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Best Chase Credit Cards of January 2020

NerdWalletJanuary 15, 2020

At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

NerdWallet's Best Chase Credit Cards of January 2020

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Intro offer

$150

Recommended Credit Score
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® gives you a solid rewards rate, a lengthy 0% intro APR period and a fairly easy-to-grab sign-up bonus for an annual fee of $0.

Pros

You earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, and you can redeem your cash back in any amount at any time, with no minimum redemption amount. Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. If you're a maximizer, you can transfer your rewards to one of Chase's Sapphire cards to boost their value by 25% or 50%.

Cons

The 1.5% rewards rate is more or less standard nowadays. You can get higher rewards rates on other cards, although you'd be hard-pressed to match this card's combination of benefits.
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open

Our pick for

Bonus category cash back

Chase Freedom Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%

Intro offer

$150

Recommended Credit Score
The no-annual-fee Chase Freedom® earns 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending, making it a favorite with rewards maximizers. You earn 1% on everything else, so it's a decent everyday card, too.

Pros

The 5% cash back (see the current categories here) is obviously the main selling point. There's also a great 0% intro APR period and a neat sign-up bonus offer. And if you're a maximizer, you can transfer your rewards to one of Chase's Sapphire cards to boost their value. (If you're not, cash back is still pretty great.)

Cons

A rotating-bonus-category card requires some work; you'll have to keep track of the categories and make sure you opt into the categories each quarter.
  • 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
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠

Our picks for

Travel rewards

Chase Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

on Chase's website

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$550

Rewards Rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

50,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
With its $550 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® might look like a luxury card. But avid travelers know better. Rich rewards and generous perks could make this card a deal, even at $550.

Pros

You get 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on all other spending. Points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when redeemed for travel booked through Chase, or you can transfer them to a dozen hotel and airline partners. You get $300 a year in credit for travel expenses, Priority Pass airport lounge access and reimbursement for the application fee for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. And don't forget the big sign-up bonus.

Cons

The fee is a significant out-of-pocket expense, and much of the value of the card is tied up in the $300 annual travel credit. Get this card only if you are a dedicated traveler.
  • Earn 50,000 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®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 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
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

1x-5x

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
If you love to travel but can't stomach the fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, check out its sibling card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers elevated rewards on travel and dining and a sign-up bonus that's worth just as much.

Pros

Earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. Airfare, hotels, cruises, taxis, rental cars and train tickets are all categorized as travel purchases. Consistent with all Chase rewards cards, you can earn unlimited points, and the points don’t expire. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel booked through Chase. Or you can transfer them to several frequent traveler programs at a 1:1 rate. 

Cons

Since this is a general-purpose travel card, it doesn't come with the kinds of perks that are standard on branded airline and hotel cards in the same price range.
  • Earn 60,000 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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No delivery fees for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DashPass subscription from DoorDash -over a $100 value. Activate with your Chase Sapphire card by December 31, 2021.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

Our pick for

Travel rewards for small business

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

80,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score
High rewards on travel, high-value points and one of the biggest sign-up bonuses available on any card anywhere make the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card a valuable business asset.

Pros

Earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 per year in combined spending on travel and select business categories (shipping purchases; Internet, cable and phone services; and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines). All other spending earns 1 point per dollar. Points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel booked through Chase, or you can transfer them on a 1:1 basis to popular airline and hotel programs.

Cons

There's an annual fee of $95. If your spending doesn't align with the 3X categories, your rewards will be limited.
  • 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
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back for small business

Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Intro offer

$500

Recommended Credit Score
The Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card is an excellent option for entrepreneurs whose expenses don't fit neatly into the bonus categories of other business credit cards: It offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases for a $0 annual fee.

Pros

In addition to its simple, unlimited rewards, this card comes with a stellar sign-up bonus for a cash-back card: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. If you have a big purchase you'd like to finance, there's a pretty good introuctory 0% APR period, too.

Cons

On the other hand, if your spending does fit into traditional "business" categories, a bonus-rewards card might be better for you.
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee

Our pick for

Bonus cash back for small business

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card Credit Card

on Chase's website

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1%-5%

Intro offer

$500

Recommended Credit Score
The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card pays up to 5% cash back in specific categories and offers a fantastic sign-up bonus for a $0-annual-fee card.

Pros

You earn 5% cash back on up to $25,000 a year in spending at office supply stores and on cable, internet and phone service; 2% cash back on up to $25,000 a year in spending at gas stations and restaurants; and 1% on other purchases. The 0% introductory APR period is great if you have a big purchase to finance. And then there's that bonus.

Cons

This card's value is directly tied to how much you spend in the 5% and 2% categories. If your expenses are all over the place, consider a flat-rate card instead.
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 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
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee

Last updated on January 15, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.