Chase is one of the best credit card issuers in the United States. Many of these credit cards not only come with lucrative signup bonuses but also such great perks as purchase/return/price/travel protection.
You can read a more detailed review below or jump to the infographic
Chase Credit Card Guide
This review consists of the following sections:
Before you apply:
Chase Ultimate Rewards:
- What are Chase Ultimate Rewards?
- UR transfer partners
- UR earning structure
- How to move UR points between your accounts?
- How to move UR points between other people?
Other Things To Consider:
Southwest Companion Pass:
- What is Southwest Companion Pass?
- How to get Companion Pass with Chase?
- Southwest Companion Pass strategy
Chase 5/24 rule
The number of people who open credit cards only for signup bonuses has significantly increased over the last years. Banks definitely don’t like it, so they are trying to create particular rules, which would prevent “gamers” from applying for their cards. In my opinion, Chase 5/24 rule is the most strict in the industry. It states that Chase won’t approve you for a new card if you have opened five or more cards in the past 24 months.
If you've just started your journey to free travel, consider grabbing these cards first or you may regret later. However, there are still a few cards for those who are way over 5/24 are not subject to this rule.
At the moment, you cannot open any of these personal cards (if you are over 5/24): Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Slate, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Marriott Premier, Chase Southwest Premier, Chase Southwest Plus, Chase United MileagePlus Explorer, Chase United MileagePlus Club and all business cards (except Marriott Business Card).
Chase IHG, Chase Hyatt, Chase Ritz-Carlton, Chase British Airways, Chase Amazon, Chase Amazon Prime, Chase AARP, Chase Disney, Chase Disney Premier and Chase Marriott Premier business card.
Unfortunately, all the UR-earning cards are affected. Hyatt, IHG, Ritz Carlton and British Airways still have pretty good signup bonuses though. I’d seriously consider getting any of those.
The bad news is that it is very difficult to bypass the rule, though you can find a few tips, suggestions and strategies in our detailed article about Chase 5/24 rule.
Chase 2/30 rule
While many people know about 5/24 rule, there is one more thing you should consider before applying for a new Chase card. Chase will automatically reject your application if you have more than 2 applications for Chase cards in the last 30 days.
A few people claim to have been approved for 3 cards within a 30-day window, but those data points are pretty rare.
Chase One Sapphire card rule
This is one of the most recent rules, which states that all Sapphire cards are considered to be one product and that Chase won’t approve you if you currently have any card from the Sapphire family:
“The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months.”
However, you still can get both CSR and CSP if you are applying for both of them on the same day. Apply for the most important card first. If you’re auto-approved, apply for the second card immediately. Usually, your second application will go pending, so make sure you call reconsideration line as soon as you see it. That is important since you want credit card analyst to approve you for both cards at the same day.
If your first application also went pending, it is likely that you’ll have to have 2 reconsideration calls in one day. Do not apply for the second card until the first one is approved! Even though it may seem rather stressful, there are many successful data points of being approved for two Sapphire cards using this strategy.
Does Chase combine hard pulls?
Every time you apply for a credit card, a bank makes a credit inquiry to credit bureaus to get the idea about the risks associated with issuing you a card. The good thing is that Chase is one of those banks, which combine hard pulls, meaning that you will get just one hardpull if you apply for two cards on the same day.
Personally, I think it is a good idea to try to combine credit inquiries. First, it is beneficial if you’re thinking about applying for cards of an inquiry-sensitive bank (like Citi) in the near future. Second, you are reducing negative impacts on your credit score by combining hardpulls. That means that your FICO scores won't drop as much.
How to check application status
Chase doesn’t have any online service, which allows you to check application status online. But if you already have an account, you may log in to check if the new card was added to your account. It is quite often to see a card on your account on the next day after receiving the note of pending application.
You may also consider calling 888-338-2586 to check the status of your application. Enter your SSN and you will hear the most recent update about your application via an automated system. Depending on the message you receive, it may be useful to check our Application Status/Reconsideration guide.
What is Chase Reconsideration line?
What is Chase UR Program
Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) program offers one of the most flexible reward points in the bank industry. Even though they cost just 1 cent per point when redeeming for cash or gift cards, UR points can give you a tremendous value of up to 10-12 cents when transferring to travel partners (though it is more common to redeem them for about 2.5-3 cents).
