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As much as we all love earning points and miles from lucrative credit cards, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which cards to sign up for and use on an ongoing basis. It can be even more difficult to discern which credit cards a bank might approve you for, especially because of the complex algorithms and logic used to make credit card application decisions.
In reality, there’s no precise science to guaranteeing approval for any given credit card. Chase does not publish the minimum credit score required for its cards. But by looking at historical approval rates and considering typical application behavior, we can create informed hypotheses about which cards have the highest approval odds depending on certain factors like credit score and household income.
Here we’ll share what we’ve discovered about the minimum credit score needed for personal Chase credit cards. This list doesn’t include every single credit card offered by Chase, but does cover the most common (and our favorite) cards.
Things to remember when applying for Chase credit cards
History certainly helps to understand what credit score might be needed to get approved for a new Chase card. But remember that Chase ultimately has the final say, and sometimes denials might happen without rhyme or reason. In these cases, you can always call up the Chase reconsideration line at 888-245-0625 to see if there’s additional information you can give the company to help boost your chances of approval.
You also need to make sure you’re adhering to the Chase 5/24 rule and other application restrictions. And sometimes you might not be eligible for a given card’s sign-up bonus depending on what credit cards you’ve applied for and held in the past. Because of this, we recommend you read our full review of any Chase credit card before deciding whether to apply.
Without further ado, here’s our list:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is our favorite overall travel credit card for beginners to miles and points. The $95 annual fee is a reasonable price to pay for the 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus you’ll earn after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, as well as ongoing earning rates of 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on everything else.
Most people approved for this card have credit scores in the range of 700 and above. As this is considered a mid-level card, it would be tough to get approved with no credit history. This was the first travel card I applied for, and while my credit score was about 760 at the time, I had very little income. This was also the first travel card team member Jasmin was approved for, and her credit score was around 750 at the time.
You can read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card here.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is the only “premium” credit card on our list, meaning it carries exceptional travel and purchase benefits in addition to its hefty $450 annual fee. But you’ll receive up to $300 in travel credits annually, great earning rates (3x points on travel and dining and 1x points on everything else), and 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
This is probably the toughest card to get approved for on this list because you typically need at least a ~725 credit score plus a steady income. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite credit card, meaning you typically need to qualify for a credit limit of at least $10,000 (though there are some exceptions). Team member Jasmin was approved with an 800+ credit score.
The travel credits and earning on this card are so valuable that I jumped on it as soon as it was released and will likely keep it open for many years to come. Here’s our Chase Sapphire Reserve review.
The Chase Freedom is an excellent starter no-annual-fee credit card that earns 1% cash back (1x Chase Ultimate Rewards point per dollar) on all purchases. You also earn 5% cash back (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) in rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 in combined purchases) such as gas, dining, Amazon and more when you activate the bonus.
If you have an annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card (such as the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card), you can combine your points with that card and transfer them to Chase transfer partners.
This is the number one card we recommend to younger applicants or people with little credit history, as you can typically get approved for this card with a credit score of around 650 or higher. You’ll also earn an introductory bonus of $150 cash back (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Team member Scott was approved for Chase Freedom with an 800 credit score and a middle-class income. This is one of his favorite no-annual-fee credit cards.
You’ll find our Chase Freedom review here.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is similar to the traditional Freedom card in many respects, in that it has no annual fee and is a great starter credit card. The Freedom Unlimited, however, offers 1.5% cash back (1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) on all purchases with no rotating quarterly category bonuses. Similar to the Freedom, you can combine your points with an annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards card and transfer them to Chase transfer partners.
With the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you can earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
With the Ink Business Preferred you can earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. It the Ultimate Rewards earning card with the highest welcome bonus, one that’s worth at least $1,000 in travel when you redeem your points through the Chase Travel Portal.
Even though the Ink Business Preferred is a business credit card, Chase will use your personal credit score in deciding whether to approve you. In general, it’s a good idea to have at least a score of 740, though there have been reports of people with lower scores being approved. Regardless, you’ll also need business income, and sometimes Chase goes as far as asking for documents for proof of business, like a business license, invoices, business card, etc.
For the Ink Business Cash card, you’ll generally need good to excellent credit, meaning a score of 700+. That’s because even though the Ink Cash is a business card, like with to the Ink Business Preferred, Chase will use your personal credit score when making its decision.
