How to choose the best Chase credit cards for cash back and travel rewards | CNN Underscored


CNN Underscored evaluations economic products which includes credit cards and bank bills primarily based on Sapphire their overall value. We may obtain a fee thru the LendingTree affiliate network if you apply and are authorized for a card, but our reporting is usually impartial and objective.

If you’re searching out a manner to growth your coins again, airline miles or lodge points, look no in addition than Chase credit score playing cards. Chase is understood for presenting notable rewards, lucrative signal-up bonuses or even money-saving advantages. Fortunately, Chase additionally gives a slew of famous credit playing cards, because of this there’s a card for all people.

The one important drawback to hold in thoughts is that Chase’s credit playing cards fall beneath what’s colloquially known as the “5/24” rule. This is an unpublished Chase rule, but it basically approach that if you’ve gotten 5 or more credit score playing cards across all banks in the ultimate 24 months, your programs for new playing cards from Chase could be robotically denied.

Most Sapphire human beings don’t apply for credit cards that frequently, so you probable won’t must fear an excessive amount of about 5/24. But now which you realize the rules, allow’s take a look at our list of the first-rate Chase credit playing cards in 2021.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best for cash lower backChase Sapphire Preferred Card: Best signal-up bonusChase Sapphire Reserve: Best for travel perksChase Freedom Sapphire Flex: Best for rotating categoriesThe World of Hyatt Credit Card: Best for motel elite fameSouthwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card: Best for associate flightsIHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card: Best for reward remainsUnited Explorer Card: Best for airline milesInk Business Preferred Credit Card: Best for corporations

Why did we select these as our best Chase credit score playing cards for 2021? Let’s dive into the details of each card and notice how they evaluate to one another.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is by means of some distance the fine Chase credit card for incomes cash returned. With 1.5% in cash lower back on every buy, you could use the Freedom Unlimited anywhere and know you’ll earn at the least 1.five% coins back on the entirety you purchase.

But remaining yr, Chase delivered a trio of bonus classes to this card, making it even extra valuable. Chase Freedom Unlimited card holders now also earn five% on travel Sapphire purchases made thru Ultimate Rewards, 3% on eating (which include eligible food shipping services) and three% at drugstores.

To top it all off, new Chase Freedom Unlimited card candidates can presently earn $200 in bonus coins lower back after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months after beginning the account, plus 5% coins returned on grocery shop purchases (no longer consisting of Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent within the first year.

And this no-annual-fee card presents an opportunity to earn an excellent higher return in case you opt to exchange in your cash returned for journey rewards. That’s due to the fact if you pair the card with a more top rate Chase Ultimate Rewards card — consisting of the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve — you can convert the cash returned to flexible tour points at a 1-to-1 ratio.

Your transformed points can then cross even similarly by using booking travel thru the Chase travel portal or moving them to one of Chase’s thirteen airline and hotel travel partners, including Hyatt or United. Thanks to this flexibility, frequent flyer website The Points Guy values Ultimate Rewards factors at 2 cents apiece. So as opposed to earning just 1.5% cash back, you could correctly become with a 3% return in case you pair your Freedom Unlimited to the proper Chase card and use your factors for tour.

Other blessings of the Chase Freedom Unlimited include buy protection and extended warranty protection, a complimentary three-month subscription to DashPass and 5% cash returned on Lyft rides through March 2022.

Now, the Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% cash lower back price isn’t quite as desirable as the 2% total go back you’d earn with the Citi® Double Cash Card, which gives 1% whilst you make a buy and another 1% when you pay your declaration. But there also are bonus categories on the Chase Freedom Unlimited, and the possibility to earn top class Ultimate Rewards points is really worth more to many people.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $two hundred in bonus cash lower back when you spend $500 on purchases for your first 3 months from account establishing, plus 5% coins again on grocery store purchases on as much as $12,000 spent within the first 12 months.

Learn more and follow for the Chase Freedom Unlimited.


The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a exquisite first card for the ones inquisitive about tour rewards.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the great starter credit cards for the ones looking to earn travel rewards. The card offers a surprisingly low $ninety five annual price, a strong sign-up bonus, and a number of popular bonus categories and benefits.