UR transfer partners
Even though you can redeem UR points for 1.25 or 1.5 cents for travel expenses using Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve cards, in most cases, you’d get more value by transferring points to travel partners. In order to do that you should open Ultimate Rewards portal, select “Use points” and click on the “Transfer points”.
You can transfer UR points at 1:1 ratio to 9 airline partners including British Airways, Aer Lingus AerClub, Iberia Plus, Flying Blue, Korean Air Skypass, United Mileage Plus, Virgin Atlantic, Southwest Flying Rewards and Singapore Airlines Kris Flying Program and 4 hotel partners including IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and World of Hyatt.
However, not all of these programs are worth transferring to. For example, it doesn’t make any sense to move UR to IGH points to cover the entire stay, but it may useful if you lack a few points for particular redemption in mind. Moreover, you should understand apart from these 11 partners, you can technically transfer to many more companies by utilizing different tricks. You can find more info on our detailed article about Ultimate Rewards travel partners.
Before we move on, it is important to mention that though there are 6 UR-earning Chase credit cards, only four of them allows you to transfer points to partners. The good news is that you still can move your points between your accounts.
UR earning structure
There are currently 6 credit cards which earn UR points and the earning structure depend on the particular card.
UR earning cards:
Chase Freedom earns 1 UR point per dollar on every purchase and 5 points per dollar spent on rotating categories that are updated each quarter. That is a very decent earning rate for a card doesn’t come with an annual fee. Note, that 5 points per dollar applies only for the first $1500 category spent each quarter. After the limit is met the earning rate is back to 1 point per dollar.
Signup bonus: earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months. You also get an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening.
Important: You will still get 15000 UR points, rather than cash, but if you don’t have “premium” chase card, you won’t be able to transfer them to partners. Thus, the best value you can get is $150. However, you can still move these points between your other accounts.
Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no-fee card, which earns 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase. There are no rotating categories, so the maximum you can get is 1.5 points per dollar.
Signup bonus: you are getting the same 15000 UR points after spending $500 in the first 3 months, which you can’t transfer as well as 0 APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
Chase Sapphire Preferred is a travel credit card, which comes with a 95 dollars annual fee (annual fee is waived for the first year) and a bunch of travel benefits including travel cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay and lost luggage insurance, trip delay reimbursement in some other. While these perks are not the best on the market, CSP is still a decent card to have. You get 2x points on travel and dining, no foreign transaction fees and 1.25 cents per UR point when redeeming with Chase travel portal.
Moreover, you can transfer your points to travel partners, which can usually give you about 2-2.5 cents per point.
Signup bonus: get 50,000 UR points after you spend $4000 on purchases in the first 3 months. $0 introductory annual fee.
Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best travel credit cards on the market. Despite hefty $450 annual fee, it offers a lot great benefits, including top level of travel insurance, $300 annual travel credit, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit, complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with unlimited number of guests, 3x earning rate on dining and travel purchases and 1.5 cents per point when redeeming via Chase UR portal.
Signup bonus: get 50,000 UR points after you spend $4000 on purchases in the first 3 months. The annual fee is not waived for the first year.
Chase Ink Business Preferred is a business credit card, which earns 3x points on travel, shipping purchases, phone services, internet and advertising purchases and 1x points on everything else. Another cool perk is cellphone protection up to 600 dollars per claim against damage or theft for all employees listed on the bill. It also gives you 1.25 cents per point when redeeming on travel expenses with Chase travel portal. Ink Business Preferred also allows moving points to travel partners.
Signup bonus: get 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 dollars on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The annual fee is 95 dollars and is not waived for the first year.
Chase Ink Business Cash is an excellent business card, which earns 5 UR points per dollar on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores, on internet, cable and phone services; 2 UR points per dollar at gas stations and restaurants and 1 UR point for everything else. Note that you CANNOT transfer points to travel partners. However, this card comes with no annual fee.
Signup bonus: get 30,000 UR points after spending 3,000 dollars on purchases in the first 3 months after opening an account.
