Which Cards Should You Consider With the Stricter Chase Application Rules?

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It’s rumored it will soon be harder for folks to be approved for all Chase cards, including Chase’s airline and hotel co-branded cards.

So you’ll want to employ a strategy to decide which Chase cards are most important for you to get BEFORE the tougher approval rules go into effect.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules
It May Soon Be Difficult for Folks Who Already Have Lots of Cards to Open a New Chase Card
I’ll show you which Chase cards to get 1st for the most Big Travel with Small Money!

Which Chase Cards Should You Consider?

Link:   Hot Deals

I don’t have confirmation of the new Chase rules and there’s nothing in writing.  But many folks are wondering which cards to apply for soon, before the rumored new rules take effect.

As always, consider your travel goals and future plans before you sign-up for new cards.  Read my post on how to decide which miles and points to collect for your trip for ideas!

If you’re new to our hobby, you likely haven’t opened 5 new credit cards in the previous 24 months, so you wouldn’t be impacted by these rules yet.

1.   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

My top pick for a travel rewards card is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  Here’s why it’s my favorite.  In that I post I explain how the current sign-up bonus is worth at least $625 towards flights & hotels.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules
Dreaming of Your Next Vacation? The Chase Sapphire Preferred Gives You LOTS of Options for Big Travel!

This is the only personal Chase card that unlocks the ability to transfer fChase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners like United Airlines, Southwest, and Hyatt.  And that’s how you get Big Travel with Small Money!

Remember, if you’ve already opened ~5+ cards with ANY bank in the past 24 months, Chase will likely NOT approve you for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  So I suggest making it your 1st card!

2.   Chase Ink Plus

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

But if you own a small business, the Chase Ink Plus is another card to consider.  It also offers the ability to transfer points to travel partners.  You can read my full review here.

Because it’s rumored Chase will tighten the application rules for this card in March 2016, it’s important to get it soon if you’re interested!

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, if you have the Chase Ink Plus, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules
Have a Small Business? If You Like the Chase Ink Plus, Apply Before March 2016 When the New Rules May Take Effect

Emily and I don’t earn a commission on the Chase Ink Plus, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!

3.   Chase Hyatt

Link:   Chase Hyatt

If a luxury hotel stay is on your bucket list, consider the Chase Hyatt card.  You’ll earn 2 free nights at ANY Hyatt (even their most expensive hotels and resorts!) after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

Some top Hyatt hotels, like the Park Hyatt Paris – Vendome, cost over ~$1,000 per night!  So this card is an incredible deal.

So you might consider getting the Chase Hyatt card before April 2016.

4.   Chase Southwest

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier (Personal)

Link:   Chase Southwest Premier (Small Business)

Y’all know the Southwest Companion Pass is my favorite deal in travel!

With the Southwest Companion Pass, a friend or family member can fly with you for almost free for up to 2 years on both paid and award tickets.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules
Two Can Travel for the Price of One When You Have the Southwest Companion Pass

It’s been easy for many folks to earn the Southwest Companion Pass by signing-up for 2 Chase Southwest cards.  That’s because you need to earn 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year to qualify – and the sign-up bonuses from the Chase Southwest cards count toward that requirement!

If you’ve been thinking about earning the Southwest Companion Pass, the Chase Southwest Premier personal and small business cards currently offer a 50,000 Southwest point sign-up bonus after meeting the minimum spending requirement.

Remember, there are lots of ways to get the remaining points required to earn the Southwest Companion Pass!

We don’t earn a commission on this offer but it’s important to me that you always know about the highest sign-up bonuses.  Because I want you to travel!  (And then tell me all about it!) 🙂 

5.   Chase British Airways

Link:   Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card

British Airways Avios points aren’t just good for travel on British Airways!  Many folks prefer using them for short-haul domestic flights on partners Alaska Airlines or American Airlines.  Or for cheap award flights to Hawaii and Europe.

This card is 1 of my top picks because it currently offers a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points after meeting the tiered spending requirements. That’s enough for 4 round-trip coach flights to Hawaii from the West Coast!

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules
Hawaii on Your Bucket List? You Could Get There Cheaply With British Airways Avios Points!

This is the highest sign-up bonus I’ve seen on this card.  While the tiered minimum spending requirements are high, there are lots of ways to meet them.  And you can still earn lots of points even if you don’t want the full bonus.

6.   Chase United Explorer

Link:   Chase United MileagePlus Explorer (Personal)

Link:   Chase United MileagePlus Explorer (Small Business)

Many experienced miles & points enthusiasts collect United Airlines miles because you can use them in so many ways.

You can book award flights on United Airlines or Star Alliance partners, like Lufthansa, Air Canada, and Singapore Airlines.  And they never add fuel surcharges to award flights.  Including flights to Europe, India, and Australia!

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules
With So Many Partners, United Airlines Miles Can Take You All Over the World!

The Chase United MileagePlus Explorer personal and small business cards are a good option for folks who think they’ll be flying United Airlines or Star Alliance airlines in the future.  Here’s my review.

And here’s my series on how to earn and use United Airlines miles.

Emily and I earn nothing from these Chase United MileagePlus Explorer offers.  But they’re the best deals we’ve seen!

7.   Chase IHG

Link:   Chase IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

You can splurge on luxury resorts or stretch your points with affordable award stays with the sign-up bonus on the Chase IHG card.

Currently, you’ll earn 60,000 IHG points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.  And a $50 statement credit after your 1st purchase!

This isn’t the highest sign-up bonus offered for the card, but you might consider applying for it anyway.  That’s because the most valuable perk is the free night at ANY IHG hotel you’ll get each year on your card anniversary.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules
Use Your Annual Chase IHG Free Night to Stay at Amazing Resorts Like the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

The $49 annual fee (waived the 1st year) is a bargain for a free night at any IHG hotel, which could be worth hundreds of dollars.  That’s why many folks (including me!) keep this card in their wallet year after year.

Check out these excellent IHG hotels in the US and Europe where you can use your annual free night!

We don’t earn anything for this offer, either.  But it’s a better deal than the link that pays us a commission, so we’ll tell you about it!

8.   Chase Marriott

Link:   Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

There’s an increased 80,000 Marriott point sign-up bonus on the Chase Marriott Premier card after meeting minimum spending requirements.  That’s worth ~2 nights in some of Marriott and Ritz-Carlton’s top hotels!

But the increased bonus isn’t the only good reason to consider this card.  Marriott and Starwood will merge later this year to create the world’s largest hotel chain.

Which Cards Should You Consider With The Stricter Chase Application Rules
Wherever You Travel, There’ll Soon Be a Marriott Brand Hotel – It Will Soon Be The World’s Largest Hotel Chain!

So even if you don’t know where your travels will take you, the Chase Marriott Premier card is a good bet.  That’s great flexibility!

I’m looking forward to seeing what the new combined Marriott and Starwood award chart will look like.  And stay tuned for some of my favorite Marriott hotels where you can stay using the increased sign-up bonus!

Bottom Line

Chase cards are some of the most valuable cards for earning Big Travel with Small Money.  But if the rumored new application rules come into effect for all Chase cards, many folks will consider signing-up for a new card soon.

Evaluate your travel goals and read my tips for deciding which miles & points to collect for your trip before you jump in and start applying for new cards!

My favorite card for beginners is the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  But if you already have that card, or prefer airline and hotel cards, consider the Chase cards in Hot Deals, such as the Hyatt and Southwest cards.

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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