Which Chase Credit Card Should You Apply For?

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Chase is one of the giants in the industry when it comes to credit cards. Most of its rewards credit cards offer a good combination of both travel-oriented perks and high earnings rates in other spending categories as well, on top of some quite large sign-up bonuses. Chase also offers a good variety of cards with annual fees and those with no fees. But how do you decide which is the best Chase credit card?

8 Best Chase Credit Cards

Take a look at the earnings rates, perks, bonuses and costs to determine which of these cards will be the best Chase credit card for you.

Credit Card Features
Chase Freedom Unlimited Best for: All-Around Earning With No Annual Fee
– Up to $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first three months
– Intro 0% APR the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
– Earn 5% on gas station purchases in the first year on the first $6,000
Plus rewards year-round:
– Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase
– 3% on drugstores and dining, including takeout and select delivery services
– 1.5% on all other purchases
Chase Freedom Flex Best for: High Earning Rates on Rotating Categories
– Up to $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first three months
– Intro 0% APR the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
– Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
Earn year-round:
– 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase
– 3% cash back on drugstores and dining, including takeout and select delivery services
– 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
Chase Sapphire Preferred Best for: The Average Traveler
– Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
– Earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase
– Earn 3x points on dining, most online grocery purchases and select streaming services
– Earn 2x points on all other travel
– Earn 1x point on all other purchases
Chase Sapphire Reserve Best for: Top-Tier Earnings Rates and Perks
– $300 Annual Travel Credit
– Earn after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
– Earn 5x points on flights purchased through Chase
– Earn 10x points on hotels, car rentals and dining purchased through Chase
– Earn 3x points on other dining and travel
– Priority Pass Select membership
– Earn 1x point on all other purchases
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature  Best for: Amazon Frequent Shoppers
– Amazon gift card bonus after approval
– Earn 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
– Earn 2% back on gas, restaurants and drugstores
– Earn 1% back on all other purchases
Disney® Visa® Best for: Disney Fans
– $150 statement credit after spending $500 within first three months
– 10% off on select purchases at shopDisney.com
– 10% off purchases of at least $50 at select locations in Disneyland® and Walt Disney World®
– 0% APR for the first 6 months on select Disney vacation packages
– 1% in Disney Rewards Dollars
Slate Edge Best for: Improving Credit
– Low introductory APR and $0 My Chase Plan® fees for the first 18 months
– Interest rate drop of 2% each year until you reach the minimum
– Automatic higher credit limit review after spending $500 or more in the first six months and making payments on time
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Best for: Low-cost Air Travel
-Earn 75,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months
-Receive 6,000 anniversary points each year
-3x points on Southwest purchases
-2x points on Rapid Rewards car and hotel partners, ride share, transit, internet, phone, cable and select streaming subscriptions
-1x points on all other purchases
Get Credit Card Perks

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

Best for: All-Around Earning With No Annual Fee

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is a standout card for those seeking a high level of rewards while paying no annual fee. Card holders can earn up to $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first three months and 5% in the first year on the first $6,000 of gas purchases.

After the first year, the card also pays a permanent 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase. The bonus for dining and drugstore purchases is almost as generous, at 3%, and the rate for all other purchases is 1.5%, a full 50% above what many cash back cards pay.

For new card holders, a 0% introductory APR applies for the first 15 months on all purchases and balance transfers.

Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card

Best for: High Earnings Rates on Rotating Categories

The Chase Freedom Flex credit card offers many of the same perks of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, but with a slightly different angle. The Chase Freedom Flex credit card offers the same 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase and 3% on dining and drugstore purchases.

Both cards also offer the same 0% introductory APR rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.

Get Credit Card Perks

Where the Chase Freedom Flex credit card differs is that it offers 5% cash back on specific categories that rotate every quarter. For example, one quarter the card might offer 5% cash back on groceries and department stores, and in the next that might shift to gas stations and pharmacies. Also, the card pays a flat 1% cash back on all other purchases, lower than the 1.5% offered by the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

Best for: the Average Traveler

There are few rewards cards that offer the type of sign-up bonus that’s currently available from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card. You can earn a whopping 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. That bonus can be redeemed for $750 in travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That benefit alone far outweighs the card’s $95 annual fee.

However, on an ongoing basis, the card also offers a significant level of benefits. You’ll earn five points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases.

Get Credit Card Perks

Every year, you’ll also earn bonus points equivalent to 10% of what you’ve spent on the card for the year, meaning annual expenditures of $30,000 can net you an additional 3,000 points. Finally, you can earn a $50 statement credit annually to offset hotel purchases made through Ultimate Rewards.

In addition to its 24/7 customer service, VIP access to events and experiences and $0 foreign transaction fees, the card offers an auto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, extended warranty protection, purchase protection and travel and emergency assistance services.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

Best for: Top-Tier Earnings Rates and Perks

Customers looking to the ultimate in rewards card points and benefits should look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. This card was launched to much fanfare in 2016 with a huge sign-up bonus, and it remains one of the most feature-laden cards available. Here are just some of the headline features of this powerhouse rewards card:

  • 10 points per dollar on dining, hotels and car rentals purchased through Chase
  • 5 points per dollar on flights purchased through Chase
  • 3 points per dollar on all other dining and travel
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • after spending $4,000 in the first three months
  • $300 annual travel credit

If you’ve ever wondered, “What credit cards do millionaires use?”, the Sapphire Reserve card is one of the top-tier options. The $550 annual fee is steep, but this is offset to a large degree by the $300 annual travel credit, making the effective fee just $250. Points can be redeemed at 150% of their value when used on the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, meaning you can redeem 60,000 points for $900 in travel credits.