New clients who observe now for the Chase Sapphire Preferred can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months after opening the card. That’s the highest signal-up bonus you’ll find throughout all of Chase’s private Ultimate Rewards credit score cards, and the highest we’ve ever seen on the Sapphire Preferred itself.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you’ll earn 2 points for every greenback you spend on journey and dining purchases, five points consistent with dollar on Lyft (from now thru March 2022) and 1 point in keeping with dollar on all different purchases.

Plus, in case you book journey with Chase Sapphire Preferred points thru the Chase tour portal, or use the cardboard’s “Pay Yourself Back” device to redeem factors for purchases at grocery stores, eating institutions (inclusive of transport and takeout) and home improvement shops, you’ll get 1.25 cents in step with point in fee through as a minimum September 30, 2021. That method the signal-up bonus on my own is well worth $750 toward journey or the “Pay Yourself Back” classes.

Related: New redemption alternatives added to Chase Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred credit cards.

But since you can also transfer points to 13 exceptional airline and resort companions, you could potentially get even more price. Sapphire When used this way, Ultimate Rewards factors are really worth as a whole lot as 2 cents apiece in keeping with The Points Guy, that could deliver the sign-up bonus price as much as a whopping $2,000.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred additionally includes a far extra expansive buy and journey safety gain than you’ll see with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. When you use your Sapphire Preferred card on eligible purchases, you’ll be covered against harm or robbery for one hundred twenty days from the time of buy, and obtain an extra 12 months of insurance with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or much less.

You’ll additionally get number one condo car insurance with the Sapphire Preferred, that may save you money due to the fact that you may decline the collision coverage option for your next vehicle rental. You’re also eligible to be reimbursed in case your experience is canceled or delayed for a protected cause (although unluckily an epidemic normally isn’t one of those motives) or your luggage is not on time or lost.

Finally, as an added bonus, all Chase Sapphire Preferred card holders can receive up to $60 again on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership thru December 31, 2021 in addition to complimentary DashPass club for a minimum of 12 months, so long as you spark off it by means of December 31, 2021.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a hundred,000 bonus factors once you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account beginning.

Read CNN Underscored’s review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.Learn extra and apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Priority Pass

The Ambassador Transit Lounge in Singapore’s Terminal 2, accessible with the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s Priority Pass club.

Even in case you’re staying away from the skies right now, it’s still a wonderful time to earn points for destiny journey, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve is tough to beat for the highest quality traveler. Despite the card’s highly-priced $550 annual fee, you’ll Sapphire discover that the points upload up quick, and the advantages can effortlessly outweigh the rate.

Normally, the card earns 3 factors for every dollar you spend on tour and dining, 10 points in line with dollar spent on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and 1 factor according to greenback on the whole thing else. But for a restrained time between November 1, 2020, and April 30, 2021, you’ll also earn 3 factors for every dollar spent on grocery keep purchases, up to $1,000 per month in mixed purchases.

Related: Chase Sapphire credit score playing cards earn bonus factors on groceries for a constrained time.

On the redemption side, points earned with the Chase Sapphire Reserve are well worth slightly extra than what you’ll get with the Sapphire Preferred. While you could switch your points to the same 13 airline and resort partners, your factors are really worth 1.5 cents apiece in place of 1.25 cents apiece when used for journey thru the Chase travel portal or through the “Pay Yourself Back” classes thru September 30, 2021.

To assist offset the once a year charge, the Sapphire Reserve additionally comes with a $300 annual travel credit (which you could also use for gas and grocery save purchases through December 31, 2021), as much as $60 in assertion credits on DoorDash purchases in 2021 and as much as $one hundred twenty again on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership in 2021. You’ll also get hold of a complimentary Priority Pass airport lounge membership and up to $100 in credits while you apply for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

The purchase and journey advantages at the Chase Sapphire Reserve are similar to those that you’ll discover on the Sapphire Preferred, but with one moderate difference: trip put off protection. While many Chase credit score playing cards offer experience postpone protection, the advantage typically doesn’t kick in until your flight is behind schedule more than 12 hours or requires an overnight live. With the Sapphire Reserve, but, you’ll have get right of entry to to this benefit at the six-hour mark as a substitute.

