Best Chase Credit Cards for Travelers in January 2019

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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.

Here at MMS, everyone on our team has Chase credit cards.  That’s because their card lineup offers the richest travel rewards in the industry.  I have 7 of them!

And I’ve personally gotten free or insanely cheap travel around the world.  Thanks to the miles and points I’ve earned, I’ve enjoyed free hotel rooms, amazing Business Class flights for pennies on the dollar, and deep discounts on coach travel.  And we want to unlock the freedom for you to have that, too!

Excellent offers this month include being able to earn the Southwest Companion Pass AND 30,000 Southwest points with all 3 Chase Southwest personal cards, 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card , and an 80,000-point deal on the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card worth $1,000 in travel (when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards) – and potentially much more.  To unlock the bonus on any of these cards, you’ll have to meet a minimum spending requirement.

The deal on the Southwest personal cards ends February 11, 2019, so you have under a month to get in on unlimited BOGO flights on Southwest through the end of the year.  Just pay the taxes and fees and bring a partner along with you!

Chase Credit Cards Got Me Award Flights Within Australia, and a Completely Free Hotel Room Near the Circular Quay and Opera House!

Here’s more about each top offer.

Best Chase Credit Cards in January 2019

If you’re new to miles & points, Chase credit cards are the best place to begin exploring the hobby, because of their “5/24 rule.”

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.

So after you get all the Chase cards you want, you can move to other banks whose cards have less restrictive rules.

With that in mind, here are the best Chase has to offer!

1.   30,000 Southwest Points Plus a Companion Pass

Apply Here:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card


Apply Here:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card


Apply Here:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card


Link:   This Is the Best Airline Credit Card Offer — Don’t Miss Your Chance at the Best Deal in Travel

Through February 11, 2019, you’ll earn the Companion Pass and 30,000 Southwest points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening any of the Chase Southwest personal cards.

The Southwest Companion Pass is the best deal in travel.  When you earn it through these offers, it’s good through the rest of 2019.  So the sooner you earn it, the longer you’ll have to use it!

With the Companion Pass, you can designate a friend, partner, or family member to join you for free whenever you travel on Southwest.  It doesn’t matter if your flight is booked with points or paid for with cash – your companion flies free!  You just have to pay taxes & fees, which are usually ~$6 each way when you fly within the US.

I Flew Southwest From Dallas to New York and Loved the Quick, Smooth Flight. The Southwest Companion Pass Lets You Take Anyone With You – It’s the Best Chase Card Deal This Month!

If you live in a city Southwest serves, you can do well with this offer.  30,000 Southwest points are worth ~$450 in Southwest flights – and the value of the Companion Pass is up to you!  The more you use it, the more valuable it becomes.

If you’re eligible for this offer, it’s absolutely the smoking gun this month.

Just note, you can’t have more than one personal Southwest card at the same time.  Check out our full review of these Southwest offers to help you decide which is best for your situation.

2.   Chase Sapphire Reserve for Tons of Travel Perks & 3X on Travel and Dining

Apply Here:   Chase Sapphire Reserve

Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

This card scares away some folks because of the hefty $450 annual fee.  But when you run the numbers and consider the perks, it’s actually a great deal – especially if you like to travel.

That’s because you’ll get:

  • 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit) & dining worldwide
  • 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards point on all other purchases
  • Up to $300 annual credit every cardmember anniversary 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
The Chase Sapphire Reserve Is Packed With Benefits for Frequent Travelers. I’d Recommend It Over the Sapphire Preferred!

After you account for the $300 annual travel credit, the annual fee drops to $150 – only $55 more than the Sapphire Preferred.  When you consider the primary car rental insurance, Priority Pass, and being able to earn 3X points on travel and dining, it’s easy to see how the card can more than pay for itself year after year.

That doesn’t include the 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points you’ll earn after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  They’re 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).

Many folks default to the Sapphire Preferred because the annual fee is lower.  But if you have lots of travel planned, the Sapphire Reserve is a better deal.

Here’s our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve to help you decide.

3.   Small Business Owners Can Get $1,000 in Travel or $800 Cash

Apply Here:   Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Our Review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred

We talk about the Ink Business Preferred a lot because for small business owners, sign-up deals don’t get much better than this.

You can earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 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).  And if you’d rather have cash, it’s worth $800 right in your pocket.

If You Qualify for Small Business Cards, the Ink Business Preferred Has a Sky-High Intro Bonus to Start Your Travels

Of course, you can also transfer points directly to Chase’s travel partners, like Hyatt 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 $100s.

Here’s how to fill out a Chase business card application.  And here’s our full review of the Ink Business Preferred for more information.

4.   The #1 Card for Beginners Is Also a Great Deal

Apply Here:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you’re starting out with miles & points, you’ll see this card mentioned often.  That’s because it’s the #1 card for beginners.

While I’d recommend the Sapphire Reserve instead, I understand the big annual fee on that card can seem tough.  The $95 annual fee with the Sapphire Preferred is much lower, and it’s waived the first year.

So you can explore the perks and see how you like the card – it’s not as big of a commitment.  You might also consider this card if you want to start collecting points but don’t have immediate plans to travel.

The points you earn never expire as long as you have the card.  And you can transfer them to travel partners when you’re ready to use them.  Many of us on the MMS team started with this card.

You’ll earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account.  That’s worth $625 toward travel booked through Chase, because each point gets you 1.25 cents in value (50,000 X 1.25).  Pretty awesome deal for a card with no annual fee the first year!

Keep in mind, you can only have one Sapphire-branded card at one time.  You can always upgrade it later when you’re ready!

Our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred has all the details on how to use it.

5.   Earn 1.5X Points Everywhere

Our Review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited

The information for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets.  The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

When you sign-up for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you’ll earn $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.  This card has NO annual fee, so it’s free to keep forever.

And it pairs wonderfully with other premium Chase Ultimate Rewards cards.  You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% back (1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all purchases.  And you can combine all your points in one account to book travel at a better value, or transfer them to travel partners.

Whereas the other cards earn 1X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent in non-bonus categories, this one earns 50% more on those purchases.  So it’s an easy way to earn more points every day.

This would make a good 2nd (or 3rd) Chase card, especially after you get the:

Because you can keep it forever, it can even help increase the average age of all your credit accounts and boost your credit score in the process!

Bottom Line

Our top Chase credit cards this month are:

Depending on your travel goals, and how many cards you’ve opened recently, you might even consider pairing a couple of these cards to really ramp up your travel opportunities.

The entire MMS team use Chase cards as a key part of our award travel strategies.  And Chase Ultimate Rewards points are my favorite kind to collect because of their flexibility.

If you have questions about any of these deals, let us know!  The team is happy to point you in the right direction. 🙂

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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