My Ranking of the Top 12 Chase Travel Credit Card Offers

by on December 5, 2012 · 48 comments

in Chase, Credit Cards

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This is a post in my series ranking the top travel credit cards from the major banks. Other posts include: My Ranking of the Top American Express Travel Credit Cards, My Ranking of the Top Citi Credit Card OffersMy Ranking of the Top US Bank Travel Credit Cards.

Kind of like the weather across much of the US this past week, the credit card market has been heating up lately, and not surprisingly, a lot of the top offers are from Chase. With so many options out there and so many reader emails asking me my opinions on each, I thought I’d lay out the top Chase consumer and business credit card offers of the moment all in one place taking into account not only sign-up bonuses but also long-term earning potential, other perks, annual fees and the expiration date of each offer.

Before I get to the cards themselves, I thought I’d take a moment to answer some of the more frequently asked questions.

Just how many Chase cards can you have?
The great thing is, there’s no set limit. When Chase evaluates you for a credit card offer, instead of looking at how many cards you have, they look at you as a consumer with an overall credit line that you can shift back and forth among credit card accounts – both personal and business.

How much credit will Chase let you get?
This is a complicated question. It depends on your unique personal situation and credit conditions, and no one can tell you for sure. The way Chase determines your credit limit involves a mixture of automated computer systems and personal evaluation by their representatives and  credit analysts to make a decision based on your credit worthiness.

Chase is well aware that they have a lot of competitive credit card products out there on the market and their main goal is to get as much of your spending as possible, so getting the cards you need might just be a matter of discussing with Chase why you need that particular credit card as well as outlining what you’re going to do for them, like bringing in some of your expenditures from other credit issuers to Chase. It also never hurts to understand the benefits of the card you’re applying for so that when asked why you need it when you have so many other cards you have a ready answer that’s better than just the sign-up bonus

Can you apply for two cards in one day?
Yes, the answer is many TPG readers (myself included) have reported success doing so. Would I recommend more than that? No. You want to take a long-term approach and make it seem like you’re not absolutely desperate for credit.

That being said, I personally have 7 Chase cards:
-3 Ink cards: The Old Ink Bold, the current Ink Bold and the Ink Plus
-Sapphire Preferred
-British Airways Visa
-Hyatt Visa

Up until this point, Chase has never made me close a card in order to open a new one, but I always keep that option in my back pocket. Chase has, however, allowed me to shift around credit lines to get more credit on certain cards, like when I was recently batting for the $30,000 spending threshold on the British Airways Visa for the “Travel Together” companion ticket, I was able to shift some of the larger limits on my Ink cards to my BA card in order to put some large purchases on it and hit the threshold.

Although like a lot of people I love the credit card sign up bonuses, I’m a big Chase fan in general with multiple checking accounts and even an auto loan because I believe in maintaining a healthy long-term relationship with Chase through a diverse range of accounts.

So Many Offers to Choose From!
Here are the top reward credit card offers from Chase at the moment with my best effort to rank them based on overall value. No one card is perfect for everyone, so I’ll do my best to peg an overall value of the offer and card potential and also give some variables that may make the card more or less valuable to you so you have the information you need to make the best decision for your circumstances.

I don’t have a crystal ball for future offers, but I’ll also give my predictions on whether each bonus will increases or decrease over time, so even if you are going for multiple cards, you can make a plan that allows you to maximize your sign up bonuses.

You’ll see that I list both business and personal cards. Chase is very flexible about allowing individuals to open business credit cards and filing as sole proprietorship with their own social security, and even if you think you might open a business in the future, it’s a good idea to separate your personal expenses from your business ones.

Chase offers a lot of other small business resources since they want to bring you on as a client from the very beginning, which is great because it essentially doubles some of the bonus opportunities you’re able to take advantage of.

