The 5 best Chase credit cards of 2022

Looking for a credit card that offers 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:

Intro BonusEarn 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®.

APR16.24% – 23.24% Variable

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3x on dining.
  • 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

Annual Fee$95

Intro Purchase APRN/A

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 Reserve 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 80,000 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 80,000 points, for example, they’d be worth $1,000 toward travel if you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

There are perks, too. For frequent travelers, the Sapphire Reserve 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.

Pros

  • High welcome bonus
  • Generous rewards program
  • Statement credit and bonus points each anniversary

Cons

  • Annual fee
  • You’ll need good credit to qualify

Intro BonusIntro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!

APR15.24% to 23.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
  • 1.5% on all other purchases

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

No matter how you spend, you can earn a lot of cash back quickly with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. You’ll get 5% cash back on all travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3% on dining at restaurants, including for takeout and eligible delivery services; 3% on purchases made at drugstores; and 1.5% on all other purchases. 

The card also offers a solid welcome bonus. You’ll earn $200 cash back if you spend $500 on purchases during the first three months of opening your account and 5% cash back on gas station purchases on up to $6,000 charged in the first year of opening your account. 

Redeeming is easy, too. Cash back does not expire as long as you keep your account open, and there is no minimum needed to redeem your cash. The card also doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Pros

  • Solid welcome offer
  • Easy to earn cash back in several spending categories
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Few additional perks
  • Need strong credit to qualify

Intro BonusEarn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

APR17.24% – 24.24% Variable

Recommended Credit Excellent Credit

Reward Rates

  • Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3x points on other travel and dining.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Annual Fee$550

Intro Purchase APRN/A

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 50,000 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 $750 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. 

Pros

  • Strong rewards program
  • Plenty of travel perks
  • Generous welcome bonus

Cons

  • High annual fee
  • Need a high credit score to qualify

Intro BonusEarn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

APR15.24% to 23.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Excellent, Good

Reward Rates

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Do you use your credit cards to pay for purchases in a wide variety of categories? If so, the Chase Freedom Flex might be the smart choice for you. That’s because every quarter, the card offers a new 5% cash back category.  In January through March of this year, for instance, you’d earn 5% back on purchases made at grocery stores, excluding Target and Walmart. In April through June, the Freedom Flex was offering 5% cash back on purchases made on Amazon.com and on select streaming services. As of the writing of this story, Chase had not announced its 5% cash back categories for July through September or October through December. 

You’ll also earn cash back on purchases not in the rotating 5% categories. The Freedom Flex offers 3% back on purchases made on dining at restaurants, including takeout and with eligible delivery services, and on all drugstore purchases. You’ll earn 1% back on all other purchases. You’ll earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first three months from opening your account. You’ll also earn 5% cash back on gas station purchases of up to $6,000 in your first year with the card.

Cash back rewards do not expire, and you can redeem them in several ways: turn them into gift cards, use them to purchase airline tickets or hotel stays, shop with them at Amazon.com, or receive them as a statement credit or direct deposit into your checking/savings account. And you get all this with no annual fee. 

Pros

  • Rotating 5% cash back categories
  • 3% or 1% cash back on all other purchase
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Only 1% cash on purchases that don’t fall into special categories
  • 5% cash back categories might not be a good fit for your spending habits
  • Few perks besides cash back program

Intro BonusEarn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

APR16.24% to 23.24% Variable

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn 2X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

Annual Fee$69

Intro Purchase APRN/A

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: 40,000 points if you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months after opening your account. 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. 

Pros

  • Solid rewards program
  • Generous welcome offer
  • No limits on rewards

Cons

  • This card does charge an annual fee
  • 1 point on everyday purchases is not overly generous

What is the best Chase credit card?

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 80,000 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.

Card name

Welcome bonus

Rewards program

Annual fee

Chase Sapphire Preferred

80,000 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

$95

Chase Freedom Unlimited

$200 cash back if you spend $500 during first three months of opening account

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

50,000 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

$550

Chase Freedom Flex

You’ll earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first three months from opening your account. You’ll also earn 5% cash back on gas station purchases up to $6,000 in your first year with the card.

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

40,000 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

$69

Which credit card is the right one for you?

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. 

What credit score do you need for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

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.

How did we choose these cards?

When looking for the best Chase credit cards, we considered several factors: 

  • Rewards: We searched for cards that offered generous rewards programs, whether in the form of points, miles, or cash back. We only selected cards that give consumers plenty of options to earn rewards. 
  • Welcome bonuses: The top credit cards offer solid welcome bonuses, such as additional points or cash back if you use your card to make a certain amount of purchases during a set period of time. We only chose cards that had welcome bonuses that were not only valuable but reasonably attainable. 
  • Annual fees: Many of the more valuable rewards cards charge annual fees. When researching this list, we made sure that the annual fees were appropriate for the perks and rewards cardholders receive. Some cards on this list might charge high annual fees. What matters is if the rewards they offer are high enough to justify these fees. 
  • Perks: When judging a credit card, the perks it offers matter, too. We looked for cards that provide such benefits as trip-cancelation insurance, discounts on hotel stays and access to airport lounges. 
  • Ease of redeeming points and cash back: We also searched for cards that made it easy for consumers to redeem their cash back, miles, or points. This meant cards in which points and cash back don’t expire and those in which cardholders don’t need a minimum amount to cash in.

Are there alternative credit cards worth considering?

While Chase offers plenty of solid credit cards, you can also choose good options from other providers. 

  • Discover it Cash Back: This card charges no annual fee and offers 5% cash back in a series of categories that rotate throughout the year, such as purchases you make at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and fitness clubs. You’ll earn 1% back on all other purchases.
  • Venture X Rewards: This credit card from Capital One gives you 10 miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, five miles on flights booked through Capital One travel, and two miles on all other purchases. You can also earn 75,000 welcome miles if you spend $4,000 on purchases during the first three months of opening your account. The Venture X Rewards card isn’t free, though: the annual fee is $395.
  • Wells Fargo Active Cash Card: The big draw of this card? Its simplicity. You’ll earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases you make. You can also earn $200 in cash back if you charge $1,000 during the first three months of opening your account. The card does not charge an annual fee.