10 Best Chase Credit Cards of 2019

10 Best Chase Credit Cards of 2019

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Updated: October 10, 2019
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines and are updated regularly.

Chase enjoys a solid reputation for offering a variety of popular business and personal credit cards thanks to generous sign-up bonuses and reward programs. You’ll find top cards with cash back, travel miles, and points to be earned. Some Chase cards are best for general use, while others offer targeted rewards for airline and hotel spending, business purchases, or balance transfers.

In fact, credit cards from Chase are so popular that it limits sign-up bonuses if you have received a Chase card bonus in the last two to four years. Chase also limits your access to a new card if you’ve obtained five new cards in the last two years, known as the Chase 5/24 rule.

Chase cards have no minimum redemption amount, and you redeem your rewards for cash, gift cards, travel expenses, and Amazon.com purchases. Our experts evaluated all the cards issued by Chase and selected the 10 best. Read on to see if one is a good match for your lifestyle.

Overall | Cash Back | Balance Transfer | Students | Travel | Business | Airlines | Hotels

Best Overall Chase Credit Cards

We’ve designated three Chase cards as best overall. They offer competitive rewards that you can redeem for cash or versatile points, whether you prefer a general purpose card or one geared toward travel.

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.74-25.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card appeals to consumers who want a simple rewards program and good introductory perks. The card offers an introductory period for 0% APR purchases and balance transfers. Cash back rewards don’t expire for the life of the account, and the card charges no annual fee.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74 - 25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.74 - 25.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Chase Freedom® card offers quarterly bonus categories that earn 5% cash back on combined purchases up to the quarterly limit. You must activate your participation each quarter to earn the bonus rate. All other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back. You can earn a cash bonus by spending a specified amount during the first three months. New cardmembers get a 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers during the introductory period. You can earn up to $500 cash back per year by recommending friends who get the Chase Freedom card.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 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®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 25.99% Variable
$450
Good/Excellent

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a premium credit card with a high annual fee. The card pays point rewards worth 50% more than their cash value when you redeem them for travel on Chase Ultimate Rewards. You earn a bonus reward rate when you use the card to pay for travel and dining, and the standard reward on all other purchases. On each account anniversary, the card pays up to a set amount in statement credits to reimburse travel purchases.

Best Chase Card for Cash Back

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® lets you earn cash back on all purchases without bothering with complicated merchant categories or quarterly activations. The standard cash back rate is higher than that on many other cards and offers a modest signup bonus. You are eligible for the bonus if you haven’t received one from Chase in the last 24 months.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.74-25.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Your introduction to the card also includes a period of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers (a 3% fee applies to each transfer). The card charges no annual fee, although fees apply to cash advances, late payments, returned payments, and foreign transactions. You never lose your rewards as long as you keep the account open.

Best Chase Card for Balance Transfers

The Chase Slate® credit card offers $0-fee balance transfers during the first 60 days after you open the account. Afterward, the fee reverts to its standard amount. Furthermore, new cardmembers receive an introductory APR of 0% on balance transfers and purchases.

5. Chase Slate® credit card

Chase Slate® credit card

  • 0% balance transfer APR for 15 months
  • No balance transfer fee if completed within 60 days of account opening
  • No annual fee

The card charges no annual fee and no penalty APR for late payments. You get unlimited Credit Journey access to check your credit score. You also get fraud monitoring and alerts, protection against damage or theft of new purchases up to the claim and account limits, and the convenience of contactless tap and pay.

Best Chase Card for Students

Chase doesn’t offer a card that it explicitly advertises for students, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card ticks many student-friendly boxes. The introductory cash back bonus requires no minimum spending and can be worth hundreds more during the initial period. This comes in handy when you are shelling out big bucks on tuition, textbooks, and everything else you need while attending college.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.74-25.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The card’s modest perks make it relatively easier to obtain, which is good for students with scant credit history. The card can help you build your credit and establish a relationship with Chase that may lead to more rewarding cards later. By charging no annual fee and offering 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers during the introductory period, the card helps you conserve your cash for other purposes.

Best Chase Card for Travel Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card offers bonus points when you spend a set amount during the first three months after opening the account. You get 2X points on your travel and dining purchases and 1X points on all other purchases. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

You can transfer your points 1 for 1 to the card’s airline and hotel partner frequent travel programs. The card charges no annual fee nor foreign transaction fees. Other travel benefits include trip delay reimbursement, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and emergency assistance service.

Best Chase Card for Business Rewards

The Ink Business UnlimitedSM credit card offers unlimited cash back on every purchase. You can earn bonus cash back by spending the set amount on purchases in the first three months after you open the account. New cardmembers also get an introductory period of 0% APR on purchases. You can obtain employee cards at no extra cost and earn rewards from their purchases as well.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.24% - 21.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

In addition to cash back, you can redeem your rewards for select gift cards, purchases on Amazon.com, and unrestricted air travel with no blackout dates through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Additional benefits include auto rental collision damage waiver, emergency roadside dispatch, travel and emergency assistance services, limited purchase protection against purchase damage and theft, and one year of extended warranty protection on eligible warranties.

Best Chase Card for Airline Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card offers exceptional airline rewards, starting with a statement credit to reimburse TSA Pre✓ or Global Entry fees. You also get an annual statement credit on each account anniversary as reimbursement for travel charges, as well as bonus points after earning the credit on travel and dining purchases. All other purchases earn the standard point reward. Your points are worth more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 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®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 25.99% Variable
$450
Good/Excellent

You can earn bonus points by spending a set amount on purchases during the initial three months. Travel benefits also include complimentary airport lounge access, special perks at select luxury hotels and resorts, and 24/7 access to customer service specialists. You automatically receive trip cancellation/delay insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement and emergency evacuation coverage.

