Chase is a bank that has some of the best credit cards out there.
- The Chase Ink Preferred
- 80k UR Sign Up Bonus
- 3x points on Plastiq (How I make a good return paying my student loans)
- 3x points on travel, dining, and advertising
- Primary phone insurance
- 1.25x redemption value through the UR Portal
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve
- 50k UR Sign Up Bonus
- 3x points on dining and travel
- Trip Delay and primary rental car insurance
- Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit
- 1.5x redemption value through the UR Portal
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- 50k UR Sign Up Bonus plus 5k AU Bonus
- 2x points on dining and travel
- 1.25x redemption value through UR Portal
Each of the above cards give you the ability to transfer to partner airlines to get some sweet spot redemptions if you know how to use them. The only issue is, if you do not have a great credit score or if you have never had a Chase credit card before, you may be denied when you apply for these premium cards. To make sure that you have the highest potential success rate when applying, it is important to start a prior relationship with Chase using one of their lower tier credit cards. This will burn a 5/24 spot (more on that in a later post) but it may be worth it to ensure you can be approved for premium cards later on.
Currently there are a few solid lower tier Chase cards but in my opinion, the best starter ones are the Freedom cards. These both give you a small amount of UR as a sign up bonus and have no annual fees. Check out the breakdowns below for each of the Freedoms.
The Chase Freedom is a $0 annual fee card that gives you 1x UR points for every purchase and 5x UR points for purchases in categories that rotate quarterly basis. The typical quarter varies but usually encompasses a few categories such as the examples of previous quarters below.
- Quarter 1 - Gas stations, mobile payments, internet/cable/phone services
- Quarter 2 - Grocery Stores (No Walmart or Target) and paypal/Chase Pay
- Quarter 3(Current) - Gas Stations, Lyft, Walgreens
This card comes with a 15k UR sign up bonus after a $500 spend in 120 days which should be pretty easily attainable for most people. This 15k UR can be used as a statement credit worth $150 or it can be saved for when you get a premium card because you will be able to get a much higher value once you can take advantage of travel partners.
If you are capable of utilizing these rotating quarters then the Freedom will be a great card for you, otherwise, you should check out the Freedom Unlimited below.
The Freedom Unlimited
The Freedom Unlimited is similar to the Freedom in its sign up bonus but that is about it. This card makes it much easier to earn UR with little hassle because it gives you 1.5x UR points for each dollar spent. That means that everyday non-category spending gets you more points with the FU, but, you lost out on any possibility of the 5x points with the Freedom. Personally, I hold the Freedom and do a decent job of utilizing the categories every quarter but for lazy people the FU is king.
If neither of these cards float your boat then the only time I would recommend a different one is if you frequently shop at Amazon and/or Whole foods. In that situation, I would recommend the Amazon Visa card because it gives you 5% back on purchases at both of those places.
Well, those are what I believe to be the best lower tier Chase cards for a beginner to get started in the Credit Card game. If you have any questions feel free to message me! My next post is going to be a breakdown of some important rules at the various banks. Following these rules will dramatically increase your odds of an approval. Until then, thanks again and take care!