The best Chase credit cards of 2019

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In a Nutshell

Whether you’re looking for travel rewards, cash back or a way to consolidate debt, Chase has some of the most competitive credit cards in the industry. Read on for our picks in several key categories.

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If you’re looking for a new credit card, Chase offers some of the best options available. The best Chase credit cards could help you save money on travel, earn cash back, consolidate debt or reduce business expenses.

Let’s take a look at our picks for the best Chase credit cards of 2019.



Best for premium travel: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Here’s why: We don’t call this card the Michael Jordan of credit cards for nothing. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® features enough travel perks to make it a slam dunk for people who want a more comfortable trip.

You’ll receive a $300 annual travel credit that you could use to pay for the cost of your flight or hotel room — or to splurge on something a little nicer like an upgrade to first class or a hotel suite.

Once every four years, you’ll also qualify for a credit of up to $100 to apply for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, both of which can help you get through airport security lines more quickly when you’re running late. But we recommend you arrive early, so that you can take advantage of your complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which gives you access to more than 1,000 airport lounges.

Wherever your travels take you, you can breathe easy knowing you’re covered by travel insurance. Not to mention there are no foreign transaction fees.

With all of these travel perks, it could be easy to forget about the sign-up bonus, which is worth up to $930 if you play your cards right.

To start, you’ll earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases during the first 3 months after opening the account. Plus, you’ll earn another three points for every $1 you spend on dining and travel purchases. You’ll also earn one point per $1 you spend on all other purchases. So if you spend the $4,000 to earn the sign-up bonus on travel and dining, that’s an additional 12,000 points.

And when you redeem all the points you’ve racked up, you’ll get the most value by putting them toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, where they’re worth 1.5 cents each, according to Chase.

This rich sign-up bonus and all of the travel benefits could help offset the hefty $450 annual fee.

For more info, check out our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

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Best for budget travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Here’s why: If you’re looking for a travel card that won’t break the bank, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. It’s a slimmed down version of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® that comes with a much more affordable $95 annual fee.

While the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns you a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases during the first 3 months after opening the account, you’ll only earn two points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining (and one point per $1 on all other purchases). And you’ll sacrifice benefits like the $300 travel credit, $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit, and complimentary airport lounge access with Priority Pass Select.

Like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® though, you’ll also receive travel insurance and won’t be charged any foreign transaction fees.

If you think you can live without all the bells and whistles, check out our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

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Best for business: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Here’s why: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card could help small-business owners save money when they travel for work.

First, it features the largest sign-up bonus of any Chase credit card. You’ll earn 80,000 points after spending $5,000 during the first 3 months after opening the account. And you’ll get three points for every $1 you spend (up to $150,000 in purchases each year) on travel, shipping, eligible online advertising, Internet, cable and phone services. All other purchases earn one point per $1.

If your business takes you overseas, you’ll appreciate that the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers travel insurance and charges no foreign transaction fees. But you will pay a $95 annual fee.

You can learn more in our review of the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

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Best for simple cash back: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Here’s why: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year on up to $20,000 spent, then a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on every purchase after that.

This straightforward rewards rate is one of the simplest ways to earn cash back. You don’t have to worry about hitting spending categories or maximizing your cash back. Just swipe your card and rest assured that every purchase saves you money. You can then redeem your cash back for a statement credit or direct deposit into your bank account. Plus, there’s no annual fee cutting into your earnings.

You can read more in our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

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Best for cash back with bonus categories: Chase Freedom®

Here’s why: The Chase Freedom® offers a high cash back rate, but it comes with strings attached.

You could earn 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories, but these special categories may not always fit with your purchasing habits. And you must repeatedly activate the offer by the deadline, and it’s limited to the first $1,500 you spend in eligible categories each quarter. You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases, including what you spend in the quarterly category after you hit that $1,500 cap.

If this system sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is.

But if you maximize the rotating categories by spending $6,000 in them collectively over the course of the year, you could walk away with $300 in cash back each year.

You’ll also earn a $150 bonus after you spend $150 on purchases during the first 3 months after account opening, and there’s no annual fee eating into your earnings.

Check out our review of the Chase Freedom®. If you can’t decide which card is best, you can also take a look at our comparison of these two cash back cards from Chase.

Small-business owners might also be interested in the business version of this card: the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card.

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Best for balance transfers: Chase Slate®

Here’s why: The Chase Slate® could help you consolidate debt.

If you’re trying to consolidate credit card debt and you think you can pay it off in a little more than a year, applying for a balance transfer with the no-annual-fee Chase Slate® might be a cheaper way to do it.

The Chase Slate® charges an intro 0% APR on balance transfers (as well as on purchases) for the first 15 months from when your account opens. After the intro period ends, the interest rate climbs to a variable 17.24% to 25.99% for both balance transfers and purchases. Take note that there’s usually a balance transfer fee of 5% (minimum $5), but the card offers an intro fee of $0 for transfers made in the first 60 days after account opening.

Learn more about using this card to consolidate debt in our review of the Chase Slate®.

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How we picked these cards

To find the best Chase credit cards, we combed through all the credit cards on its website.

From there, we narrowed the list down to Chase-branded credit cards, excluding co-branded cards from partners like United, Southwest, British Airways, Marriott, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels, Amazon, Disney and Starbucks. We wanted to focus only on cards that served broad audiences, not just people who frequent particular stores and services.

Then, we separated the remaining cards by their focus on travel, cash back, balance transfers and business — categories we think are probably more relevant to the greatest number of consumers.

How to make the most of your Chase credit card

Chase features some of the best cash back and rewards cards — and one of the best rewards programs — in the industry.

To take full advantage of both, you could pair the Chase Freedom® with one of the Chase Sapphire cards. That way you could earn 5% back in rewards on select quarterly category purchases, 2% or 3% on travel and dining, and 1% on everything else. And by transferring these points to a Sapphire account, you’ll be able to redeem them for a 25% or 50% bonus on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards when you redeem for travel.

But keep in mind, whether you’re trying to earn rewards or consolidate debt, it’s important to have a plan so you can take advantage of sign-up bonuses and other special offers before they expire.

For instance, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® only gives you 3 months after opening the account to spend enough money to earn your sign-up bonus points. Similarly, the Chase Slate® only waives the balance transfer fee for transactions made during the first 60 days of account opening. So it’s important that you don’t apply for these cards until you’re ready to take advantage of these special promotions.