7 Easiest Chase Cards to Get in 2018

7 Easiest Chase Cards to Get in 2018

credit card advice

Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Posted: August 15, 2018
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

Headlined by its sleek metal-alloy Sapphire Preferred® and Sapphire Reserve® travel cards, Chase’s house offering of credit cards holds some of the most sought-after rewards cards on the market. But as with most things coveted by the masses, Chase credit cards can’t be had by just any applicant.

In fact, the majority of Chase’s popular lineup of consumer and business credit cards are catered to the upper echelon of credit scores, excellent-credit consumers with FICO scores above 740. That being said, the issuer does have two choice rewards card options that are easier to get for those with good credit.

Good-Credit Cards | Other Top Options | Business Cards | The 5/24 Rule

Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited Accept Good Credit

When it comes to cards you’ll want to use every day, the Chase Freedom® card and its sibling, the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, have a lot going for them. Not only do the cards charge no annual fee, but they also earn solid rewards, come with attainable signup bonuses, and offer introductory 0% APR offers — all in the same good-credit-friendly packages.

The simpler of two cards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, offers a single flat 1.5% cash back rewards on every purchase, regardless of the category. Since the flat-rate rewards of the Freedom Unlimited are, well, unlimited, the card can be a good choice for those who don’t make a lot of purchases in common bonus categories or who are looking for a higher flat rate on non-category purchases.

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

In contrast, the Chase Freedom® operates on a rotating category bonus system. Each quarter you can activate a special bonus category — things like gas, groceries, and restaurants — then you’ll earn 5% cash back on purchases in that category for the rest of the quarter, on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • 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
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

Category purchases made with the Freedom over the quarterly purchase limit and all non-category purchases will earn an unlimited 1% cash back rewards. Additionally, while each quarter offers a main bonus category, several more niche categories may also be included. For example, Q1 of 2018 offers bonus rewards for gas station purchases, but also provides bonus rewards for certain utilities and digital payment services.

Since the qualification requirements for both the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited are basically the same, your chances of qualifying for either version will also likely be the same. In general, Chase promotes the cards to consumers with good to excellent credit, so while there may be reports from users who have been approved with lower credit scores, your experience may vary.

Most Chase Cards Require Excellent Credit to Qualify

For the majority of the Chase stable of cards, excellent credit will generally be the key to approval. This doesn’t simply mean a good credit score, either; you’ll likely need at least a year (preferably two or three) of positive payment history, with no major blemishes in sight. This will be especially true if you want to qualify for one of the cards that come exclusively as Visa Signature® or Visa Infinite® products.

For example, the metal-alloy Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is one of the more high-end cards offered by Chase, and one often at the top of the list for frequent travelers despite its high annual fee. The card offers triple Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar for travel and dining, as well as a slew of other exclusive travel benefits and bonuses, including an annual travel credit reimbursement and Priority Pass™ membership.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50K 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®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Named a ‘Best Travel Credit Card for 2017’ by MONEY® Magazine
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no 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
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
$450
Excellent Credit

All in the all, the Sapphire Reserve® card is likely the most difficult to obtain of the Chase credit cards, partly due to the fact that it is a Visa Infinite® product, which tends to have higher credit limits. As stated in its pricing and terms information, the minimum credit line for approved applicants is $10,000, so you’ll need to qualify for at least that amount to be approved.

If the fee for the Sapphire Reserve® is a little rich for your tastes, you may like the card’s little sibling, the Chase Sapphire Preferred®. For a fraction of the annual fee, you can earn double Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar on travel and dining, pay no foreign transaction fees, and still enjoy the fancy metal-alloy composition that gives the card its solid weight and ritzy feel.

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 $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 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
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Excellent Credit

While not quite as exclusive as its sibling, the Sapphire Preferred is only the next tier down as a Visa Signature® card. Since the minimum credit line for new card applicants is $5,000 (per the pricing and terms), you’ll need to be able to qualify for at least that amount to be approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Although not a rewards card, the Chase Slate® is at the top of many a list of good balance transfer cards, both because of its extensive introductory 0% APR offer, but also because it’s one of the few cards from major banks with no balance transfer fee. Furthermore, the Chase Slate® intro-APR offer also extends to new purchases, giving you a double-whammy interest rate deal.

