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Which Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards Are Right for You?

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Which Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards Are Right for You?

Andrew WanWhich Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards Are Right for You?Million Mile Secrets Team

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INSIDER SECRET: If you have multiple cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can pool the points to a single card. This can come in handy if you carry the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve. That’s because points on those cards are 25 – 50% more valuable when redeemed through the Chase Travel Portal! 

We always suggest that folks new to miles and points start with Chase Ultimate Rewards cards first, in part due to Chase’s strict application rules. But it’s also because these 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 earnings ability, 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!

For instance, you can transfer your points to some of the most flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, like the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve. By doing this, you’ll enjoy a higher redemption value through the Chase Travel Portal, not to mention the added flexibility of transferring points to Chase airline and hotel partners!

With so many choices in Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, where should you start? We’ll compare all of Chase’s cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points to help you make that decision.

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

Comparison: Which Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards Are Best for You?

There are quite a few cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you need help deciding which cards to get, we’ve simplified the search process for you by categorizing the best cards based on some of their notable perks and earnings abilities:

The order in which you apply for Chase cards can also be important. Team member Scott ran through his strategies for which Chase cards to apply for first. This can be helpful especially since Chase has some pretty strict application rules.

Now that you’ve read the Cliff notes version to help you narrow down which cards might be best for you, let’s dive into the details of each card!

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Apply Here: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

If you’re just starting with the miles and points hobby, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a terrific choice. You can get an idea of how valuable points can be and you’ll be able to enjoy great travel perks!

Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll earn an intro bonus of 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s worth $750 toward travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal!

You can stretch the value of your points by transferring them to Chase’s travel partners, like British Airways.

Though the card has a $95 annual fee, the sign-up bonus more than covers it. And you can see how you like the rest of the benefits before it comes due again.

Earn Rates for Spending Categories

If you eat out and travel, make sure to use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card! You’ll earn:

  • 2x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, including airfare, hotels, fine dining and cafes
  • 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on everything else

Travel Protection

If the unexpected happens, you’re covered if you used 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
  • Baggage delay insurance for more than a six-hour delay, coverage for $100 per day, up to five days
  • Trip delay reimbursement covers you for up to $500 per ticket if your flight is delayed 12+ hours
Baggage delayed for more than six hours? The Chase Sapphire Preferred has you covered with up to $100 per day, up to five days!

Foreign Transaction Fees

This card charges no foreign transaction fees, making it another perfect card to use overseas.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Apply Here: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve

If you are a frequent traveler, the Chase Sapphire Reserve may just fit the bill for you! This card was named “Best Premium Travel Credit Card” for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine because it’s loaded with tons of perks which can significantly upgrade your traveling experience! And although the card comes with a $450 annual fee, it’s incredibly easy for frequent travelers to more than make up for the fee with perks like an annual up to $300 travel credit, airport lounge access, $100 statement credit for Global Entry and much more!

Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee

You can earn a welcome bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Points earned on this card are worth more through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, so this welcome bonus is worth at least $750!

The card does carry a $450 annual fee which is NOT waived for the first year. But as you’ll quickly see below, this annual fee can be well worth paying because the card is PACKED with valuable perks!

$300 Annual Travel Credit

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 based on reports online, includes items such as parking, airfare, hotels, toll charges, car rentals, buses, taxis, ferries and more.

So one way you could look at it is that this perk lowers the effective annual fee down to $150 ($450 – $300) right off the bat!

Reimbursement for Global Entry / TSA PreCheck

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.

With Global Entry / TSA PreCheck, you could make waiting in long lines a thing of the past. And with the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your application fee will be reimbursed up to $100.

Airport Lounge Access

As a cardmember, you can receive complimentary Priority Pass membership to access over 1,000 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!

Earn Rates for Spending Categories

If you thought your bonus points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred were great, this card does even better! You’ll earn:

  • 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on travel (excluding $300 travel credit) & dining worldwide
  • 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1 on all other purchases

Travel Protection

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
Save money by declining the rental car agency’s insurance. You’re covered for damage due to theft or collision by the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s primary rental car insurance perk!

Foreign Transaction Fees

This is a great card to use if you’re traveling overseas because there are NO foreign transaction fees charged.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Apply Here: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Read our review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred

If you’re a small business owner, the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card should be at the top of your list. And you may already qualify for a small business credit card without even realizing it!

You might already qualify as a business owner and not even realize! Tutoring students in your free time, for instance, would make you eligible for business credit cards.

If you make any income outside of your regular 9 to 5 job, have a side hustle for profit or run your own company even as a sole proprietor, chances are you’re eligible for this card!

Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee

In the short term, the Chase Ink Business Preferred is a wonderful card to have. That’s because you can earn a welcome bonus of 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That is the highest public sign-up bonus we’ve seen on a Chase business card, and it’s worth at least $1,000 when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal.

That intro bonus is more than enough to offset the card’s $95 annual fee (which is NOT waived for the first year).

