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When you need a personal or business rewards credit card, one of the largest banks is Chase. With the best Chase credit cards, you can earn some of the most valuable credit card rewards points. For easy point redemptions, consider looking into our favorite Chase credit cards for travel below.
Best Chase Credit Cards 2019
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® – Best Chase Credit Card Sign Up Bonus
- Chase Sapphire Reserve® – Best Chase Credit Card for Premium Travelers
- Chase Ink Business Preferred Best Chase Credit Card for Businesses
- Chase Freedom – Best No Annual Fee Cashback Chase card
- World of Hyatt – Best Hotel Chase Credit Card
Best Travel Chase Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred recently increased its welcome offer to a new 60,000 signup bonus. This was an increase from 50,000 points to 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth at least $750 in award travel when by maximizing the 25% travel redemption bonus or the 1:1 transfer partners.
Other Chase Sapphire Card Details
One tradeoff for the Chase Sapphire Preferred bonus boost is the $95 annual fee is no longer waived like before. However, the bonus is still worth $30 more than before and is comparable to Capital One Venture and other cards with similar benefits. See how the Capital One Venture and Chase Sapphire Preferred compare.
Because the Sapphire Preferred is the best Chase credit card overall, this signup bonus is somewhat exclusive. You only qualify if you do not own another Sapphire product and haven’t received a new Sapphire cardmember bonus in the past 48 months. See the Sapphire application rules here.
You will also need to keep an eye on how many new credit card accounts you open. The “Chase 5/24” rule will most likely decline your application if you have opened or been listed as an authorized user on 5 or more new credit cards in the most recent 24 months.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a travel rewards Chase credit card. Redeeming your points for award travel helps make each point worth at least one cent each.
25% Travel Redemption Bonus
When redeeming your points for award travel on Chase, each point is worth 25% more at 1.25 cents each. This redemption bonus is how the 60,000 point signup bonus is worth $750 but only $600 when redeeming every bonus point for non-travel rewards.
The Chase award travel portal is powered by Expedia. You can enjoy the 25% bonus on any type of award travel including flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, and tours. If you don’t want to use all your points on one purchase, Chase also lets you pay with points and cash.
1:1 Transfer Partners
You might find more value in the 1:1 airline and hotel transfer partners. In 1,000-point increments, you can transfer your points to these loyalty programs.
No Foreign Transaction Fee Chase Credit Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred may have a $95 annual fee but you will never pay a foreign transaction fee. As other cards charge up to 3% on international purchases, the savings can more than pay the annual fee if you travel internationally regularly with credit cards.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best Chase credit card overall for most award travelers because of its flexibility when booking award travel and its reasonable annual fee. These two advantages make it easy for a beginner or experienced traveler to maximize the value of each point they earn.
Link to apply: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Premium Chase Travel Credit Card Option: Chase Sapphire Reserve
The Sapphire Reserve comes with a bonus of 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. This bonus is worth $750 in travel at least.
Earn 3x Points on Travel and Dining
You earn 3x points on all travel and dining purchases. Your non-bonus purchases always earn 1 point per $1. When most flexible credit cards might only pay 2 points per $1 on bonus purchases, you have a higher earning potential. Plus, it doesn’t matter which airline you fly or restaurant you eat at, you’re earning triple points.
Bonus Travel Redemption Options
The Sapphire Reserve earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. They are always worth at least one cent each when redeemed for cash or gift cards. However, Ultimate Rewards are most valuable for award travel.
You have two different travel redemption options. Both are valuable in their own way.
50% Travel Redemption Bonus
Your points are worth 1 cent each with non-travel rewards. But, they receive a 50% boost when you redeem them for award travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. This portal is powered by Expedia, so you have plenty of travel options. From flights, hotel nights, cruises, and anything in between, your points are worth 1.5 cents each.
This can be a better option for non-airline award travel and for booking travel with non-Chase travel partners. The second redemption option is usually more valuable for booking award flights.
1:1 Point Transfers to Airlines and Hotels
The 50% travel redemption bonus is already one of the most valuable point redemption options for any credit card. But, your points can be worth more than 1.5 cents each when you transfer them to an airline or hotel transfer partner. In 1,000 point increments, you transfer your points to your airline or hotel account for free.