Unlike the others on the list, the basic Chase Slate® is just a regular Visa card, though a Visa Signature® version is available to those who qualify. Make sure you read the fine print, however, including noting that only balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening will be fee-free. Additionally, you won’t be able to transfer a balance from another Chase credit card or loan account to the Chase Slate.

Chase Business Cards Also Require Excellent Credit

Like most of the family, Chase’s duo of business credit cards are also targeted to the upper end of the credit score spectrum. This means if your business has yet to establish its own excellent credit, your personal credit should be fairly spotless to qualify for a Chase business card.

The main differences between the two are the type of rewards, bonus categories, and spending caps. The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card, for instance, offers cash back rewards, with several tiers of bonus rewards, the highest offering 5% cash back on office supply purchases and certain utility services. You can only earn bonus rewards on up to $25,000 in purchases for each bonus tier level per account anniversary year.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

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
  • Named "Best Rewards Card for Small Business Owners" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2017
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 12 months
14.99% - 20.99% Variable
$0
Excellent Credit

If you prefer to earn Ultimate Rewards® points, the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ card may be a better choice. While its single bonus rewards tier only provides 3X points per $1, it applies to travel, shipping, advertising purchases, and some utility services. It also has a higher spending cap, allowing cardholders to earn bonus rewards on up to $150,000 of combined category purchases each anniversary year.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.74% - 22.74% Variable
$95
Excellent Credit

The fringe benefits of each card may also play a role in deciding between the two. For example, the Ink Business Cash comes with an introductory 0% APR deal on new purchases and balance transfers that may prove handy for some cardholders, and it charges no annual fee. The Ink Business Preferred does charge an annual fee, but comes with a more valuable signup bonus, extra travel benefits, and cellphone protection.

The 5/24 Rule Can Mean a Rejection Regardless of Credit

Unfortunately, no matter how good your credit may be, you can still be turned down for a Chase credit card due to a little policy colloquially called the 5/24 Rule. In essence, the rule means that your Chase credit card application will likely be automatically rejected if you have opened five or more bank cards (credit or charge cards) within the last 24 months.

While the policy has only sporadically been captured as a written statement, “too many recent accounts” is a frequent reason given to rejected applicants during reconsideration calls and in letters. At first, the policy applied to only a handful of cards, but has since been expanded to include nearly every Chase-branded (and co-branded) credit card.

Overall, research done by concerned churners has revealed a short list of cards issued by Chase that may not fall under the 5/24 Rule (no guarantees, folks). All of the cards are co-branded cards, and most will have annual fees:

  • AARP® Credit Card from Chase
  • Amazon Rewards Visa Signature® Card
  • British Airways Visa Signature® credit card
  • Disney® Premier Visa® Card
  • Disney® Visa® Card
  • IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
  • Marriott Rewards® Premier Business credit card
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card
  • The World of Hyatt Credit Card

Outside of being picky about your cards, anecdotal evidence also indicates you may have a couple of other options for getting around the rule, however the most effective methods seem to be for existing Chase customers. Specifically, the successful reports are generally about consumers who received an unsolicited offer through their online Chase account or from a teller in a Chase bank branch. However, most of these reports are old; more recent evidence suggests they may no longer be effective.

Build Your Credit to Open More Chase Possibilities

With some of the top-rated cash back and rewards points credit cards on the market and millions of existing cardholders, Chase can afford to be picky about approvals for its cards. Unfortunately, this means that, unlike most big credit card issuers, Chase doesn’t offer any fair-credit starter cards to get your foot in the door.

No, to get your hands on a Chase credit card, you’ll generally need to do it in the old-fashioned way: build a positive credit history. With 12 months or more of on-time payments with another credit card or two — and a healthy dose of restraint in opening new accounts — your credit can be well on its way to being Chase-approved.