Your valuations will differ from mine. That’s because each redemption is different. It really all depends on what you spend money on and what you hope to use your points for. So please feel free to share your comments, but understand I’m not trying to guarantee anyone they’ll get exactly these values. It’s really about how savvy you are with your points – both earning and redeeming them. I tried to value these points conservatively, and a lot of people will be able to get a lot more than what I’ve outlined below – and I welcome your feedback on your own use of points.

Also note, when making these calculations, I am not including the benchmark base spending of 1 mile/point per dollar spent, just anything above that, for instance .25 Avios per dollar or 1.14 with the Sapphire Preferred thanks to bonus spending categories and the 7% annual dividend. (Update: The 7% annual dividend is no longer a benefit of the Sapphire Preferred card.)

So without further ado, here are my rankings of the top Chase credit card offers of the moment, with rationale for each explianed below:
1) Ink Bold and Ink Plus: $687.50-$7,000 in value
2) British Airways Visa: $1,612-$2,612
3) Southwest Visa: $900-$2,000 (depending on Companion Pass qualification)
4) Fairmont Visa: $950
5) Sapphire Preferred: $860-$1,000
6) Ritz-Carlton Visa: $905
7) United Explorer: $900-$1,300
8) Hyatt Visa: $700-$1,000
9) Priority Club: $520-$750
10) Marriott Premier: $500
11) United Club: $225-$775
12) Freedom: $340-$680

Note: Many of these are my affiliate links, but to the best of my knowledge I have highlighted the best offers out there.  If anyone knows of better public offers, please share them and I will update the post with them. As always, this is a free site, so I greatly appreciate it if you use my links.

1. Ink Bold and Ink Plus
Sign-up bonus:
50,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $5,000 in 3 months
Category Spending Bonuses:
5x points on up to $50,000 at office supplies/cell phone/internet/landline/TV; 2x on up to $50,000 at gas stations and hotels
Card Perks:
1.25 cents per point when redeeming for airfare, hotel, car rentals and cruises with pay-with points; no foreign transaction fees, 2 lounge passes per year; Ultimate Rewards shopping portal offers lucrative spending bonuses.
Transfer Partners:
British Airways, United, Southwest, Korean Air, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club, Amtrak.
Annual Fee:
 $0 first year then $95
Value Ranges:
Since points can be redeemed at 1.25 cents each for travel and you’re accruing 55,000 points by meeting the spending requirement, you will get at least $687.50 in value. If you can max out the 5x and 2x spending categories, you’re looking at 350,000 points altogether per card. So if you were to spend $50,000 on each bonus category with one of these cards, you’d earn 300,000 bonus points plus the 50,000-point sign-up bonus (in addition to the 100,000 “base” points), equivalent to $4,375. I personally value my Ultimate Rewards points closer to 2 cents per point since I get great values redeeming for premium rewards with United and Hyatt in particular. You’re looking at $7,000 in value by maxing out all the card benefits. So the value range will be $687.50-$7,000 depending on how much spending you can put on the card. And that’s just for a single card. Remember, though, it’s possible to have both cards – you can always get one now and one down the road and double your earning potential.
None from my understanding, no short term changes planned to this offer.