Best Chase Card for Hotel Rewards

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card offers bonus points for purchases at a Marriott Bonvoy™ hotel, and regular points on all other purchases. You receive a Free Night Award after each account anniversary, free in-room premium Internet access, and automatic Marriott Elite status. You can earn bonus points by spending a set amount on purchases during the first three months after opening the account.

10. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ credit card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

  • 6X points for every $1 spent at Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 2X points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Free night award on your account anniversary every year
  • $95 annual fee

Cardmember benefits include Visa Signature® Concierge Service, emergency cash and card replacement, and a special dedicated customer service phone number. You also get lost luggage reimbursement, auto rental collision damage waiver, and trip delay reimbursement. The card has a $95 annual fee but does not charge foreign transaction fees.

What is the Chase 5/24 Rule?

The Chase 5/24 Rule restricts you to five new cards within a 24-month period. This is an informal policy, unconfirmed by Chase but widely known by credit card experts. The purpose of the rule is to limit credit card churning, the practice of replacing one card with another to earn a new card’s introductory rewards.

The limit applies to all your credit cards and charge cards, not just Chase cards. Even if you would otherwise qualify for a Chase credit card, Chase will withhold approval if you run afoul of the rule.

For example, suppose you move, open a new bank account, and receive the bank’s credit card. In the next year, you also obtain additional cards:

If you now apply with Chase for a credit card, you will likely face rejections despite your good credit score. You must wait two years after securing the initial bank credit card to qualify for a new Chase card. If you feel the rule has unfairly victimized you, call Chase and ask them to reconsider:

  • Personal cards: 888-270-2127
  • Business cards: 800-453-9719

The Points Guy reported in June 2016 that Chase expanded the rule to cover all its credit cards, whereas it previously only applied to select Chase cards. There are also reports of Chase closing all of a cardmember’s Chase cards if it feels you are churning the card to obtain extra rewards.

Does Chase Automatically Increase Your Credit Limit?

A source reports that Chase will automatically review your credit line every six months to one year. If you don’t miss any payment deadlines and otherwise use your card responsibly, you have a chance of receiving an automatic credit increase without making a request. However, there is no need to wait for an invitation from Chase.

We’ve offered several tips on how to increase your Chase credit line, including the following:

  1. Contact Chase directly with your request. You can call them at 888-245-0625 or visit its credit line website. When requesting a higher line, don’t appear overly eager, as it could scare off the credit analyst at the other end of the line. Point out your loyalty to Chase, how you’ve maintained responsible credit habits, and how the credit you currently use is less than 30% of your available credit. It’s also a plus if you can report a recent income increase.
  2. Get a new Chase credit card. You may qualify for a higher credit limit when you apply for a new card. If you receive the new card and a higher limit, you may be able to move some of the new credit line to your existing cards. As a rule, you shouldn’t cancel your old card even when you replace it because the credit bureaus view credit account longevity as a positive when assigning you a credit score.
  3. Ask for a modest increase in the 10% to 25% range. Asking for more than that could sound a little desperate, which may scare Chase into not approving any increase at all. On the other hand, if you feel you deserve a much higher credit line, lay out your case. Each interaction is unique, so you may just get what you want. Manage your debt carefully if you do get a large credit limit increase.
  4. Ask for a balance transfer. You can apply for the Chase Slate® credit card, which we rate as their best card for transfers. Issuers love balance transfers, and with this card, you can make one within the introductory period that is interest- and fee-free. You have leverage if you ask Chase to increase your credit limit to facilitate the balance transfer, and you just may get what you wish for.

And always remember — kindness is key when requesting a credit limit increase. The bank doesn’t owe you anything, so don’t be demanding.

How Do Chase Ultimate Rewards Work?

Chase Ultimate Rewards is the issuer’s online portal that helps you get the most value from your Chase credit card rewards points. Chase designed the program to provide you with redemption choices, including:

  • Cash back
  • Amazon.com purchases
  • Gift cards
  • Travel
  • Purchases from the Apple Ultimate Rewards Store

The value of each point varies with the card you own and how you apply the points. For example, you get more value from the points you apply to travel than you do for cash back. The typical value per point is from $0.01 and $0.015, although some values may fall outside of this range.

Screenshot from the Chase Ultimate Rewards website

Points can be redeemed for cash back, travel, Apple products and more on the Chase Ultimate Rewards website.

One interesting way to apply your points is to transfer them 1 for 1 to a participating travel or hotel partner. Chase airline partners include British Air, Southwest, United and Virgin Atlantic. Hotel partners include Hyatt, International Hotels Group, Ritz Carlton, and Marriott. The value of the transferred points depends upon the details of the partner’s rewards program.

The Ultimate Rewards site also offers travel booking services. This is a good use of your points because the site provides 25% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Ultimate Rewards. Depending on the cost of the booking, the bonus value of your points could save hundreds of dollars on your flight.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit cards have a higher reward ratio on Ultimate Rewards, equal to 1.25 cents per point. The other Chase cards have points that are worth 1 cent each. If you have one of the high-reward cards and also the Chase Freedom® card, you can transfer the latter’s less-valuable points to other Chase cards and increase the value of those points.

Chase is Known for Great Rewards and Customer Service

Chase targets its cards to those with good or excellent credit. So it’s no surprise that its cards offer good benefits and solicitous customer service. Whether you want to avoid annual fees or feel that a card that offers rewards is well worth the fee, Chase has multiple choices for you. You may want to own several Chase cards since they usually excel in different ways. Just remember to heed the 5/24 rule, which could limit your access to multiple cards.