Because airline miles tend to be more valuable than hotel points, you’re usually better off transferring your miles to an airline. Then, you book an award flight.
Some of the airline transfer partners include:
- Southwest Airlines
- United Airlines
- Aer Lingus
One of the best hotel transfer partners is World of Hyatt. For many Hyatt award nights, you can usually get a per point value greater than 1.5 cents each.
Other Sapphire Reserve Benefits
Keep in mind that the Sapphire Reserve has a $450 annual fee. If you’re a frequent traveler, the benefits like Sapphire Reserve trip delay insurance can easily save you more than the annual fee cost. If these extra benefits won’t help you, look at the Chase Sapphire Preferred®. The Sapphire Preferred Chase credit card only costs $95 a year and you still get a 25% travel redemption bonus and 1:1 point transfers.
The Sapphire Reserve is a premium travel rewards credit card. That means you enjoy other card benefits in addition to flexible point redemptions.
Some of these extra benefits include:
- $300 annual travel credit
- Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership
- Free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Special hotel benefits for Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection stays
Finally, you have the chance to earn 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points as a signup bonus. With the 50% travel redemption bonus, these points are worth $750 in award travel. But, they can be worth more with the 1:1 point transfers. These are a few reasons why this is one of our favorite Chase credit cards.
Best Chase Credit Cards for Business: Ink Business Preferred
Don’t forget about business purchases with Chase credit cards. You can also earn Ultimate Rewards points on your business purchases too. There are a lot of Chase business credit cards, but the Chase Ink Business Preferred review is the best for earning travel or cash rewards. The card isn’t as benefit-rich as the Sapphire Reserve, but it’s a solid option for business owners. Plus, it’s annual fee is only $95.
Also, the Ink Preferred can be your third leg in the “Chase Trifecta.” You can pool your Ultimate Rewards points with your other Chase credit cards. If you own the Ink Preferred and Sapphire Reserve, you maximize both business and personal purchases.
Get a $1,000 Signup Bonus
The Ink Business Preferred has the most valuable Ultimate Rewards signup bonus.
You can earn 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points worth $1,000 in award travel. For non-travel rewards, the bonus has a cash value of $800. This is still higher than the Sapphire Reserve bonus offer.
To earn the bonus, you must spend $5,000 in the first three months.
Earn Up to 3 Points on Purchases
Every year, you can earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 in combined spending for these categories:
- Shipping Purchases
- Internet, Cable and Phone Services
- Advertising on Social Media and Search Engines
After reaching the $150,000 spending cap, your remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1 for the rest of the year.
All non-bonus spending categories earn an unlimited 1 point per $1 spent with the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.
25% Travel Redemption Bonus
Like the Sapphire Reserve, you can enjoy 1:1 point transfers and a travel redemption bonus. For the Ink Preferred, you get a 25% travel redemption bonus. This means, your points are worth 1.25 cents on the Ultimate Rewards travel portal and 1 cent each for non-travel awards.
Once again, you might find a better deal by transferring your points to a 1:1 travel partner.
Cell Phone Protection
You also get up to $600 in cell phone protection. You can make up to three claims per year when a phone is stolen or damaged.
A Quick Word About the Chase 5/24 Rule
While both of these Chase credit cards are valuable additions to your wallet, you need to keep the “5/24 Rule” in mind.
Chase has an unofficial policy where your application for certain Chase credit card is declined when you apply for five credit cards in the last 24 months. Even being listed as an authorized user counts as one of the 5 applications. It doesn’t matter which bank you applied at and it doesn’t matter if one of those five applications were declined. All applications are viewed the same.
So, before you apply for the Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred, make sure you have fewer than 5 credit card applications in the most recent 24 months. If you’re not sure how many credit card applications you have, you can find out with your free credit score.
Time Chase Card Applications Smartly
Also, you may have to space your applications if you want both of these cards. One option is waiting at least three months between applications. This gives you time to earn the signup bonus with each card. Plus, some Chase card owners report having their second application declined when it was submitted within three months of the first card.
Recap of the Best Chase Credit Cards for Travel Rewards
The competition to find the best Chase credit cards is tough. But, the Sapphire Preferred, Reserve and Ink Business Preferred take the top spots for us. With these two cards, you know you earn the most points on each purchase. Plus, you have great redemption options and card benefits.
