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Author: Bankrate Staff | Last Updated: January 1, 2019
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Table of Contents
How we chose our favorite Chase credit cards
Our experts at Bankrate extensively reviewed Chase’s credit card offerings for 2019. The team of credit card aficionados evaluated the available cards against Bankrate’s scoring method and awarded each Chase card a total score out of 100.
Chase is well known for having some of the most generous sign-up bonuses and travel rewards available, but it all depends on what you are looking for. Therefore, we have tried to identify the best cards of 2019 for a few different scenarios, as we know that the perfect credit card depends on what you need. We have put in the legwork so you don’t have to.
At Bankrate, our team of credit card experts evaluated Chase credit cards on various attributes like the travel rewards and perks, how easy rewards are to redeem, annual fees, sign-up bonuses, APR, and much more.
Bankrate’s top picks for Chase credit cards
Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best flat-rate cash back card
This card ranks among the best cash-back credit cards available for 2019. It offers generous rewards and a decent sign-up bonus. This card is a good choice for anyone who wants a straightforward rewards program. It’s also useful for anyone who already owns a Chase rewards card since Chase Ultimate Rewards can be transferred between cards. The Freedom Unlimited also offers a 0 percent, 15-month introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers, making it a good option for someone trying to pay down high-interest debt. After the initial intro period, the card has a variable APR of 16.99 to 25.74 percent.
- Earn an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase.
- Earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
- Cardholders can redeem rewards for cash in any amount at any time. Rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
- Its cash-back rate, while good, isn’t the highest flat-rate available. This card also has no bonus categories, a downside if you spend frequently in one area where you want to maximize rewards.
- There’s a 3% foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside the U.S.
- The card charges a 3% or $5 balance transfer fee, whichever is greater.
If you want to learn more, read our Chase Freedom Unlimited review.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best travel credit card
This card’s generous rewards, stellar sign-up bonus and low annual fee (which is waived in the first year, then $95 a year) are hard to beat. It’s a solid card for people scared off by the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s big annual fee but who still want decent travel rewards for 2019. If you’re looking for an every day, low-fee travel card with great perks, this card is ideal. It’s especially useful if you’re comfortable using the Chase Ultimate Rewards program — when redeemed through the program, points are worth 25 percent more.
- Earn two points per dollar on travel and restaurants worldwide and one point per dollar on all other purchases.
- Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of opening the account. That’s $625 toward travel when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
- If you aren’t comfortable using the Chase Portal you miss out on maximizing your rewards points value.
If you want to learn more, read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review.
Chase Freedom®: Best for rotating cash back bonus categories
For anyone willing to put in a little bit of work you can really maximize your returns from the Chase Freedom card. The card pays an unlimited 1% back on all purchases with bonus cash-back categories that rotate quarterly, for instance, one quarter might be 5% back on restaurant spending. You do have to enroll and there is a $1,500 in combined purchases limit each quarter. For those who have more of a set-it-and-forget-it mentality, and therefore, doesn’t want to deal with rotating categories, chose a flat-rate cash back card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Anyone who likes to travel, or plans to in 2019, can boost the value of their rewards points if you pair this card with a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve to maximize your Ultimate Rewards points.
- Flexible redemption. You can redeem your points as statement credit, cash-back deposit to your bank account, or transfer them as Chase Ultimate Rewards points to an eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards points card.
- Earn $150 sign-up bonus when you spend at least $500 within the first three months of card ownership.
- You have to remember to enroll online to earn rewards from the cash-back bonus categories, although Chase will email you to remind you about this.
- There are flat-rate cash back cards offering as much as 2% if you wanted a more hands-off approach.
- You will incur a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchase made outside the U.S.
If you want to learn more, read our Chase Freedom review.
What is Chase?
JP Morgan Chase is a multinational financial services company headquartered in New York City. It is the largest bank in the United States.
The Chase brand is dedicated to banking services, including credit cards, personal and commercial lending.
Why choose Chase as your credit card issuer?
Chase offers 26 varieties of credit cards to meet business, student, cash back, travel and other consumer credit needs. With so many options, you are likely to find exactly what you want for 2019 among their featured cards.
According to their website, Chase “serves nearly half of U.S. households with a broad range of products.” As a massive international bank, Chase can connect cardholders with a host of financial services and products to which smaller issuers may not be privy. Cardholders can leverage their relationship with the bank for mortgages, auto loans, investment vehicles and more.
Chase Online allows members to handle all their financial transactions in one secure location. Chase Mobile offers mobile access, including mobile deposits and payments – which makes being a Chase cardholder a convenient way to go.
How to choose the best card for you
It’s easier to find an ideal match for a credit card by keeping the focus where it needs to be — on you.
Before you compare cards in our Category, Credit Needed and Issuer sections, think about how you see yourself as a cardholder and a consumer.
- No-frills: Maybe you’re not interested in rewards programs, bonuses or perks, but just the convenience of using a credit card.
- Traveler: Some of the most valuable cards on the market help consumers travel more affordably (and even more luxuriously) by offering rewards for certain purchases.
- Family shopper: It’s pretty easy to find a rewards card geared toward supermarket, wholesale club and gas station purchases.
- Entrepreneur: Credit cards designed specifically for business use can do things that a personal credit card cannot.
- Rewards tracker: Many rewards cards offer bonus categories for certain types of purchases at different times of the year. You’ll need to keep track of the categories and adjust your spending habits to take full advantage.
- Rewards purist: On the other hand, a lot of cards keep their rewards programs simple by maintaining the same purchase categories.
- Financier: A balance transfer card can help you pay down debt from another card with less interest by offering a 0% APR introductory period.
Remember, your choice of credit card should revolve around you — your financial situation, your priorities, even your interests.