2. British Airways Visa -
Update: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer here
Sign-up Ponus:
Potential 100,000 Avios. 50,000 Avios after $1,000 in spend in 3 months, 25,000 Avios after $10,000 spend in 12 months, and 25,000 more Avios after $20,000 total spend within 12 months
Spending Bonuses:
1.25 Avios per $1 on all purchases, 2.5 Avios per $1 on all British Airways purchases
Card Perks:
“Travel Together” companion ticket with $30,000 spend per calendar year; 10% discount on British Airways purchases; Chip & Signature technology; no foreign transaction fees.
Transfer Partners:
Can’t transfer your points to other programs, but can redeem them on BA’s Oneworld partners like American, Cathay Pacific and Qantas, as well as non-alliance partners such as Aer Lingus and Alaska
Annual Fee:
Value Ranges:
There are no fixed-value redemptions, so there really is a huge range here. Relatively speaking, for short-haul redemptions using Avios, it’s not uncommon to get up to 3 cents per Avios in value even for economy awards, but on certain redemptions like transatlantic awards on British Airways and American, there are steep surcharges and fees which bring down the value of awards, so I conservatively value those redemptions at about 1.5 cents per Avios.
If you can hit the $30,000 in spend to get the Travel Together ticket, I value that minimally at $1,000 and potentially much more depending on whether you redeem for business or first class awards.
This card is clearly weighted toward heavy spenders, if you struggle with meeting minimum spend and hitting these thresholds, you may want to steer away from it. But even if you get the 50,000 Avios with $1,000 in 3 months, that is more than enough for 3 roundtrip awards from New York to Miami on American. I value that at about $750. Subtracting the $95 annual fee, that would give this card at least $655 in value. If you can hit the $30,000 in spend for the companion ticket you earn 137,500 Avios including the full bonus. Subtracting the standard 1 Avios/dollar spending, your “bonus” Avios would be a total of 107,500. At 1.5 cents apiece (conservatively), you’re getting $1,612.50 in value plus an extra $1,000 for the companion ticket for a total of $2,612.50. That’s my low-end valuation. On $30,000 in spend that’s just under a 9% return in value, which is pretty incredible.
February 27, 2013.


3. Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Visa -

Update: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card here.

Type: Personal
Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months
Spending Bonuses: 2 points per $1 on Southwest and AirTran, 1 point per $1 on everything else
Card Perks: Sign-up bonus points count toward Companion Pass qualification
Annual Fee: $69 not waived
Value Ranges: At most you’ll get 1.8 cents per point in Wanna Get Away fares. So 50,000 points is $900. The Companion Pass is difficult to value, but even if you just use three times a year to save $250 per itinerary, that’s $750 in value. I know people who use these passes for over $2,000 in value per year, and if you can snag the Companion Pass in January, it will essentially be good for 2 years until the end of 2014, so you’re easily looking at between $1,500-$5,000 in value.
Variables: Limited international route network, no first class on Southwest, first class on AirTran not impressive. If you’re looking to redeem your miles for international and premium awards, Southwest may not be for you.
Expiration: December 6, 2012 (tomorrow!), though the 50,000-point sign-up bonuses may kick around outside of the affiliate networks for a little while.

4. Fairmont Visa
Sign-up Bonus: 2 free nights with free breakfast at any Fairmont in the world when you spend $1,000 in 3 months
Spending Bonuses: 5 points per $1 at Fairmont hotels; 2 points per $1 on airlines, car rentals and mass transit and commuting expenses.
Card Perks: Automatic Fairmont Premier elite status, 2 free airline lounge visit passes per year, 1 free night at any Fairmont every anniversary of cardmembership when you spend $12,000 or more, no foreign transaction fees.
Annual Free: $95
Value Ranges: Fairmonts tend to be pretty high-end and the stays include breakfast, so I’ll conservatively value a free night at $350. That means you get $700 in value with the sign-up and minimum spend bonus, then another $200 in value by spending $12,000 within a year. Add on $25 each to the two lounge passes and your value on this card is around $950.
Expiration: None.