Earn Rates for Spending Categories

You’ll want to hang onto the card in the long run too, though, because you’ll earn bonus points in plenty of popular business categories.

  • 3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 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
  • 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on everything else

Cell Phone Protection

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 3 times per year. There is a $100 deductible, but that still means you could save yourself up to $500 in repairs!

There’s nothing like a broken screen on your phone to put a damper on your day. But with the Ink Preferred’s cell phone insurance, you’ll be covered for up to $600 in repairs!

Members of the Million Mile Secrets team have used Chase Ink Business Preferred cell phone insurance to save $100s in repair costs, including fixing an Apple iPhone 7 Plus and Apple iPhone X screen replacement!

Travel Protection

The Chase 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

Foreign Transaction Fees

You’ll pay no foreign transaction fees on this card, so feel free to use it if you travel overseas!

Ink Business Unlimited

Apply Here: Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Read our review of the Chase Ink Business Unlimited

Running your own business can be tough. So if you’ve got one too many things on your plate and you’re looking for a way to simplify things when it comes to making purchases, the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card could be perfect for you.

Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee

The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card comes with the opportunity to earn $500 bonus cash back (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. The card also carries no annual fee, making this card a no-brainer for many business owners!

Earn Rates for Spending Categories

There are no bonus categories to keep track of with this card. You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back (1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on every purchase. It’s as simple as that!

Business owners, you’ve got enough on your plate. Simplify your life with the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card and earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back (1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on every purchase. Pretty simple!

Foreign Transaction Fees

If you’ll be traveling outside the US, you’ll want to leave this card at home because it does charge foreign transaction fees.

Chase Freedom

Apply Here: Chase Freedom

Read our review of the Chase Freedom

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 you activate. 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!

With the Chase Freedom, you can earn a whopping 5% cash back in quarterly rotating bonus categories!

Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee

The Chase Freedom is a no-annual-fee credit card, and you can earn a welcome bonus of $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

This is a relatively low spending requirement compared to some of Chase’s other cards, some of which require as much as $5,000 to meet minimum spending requirements. Considering the welcome bonus is easier to meet, and the fact the card carries no annual fee, it’s a great addition to almost any wallet.

Plus, if you have either the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve, your points could potentially be worth much, much more when you combine your points with one of the cards above.

Earn Rates for Spending Categories

Pay attention to the rotating quarterly bonus categories, because that’s how you’ll make the most of this card! You’ll earn the following:

  • 5% cash back (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back (1x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all other purchases

Foreign Transaction Fees

This card does charge foreign transaction fees, so you’ll probably want to keep it at home if you travel overseas.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Apply Here: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Read our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you’d rather not deal with rotating quarterly bonus categories and just want simplicity, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card to consider. You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back (1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on every purchase. It doesn’t get more straightforward than that.

Looking to keep things simple? The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. That’s it! No rotating categories to keep track of!

Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee

Instead of a one-time intro bonus, the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers the ability to earn 3% cash back on all purchases for the first year, up to $20,000 spent! After that, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on subsequent purchases. Not bad, especially considering this card also carries no annual fee!

If you have any large expenses in the upcoming year, you should definitely consider applying for this card to take advantage of that 3% cash back rate for the first year of card membership!

Earn Rates for Spending Categories

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!

Foreign Transaction Fees

This card also charges foreign transaction fees. If you’ll be traveling abroad, you’ll want to use another card instead.

Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Apply Here: Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Read our review of the Ink Business Cash Credit Card

As a business owner, chances are you’ve already got your fair share of expenses eating away at your bottom line. If that’s the case, the Ink Business Cash Credit Card could be a perfect addition to your wallet! It carries no annual fee, and affords you the ability to earn a huge welcome bonus!

Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee

As a new card member, you can earn a $500 cash back bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. This is an insanely high welcome bonus, especially for a card that carries no annual fee!

It’s almost unheard of for a no-annual-fee credit card to have a huge welcome bonus, which makes the Ink Business Cash Credit Card a must-have for business owners!

Earn Rates for Spending Categories

The Ink Business Cash Credit 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 Ultimate Rewards points per $1) 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 Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary
  • 1% cash back (1x Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1) on all other purchases

Foreign Transaction Fees

The Ink Business Cash Credit Card does charge a foreign transaction fee, so it’s best to leave it at home if you’ll be traveling outside the US!

A Few 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!

1. 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.

2. 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, unfortunately!

3. 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 likely be declined for the Ink Business Preferred card.

Chase has strict application rules. So timing your applications properly could mean the difference between an approval or denial!

4. 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 the intro bonus on your new Sapphire credit card application.

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.

Bottom Line

Chase’s top Ultimate Rewards cards each have a different set of features and perks that suit specific spending and travel patterns. Here’s the quick rundown:

To learn more about Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can also check out some of our guides:

For the most up-to-date tips on how to earn and redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees

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!

Author

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.