Moving UR points between accounts
Even though UR points are awesome, you cannot get more than 1 cent per point with no-annual-fee cards (Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Cash), unless you have another credit card which has a better redemption rate and/or the ability to transfer points to travel partners. Even though the “official” maximum value you can get is 1.5 cents per point when redeeming for travel with Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can do much better by either transferring to travel partners or by moving UR points between your accounts (from a no-fee card to a premium card) to be able to get more value from your points.
First, login to Ultimate Rewards Portal and click on Combine Points link
Choose the cards to complete transfer
Confirm the number of points
In order to maximize value, you have to have a combination of both no-fee cards and any premium card, which have the ability to transfer points or at least 1.25 redemption rate. Ability to transfer points is a great benefit by itself since it gives you much more flexibility, especially when you have particular redemptions in mind. Moreover, you usually can get at least 1.5 cents per point from transferring to United, around 2 when transferring to Hyatt or even more than 5 when transferring for premium redemptions (like Singapore suites or some nice first-class international flights).
Even without transferring to partners, a combination of the right Chase cards gives you much more value. For example, by keeping CSR, you can get a 2.25% return from Freedom Unlimited on every purchase (instead of 1.5) when redeeming for travel. Freedom 5x categories are giving you 7.5% return; you also get 7.5% return on office supplies (instead of 5%), 7.5% on phone/internet bill and 3% on gas (instead of 2%) when using Ink Cash.
Moving UR points between other people
Chase officially allows moving points between household members. That includes your spouse, parents or even roommates as long as they are members of the same household. If you have business cards, you can also move them to the owner of the company. The process is the same as shown on the screenshots above. Follow the steps and click on the add household member (or the owner of the company) button.
At the same time, Chase doesn’t allow transfer to people who don’t meet the requirements above. Please, don’t try to fake it, since there are many DPs of Chase shutting down those accounts for violations of the rules.
However, there are still safe ways to share your points with friends. You can either make reservations for your friends with Chase travel portal or transfer points to your loyalty program to book flights, hotels or direct transfers to your friends’ loyalty program.
Here is a more detailed table:
Does Chase match signup bonuses?
Chase is one of the best issuers when it comes to matching better signup bonuses. If the current public signup bonus is higher than the one you applied to within 90 days, you can send a secured message and ask to match the bonus. At the same time, Chase won’t match targeted signup bonuses (unless you personally received a better offer after application)
How many days for meeting minimum spending requirements?
Even though it is written that you have to meet minimum spending requirement within 3 months, Chase actually gives you full 115 days from the approval (not application) date. It is the longest grace period among major credit card issuers. Both me and my wife never received less than 115 days from Chase, however, it is always a good idea to send a secured message to verify the date.
Is it safe to MS the minimum spending requirements on Chase cards?
Unlike AMEX, Chase seems to be OK with you MSing the minimum spending requirements. Even if I have never heard of anyone being denied a signup bonus because of MSing the minimum spend, I’d still recommend you diversify your spending and have at least a few real transactions. And definitely not try to buy 3k worth of gift cards right after receiving the card, if you don’t want to deal with the fraud department.
Are Chase cards churnable?
Chase credit cards are churnable meaning that you can get signup bonus for the same cards multiple times. However, you have to make sure that you follow under Chase rules, which state that: “This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months.”
Сhase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal
Even though I prefer transferring UR points to partners, Chase Travel Portal may provide you with decent options to redeem your points. However, booking with travel portal may be tricky!
You can find a more detailed article about “Chase Travel Portal and How to use it right?”, but here is a brief outline of what you should know before redeeming your points.
- Booking via portal will allow you to earn frequent flyer miles when buying flight tickets. At the same, you probably won’t earn any hotel loyalty points. Moreover, you will not be able to enjoy the benefits of your elite status, unless you call directly to the hotel after making a reservation. It is entirely within hotel discretion whether to honor your status though, so YMMV.
- Always check rates on travel aggregators, airline and hotel websites as well as services like Google Flights, before redeeming points via portal! Sometimes, the portal prices may be significantly higher, giving you a much lower value per point than you expect.
- When having a few UR earning card, make sure that you are using the one with the highest travel redemption rate. If you lack points on the particular card, don’t forget that you can move them from other cards (e.g. from Freedom to CSR).