If you could only use three of the best Chase credit cards for all of your travel and non-travel spending, which credit cards would you use? While you could do a flexible travel rewards credit card and your favorite airline and hotel card, you might not get the most value out of every dollar you spend. That’s why you should consider the “Chase Trifecta” which will let you enjoy some of the most valuable point redemption values of any credit card rewards program by maximizing 3 of the best Chase credit cards.
What is the Chase Credit Card Trifecta?
The literal meaning of a trifecta is a type of bet in horse racing where you must choose the top three finishers. As you might guess, the Chase trifecta is the top three cards that earn the highest amount of Ultimate Rewards points on each purchase. By owning three of the best Chase credit cards, you can earn up to 5 points on any purchase. It doesn’t matter if it is travel or non-travel related!
As you may already know, each Chase Ultimate Rewards points are always worth at least one cent (10,000 points=$100). For many other credit cards, this is the most any reward point is worth for select rewards like cash back or award travel and worth even less for other types of travel. With the Chase trifecta, your points can even be worth at least 1.25 cents apiece when you redeem them for award travel. All of a sudden, those same 10,000 rewards points can be worth $125 or more depending on how you redeem them for travel.
Maximize Chase Cards Application Bonuses
Here’s another reason to consider owning all three of the Chase credit cards. If you’re a new owner of all three cards, all three sign-up bonuses will have a total combined value of over $1,800 in award travel! But it’s hard to apply get 3 Chase credit cards is a short period of time due to the 5/24 rule.
How To Complete The Best Chase Credit Card Trifecta
Not any Chase credit card can be used to complete the Trifecta. You will need the three following cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Ideal Purchases: Travel and Dining (Unlimited 2x points)
Annual Fee: $95
Many travelers think of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card as the best travel credit card as your points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem them for any award travel on the Chase travel portal or they can be transferred to many 1:1 air travel and hotel loyalty programs like United, Southwest, British Airways Avios, Hyatt, and Marriott.
Sapphire Preferred Bonuses and Perks
In addition to the flexible redemption options, you can earn unlimited 2x bonus points on all travel and dining purchases. You will earn the base rate of 1 point per $1 on all remaining purchases. As a new cardholder, you will also have the opportunity to earn 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points that are worth $750 in award travel.
Use the Chase Sapphire Preferred for your travel and dining purchases to earn 2 points for every dollar spent.
If you also want to enjoy premium travel rewards like a $300 annual travel credit, free airport lounge access, and the chance to earn 3x Ultimate Reward on dining purchases (instead of 2x points) you need to apply for the Sapphire Reserve benefits instead, although the annual fee is $450. The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with the same 50,000 point sign-up bonus. Note that you can also earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit with the Sapphire Reserve. The $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
Ideal Purchases: Travel and Business-Related Purchases (3x points on first $150,000 in combined spending)
Annual Fee: $95
You do need to qualify for a business card account, (i.e. be self-employed or own a small business) to apply for the Ink Business Preferred. The Chase Ink Preferred is the business version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred as it has the same annual fee and your points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel or you can transfer them to a 1:1 Chase travel partner.
Since this card earns 3x points on travel, use the Ink Preferred to book your trips until your max out the $150,000 spending limit. After that, you will only earn 1 point per $1 for travel and business category spending, so use the Sapphire Preferred after this point for travel. You will earn 3x points on the first $150,000 spent in the following purchase categories:
- Shipping purchases
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Social media and search engine advertising
Buy Cell Phones with Ink Preferred
Another added benefit of owning the Ink Business Preferred is the cell phone protection benefit that pays $600 per claim. If you decide to buy the iPhone X and it is either damaged or stolen, Chase will pay the next $600 per claim after you pay the $100 deductible.
See this post on how the Chase Ink Business Preferred compares to the Ink Cash.
Chase Freedom – Best Chase No Annual Fee Card
Ideal Purchases: Everyday Purchases and Rotating 5x Points Bonus Categories
Annual Fee: $0
The Chase Freedom is a tiered cashback rewards card no annual fee credit card. By owning either the Ink Business Preferred or a Chase Sapphire, your Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed at 1.25 cents for Chase award travel or transferred to a 1:1 travel partner.
