A Look at Chase Credit Card Options & How to Qualify for Them

FT Contributor  | 

With so many credit card options, it may feel overwhelming to try and identify the card that’s the most beneficial for you. Some credit card companies set strict qualifications, making it impossible to qualify for certain card options unless you have a high credit score.

Dealing with the various terms of these cards, as well as the possibility of credit card rejection, may make you want to avoid applying for a card altogether. However, if you’re a responsible borrower, a credit card can help you build a positive credit history. If you’re looking for the ideal card, review the details on these Chase credit cards.

Types and Benefits of Chase Credit Cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card offers a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. Cardholders also benefit from no annual fee and no minimum interest charge. When you open an account, you earn $200 cash back if you spend $500 on your card in the first three months.

While these are great perks, fees you may be subject to include the following:

  • Purchase APR: 16.49% to 25.24% after the first 15 months.
  • Cash advances: 26.49% APR and either $10 or 5% of the transaction amount, whichever is greater.
  • Balance transfers: 16.49% to 25.24% APR and either $5 or 3% of each transfer within the first 60 days, then either $5 or 5% of the transfer amount.
  • Foreign transactions: 3% of the transaction in U.S. dollars.
  • Late or returned payment fees: Up to $39.

The Freedom Unlimited card doesn’t charge fees for exceeding your credit limit or for a returned check.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, you must pay a $95 annual fee. However, there’s no minimum interest charge and no foreign transaction fees. When you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months, you earn 60,000 bonus points.

Some of the charges you may encounter include the following:

  • Purchase APR: 17.49% to 24.49%.
  • Cash advances: 26.49% APR and a fee of either $10 or 5% of the transaction amount, whichever is greater.
  • Balance transfers: 17.49% to 24.49% APR and a fee of either $5 or 5% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater.
  • Late or returned payment fees: Up to $39.

If you pay your entire balance within 21 days of the statement period closing date, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card terms are similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. You’re responsible for a $95 annual fee but you benefit from free foreign transactions, no returned check fees, and no minimum interest charges. You earn 100,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 in the first three months you own the account.

The purchase APR and fees for cash advances, balance transfers, and late or returned payments are the same as the Chase Sapphire card. However, with this card, you benefit from one free night at select properties every year on your account anniversary.

Southwest Rapid Rewards

The Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card charges a $69 annual fee with no fees for going over your credit limit. There are also no returned check fees and no minimum interest charge.

This card is associated with a generous rewards program geared toward free travel on Southwest Airlines. You earn 40,000 bonus reward points if you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional 35,000 points if you spend $5,000 in the first six months. You also earn an extra 3,000 points on your cardholder anniversary date each year. As a cardholder, you benefit from free first and second checked bags and $0 in change fees when you fly Southwest Airlines.

However, it’s important to review and understand credit card terms and conditions, including:

  • Purchase APR: 17.49% to 24.49%.
  • Cash advances: 26.49% APR and a fee of either $10 or 5% of the transaction amount, whichever is greater.
  • Balance transfers: 17.49% to 24.49% APR and a fee of either $5 or 5% of the transfer amount, whichever is greater.
  • Foreign transactions: 3% of the transaction in U.S. dollars.
  • Late or returned payment fees: Up to $39.

While you aren’t charged interest if you pay your entire balance before its due date, interest charges for balance transfers and cash advances begin on the transaction date.

Chase Credit Card Cashback Match

All Chase cards are associated with credit card rewards programs. However, each card offers different cashback rewards, which include the following:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: 1.5% cash back on every purchase, redeemable with no minimum and never expires.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: One point per dollar and double points for travel and dining purchases; redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Travel program and get 25% more value.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless: Two points for every dollar spent on regular purchases and six points for every dollar spent at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, with no expiration date.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards: One point for every dollar spent and double points for purchases through Southwest Airlines, redeemable for unlimited reward seats with no blackout dates.

Chase Credit Card Minimum Credit Score

To qualify for a Chase credit card, you must have at least a “good” credit rating, which is 670 or higher. According to Experian, the average credit score in the U.S. is 703, so most would qualify for a Chase credit card.

Chase Credit Card Credit Limit

The credit card limit you qualify for depends on your income, credit score, and debt. The higher your credit score, the more likely you’ll have a higher credit limit.

If you’re approved for a Platinum account with Chase, your minimum credit limit is $500 and if you’re approved for a Signature account, it’s $5,000. Chase can raise or lower your credit limit at any time based on your borrowing habits.

How to Apply for Chase Credit Cards

You may apply for a credit card with Chase online or by mail. If you apply online, you must create an account and provide your information. Your credit is pulled and when you’re approved for a credit card, you’re provided with information on its terms and credit limit.

The card is mailed to your address. Once you receive it, follow the instructions to activate it. Then, use your card to make purchases and earn rewards points.

Using Chase Credit Cards in Your Credit Strategy

Since Chase credit cards are associated with generous rewards programs, you may want to add this card to your credit strategy. However, it’s important to remember the card may have:

  • A potentially high APR for financed purchases.
  • An annual fee.
  • Fees associated with balance transfers and cash advances.
  • Late or returned payment penalty fees.
  • Possible foreign transaction fees.

If you remain a responsible borrower and keep your balance low, you can benefit from the rewards program while building positive credit.


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