That’s pretty a big distinction, and one reason to apply the card for all of your airline travel. Even if you e book a flight with airline factors or miles, as long as you pay for the taxes at the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll get the identical journey put off coverage.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points once you spend $four,000 on purchases inside the first 3 months from account opening.

Learn extra and apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The new Chase Freedom Flex card calls for a touch more planning, but if you can maximize the cardboard’s rotating bonus classes, you can use it to earn a few super coins returned or even journey rewards.

With the Freedom Flex, you’ll earn 5% cash lower back in bonus categories that rotate each 3 months, on up to $1,500 in blended purchases each area. The Freedom Flex bonus categories for July thru September are grocery stores (except Target and Walmart) and pick streaming services, which need to make it smooth to earn as a lot as $seventy five in bonus coins returned this sector.

But the Chase Freedom Flex additionally capabilities the identical 3 permanent bonus classes because the Chase Freedom Unlimited: five% on tour purchases made thru Ultimate Rewards, three% on dining (together with eligible food transport offerings) and 3% at drugstores, plus 1% cash again on all other purchases. So although you could’t take advantage of the rotating classes in a given zone, you’ll still be incomes extra cash returned in other classes.

The Chase Freedom Flex additionally comes with purchase protection and extended guarantee protection, plus a zero% introductory APR on all purchases for 15 months from account commencing (you’ll pay a variable APR of 14.ninety nine% to 23.seventy four% after the intro length ends). So it could be useful if you want to hold a balance for some time because you’ve lately lost your earnings.

You’ll also acquire 5% coins lower back on Lyft rides via March 2022 and a complimentary 3-month DashPass membership, which waives shipping rate on select DoorDash orders over $12. And much like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, in case you also have a top rate Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card, you could convert any cash back earned from the Freedom Flex into Ultimate Rewards travel factors, making your rewards worth doubtlessly even extra than in case you just use them for cash returned.

One thing to consider is which you should spark off the rotating bonus classes every area, so this card does require you to be prepared. And even though the Chase Freedom Flex is a no-annual-price card, it does come with a three% overseas transaction fee, so it’s now not the card to take with you on international journeys once travel starts to open up again.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $2 hundred in bonus coins returned once you spend $500 on purchases for your first 3 months from account beginning, plus five% coins lower back on grocery save purchases on as much as $12,000 spent in the first year.

Learn more and observe for the Chase Freedom Flex.

Hyatt Hotels

Earn Hyatt elite popularity faster with the World of Hyatt Credit Card.

Hyatt maintains to characteristic one of the pinnacle motel loyalty programs for lots people. Despite the chain’s footprint now not being as large as Marriott’s or Hilton’s, its reward points preserve fee and its benefits are pinnacle-notch. The application also lets in World of Hyatt Credit Card holders to work their way up the ladder to cash-saving blessings and different perks, that could certainly garner the royal remedy throughout your stay.

With the World of Hyatt Credit Card, you’ll earn 2 elite qualifying nights for every $5,000 you spend on the cardboard, and 5 elite night time credits annually. Typically, you want to earn 60 qualifying nights in keeping with yr to get top-tier Hyatt Globalist repute, which means that World of Hyatt Credit Card holders most effective want 55 qualifying nights. However, in 2021, they slashed their tier requirements in half, which means that you most effective want to earn 30 qualifying nights for Globalist status, or simply 25 nights if you have the credit score card.

Another advantage of the World of Hyatt Credit Card is which you’ll receive a complimentary praise night time, legitimate at a category 1-4 assets, each yr beginning at your card’s first anniversary. Despite a $ninety five annual fee for the cardboard, the yearly certificates is probably really worth plenty greater, and need to without difficulty outweigh that fee. You can even earn a 2d reward night certificate every year by using spending $15,000 in your card within your card holder yr.