Where the other two card families, Ink, and Sapphire, will only earn 1 point per $1 on everyday purchases, you can earn 5 points per $1 on the first $1,500 each quarter (7,500 points vs. 1,500 points). The bonus categories change every calendar quarter. In 2017, the bonus categories were:
- Gas stations and local commuter transportation (1st quarter)
- Grocery stores and drug stores (2nd quarter)
- Restaurants and movie theaters (3rd quarter)
- Walmart and Department Stores (4th quarter)
For the quarters where some of the bonus categories overlap with the Sapphire travel and dining bonus rewards, use the Chase Freedom to earn 5 points instead of 2 points until you spend $1,500 or the bonus category changes.
Freedom Unlimited 1.5x on all Purchases
If you would rather earn 3 points per $1 for all non-bonus category spending, you can also apply for the flat-rate Freedom Unlimited. You won’t have any bonus categories, but, the opportunity to earn a point for every $1 spent, up to $20,000 (then it goes to 1.5%). Either way, you will earn bonus points that wouldn’t be possible with the Chase Ink Preferred or Chase Sapphire Preferred vs Freedom.
You can see how the Freedom Unlimited and Freedom compare here.
One of the most dreadful barriers to getting the best travel rewards credit cards is the Chase 5/24 Rule. If you have five new credit cards in the last 24 months, Chase declines your application until you only have four new credit card accounts in the most recent 24 months. Since Chase has many of the best travel rewards credit cards, they have been applying the 5/24 rule to most co-brand airline and hotel cards too.
Your only option can be waiting until you are “4/24” and hoping the rewards card you want is still available or has an enhanced signup bonus. If you don’t have five new credit cards (either as the primary or authorized user) in the most recent 24 months, you might try applying for one of these cards.
Best Premium Flexible Travel Rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve
As the “crown jewel” of the credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® can be well worth the wait. You will benefit the most from this card if you are a frequent flyer thanks to its air travel benefits:
- $300 annual travel credit
- Free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
- Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership
You also earn unlimited 3x points on travel and dining plus 1 point per dollar spent on all non-bonus spending.
Another reason to get the Sapphire Reserve is for your flexible redemption options. Your points are worth 1 cent each for cash rewards, gift cards, and Amazon.com shopping credits. But you can get more benefit when redeeming for travel:
- 50% redemption bonus when booking travel through Chase
- 1:1 point transfers to airline and hotel Ultimate Rewards partners
Some of the 1:1 transfer partners include Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Marriott, and Hyatt.
If you meet the Chase Sapphire application rules, you can earn 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards worth $750 in award travel. You earn this bonus by spending $4,000 in the first three months. The annual fee for the Sapphire Reserve is $450. After the $300 travel credit, the effective annual fee is $150. There isn’t a foreign transaction fee.
Best Chase Business Credit Card: Ink Business Preferred
All three Ink Business cards fall under the Chase 5/24 rule. The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has the most valuable Ultimate Rewards signup bonus. You get 80,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards worth $1,000 by spending $5,000 in the first three months.
You will earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 in combined spending for these purchase types:
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Advertising on social media and search engines
All other purchases earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent. Since the Ink Business Preferred is basically the business version of the personal Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you don’t get premium travel benefits. But, you still get 25% travel redemption bonus and access to the Chase 1:1 transfer partners.
The annual fee is $95 with zero foreign transaction fee.
Best Chase Airline Credit Card: British Airways Visa Signature Card
If you plan on flying to Europe or want to book award flights on American Airlines using Avios, the British Airways Visa Signature® Card offers a bonus offer of 100,000 Avios.
To earn the full bonus, earn 50,000 Avios after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn an additional 50,000 Avios after spending $20,000 on your purchases within your first year of account opening.
You will also earn 3 Avios per $1 spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Level. Cardholders also earn 2 Avios per $1 spent on hotel accommodations. All other purchases earn 1 Avios per $1 spent. If you book a British Airways flight that originates in the U.S., you’ll get 10% off (as long as you book by March 31, 2020).
