'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com This compensation may impact how and where links appear. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers.
Looking for the top credit cards that offer a generous rewards program? Maybe you want a card that helps you earn plenty of cash back each year. Or maybe you're searching for a card that rewards you with thousands of points as a welcome bonus. Maybe you even want travel benefits included with your card.
The good news? Chase has a card for you.
Chase offers many credit cards that are perfect for frequent flyers, foodies, and even those who spend big money at the gas pump. But which Chase card is best for you? Here are the best options:
Travel often? You'll earn 5 points for every dollar you charge with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card through. its Chase Ultimate Rewards program. You'll also earn 2 points for every dollar you charge on other travel purchases. Eat out several times a week? You'll earn 3 points for every dollar you charge on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout. And if your grocery bill is high each month, every dollar you charge on online grocery purchases -- excluding at Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs -- will also generate 3 points. Finally, if you like TV shows and movies, the Sapphire Preferred will give you 3 points for every dollar you spend on select streaming services. You'll also earn 1 point per dollar charged on all other purchases.
If you charge $4,000 during the first three months after opening your account, you'll earn a welcome bonus of 60,000 points. And on each anniversary of opening your account, you'll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases from the previous year. If you spent $30,000 on purchases, then, you'd earn 3,000 bonus points on your anniversary.
You'll also earn $50 in statement credits each year that you can spend on hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. And when you redeem your points through this rewards portal, they are worth 25% more. If you earn 60,000 points, for example, they'd be worth $750 toward travel if you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
There are perks, too. For frequent travelers, the Sapphire Preferred offers baggage-delay insurance, trip-delay reimbursement, travel and emergency assistance services, and trip-cancelation insurance. You can also transfer your points to 11 airline travel partners and three hotel travel partners on a 1-to-1 basis. The card offers purchase protection and extended warranty protection.
You'll get all this with a relatively modest annual fee of $95.
It comes at a high cost, with a $550 annual fee. But he Chase Sapphire Reserve card also comes with big rewards potential. How big? You'll earn 10 rewards points for every dollar you charge on hotels and car rentals through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You'll earn the same 10 points for every dollar you charge on Chase Dining purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
You'll also earn 5 points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3 on other travel and dining purchases, and 1 point on all other purchases.
As you can see, the potential is there to earn plenty of rewards each month. You'll also gain 60,000 bonus rewards points if you spend at least $4,000 with your card during the first three months of opening your account. If you redeem these rewards through Chase Ultimate Rewards, that comes out to $900 that you can use toward your travel purchases.
If you're a frequent traveler, the Sapphire Reserve comes with travel perks, too. This includes a credit to pay for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck at airports, complimentary access to airport lounges in more than 500 cities across the globe, and savings at several hotels and resorts. As an added treat, you'll automatically receive up to $300 in statement credits on your account-opening anniversary date as a reimbursement for the travel purchases that you make with your card.
If you travel frequently with Southwest Airlines, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus credit card is a great choice.
You'll earn 2 points for every dollar you charge on Southwest purchases and for each dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners. The card also rewards 2 points for every dollar you charge on local transit and commuting, including ride-sharing services, and for each dollar spent on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services. You'll also earn 1 point on all other purchases you make with this card.
The card offers a solid intro offer: Earn 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. On your anniversary date, you'll earn 3,000 bonus points.
Frequent flyers get extra perks, too. Cardmembers get two EarlyBird Check-Ins with Southwest Airlines each year and 25% back on in-flight purchases.This card is not free, but the annual fee of $69 is not overly excessive for a card offering these perks.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the best thanks to its generous rewards program. The opportunity to earn 5 points on purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3 points for purchases at restaurants and grocery stores means that you can earn big rewards points quickly.
Also attractive is the bonus offer of 60,000 points, and you'll only have to charge $4,000 in the first three months of opening your account to get it.
The card's perks -- such as baggage-delay insurance, trip-delay protection, and trip-cancelation insurance -- also make this a winning card.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
60,000 points if you charge $4,000 during first three months of opening account
5 points on purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3 points on restaurant, grocery store and streaming services; 1 point on all other purchases
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Additional 1.5% cash back on purchases the first year, up to $20,000
5% cash back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3% on restaurants; 3% on drugstore purchases; 1.5% on all other purchases
No annual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve
60,000 points if you spend at least $4,000 during first three months of account opening
10 points for every dollar on hotels, car rentals, and dining through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 5 points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3 points on other travel and dining purchases; 1 point on all other purchases
Chase Freedom Flex
You'll earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first three months from opening your account.
5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter; 3% cash back on purchases at restaurants and drugstores; 1% cash back on all other purchases
No annual fee
Southwest Rapids Rewards Plus
50,000 points if you charge $1,000 during the first three months of opening your account
2 points for every dollar you charge on Southwest purchases and for each dollar spent on Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners; 2 points for local transit and commuting, including ride-sharing services; 2 points for Internet, cable, phone services and select streaming services; 1 point on all other purchases
When searching for a credit card, it's important to keep your buying habits in mind. Do you spend heavily in one category each month, such as at grocery stores or restaurants? Or is your spending spread out? Your spending habits are the most important factor to consider when searching for the right rewards card for you.
If you spend most of your money at grocery stores and dining out, look for a card that provides the most rewards for those purchases. If you're constantly charging gas purchases, look for a card that provides the most cash back or rewards pumps for fuel charges.
And if you spend in a wide variety of categories each month? You might look for a card that offers higher cash-back bonuses in specific categories that rotate.
Do you have a lot of existing credit card debt? If you are burdened with credit card debt, consider a credit card that offers 0% interest on balance transfers for a limited time. Many cards will let you transfer debt from other cards at an interest rate of 0% for 12 to 18 months. If you pay off this debt during that period, you'll be able to eliminate it without paying high interest rates. Just make sure you pay off that debt before the 0% offer ends.
Are you a frequent traveler? If you fly often, look for a credit card that provides miles instead of cash back. You can then use those miles to book free flights around the globe.
Do you want more flexibility? If you want the option to use your rewards however you want, a card that offers cash back might be a good choice. You can usually have this cash back deposited directly into your bank accounts, use it to pay down your credit card's balance, turn it into gift cards, or even send it to a charity.
How strong is your credit score? The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for credit cards with strong rewards programs and valuable welcome bonuses. If your score is low, though, you might have to settle for a more basic card. Use that card and pay off your purchases in full each month. Over time, this record of on-time payments will help boost your credit score.
Chase doesn't provide a specific credit score to qualify for this card. You'll increase your chances, though, if your FICO credit score is 740 or higher.
When looking for the best Chase credit cards, we considered several factors:
While Chase offers plenty of solid credit cards, you can also choose good options from other providers.