The card also offers the same collection of travel- and entertainment-related benefits as its sibling the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, including a complimentary DashPass subscription, VIP access to events and experiences, 24/7 customer service access, $0 foreign transaction fees, auto rental collision damage waiver, trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance, extended warranty protection, purchase protection and travel and emergency assistance services.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Best for: Amazon Frequent Shoppers

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who have regular boxes of Amazon deliveries at your doorstep, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card is a must-have. You’ll need to have a Prime Membership to reap the best rewards, but once you’re set up, you’ll start accruing cash back from your Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. The card goes beyond Amazon-specifc shopping. Here are the rewards:

  • 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
  • 2% back on gas, restaurants and drugstores
  • 1% back on all other purchases

Once you’re approved for the Amazon Prime Rewards card, you’ll also receive an Amazon gift card bonus based on the current promotion to kickstart your shopping. At this time, the promotion is $100 although some applicants scored as much as $200. 

Frequent Whole Foods and Amazon shoppers will see the rewards add up fast. Redeeming them for future Amazon purchases is easy — you’ll see the rewards balance at checkout as one of your payment options.

Disney® Visa® Card

Best for: Disney Fans

If visiting the Disney resorts is a way of life for you and your family, the Disney Visa card can help you save more on your visits. To start off, a signup bonus of $150 as a statement credit will be yours after you spend $500 within the first three months after approval.

Book a Disney vacation package right away — you’ll receive a promo 0% APR for the first six months, giving you some interest-free time to pay back the trip expense. Receive 10% off on select purchases at shopDisney.com to get ready for your trip. Once you’re at one of the parks, using your Mikey-Mouse-themed credit card will save you 10% off purchases of $50 or more at select locations in Disneyland® and Walt Disney World®. 

Best of all, each purchase earns you 1% back in Disney Rewards Dollars with no limits, so you can start earning rewards for the next visit.

Slate Edge

Best for: Improving Credit

The challenge with a credit score on the lower range of fair to good is you’re limited in options. In many cases, you may only receive a small credit limit or a high APR. Chase’s Slate Edge credit card can help you increase your credit score so you can attain a Chase Sapphire card one day.

If approved, you’ll receive a low introductory APR for 18 months to take the bite out of high interest. For larger purchases, My Chase Plan fees will be waived for the first 18 months so you can pay for select items in installments, fee-free.

As long as you spend responsibly and make payments on time, Chase will automatically lower your Slate Edge card’s interest rate by 2% each year until you reach the minimum, which varies with the Prime Rate. This is significant if you tend to carry a balance and pay your card down in installments since it could save you money on interest charges. Lastly, you could get an automatic higher credit limit after you spend $500 or more in the first six months if Chase decides you’re managing your card responsibly.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card 

Best for: Low-cost Air Travel

Southwest Airlines is a great option for affordable, no-frills travel with plenty of perks. You’ll always get two checked bags for free when flying with the airline. For loyalists or anyone who would like to start building status with Southwest, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card is a great start.

You’ll receive a signup bonus of 75,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months. You could redeem it for flights or wait and aim for the Companion Pass, which requires 125,000 points for a year-long privilege of free airfare for a second person when you travel.

To get closer to Companion-Pass status, here is how you can earn more:

  • 3x points on Southwest purchases
  • 2x points on Rapid Rewards car and hotel partners, ride share, transit, internet, phone, cable and select streaming subscriptions
  • 1x points on all other purchases

Plus, cardholders will receive an anniversary bonus of 6,000 points each year and 1,500 tier qualifying points, which count toward A-List status, for every $10,000 in card purchases with no limits.

Other perks for cardholders include two free EarlyBird Check-Ins per year, highly coveted to get the best seats and assure there’s space in the overhead bin for your carry-ons. Plus, get 25% back on inflight purchases.

Are Chase Credit Cards Hard To Get?

As with most credit cards, you’ll need a good to excellent credit score for the best odds of getting approved. Generally, travel rewards cards with lots of perks are harder to get. However, some cards do have fewer requirements for those with low or no credit.

Which Chase Credit Card Is the Easiest To Get?

You may want to start with a cash back card while you improve your credit. While you do, look out for Chase offers in the mail. Chances are, receiving a credit card offer means you have a good chance of approval if you apply.

If you’re a student, consider the Chase Freedom Student card. Student cards often have lower credit requirements, because they’re intended for those just starting out with building credit.

Final Take: Which Chase Card Is Best for Me?

Deciding which best Chase credit card all depends on how you plan on leveraging your credit card. If you’d like more travel rewards, the Sapphire cards are among the best available. Choose the Preferred for occasional, personal travel. If you travel regularly for business or want to kick start your earnings potential towards free airfare and hotels, the Sapphire Reserve may cost more annually, but has higher rewards earnings — and plenty more perks.

If you’re more interested in getting some cash back on your card spending, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a good starter card. Once you find that your card spending covers more than the average categories of gas, dining and travel, you may want to consider the Chase Freedom Flex. You’ll need to activate rotating categories to maximize earnings, but the effort could be well worth the time.

Ultimately, it’s important to know what you’ll be using the card for and which rewards will best work for you before you apply for a card.

John Csiszar contributed to the reporting for this article.

Information is accurate as of June 16, 2022. Additional requirements may apply. Offers and terms are subject to change.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase.

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About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.

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