Chase British Airways Travel Together Ticket
Spending $30,000 a year also gives you the British Airways Travel Together Ticket that provides a free companion seat when you book your Trans-Atlantic flight with Avios.
If you’re comfortable paying the fuel surcharges for long-haul British Airways award flights, better use of redeeming Avios are on these flights:
- Short-haul flights in Europe or Asia from 4,000 Avios
- Domestic American Airlines flights under 1,151 miles for 7,500 Avios
- Flying Alaska or American Airlines to Hawaii for 12,500 Avios one-way
If you prefer booking directly from domestic carriers, the co-brand United Explorer and Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards are good alternatives too.
Learn more about the British Airways Visa Signature® Card: Airline Credit Cards
Best Chase Hotel Credit Card: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
To celebrate the rebranding of the Marriott Rewards loyalty program to Marriott Bonvoy, the brand new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless launched February 28, 2019. It comes with the ability to earn 75,000 point bonus by spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
This new card replaces the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card.
You also get a free night award valid at any hotel costing 35,000 points or less. Since Marriott acquired the Starwood Preferred Guest program, this free night is available at Marriott and Starwood properties. Cardholders can earn 6x Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 6,900 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
You will also enjoy automatic Marriott Silver Elite loyalty status too.
What Credit Cards Does Chase 5/24 Affect?
Chase doesn’t publicize their “5/24 Rule” but it’s been in effect for a few years now. Interestingly, applicants have recently reported that their applications were declined for co-brand travel credit cards while other “5/24 applicants” were accepted.
To help prevent difficulty, it might be better to look at what Chase credit cards don’t fall under the 5/24 rule. That answer is these card families:
Even the retail Starbucks Rewards Visa Card is subject to the 5/24 Rule. The cash rewards Freedom series that earn Ultimate Rewards are affected too.
How To See If Chase 5/24 Affects You
The easiest way to see if you have at least five new credits in the past 24 months is to check your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com or a free credit score website.
The most accurate way is to look at the account age of your credit cards. If five or more accounts have been open 24 months or less, you need to wait until four or fewer accounts are younger than 24 months.
Chase counts any account where you are the primary or authorized user regardless of if it’s a Chase or non-Chase card. Owning select business credit cards (usually from American Express) don’t count toward the 5/24 limit.
Summary on Best Chase Credit Cards 2019
The Chase 5/24 rule makes you evaluate how to maximize your next credit card application. Thankfully there are a few great options that help you maximize each purchase more than before.
Don’t Forget The Chase 5/24 Rule
There’s one thing you must remember as you complete the Chase Trifecta. All three of these Chase credit cards fall under the Chase 5/24 rule. If you’ve been approved for five new credit cards as a primary or authorized user within the last 24 months, your application for any Sapphire, Ink, or Freedom card will most likely be declined.
This means it might take a few months to acquire all three cards. Once you do, you will have no problem earning bonus points on nearly every credit card purchase that will let your points be worth at least 1.25 cents each on any travel purchase. Knowing that most of the other credit card programs are doing good to give you a maximum value of 1 cent per point for the same reward should put an extra smile on your face.
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- 1 Best Chase Credit Cards 2019
- 2 Best Travel Chase Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred
- 3 No Foreign Transaction Fee Chase Credit Card
- 4 Premium Chase Travel Credit Card Option: Chase Sapphire Reserve
- 5 Best Chase Credit Cards for Business: Ink Business Preferred
- 6 A Quick Word About the Chase 5/24 Rule
- 7 Recap of the Best Chase Credit Cards for Travel Rewards
- 8 What is the Chase Credit Card Trifecta?
- 9 How To Complete The Best Chase Credit Card Trifecta
- 10 Chase Freedom – Best Chase No Annual Fee Card
- 11 Best Premium Flexible Travel Rewards: Chase Sapphire Reserve
- 12 Best Chase Business Credit Card: Ink Business Preferred
- 13 Best Chase Airline Credit Card: British Airways Visa Signature Card
- 14 Best Chase Hotel Credit Card: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
- 15 What Credit Cards Does Chase 5/24 Affect?
- 16 How To See If Chase 5/24 Affects You
- 17 Summary on Best Chase Credit Cards 2019
- 18 Don’t Forget The Chase 5/24 Rule