5. Sapphire Preferred
Sign-up bonus:
40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months
Spending Bonuses:
2 points per $1 on travel (flights, hotels, car rentals, subway, parking, taxis, etc.) and restaurants (basically any food establishment and catering) with no maximum caps
Card Perks:
1.25 cents per point when redeeming with pay-with-points for airfare, hotel, car rentals and cruises; no foreign transaction fees; extra earning potential through the Ultimate Rewards earning mall; Ultimate Rewards Exclusives experience redemptions
Transfer Partners:
British Airways, United, Southwest, Korean Air, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club, Amtrak.
Annual Fee:
$95, waived the first year
Value Ranges:
The 43,000 bonus points you’d earn meeting the minimum spending requirement plus the bonus are worth a minimum of $537.50 when redeemed for travel with pay with points. However, I’d put Hyatt and United redemptions at 2 cents per point, so you’re looking at $860 at least.
 This card is really valuable for those who eat out and travel a lot, and even those who spend a lot on mass transit (which counts as travel). Say you spend $12,000 per year on travel and dining. That’s an extra 13,680 points per year (on top of the 12,000 base points of 1 point per $1), which is $171 dollars more to put toward pay-with-points travel; or $273.60 with those 2-cent-per-point redemptions. But scale up from there if you spend more on travel and dining.
No expiration, but it used to be 50,000 points, so if it does change I hope it increases, but I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.

6. Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
Type: Personal
Sign-up Bonus: 70,000 points received after you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months, enough for a complimentary night stay at any participating Ritz-Carlton.
Spending Bonuses: Earn 5 points per $1 spent at The Ritz-Carlton hotels, 2 points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, and at car rental agencies and restaurants.
Card Perks: $100 hotel credit for qualifying dining, spa, and hotel recreational activities during every two-night stay or longer; upgrade to the Ritz-Carlton Club Level three times annually and enjoy a dedicated concierge and complimentary food and beverage presentations; automatic Gold elite status your first year, which entitles you to complimentary room upgrades, priority late checkout, a 25% bonus on Ritz-Carlton Rewards membership base points and more; $200 annual credit for airline incidentals, such as baggage fees and in-flight meals; complimentary airport lounge access to hundreds of airport lounges worldwide; no foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $395
Value Ranges: That 70,000 points is enough for a free night at any Ritz-Carlton (or two at low tier properties), so I’ll put a value of about $600 on it, then add in the $100 hotel credit for 2 stays a year, an upgrade to a club level room at about $100 per stay, the $200 airline fee and lounge access at $200 per year and you’re looking at an overall value of about $1,300 minus the $395 annual fee and you get $905.

7. United Explorer
Type: Personal
Sign-up Bonus: 30,000 miles with $1,000 spend in 3 months plus 5,000 miles for adding an authorized user and an additional 10,000 bonus miles every calendar year you spend $25,000.
Spending Bonuses: 2 points per $1 on United, 1 point per $1 on everything else
Card Perks: First checked bag free, priority boarding, two annual United Cllub passes, primary auto rental coverage and purchase protection.
Annual Fee: $95 waived for first year
Value Range: I value United miles at 2 cents each. I think they’re the most valuable miles out there thanks to low fees, one-way awards, and plenty of great Star Alliance partners. Scoring 35,000 miles as a bonus is a no brainer (just be sure you spend at least $1,001 since the additional cardholder must also make a purchase). At 2 cents each that’s $700 and if you spent enough to earn the extra 10,000-mile bonus, that would be worth an additional $200 for a total of $900. Plus lounge passes at my valuation of $50 for two, and then add in free checked bags for you and one companion at $50 for the year (let’s say you only check 2 bags) gets us up to $1,000 in value. Also certain MileagePlus members – including myself as a Platinum – might get a better offer such as 50,000 miles for $1,000 in 3 months, plus 5,000 for an authorized user plus 10,000 for spending $20,000 for a potential 65,000 mile bonus – $1,300 in my valuation.
Variables: If you don’t have United elite status, this card could save you money on every flight where you check a bag. United Club passes cost $50 per day, but I’d peg them at a value of $25 conservatively (what I’d pay for lounge access). Primary auto rental insurance can save you around $20 a day if you don’t have coverage otherwise and would need to purchase it.
Expiration: The 30,000-mile offer probably isn’t going to get any lower. I might wait to get targeted with a better offer because a potential 65,000-mile payday is so much better, if you’re not looking for United miles in a hurry, I’d wait.

