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Chase is one of the largest credit card issuers in the United States, and it offers a wide variety of rewards credit cards. Many of its cards are co-branded with airlines, hotel chains and even retail partners—but some of its best cards only have the Chase name on them.
Chase credit cards are highly regarded for their rewards program, called Ultimate Rewards. Some cards offer Ultimate Rewards points that can just be redeemed for 1 cent each toward cash back, gift cards, merchandise and travel reservations. Yet other Chase cards allow you to transfer your rewards to airline miles or hotel points, which can potentially offer you even more value per point redeemed.
One of the greatest features of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is the ability to combine your reward points between accounts. In fact, you can even combine points between yourself and another household member. That means if you earn points with a card that doesn't allow transfers of rewards to airline miles or hotel points, you can still do so when you transfer your rewards to another account that offers this feature. This can be another Chase account you have, or one of a household member.
Keep that in mind as you take a look at our picks for the three best Chase cards:
Best Chase Card for Earning Bonus Points: Chase Freedom®
The Chase Freedom® is one of the most popular rewards cards offered, probably because it features 5% cash back on certain purchases. You earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in rotating categories each quarter you activate. For example, in the second quarter of 2019, the featured merchant categories were grocery and home improvement stores. You earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. You just have to remember to go online once each quarter to activate your bonus categories.
You're also eligible for a $150 bonus when you use your card to make $500 in new purchases within three months of account opening. Another great feature for new applicants is 15 months of 0% annual percentage rate (APR) financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. There's no annual fee for this card, but you'll pay a 3% foreign transaction fee on all charges made outside of the United States, so leave this card at home when you take your overseas vacation.
Best Chase Card for Earning Rewards on All Purchases: Chase Freedom Unlimited®
While the standard Chase Freedom® wows you with up to 5% cash back, you're limited to earning this bonus on your first $1,500 in purchases each quarter. The eligible spending categories change four times a year, and you'll only earn 1% cash back on all purchases that don't qualify for the bonus. If this kind of rewards earning system seems like too much work or just isn't for you, then you should consider the Freedom Unlimited®.
It offers you 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no categories to register for or limits on how much you can earn. In your first year, however, you'll earn double cash back: 3% on all purchases, on up to $20,000 spent. This version of the Freedom® card also offers you 15 months of 0% APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. And like Chase's standard Freedom® card, there's no annual fee for the Freedom Unlimited®, but you'll still pay a 3% foreign transaction fee on all charges made outside of the United States.
Best Chase Premium Rewards Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
When you're looking to earn additional points on your travel and dining purchases, while having expanded opportunities for redeeming your rewards, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. This card offers you double points on all travel and dining purchases, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
But unlike the Freedom® cards, the Sapphire Preferred® lets you transfer your rewards to airline miles or hotel points. For example, you can transfer your rewards to miles with United, Southwest, British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. You can also redeem your rewards for points with Hyatt, Marriott and IHG hotels so you can book complimentary hotel stays or use points toward a stay. Another option is to redeem your rewards directly with the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Center, which is run by Expedia. When you do this, your points are worth 1.25 cents each toward any travel reservation including airfare, hotel reservations, car rentals activities and cruises.
New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points, worth $750 in travel reservations, after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. There's a $95 annual fee for this card, but you'll pay no foreign transaction fees, making it a great card when you travel outside the U.S.
Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer or other company, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. All information, including rates and fees, are accurate as of the date of publication.