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INSIDER SECRET: The Chase credit cards with the BEST earning rates don’t even have an annual fee! But you’ll want to pair them with a card that DOES have an annual fee because you’ll get a lot more value from your points.
Chase credit cards offer perennially excellent deals if you qualify for them. Their cards are keepers. In fact, everyone on the MMS team has Chase cards as a cornerstone of our award travel strategies.
The travel rewards that come with Chase cards include:
- 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth $1,000 toward travel with the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
- Up to $300 travel credit, Priority Pass lounge membership, and 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Up to 5% return (five Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on as much as $1,500 in combined bonus-category spending each quarter you activate with the Chase Freedom
After you meet the spending requirements to unlock the bonuses, you can plan award flights, stay at some of the most high-end hotels on the planet, or take a casual getaway trip for pennies on the dollar.
Here are the details.
Best Chase Credit Cards in May 2019
When you’re starting with miles and points, we recommend applying for all the Chase cards you want first because of their “5/24 rule.”
That means if you’ve opened 5+ credit cards from any bank (with the exception of certain business cards) in the past 24 months, you won’t be approved for most Chase cards.
Once you open the Chase cards that suit your travel style, you can move on to other banks with less restrictive rules.
Here are the top offers to consider this month!
1. Earn $1,000 in Travel or $800 Cash With the Chase Ink Business Preferred
Apply Here: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
With the Ink Business Preferred, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That’s worth at least $1,000 in travel when you redeem your points for flights, hotels, rental cars, and more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, because each point is worth 1.25 cents for travel booked through Chase (80,000 X 1.25).
If you’d rather have cash, you can redeem your points for $800.
You can also transfer points directly to Chase’s travel partners, like Hyatt, Southwest, and United Airlines, to potentially get much more award travel.
And you’ll receive ongoing perks like cell phone insurance, trip delay insurance, and purchase protection that can save you hundreds.
Here’s our full review of the Ink Business Preferred.
2. Can’t Go Wrong With the #1 Card for Beginners – Chase Sapphire Preferred
Apply Here: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred
You’ll earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. That’s worth at least $750 toward travel booked through Chase, because each point gets you 1.25 cents in value (60,000 X 1.25).
The points you earn never expire as long as you have the card, which does have a $95 annual fee. And you can transfer them to travel partners when you’re ready to use them.
Just note, you can only have one Sapphire-branded card at one time. But you can always upgrade it to the Chase Sapphire Reserve later if you want.
Our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred has the details.
3. An Excellent Card for Frequent Travelers That Pays for Itself Year After Year – Chase Sapphire Reserve
Apply Here: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s worth at least $750 when you book travel through Chase, because each point is worth 1.5 cents in the travel portal (50,000 X 1.5).
On its own, the sign-up bonus offsets the $450 annual fee the first year. And the card’s other perks cover it in successive years with perks like:
- 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit) and dining worldwide
- 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all other purchases
- Up to $300 annual credit every cardmember year for travel purchases, like airfare and hotels
- $100 statement credit for Global Entry
- Free Priority Pass Select membership for access to airport lounges
- NO foreign transaction fees
Many folks start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred because the annual fee is lower. But if you have lots of travel planned, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a better deal. And the annual fee is effectively only $55 more when you subtract the annual travel credit ($450 annual fee-$300 travel credit). That’s easily worth it for all the extra perks you get!
Here’s our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve to help you decide which is best for you.
4. No-Annual-Fee Card With Unbelievable Earning Rate – Chase Freedom
Apply Here: Chase Freedom®
Read our review of the Chase Freedom
The Chase Freedom is certainly one of the top no-annual-fee cards because you can earn 5% cash back (five Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on up to $1,500 in spending in rotating categories each quarter when you activate the bonus. If you spend $1,500 in these categories each quarter, you can earn $300 in bonus cash back every year.
If you’ve only got the Chase Freedom, you can redeem your points for one cent each for cash back or toward travel. But if you have cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, your rewards will be worth much more.
When you have one of these cards, you can combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards points and transfer them to lots of great airline and hotel partners!
When you apply for the Chase Freedom, you’ll earn $150 cash back (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
5. Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Card for Everyday Purchases – Chase Freedom Unlimited
Apply Here: Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Read our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®
If rotating bonus categories sound like too much trouble, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a simpler option for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
With this card, you earn 3% cash back for the first year, up to $20,000; then 1.5% cash back (1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all other purchases.
This card also allows you to combine points with other eligible Chase cards, which helps you save lots of money on travel!
Our top Chase credit cards this month are:
- 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Ink Business Preferred (worth $1,000 toward travel)*
- 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred (worth $750 toward travel)*
- 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve (worth $750 toward travel)*
- $150 cash bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) with the Chase Freedom (Worth $150 cash)
- 3% cash back for the first year, up to $20,000 with the Chase Freedom Unlimited; then 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
*when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards
As always, if you have any questions or need help deciding on the best deal for you, let us know. And subscribe to our newsletter for more posts like this!