Sign-up offer: Earn as much as 60,000 bonus points — 30,000 bonus factors once you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after starting the account, plus 2 bonus points for each dollar you spend on purchases that earn 1 bonus point, as much as $15,000 within the first six months after opening the account.

Learn greater and practice for the World of Hyatt Credit Card.


Use the Southwest Premier card to help earn the Southwest Companion Pass.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card may not earn the best variety of points to your normal purchases, but it’ll assist you get one step towards incomes the coveted Southwest Companion Pass®. With the Companion Pass, any other individual can fly with you without cost (plus taxes) on each unmarried flight you are taking on Southwest from now thru the cease of 2022.

Normally, you want to earn a hundred twenty five,000 Southwest qualifying points in a calendar year to get the bypass, but for 2021, Southwest is giving its common flyers a boost. For those participants who already had a Southwest frequent flyer account open as of January 1, the airline is depositing 25,000 qualifying factors routinely. This approach you most effective want to earn a hundred,000 qualifying factors by way of the cease of 2021 to earn the pass.

Related: What’s the Southwest Companion Pass, and should you get one?

Best of all, factors earned from the Southwest Premier card matter for the Companion Pass. This includes no longer best points earned from the whole lot you purchase on the cardboard, however also the 40,000 bonus factors new card holders can earn after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first three months after they open the card. You can also couple this card with one of Southwest’s commercial enterprise credit playing cards and probably earn the bypass with simplycredit card approvals.

Sign-up provide: Earn 40,000 bonus points once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account commencing, plus 3 factors for every dollar you spend on dining — including takeout and eligible shipping services — for the primary yr.

Learn extra and observe for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card.

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a card that ought to be in every traveler’s pockets, although it shouldn’t be pulled out too regularly. The card is presently presenting a one hundred fifty,000-factor bonus after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. With IHG points well worth approximately zero.5 cents apiece according to The Points Guy, this provide is well worth $750 in the direction of IHG stays.

Although that’s now not almost as tons fee as a few other Chase sign-up bonuses on our listing, the cardboard’s advantages will assist you to get even extra from it. For example, one of the best perks of the IHG Premier is that, starting 365 days once you first open the cardboard, you get a praise night time certificate every yr that may be used for a one-night time stay at any IHG assets that expenses as much as forty,000 factors in line with night time based totally on IHG’s rewards nights chart.

Some incredible residences that fall into that category encompass the InterContinental Hotel Lisbon, the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, the Holiday Inn Resort Aruba and the Hotel Indigo San Diego Del Mar, simply to name a few. Often, these certificates can even be used at some point of top instances whilst inns are pretty pricey, making the card’s $89 annual rate well worth it.

Another highly rated advantage is the IHG Premier’s complimentary fourth night time. All card holders who redeem points for their live will get a fourth night time for no additional factors. This can be used at any IHG property, irrespective of the variety of points it prices. Combine this with the complimentary night award and also you’ll in the end be capable of ebook a five-night live for the value of 3, so long as you’re staying at a belongings that expenses 40,000 points in keeping with night time or much less.

Other perks of the IHG Premier card encompass complimentary IHG Platinum reputation, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck charge credit score and cell smartphone protection. These benefits, along with the ones indexed above, are some extraordinary motives to make sure that this card makes its way into your wallet.

Sign-up offer: Earn a hundred and fifty,000 bonus factors once you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account commencing.

Learn more and observe for the IHG Club Premier Rewards Credit Card.


Get a free checked bag on United flights with the United Explorer Card.

The largest issue for plenty humans in relation to earning airline miles is that the use of them may be tough. The flights you need aren’t usually to be had, and it takes some flexibility and planning to locate a great experience.

Fortunately, having the United Explorer Card opens up extra opportunities. When trying to find award flights, card holders will see multiplied award availability for United flights, which means you’ll have get right of entry to to greater flights at a decrease mileage fee.

