Perhaps you’ve heard of JPMorgan Chase. With over $1.5 million in domestic assets and nearly 5,400 U.S. branches as of June 2016, it’s currently the largest bank in our nation. And as our largest bank, it certainly touts some of the best credit card offers out there. Of course, what card you should apply for — no matter the issuer — hinges on your spending habits and your credit score. It’s also tremendously important to read all the fine print to determine if a piece of plastic is indeed right for you.
How to Get a Chase Credit Card
Practically all Chase credit cards require good credit, so it’s a good idea to see where you stand before you go ahead and apply for one. (You can do so by viewing two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, for free on Credit.com.) If your credit is in rough shape, you may want to try improving your scores before hitting “send” on that application. You can generally raise your scores by paying down existing credit card debts, disputing errors on your credit reports and limiting new credit inquiries.
While we’re on the subject of inquiries, you may want to wait for a few to age off your credit report (assuming you have a few) before applying for a Chase credit card. The issuer told Credit.com in 2016 that multiple card applications in a short period of time can make it more difficult to qualify for its products.
With that in mind, here are our picks for the best Chase credit cards, based off of value, usefulness and flexibility.
Our Picks for the Best Chase Credit Cards
Why We Picked It: As a general purpose rewards credit card geared toward everyday people, its program is appealingly straightforward — and competitive.
Rewards Details: Cardholders earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, no caps, no expiration dates. They can also get a $150 signup bonus when they spend $500 in their first three months as an account holder.
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 14.24% to 23.24%, once the 0% introductory APR, good for 15 months, expires.
Alternative: Chase’s original Freedom credit card could prove more lucrative, depending on how you spend and how much attention you like to pay to the cards you’re using at any given time. The standard Freedom offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in revolving quarterly categories (like gas, restaurants or department stores) and unlimited 1% cash back everywhere else. All other major terms, including the $0 annual fee and signup bonus, are identical to the Unlimited card.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Why We Picked It: This is one of the best because of that giant signup bonus you may have read about. Cardholders can earn 100,000 points (the equivalent of $1,500 if you redeem through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal) if they spend $4,000 in the first three months of opening an account.
Rewards Details: Cardholders earn three times the points on travel and dining purchases, and 1x the points everywhere else. Points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when you redeem them through Ultimate Rewards. The card also comes with a $300 annual travel credit, airport lounge access, no foreign transaction fees and Visa Concierge benefits.
Annual Fee: $450
APR: Variable 16.24% to 23.24%
Alternative: Signup bonus aside, a $450 annual fee can be a big pill to swallow. And if you don’t spend or travel enough, it really might not be worth it. Less frequent fliers can consider Chase Sapphire Preferred, another Visa-backed card that offers lower but still lucrative rewards — two times the points back on travel and dining purchases, 50,000 points (the equivalent of $625) when you spend $4,000 within your first three months as an account holder, and a $200 airline credit in exchange for a $95 annual fee, waived the first year.
Why We Picked It: This one made the list because it’s arguably the best balance transfer credit card on the market.
Offer Details: Cardholders can take advantage of a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for their first 15 months as account holders. There are longer introductory financing offers out there for sure, but the kicker with Chase Slate is that you can skip the balance transfer fee if you move a balance within the first 60 days of opening the account. (After that, you’ll pay 5% of the transferred balance.)
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 13.24% to 23.24%, once the introductory APR expires.
Alternative: If you need a bigger window to pay off a debt, you may want to consider Citi Simplicity, which offers a 0% introductory APR for 21 months alongside a 3% balance transfer fee. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as Chase, advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
At publishing time, the Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Slate and Citi Simplicity are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.