What’s great about this particular Chase business card is that it’s currently offering an all-time-high welcome bonus of $500 cash back (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you meet minimum spending requirements. This is an excellent deal because the Ink Business Cash has no annual fee. For more details, read our Ink Business Cash review here.
An alternative to the Ink Business Cash is the Ink Business Unlimited. This is the best choice if you’re looking for a business card that earns cash back (or Chase Ultimate Rewards points) but don’t want the hassle of dealing with bonus categories.
The Ink Business Unlimited is a no-annual-fee card that earns 1.5% cash back (1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on every purchase. And it comes with a $500 cash bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Again, similar to the Ink Business Cash card, you’ll need a credit score of at least 700+ for approval. Here’s our review of the Ink Business Unlimited.
The first of three Southwest credit cards on our list is also the card with the lowest annual fee — just $69 per year. When you open the Chase Southwest Plus card, you’ll earn up to 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. Southwest points are worth ~1.5 cents each, so this bonus is worth ~$600 toward travel on Southwest (and potentially almost double if you have the Southwest Companion Pass). That’s a good deal.
This card has some interesting approval reports, with some folks reportedly receiving the card with just around 600+ credit scores. That makes this a great introductory card for folks with newer credit histories who still want to earn rewards. Here’s our review of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card.
With the Chase Southwest Priority card, you’ll earn 40,000 Southwest points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of account bonus is worth ~$600 toward travel on Southwest because Southwest points are worth ~1.5 cents each. And this card comes with additional benefits, such as a $75 annual travel credit on Southwest and four upgraded boardings each cardmember year.
You’ll pay $149 a year to keep this card, but the benefits outweigh the cost if you fly Southwest frequently. You’ll also need an even higher score to get approved for this card, with average successful applicants boasting scores of 680 to 700 and above. Read our Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card review here.
The World of Hyatt credit card is a great option for folks who prefer to earn Hyatt points or who stay at Hyatt hotels frequently. This card offers a sign-up bonus of up to 50,000 Hyatt points: 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening, and an additional 25,000 points when you spend an additional $3,000 on purchases (so $6,000 total) in your first six months of account opening.
This card carries a $95 annual fee and rewards you with 9x Hyatt points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels and resorts. You’ll typically need a slightly higher credit score to get approved for the World of Hyatt card, likely in the 700+ range. Read our World Of Hyatt credit card review here.
Marriott offers a couple of different credit cards through Chase, including the popular Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card. This card carries a $95 annual fee but there is a limited-time offer of 100,000 bonus Marriott points after you spend $5,000 with your Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card in the first three months from account opening.
This card is somewhat more difficult to get approved for, with an average approval score above 700, but some reports show folks with just 650 credit scores also being approved. Here’s our review of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card.
The Marriott Bonvoy Bold card is a no-annual-fee option for those folks still wanting to earn Marriott points with a Chase credit card. Thus, this card is slightly easier to get approved for, and reports online indicate the average credit score for approval is in the 680 range.
With the Marriott Bonvoy Bold card, you can earn 30,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. You can also plan to keep this card open long-term, helping to grow your credit score. Read our Marriott Bonvoy Bold credit card review here.
The United Explorer card is a great option for folks looking to earn United miles to redeem for award flights on United or one of its partner airlines like Lufthansa or Turkish Airlines. This card comes with a $95 annual fee, but the first year is waived.
The card is currently offering a limited time offer of up to 65,000 bonus miles; 40,000 miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months. Plus, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 total on purchases in the first six months your account is open. This is also a mid-tier credit card (from a fees and perks perspective) and is relatively easy to get approved for. The average approval credit score is right around 700, but some folks have been approved in the 650 range, too. You’ll find our review of the United Explorer card here.
Chase offers some of the very best credit cards when it comes to sign-up bonuses, rewards earning and overall value from benefits and perks. But not every card is easy to get approved for, and Chase has certain general restrictions that make some cards more accessible than others.
There aren’t published minimum credit scores for these cards, but by researching online we’ve found the typical minimum credit scores you’ll need to get approved. Even if you meet those, remember that Chase also will take other factors into account, such as income and your history with the bank.
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