card.
If you like to fly United Airlines and their Star Alliance partners, the Chase United Explorer card is a great for earning extra miles, relaxing before or after your flights, and getting more award seats!
5. Chase IHG Rewards
Link: Chase IHG Rewards
You’ll earn 70,000 IHG Rewards points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening your account. (EXPIRED.)
And an additional 5,000 IHG points when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the same timeframe.
The Chase IHG card has a $49 annual fee which is waived the 1st year. But when you pay it, you get a free night certificate to use at any IHG hotel in the world. Even the InterContinental Thalasso Bora Bora where Emily and I stayed, which can cost over $1,100 a night – that’s a great trade-off!
Emily chose (and kept!) her Chase cards based on how she likes to travel. And you can pick the cards best suited to your travel plans!
The 5 Chase cards Emily’s decided to keep are:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Chase Freedom
- Chase British Airways
- Chase United Explorer
- Chase IHG Rewards
Let us know which Chase cards you’ve kept!
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