8. Hyatt Card
Sign-up Bonus:
Two free nights at any Hyatt in the world when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Those nights are in a suite for Diamond members of Hyatt Gold Passport. For existing Platinum members it includes 2 suite upgrades good for up to a week each on paid stays.
Spending Bonuses:
3 Hyatt Gold Passport points for every $1 spent with your Hyatt Card at all Hyatt properties; 2 Hyatt Gold Passport points for every $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline and at car rental agencies; 1 point per $1 on everything else
Card Perks:
Automatic Platinum status, 2 stays/5 nights’ credit toward elite status at $20,000 annual spend, additional 3 stays/5 nights at $40,000 annual spend; one free night at a Category 1-4 each cardmembership anniversary; no foreign transaction fees.
Transfer Partners:
None (Hyatt points can be transferred to airlines but at unfavorable ratios at least compared to comparable Starwood, Amex Membership Rewards and Ultimate Rewards points).
Annual Fee:
$75, though many Hyatt Gold Passport members have been offered a version with the fee waived when making a booking on the Gold Passport site and clicking on the credit card link through there.
Value Ranges:
Varies based on your elite status at the time of application and how much you value suites. I’d gladly pay $150 a night extra at top hotels for a suite, so for me being a Diamond, that’s like $300 additional in value. The two suite upgrades for existing Platinums could be worth easily $125 each, or $250 altogether at the very least. These are good at any category hotel including Hyatt’s top-tier properties like Park Hyatt Maldives and Park Hyatt Paris Vendome. Conservatively speaking, I think it would be easy to use the free nights for two $350/night stays, reaping $700 minimum, plus the add-ons. The free annual night at a Category 1-4 is worth up to around $150, which negates the $75 annual fee for the first 2 years. The 2x points at restaurants and on airline tickets isn’t particularly great considering you get 2.14 points per $1 using the Sapphire Preferred.
Expiration: I don’t expect this offer to change anytime soon. I think Chase is testing waiving the first annual fee, so that might become the standard, but I don’t see Hyatt making this offer less lucrative. If you don’t need the free nights soon and want to wait on this one, I don’t think you will be missing out.

9. Priority Club Select Visa
Sign-up Bonus: 60,000 points after first use (80,000 targeted offers are frequently sent out, so check your email before applying)
Spending Bonuses: 5 points per $1 at Priority Club hotels; 2 points per $1 at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants; 1 point per $1 on everything else
Card Perks: Automatic Platinum status, 10% rebate on Priority Club point redemptions up to 100,000 points back each year; annual free night e-certificate
Annual Fee: $49 waived the first year.
Value Ranges: Those 60,000 points can be purchased at $420 directly from Priority Club and the free night from your first anniversary for another $150 or so minus the $49 annual fee, you’d be getting just over $520 in value in the first year on this card- more if you redeem points and get the 10% back.

10. Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
Type: Personal
Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months of account opening plus 1 free night stay in a Category 1-5 property
Spending Bonuses: Earn 5 points for every $1 spent at Marriott locations; 2 points for every $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, and at car rental agencies & restaurants; 1 point for every $1 spent on other purchases
Card Perks: Smart Chip technology and no foreign transaction fees, 1 free night stay in a Category 1-4 property each year upon account anniversary, automatic Silver Elite status and 15 nights’ credit toward elite status.
Annual Fee: $85 waived the first year.
Value Ranges: I’d value those 50,000 sign-up bonus points at about $350, and the free night in a Category 1-4 hotel at another $150, so you’re getting $500 in value  the first year and an additional $150 or so each year thanks to that anniversary free night.
Expiration: None for now.