- Watch for hotel sales. Sometimes you can find a much better price on Chase portal than anywhere else. Those deals are usually marked with “Sale” label and can give you up to 2-2.1 cents per point instead of 1.5 when using CSR.
In the example above, you can get at least 1.65 cents per point, when comparing to other available options (the lowest price for the same standard room is $297 on Kayak, which you’d use if Chase Portal deal wasn’t available).
Sometimes you can find some really sweet spots with these sales. However, note that you can also get some additional cashback, apply coupons, or utilize 3rd party promo offers by booking via particular travel aggregators or directly from the company website.
Chase cards with additional bonuses for authorized users
Some of Chase cards give you additional bonuses for adding authorized users to your account. The good thing is that Chase doesn’t ask you for SSN or check any of the info! However, if you’re adding the name of a real person who lives at the same address as you, chances are this account will appear on their credit report anyways.
Personally, I would rather create a card with a fake name solely for getting the bonus. Anyways, it is very important to remember the name you used. When calling to customer service, you may be asked to provide the name of the AU to verify that you’re the owner of the account. That's why I use my pet’s name in such cases.
Here are the cards that come with no additional fee and give the following bonuses for authorized users (one-time only):
- Chase Freedom: 2,500 UR points
- Chase Freedom Unlimited: 2,500 UR points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: 5,000 UR points
- Chase Hyatt Card: 5,000 Hyatt points
- Chase United MileagePlus® Explorer Card: 5,000 United miles
- Chase Marriott Rewards Premier: 7,500 Marriott points
- Chase IHG Rewards Club Select: 5,000 IHG points
- Chase The Ritz-Carlton Rewards: 10,000 ritz points
Chase Disney Visa: do not add an authorized user during sign up! You will usually receive an offer for $50 bonus for adding one later.
Note that authorized users on personal cards receive exactly the same card number as primary cardholder. Thus, you don’t have to worry about making a transaction by an authorized user to be able to get the bonus.
Dummy booking trick
Sometimes you can get a better signup bonus by making a dummy booking on the website of airline/hotel partner. It is worth checking the offers via dummy booking for Hyatt, United, IHG, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott and Southwest co-branded cards before jumping on a public offer.
For example, Hyatt always seems to have additional $50 statement credit on top of the bonuses from offers on Chase website. Unlike Chase website, this offer doesn't have any mention of the 5,000 bonus points for adding AU. Nevertheless, you'll still be able to get it after you add an authorized user.
Southwest Companion Pass
Southwest Companion Pass is a great benefit, which provides users with the ability to buy one, get one free ticket on any Southwest flight during a year it was earned as well as the full following year. You can get a free ticket for 1 selected companion for both award and paid flights. Note that you can change companion up to 3 times per year.
How to get Companion Pass?
In order to get companion pass (CP) you have to accrue 110,000 southwest points in a calendar year. Once the requirement is met, you’ll receive CP for the rest of the year and entire following year. The easiest way to get these points is by opening 2 Chase Southwest cards, which offer 40,000-60,000 each depending on the time of the year. Note, that all Southwest-branded cards are subject to 5/24 rule. You won’t be able to get them if you opened more than 5 accounts in the past 2 years.
Companion Pass strategy
There are three Chase Southwest cards, which usually come with a good signup bonus: Southwest Premier, Southwest Plus and Southwest Premier Business. The best option is to apply for two of these cards in November/December (depending on how fast you can meet the minimum spend requirements). Points are usually posted after Chase Statement date, so plan accordingly! As mentioned earlier, offers can fluctuate, so make sure you are getting at least 100,000 points for two signup bonuses.
After meeting the minimum spend you should have at least 104,000 points (100k from signup bonuses and 4k from meeting the minimum spend). Try to get additional 6k points as soon as possible. If you cannot make that organically, you can try to use services like venmo.com to send money to your spouse/relative/friend paying 3% fee or MS them with some other method you’re comfortable with. If you’ve done it right, you can get CP for about 22 months.
Important! Points that were purchased, transferred from hotel programs, other people or Chase DO NOT count towards earning Companion Pass.
Hope you liked this article. Please, share your thoughts and comments, so that we can make it better!
We’ve also summarized everything you need to know about Chase in the infographic below: