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Which Chase rewards cards are right for you?

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Which Chase rewards cards are right for you?

Jason StaufferWhich Chase rewards cards are right for you?Million Mile Secrets Team

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We always suggest that people new to the world of travel credit cards should start with Chase Ultimate Rewards cards first, in part due to the restrictions placed on Chase credit cards. But it’s also because these rewards credit cards offer valuable welcome bonuses, strong earnings for your purchases and terrific travel perks and purchase protection.

Chase has a number of cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, each with their own distinct earning rates, intro bonuses and perks. And because Chase allows you to pool your points and transfer them to a single card, you have a number of ways to stretch the value of your points. We’ll explain why this can be so valuable later on.

So which Chase Ultimate Rewards cards are right for you? It depends mostly on your spending and travel habits and goals – let’s compare.

Best Chase rewards cards for 2020

CardSign-up bonus & minimum spending requirementsOur review
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your accountThe #1 card for beginners
Chase Sapphire Reserve®50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account
Lots of folks love this premium credit card because of the ongoing perks!
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your accountRead why this is the top card pick for small business owners
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card$500 bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your accountRead our Ink Business Unlimited review.
Chase Freedom®$150 bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your accountHere's our review of this great no-annual-fee card!
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Earn a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening.Read our review of this card, which has one of the easiest rewards earning structures around.
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card$500 bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your accountWith the increased sign-up bonus, this might be the biggest no-brainer deal of the year
The points you earn with Chase rewards cards can get you into United’s Polaris business class for dirt cheap. (Photo courtesy of United Airlines.)

Chase Sapphire Preferred

(Photo by Wyatt Smith)

Best for beginners

Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

Benefits

The Sapphire Preferred earns 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide; 5x points on Lyft rides (through Mar. 31, 2022) and 1x Chase points on everything else. It also has no foreign transaction fees and comes with rock-solid travel insurance, including primary rental card coverage, trip delay insurance and baggage delay coverage.

The Sapphire Preferred also comes with at least a year of complimentary DashPass, which gets you free delivery on orders of $12+ at participating DoorDash restaurants. You need to activate the membership no later than Dec. 31, 2021.

Annual fee

$95

Our take

The Sapphire Preferred is our top card for beginners for good reason. For starters, if has some of the best built-in coverages for any card that comes with a similar annual fee. And it allows you to transfer your Chase points to airline and hotel travel partners, this gives you the ability to unlock incredible value by booking luxury Hyatt hotels or booking expensive international business-class tickets with miles.

With the Sapphire Preferred you can also use your points to pay for travel by booking through the Chase travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

(Photo by Wyatt Smith)

Best for frequent travelers

Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

Benefits

The Sapphire Reserve earns 10x Chase points on Lyft rides (through Mar. 31, 2022); 3x points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit) and dining worldwide and one point per dollar on all other purchases. You’ll also get a free year of Lyft Pink (activation required, normally costs $19.99/month), which gets you 15% off Lyft rides and other perks. This card also has DoorDash benefits, including at least a year of free DashPass ( normally $9.99/month), which gets you free delivery on orders of $12+ at participating DoorDash restaurants. You need to activate the membership no later than Dec. 31, 2021. And you’ll get $60 in DoorDash credit in 2020 and another $60 in DoorDash credit in 2021.

Every year you’ll automatically receive up to $300 in statement credits each account anniversary year on travel-related purchases. Chase’s definition of travel is very broad and includes items such as parking, airfare, hotels, toll charges, car rentals, buses, taxis, ferries and more.

If you don’t like waiting in long lines at the airport, trusted traveler programs like Global Entry and TSA PreCheck can go a long way in speeding you through the security lines. And if you pay your application fee with your Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can get fully reimbursed up to $100. This applies if you’re renewing your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership as well.

As a cardmember, you can receive complimentary Priority Pass membership to access over 1,200 airport lounges worldwide. These airport lounges are a great place to get away from the busy hustle and bustle of the airport terminal because you can relax in a much quieter area. Many lounges also offer complimentary food, beverages and some offer showers you can use to freshen up before your flight.

This wouldn’t be one of the best premium travel cards without some top-notch travel protections, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve delivers. You’ll get the following coverage if you use your card to pay for the trip:

  • Trip cancellation insurance covers you up to $10,000 per person for pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses in the event of a cancelled trip due to sickness, weather and other covered situations
  • Primary rental car insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement covers you for up to $3,000 per passenger
  • Trip delay reimbursement covers you for up to $500 per ticket if your flight is delayed more than six hours

Annual fee

$550

Our take

One way you could look at this card is that the easy-to-use travel credit perk lowers the effective annual fee down to $250 ($550 – $300) right off the bat. So ask yourself: Can I get more than $250 in value from the cards other perks? In most cases, I think the answer is yes. With this card you will not only be able to transfer Chase points to travel partners, but it can make all of the points you earn with other Ultimate Rewards cards worth more. That’s because when you use the card to pay for travel through the Chase Travel Portal and your points are worth 1.5 cents each.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Best business card bonus

Bonus

The Chase Ink Business Preferred has a bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

Benefits

The Ink Business Preferred earns 3x Chase points on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases each account anniversary year on travel, shipping purchases, internet / cable / phone services and advertising purchases with social media sites or search engines; 5x points on Lyft rides (through Mar. 31, 2022) and 1x points per dollar spent on everything else.

Another reason to hang onto the Chase Ink Business Preferred card long term is the cell phone protection that’s offered to you as a card member. When you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card, you’ll be covered for up to $600 against damage or theft up to three times per year. There is a $100 deductible, but that still means you could save yourself up to $500 in repairs.

The Ink Business Preferred card comes loaded with lots of handy travel protections, which can save you quite a bit of time and money.

  • Primary rental car insurance on rentals used for business purposes
  • Lost luggage reimbursement up to $3,000 per person
  • Baggage delay insurance for more than a six-hour delay, coverage for $100 per day, up to five days
  • Trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance up to $5,000

Annual fee

$95

Our take

The Ink Business Preferred is the only business card that enables Chase point transfers and it also has the biggest Ultimate Rewards points bonus of any card out there. So it warrants your attention, but you might be asking yourself: Can I qualify for a business card?

You need to some sort of business activities to qualify for business credit cards, but it doesn’t need to be your full-time occupation. You can be approved as an independent contractor or freelancer, so jobs like driving for Uber or Lyft could qualify you. And if you’re a sole proprietor you can use your social security number as your business tax ID and your name as your business name.

Ink Business Unlimited

Best for everyday business spending

Bonus

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited has a bonus of $500 after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

Benefits

The Ink Business Unlimited earns 5% cash back on Lyft rides (through Mar. 31, 2022) and 1.5% back on all other purchases. It doesn’t get any simpler than that!

Annual fee

$0

Our take

Lots of business purchases fall outside of the traditional bonus categories, like shipping or advertising. Those transactions usually only earn 1% cash back or 1x points, but if you have the Ink Business Unlimited you can up your rewards by 50%! That’s an incredible power, especially when you consider that it’s a credit card with no annual fee. And if you have one of the Chase cards that has an annual fee ( Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Unlimited), you can pool the rewards you earn with this card and then transfer them to travel partners.

Chase Freedom

(Photo by Wyatt Smith)

Best for rotating bonus categories

Bonus

The Chase Freedom has a bonus of $150 after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

Benefits

With the Chase Freedom, you have the ability to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter after you activate them. Bonus categories in the past have included popular everyday expenses such as gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants. So if you pay attention to the quarterly bonus categories, you can potentially earn an additional $300 (30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) per calendar year.

All other purchases earn 1% back, except for Lyft rides (through Mar. 31, 2022) which earn 5% back. Freedom cardholders are also eligible for three months of free DashPass (normally $9.99/month), which gets you no delivery fees on orders of $12+ at participating restaurants. After the three month trial you can continue the membership for 50% off for the next nine months.

Annual fee

$0

Our take

The Freedom card is an excellent no-annual-fee option to partner with other Chase cards. If you have the Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred the 5% back you earn on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in the select bonus categories each quarter can be transferred to Chase’s travel partners.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

(Photo by Wyatt Smith)

Best for purchases without a bonus category

Bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a bonus of $150 after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

Benefits

Simplicity is the name of this card. No rotating categories to keep track of. Just a nice, clean and simple 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases. You’ll also earn 5% back on Lyft rides through Mar. 31, 2022. Freedom Unlimited cardholders also have access to the exact same DoorDash perks as Freedom cardholders.

Annual fee

$0

Our take

This is the personal version of the Ink Business Unlimited and is a must have for anyone with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. With the Reserve card you can book travel through the Chase travel portal for 1.5 cents per point. So when you combine the rewards you earn with this card, you’re getting 2.25% back in travel rewards, that’s stellar.

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Best business card with no annual fee

Bonus

The Chase Ink Business Cash has a bonus of $500 after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

Benefits

The Ink Business Cash card is fantastic for a lot of office-related expenses that you may have as a business owner. You’ll earn 5% cash back (5x Chase points) on the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary; 2% cash back (2x Chase points) on the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary; 5% back on Lyft rides through Mar. 31, 2022 and 1% back on all other purchases

Annual fee

$0

Our take

Because this card has no annual fee it can be a bit of a no-brainer. First off, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better cash bonus on a card that doesn’t have an annual fee. And earning 5% back in select categories is a great way to replenish your Ultimate Rewards points when you have one of the cards that enables points transfers.

Important things to keep in mind

Chase has strict application rules you’ll want to be aware of before you apply for any of these cards. Knowing these rules will help improve your chances of approval.

Chase 5/24 Rule

In short, the Chase 5/24 rule means if you’ve opened five or more cards in the past 24 months (except Chase business cards and certain other business cards), you likely won’t be approved for any of these cards. Check out our post on how to count how many credit cards you’ve opened to determine your 5/24 status.

Maximum of one Sapphire card allowed

You can only hold one Chase Sapphire card at a time. In other words, you have to choose between either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can’t have both.

Timing of your applications

If you’re thinking of going for one of the Sapphire cards in addition to the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card, it’s best to apply for the business card first. That’s because Chase business cards do not count toward your 5/24 limit. So if you do happen to get approved for the business card, you’ll still be eligible for either of the Sapphire cards.

On the other hand, if you apply for one of the Sapphire cards first and it happens to make you ineligible because of the 5/24 rule, you will be declined for the Ink Business Preferred card.

Chase Sapphire card bonus rules

If you’re new to Chase, chances are you won’t have to worry about this rule, but it’s worth mentioning. If you have earned a welcome bonus on any version of the Sapphire card in the past 48 months, you will not qualify for a new Sapphire credit card.

This is a stricter requirement because most other Chase cards require just 24 months before becoming eligible to earn another welcome bonus on the same card.

Summary of the best Chase rewards cards for 2020

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Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

More Info

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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That’s strange, my question may have gotten deleted. Chase issued me 2 online accounts, 1 for personal and 1 for business. How are you able to transfer between them? I can only transfer within personal account or within business account. Thanks in advance!

After I got my first Chase business card, I called them and had their IT department combine my personal and business under a single login.

I’m not sure but that may have done the trick for me? I’ve never had any issues with combining Chase UR points between business and personal accounts.