11. United MileagePlus Club Card
Type: Personal
Sign-up Bonus: $100 statement credit after first purchase.
Spending Bonuses: 1.5 United miles on all purchases.
Card Perks: First and second checked bags free, no foreign transaction fees, Hyatt Platinum status, priority check in, security, boarding and baggage as if you were an elite flyer, United Club access, no close-in booking fees on award tickets saving you $75 per booking.
Annual Fee: $395 (Though there seems to be a targeted offer for this card with the first year’s annual fee waived that United elites have received.)
Value Range:  United Club access is $475 (it goes up to $500 on January 1, 2013) plus $50 initiation for $525 total. So with that value plus the $100 statement credit minus the $395 annual fee, that’s $230 in value plus $100 in bag perks and $150 in close-in booking fees for $475 ($775 if you get the first year waived offer).
Variables: If you were to spend $10,000 on the card in a year, you would basically get a bonus 5,000 miles (above the usual earning rate of 1 mile per $1) valued at about $100 (since I value United miles at 2 cents each), and then let’s say you check two bags twice over the year for another $100 in value, plus book two close-in award tickets at $75 each. Your total value would be $500.
Expiration: None.

12. Freedom
Type: Personal
Sign-up Bonus: $100 cash back when you spend $500 in 3 months
Spending Bonuses: Quarterly rotating categories where you can earn 5 points per $1 up to a maximum of $1,500 per quarter.
Card Perks: 0% intro APR for 15 month
Annual fee: $0
Value Ranges: You can redeem Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Freedom card at a value of 1 cent per point for travel, so 10,000 points = $100 (or more if you transfer to a Sapphire/Ink account). 30,000 5x points a year (minus 6,000 base spend to get there) = an additional $240 in value for a total of $340- $680 in value (depending on being able to transfer points to Sapphire Preferred/Ink Bold for premium transfers0)
Variables: If you have one of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards such as the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold, you can combine the Ultimate Rewards points you earn with your Freedom with those and then transfer them to any of Ultimate Rewards’ transfer partners.
Expiration: 10,000 points has been the base bonus, but I got this under a limited-time 30,000-point offer. I have also seen 20,000-point bonuses, so the chance of its going up is good. It might be worth waiting to get this card until the bonus goes up, though there’s an opportunity cost on not being able to max out the 5x bonus spending categories.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Bob

    Southwest RR points are great for positioning.

  • Stevenkushner

    For the Fairmont free nights, when do those expire or they can be renewed for another yearlike points with every Fairmont stay?

    Wanting to go to Masai Mara, but that wont be until 2014…

  • Walter B.

    I’ve got a bunch of Southwest RR points and don’t know what to do with them. What’s “positioning”?

  • slider34

    I believe Bob means you fly somewhere on Southwest points to get a cheaper rate/points with someone else (example might be for me flying from Omaha to Boston so I can then get to Dublin, Ireland for 25,000 Avios)

  • PJ

    you can often fly SFO or SJC to LAX BUR SNA etc for less than 4K and each signup is normally 50K How much better can it be? each point is worth about 1.9 cents

  • Leigh

    I thought Chase wouldn’t let you transfer a credit limit line from a business to personal card, but you seem to say otherwise in mentioning moving it from Ink to BA. Is this an option after all?

  • thepointsguy

    They allowed me to do so in August with no fuss at all

  • thepointsguy

    Correct- he means you can get them to get to an airport that is having good mileage runs, like the recent BWI Moscow fares

  • Leigh

    Thanks, it would definitely be nice to be able to do so in the future.

  • Anon


    I am sure you will ignore this comment, but please at least think about the importance of it for future posts.

    Could you please also include the amount that Chase pays you per referral for the different cards? I think it is important that there be transparency so that readers can see whether you have an incentive to rank cards in any particular order. I am sure you are not thinking of the fee when ranking, but it would be nice to see whether your ranking correlates with the fee.

    While the business cards are good cards and can provide value, it is also well-known that they also pay some of the highest referral fees ($200-$300 per app?)


  • PSL

    Annual free night with Priority Club Visa can be worth much more than $150; just used mine last month for the IC Times Square which would have easily cost $350.

  • Adam

    the Priority Club free night is definitely more than $150. Inter-Continental can easily be worth $300-$500 per night. also it is the only card that gives highest elite status.

