Which Chase Credit Card to Get Before It Gets Harder!

Feb 18, 2016

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With rumors swirling that Chase will be clamping down on obtaining even their co-branded credit cards in the near future if you have obtained five or more new credit card accounts from any bank in the previous 24 months, lots of us are brainstorming about what Chase cards to prioritize getting ASAP before it potentially becomes much harder to get approved.

The short version is that the “5/24 rule” (having five or more new credit card accounts across all banks in the previous 24 months, and some reps try to even count accounts on which you are an authorized user!), already largely applies to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom, and Chase Slate cards. The rumor is this will spread to the Chase branded business cards such as the Ink Plus and Ink Cash in March, and then potentially even to the co-branded cards beginning as early as April. (The Chase Freedom is no longer open to new applicants)

Assuming this is all more or less accurate, I want to take a closer look at the various Chase travel rewards credit cards to get you thinking about which card(s) you might want to apply for sooner rather than later. In this post I plan to just give a high level overview of the various cards to consider and the best sign-up bonuses I am currently aware of, and then later I’ll post on the top few I would personally prioritize, though of course everyone’s travel needs and desires are different.

Chase Branded Rewards Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred: 50,000 points after $4,000 in spending in the first 3 months
Chase Freedom: 15,000 points after $500 in spending within the first 3 months(+2,500 for authorized user)
Ink Business Cash: 50,000 points after $3,000 in spending within the first 3 months
Ink Business Preferred: 80,000 points after $5,000 in spending within the first 3 months

Since the personal Chase credit cards the Freedom and Sapphire Preferred are already largely subject to “5/24”, they really are the priority for many to get first since it is easier to get them early in your “miles and points” hobby before you have five or more new credit card accounts within two years. The Sapphire Preferred is often my #1 recommendation for miles and points beginners because of the 50,000 transferable Ultimate Reward points it earns after you charge $4,000 in the first three months – check out this post for more details on how this card works.

I’m also a huge Chase Freedom fan since it earns 5x in rotating bonus categories, and those points can be transferrable to Ultimate Reward hotel and airline partners such as United, Hyatt, Southwest, Marriott, etc. if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus. The Freedom card has no annual fee, but the sign-up bonus is “only” $150 (aka 15,000 points) after you spend $500 in the first three months, so while I love it, I’m not sure it would be my #1 priority to obtain right off the bat.

If you have a small business then the Chase Ink Preferred probably needs to be your #1 target since it is about to be under 5/24 ruling, and it is such a valuable card with 5x earning capabilities and a massive 80,000 point sign-up bonus. This is a keeper for me thanks to earning 5x transferable Ultimate Reward points in various categories.

I think all of the Chase issued airline credit cards are very valuable to get and hold in their own rights, but which is most valuable depends on your needs. If you need/want United perks like free checked bags or United sign-up bonus miles, the United co-branded cards are good to consider. The Explorer cards offer 30,000 – 50,000 sign-up bonus miles depending on the offer you utilize (go for 50k!) and the Club card generally offers no sign-up bonus miles, but it provides for United Club access and other perks such as no close-in award booking fees. Sometimes there are offers for that card with an introductory annual fee of $0 the first year if you are targeted or similar.

The British Airways card is generally most useful for those want lots of British Airways Avios to fly on partners as you can earn up to 100,000 Avios by spending $20,000 in the first year via the current sign-up bonus. These points can be very useful when flying on partners such as American and Alaska, but remember that British Airways itself charges pretty hefty fuel surcharges on their own flights.

The Southwest cards are popular ones in the miles and points world because the sign-up bonuses (make sure you apply when they are at 50,000 points) count towards the 110,000 annual points you need to get a Companion Pass where a companion can fly free with you for on Southwest flights for close to two years (valid in the calendar year you earn the pass + the entire next year). On average, I think the Southwest cards are the most valuable among the Chase airline credit cards for many miles and points enthusiasts, assuming you are going for the Companion Pass. Getting the personal and business version of this card in the same calendar year gets you darn close to the 110,000 points needed for the Companion Pass.

Who Can Currently Get the Sign-Up Bonuses

Read the fine print for each of the offers individually, but many will say something along the lines of “This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.” This typically means you can’t get the sign-up bonus if you currently have the card and/or got the sign-up bonus within the last two years.

Reports indicate that you can typically get up to two Chase approvals in 30 days, but you probably won’t get more than one “instant approval” during that time. Personally I usually wait for the “pending approval” applications to go through their automatic processes without calling, but if you do call in to try and expedite the process be ready to explain why you need that card and potentially move around credit and potentially close another Chase account to get the approval.

I know this is a massive information dump in one post, so feel free to ask questions in the comments and share your own strategy!

Many of the offers mentioned in the post can be found here, but some of the higher targeted offers for certain cards where I listed a range won’t be there. I’m happy to help try to point you to the best offers possible if you have trouble finding them, but with some cards you have to be targeted to get the highest number of bonus points. Thankfully though, the best offers for most of these cards are publicly available and easy to find.

Which Chase credit cards are you applying for in the near future?

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 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, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.