Aside from saving you miles, this card additionally comes with a number of different blessings. United Explorer Card holders store money by using getting a first checked bag loose for you and a accomplice on United flights, two United Club day passes per yr, 25% again on in-flight United purchases and up to $a hundred as a assertion credit when you follow for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

Related: The high-quality credit playing cards for United flyers in 2021.

With the United Explorer Card, you’ll additionally earn 2 miles for every dollar you spend on all United purchases, in addition to eating place and motel purchases. And right now, the card is offering an elevated signal-up bonus provide and no annual price for the primary yr you’ve got the cardboard (then a $ninety five annual charge beginning inside the 2nd yr and thereafter).

Sign-up provide: Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles — earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $three,000 within the first 3 months after starting the account, plus a further 10,000 bonus miles once you spend $6,000 within the first six months after commencing the account.

Learn greater and apply for the United Explorer Card.


Businesses can earn 3 factors consistent with greenback in numerous popular classes with the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

If you’re searching out a commercial enterprise credit score card, you may’t pass wrong with the Ink Business Preferred. The card earns 3 factors for each dollar you spend on the first $one hundred fifty,000 in mixed purchases each account year for some of the maximum famous business categories:

TravelShipping purchasesInternet, cable and call offeringsAdvertising purchases made via social media web sites or search engines like google and yahooYou’ll additionally have get entry to to a unique mobile smartphone protection gain that covers your cellphone towards damage or theft while you pay your entire cellular telephone bill together with your Ink Business Preferred card. You’re then included beginning along with your 2nd billing cycle and can submit up to 3 claims every one year, up to $600 consistent with incident with a $one hundred deductible in step with declare. It even covers every body listed on your mobile phone invoice, along with employees or family contributors.

Plus, the Ink Business Preferred has a notably strong set of tour and purchase protections, consisting of experience coverage, journey postpone protection, number one vehicle condo coverage and buy protection, which covers the objects you buy with the card against damage or theft for a hundred and twenty days after the purchase is made, as much as $10,000 per declare, with a most of $50,000 consistent with yr.

But one of the high-quality reasons to pick the Ink Business Preferred is its amazing sign-up bonus. Right now, you can earn 100,000 bonus factors once you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first three months when you open the card. That’s a tremendous amount of cash to spend in 3 months, but for plenty agencies, it’s no longer unusual to have that an awful lot in regular month-to-month fees.

Amazingly, the Ink Business Preferred best has a $ninety five annual fee, surprisingly low for a card with this many perks and factors. And your points may be transferred to the same Ultimate Rewards tour partners as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, or used to e book tour or even for cash back.

Sign-up provide: Earn one hundred,000 bonus factors after you spend $15,000 on purchases inside the first 3 months after you open the card.

Learn extra and observe for the Ink Business Preferred.

With such a lot of fantastically rated Chase credit playing cards, it’s difficult to choose a definitely “exceptional” card. They’re all sturdy in their own way, imparting precise advantages that cater to distinct human beings.

If you’re seeking out a card that’s easy and offers coins returned, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited is the manner to move. If you don’t mind paying slightly extra attention for your purchases, then the Chase Freedom Flex will let you maximize the rewards you earn each region.

But if travel rewards are more in your liking, then you may’t go incorrect with both the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The amusement visitor will probably find the Sapphire Preferred suits them better, at the same time as individuals who spend a considerable amount of cash on tour and eating out and classify themselves as a road warrior will locate cost inside the more costly Sapphire Reserve.

If resort blessings are a concern, the World of Hyatt Credit Card may want to doubtlessly help you get dealt with like a VIP at some stage in your subsequent inn stay. And it’s hard to overcome the annual night time certificates that come each 12 months with the IHG Rewards Premier.

Finally, if you’d favor to consciousness on flying, appearance no further than the Southwest Premier card to secure the Southwest Companion Pass, or the United Explorer Card to offer you with a few higher award flight alternatives. And of direction in case you’re a business, the Ink Business Preferred is a perfect choice.

Looking for the best average credit card? Find out which playing cards CNN Underscored chose as its quality credit score cards of 2021.

Get all of the trendy non-public finance offers, news and advice at CNN Underscored Money.

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