  • The Points Guy

    I appreciate the feedback, but I can’t share that information. What I can say to you is that the payout per card does NOT affect the way I ranked them.

    As for the Ink Bold and Plus business cards, I truly believe there is HUGE potential to be had there – that’s why they are listed at #1. With them it’s not just the sign up bonus, it’s the 5x spending categories that, if leveraged smartly, can translate into hundreds of thousands of points.

  • The Points Guy
  • Bluecat

    Are you looking for a Fairmont in the Serengeti? (Good luck!!)

  • Bluecat

    @Anon, what would be his motivation to do this? To prove to you (who he does not know) that he has integrity? Why should he care about converting a skeptic like you?

    Yes, these guys make money off their affiliate networks and no, we will never know exactly how much they get paid. (Just imagine what the mess it would be if they all posted their commissions!)

    Put another way, are you willing to give your name, where you work and amount your company pays you out there for all to read?

  • Anon

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Ultimately, it’s your honesty that will win the strongest following and more referral apps, and I appreciate your candor.

  • Anon

    I have difficulty imagining the mess that would be created if they posted their commission rate. If anything, it would give bloggers more leverage against the banks.

    Your analogy to me sharing my personal information also fails. I don’t write a public blog created for the sole purpose of informing the public and helping them make informed decisions to maximize value of points and credit card offers.

    (Already regretting taking the time to reply.)

  • chanbott

    Thank you for this post; it is extremely useful. I have an anecdote that might shed some more light on the “How much Credit will Chase let you get” point.

    About a year ago, with the sole purpose of gaining the bonus miles I signed up for the Chase United Explorer card and was instantly approved with a $16,000 credit limit. (My only other Chase account was a regular Sapphire (non-preferred) which I had for about 8 years that I very rarely used with a limit of $16,000.)

    A week or so later I realized that I could also open a Chase Continental card (this was right before their loyalty programs merged). I applied for this one, received the “we need more time to decide” message, and a week later received a denial letter stating that I have too much credit with Chase. I have great credit, pay all my balances in full, but no mortgage or car loans and was 29 at time.

    If I had known about the reconsideration line I would have used it.

    FYI – When I called to cancel the Chase United Explorer card, in an effort to keep me, the offered to increase my limit and 10,000 extra United miles. I canceled it anyway and I eventually switched my non-preferred Sapphire to the Preferred version and am sticking with that one for the time being.

  • Bucky Katt

    He’s only asking because they actually have one (

  • snakedoc1

    Great post for planning an application I am going to make in about a week. Thanks! I’m specifically interested in “Two Free Lounge Passes With Ink Plus/Ink Bold.” Are these available with the new Chase Plus/Bold offers? The links for 2 free lounge passes as part of the signup bonus shows comments from 7 months ago, and only for the Chase Ink Bold, not the Ink Plus. I would apply for the Bold over the Plus just to get the 2 free passes. However, I don’t see them in the terms on the Chase application pages. If the 2 passes aren’t included with the Bold, I would go with the Plus because it is a credit card, not charge card. Thus…. easier for me. Help, please.

    Michael H.(oldfox)

  • egwg

    Marriott card is now a cat 1-5 stay on the anniversary.

    “Plus receive an anniversary bonus of one free night stay at a Category
    1-5 hotel every year!”

  • egwg

    Is this 2 passes per membership year or calendar year?

  • The Points Guy

    Thanks for pointing that out, I updated.

  • snakedoc1

    This is membership year tied to the signup bonus for the year with Ink Bold or Ink Plus.
    Subject: [thepointsguy] Re: My Ranking of the Top 12 Chase Travel Credit Card Offers

  • MFK

    FYI — I made a room reservation on Hyatt’s site today and saw a banner offering a $100 statement credit for getting the card (along with the two free nights, of course). I already have it, so I didn’t dig any deeper.

  • MFK

    Along with the Mount Kenya Safari Club ( I’m hoping the offer is still available in a couple years when I plan to visit the region.

  • David

    So for the Ink cards, you took the value of the 50,000 sign-up bonus, and added the value of the points that one would earn by spending a whopping $100,000 the card’s two bonus categories? But for the other cards, no spend was built into the calculation of value ranges, right? If so, isn’t it a weeeee bit misleading to calculate these value ranges so inconsistently?

    Also, I thought the 7% divident on the Sapphire card was no longer applicable to the 40,000-point sign-up bonus?

  • The Points Guy

    Thanks for pointing out the 7% calculation – I fixed it. With the Ink cards, as I mentioned, their earning potential with the bonus categories is a huge plus, and likewise I mention the companion ticket on the BA card as a huge plus, which also requires a significant amount of spend, so I included spending bonuses within the value range of the cards.

  • Kris

    As you are paid by Chase (“Chase the points Guy” deal) you really should disclose this fact in a blog posting like this. This blog paints Chase in a very positive light, and provides a significant amount of opinions (positive) by you, a paid Chase blogger.

  • Ben L

    I would like to know the reason you’ve decided to keep the Freedom, CSP, and Ink Bold/Plus. If you downgrade the CSP to the Sapphire you lose the ability to transfer points to other partners and you lose 2X points on travel. However, with the Ink Bold/Plus you still have the ability to transfer points to other partners and you also get 2X at hotels. So by downgrading the CSP to the Sapphire (and, importantly, saving yourself the $95 AF), you really only lose 2X on non-hotel travel (i.e. airfare/rental cars). So the way I see it, by keeping the CSP you are paying $95 to get 2X on airfare and rental cars plus a 7% dividend on your earned miles. Personally, it wouldn’t be worth it to me. Just wondering if there is some benefit to the CSP that I’m not realizing. I currently have the same three cards and was planning on downgrading the CSP to Sapphire prior to the AF becoming due so I’d like to know if I’m missing something.

  • Explore

    Will the PC Visa still confer automatic Platinum status in 2013?

  • PC Visa supporter

    ThePointsGuy always plays down the Priority Club visa, has done so for years, and I think it’s because he gets a low referral fee or none at all for the link.
    The PC Visa is easily one of the Chase cards everyone should have, because that $49 annual fee is going to be more than made up for by the free night certificate you can use at any property. There aren’t many cards out there that you can keep for years to come, with an annual fee, and not worry about the cost.

  • LPR

    As others have mentioned, it’s a shame the PC visa is left out. It’s a true “keeper” card.

  • ride2climb

    TPG –

    How do you value 50k Marriott points at $350? I’ve been considering getting this card, and I would value the 50k points at $500. For my valuation, I used Longmont, CO on 12/18/2012 for my valuation model so maybe that’s the error in my ways. Longmont, CO has 3 Marriott properties next to each other — 10k points for Courtyard ($100+ per night) and 15k for Residence or Springhill ($149 per night).

    Maybe my method is too specific for coming to a better average valuation. Thanks,


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  • Mike

    One of the things I like about the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the double points on travel and restaurants. I have to pay my annual timeshare maintenance fees. Do you know if maintenance fees (for Starwood and Shell Vacations Club) are categorized as travel? The answer may determine which card I use for the maintenance fees.

    Thanks in advance, and great web site!

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  • Andrew

    Do these credit card companies do a good job of recognizing restaurant charges in foreign countries? I am an expat living in Korea (long term) and am wondering if they will recognize foreign restaurants (i.e. Sapphire Preferred: 2 points per dollar at restaurants). Currently using AMEX SPG but the foreign transaction fee is killing me.

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  • Eva Christin

    Your blog review some really attractive offers that are available from your side. I would like to apply for your Fairmont Visa. Please suggest me how many time I am able to start taking advantage of your service.

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  • ie

    Is there an update to this blog??

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