Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points are one of the best transferrable currencies for all sorts of travel. They are incredibly versatile given how you can redeem them. Chase offers eight cards that earn UR points. Their lineup includes both personal and business cards. This post presents my ranking of the Chase Ultimate Rewards earning cards.
The post is arranged from worst to best and the order is determined by how well each card earns points. Other factors like annual fees (or lack thereof) and benefits were not considered for the rankings. However, sign-up bonuses were considered because they are a great way to earn points.
Co-Branded Cards and core Chase cards that do not earn any rewards (such as the Chase Slate) are not included in this list. Cards that earn UR points are the focus of this post.
Special thanks to Wallers Wallet (H/T) who ranked the American Express Membership Rewards Points earning cards in a recent YouTube video.
8) Freedom Student
The Chase Freedom Student Card lies at the bottom of the barrel. It’s the worst earner of the bunch by far. But it’s the easiest to get approved for, especially if you are a student or rebuilding your credit.
The Freedom Student Card earns just one UR point per dollar on all purchases like every other UR-earning card. It also comes with a sign-up bonus worth 5,000 UR points. This bonus can be earned by making just one purchase within the first three months. Furthermore, Chase will reward you with 2,000 UR points (or $20) each year you keep your account in good standing.
A few thousand UR points is great for students. But you can earn so much more with any other Chase UR-earning card. That’s why the Freedom Student Card is last.
7) Freedom Unlimited
As much as I love the Chase Freedom Unlimited, it’s not a great earner relative to its peers. But that does not mean it’s a bad card in general. Ranking the Freedom Unlimited this low only shows how strong Chase’s lineup of core cards really is.
The Freedom Unlimited is a simple card. It earns 1.5x UR points on all purchases and comes with a sign-up bonus worth 15,000 points. This bonus can be earned by spending just $500 within the first three months.
6) Ink Business Unlimited
The Chase Ink Business Unlimited is the business version of the Freedom Unlimited. Having this card with the Freedom Unlimited is beneficial for separating business expenses from personal expenses. But in terms of earning, this is the weakest of the three Chase business cards.
The Ink Business Unlimited, like its personal counterpart, is a simple card. It too earns 1.5x UR points on all purchases. But what puts it above the Freedom Unlimited is its higher sign-up bonus, which is worth 50,000 points. This bonus can be earned by spending $3,000 within the first three months. Nonetheless, this bonus is one of the best in the industry among no annual fee cards.
5) Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an interesting card. It has an excellent sign-up bonus and a weak earning structure. But its still one of the best cards for beginners and those who cannot get the Sapphire Reserve right away.
Unfortunately, the Sapphire Preferred earns just 2x UR points per dollar on Travel and Dining. While Chase’s definitions of both categories are broad, there are no other bonus categories. This card might rank higher if Chase revamped it by giving it different categories (such as Groceries and Gas). Removing the One Sapphire Rule is also a great idea if such a revamp was done.
But what places the Sapphire Preferred fifth is its sign-up bonus. The Sapphire Preferred comes with a bonus worth 60,000 points. It can be earned by spending $4,000 within the first three months. If not for this bonus, the Sapphire Preferred would rank much lower.
The classic Chase Freedom is the best personal Chase card for those who do not want to pay an annual fee. It has a unique earning structure that can be leveraged depending on your expenses.
The Chase Freedom earns 5x UR points within quarterly rotating categories. Chase recently revealed the first quarter’s categories for 2020 and they are great for a plethora of people. However, there are certain quarters that are not so great. Your mileage may vary. Another limitation of the Chase Freedom is that quarterly categories are capped at $1,500. That means you can only spend $1,500 within a 5x category before maximizing it. Thereafter, you will earn just one point per dollar.
Moreover, the Chase Freedom was my most recent card acquisition in the spring of 2019. I got it for its sign-up bonus and I’m keeping it for the quarterly categories. The Freedom comes with a sign-up bonus worth 15,000 UR points. You can earn it by spending just $500.
3) Sapphire Reserve
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is Chase’s only premium card. As much as I wanted to rank this card higher, it does not have the same earning opportunities as two other cards on this list. This is the best personal Chase card you can get for earning. I would rank the Sapphire Reserve #1 if the list were based on perks and premium benefits.
Nonetheless, the Reserve earns 3x UR points on Dining and Travel, the same broad categories as the Sapphire Preferred. There are no other bonus categories that can propel the Reserve higher. However, this card comes with a nice sign-up bonus worth 50,000 UR points. The bonus can be earned by spending $4,000 within the first three months.
2) Ink Business Cash
The Chase Ink Business Cash is one the of most underrated business credit cards in the industry. It ranks second because of its excellent sign-up bonus and category multipliers. Plus, it has no annual fee, making it a great keeper card.
The Ink Business Cash earns 5x UR points at Office Supply Stores as well as for Internet, Cable TV, and Phone Bills. Furthermore, it earns 2x points for Dining and Gas. All categories have an annual limit of $25,000. This makes the Ink Business Cash great for smaller businesses that only want one card. However, going over the limit means that your business can use multiple cards and earn even more points every year.
But the Ink Business Cash is not just a great long-term earner. In the short term, it comes with a sign-up bonus worth 50,000 UR points. This bonus can be earned by spending $3,000 within the first three months.
1) Ink Business Preferred
Topping the list is the Ink Business Preferred, which is Chase’s most premium card for businesses. This card is one of my favorites for entrepreneurs and business owners because of its amazing earning structure and sign-up bonus. These reasons are also why the Ink Business Preferred tops the list.
The Ink Business Preferred earns 3x UR points on the following categories:
- General Travel
- Cable & TV Services
- Internet Services
- Phone Services
- Social Media and Search Engine Advertising Purchases
That’s a lot of categories! There is a $150,000 annual limit on all six categories, meaning that you can earn up to 450,000 UR points per year. Having so many categories is huge for many businesses. That’s why the Ink Business Preferred is one of favorite cards for businesses.
Furthermore, the Ink Business Preferred has Chase’s highest overall sign-up bonus at a whopping 80,000 UR points. It can be earned by spending $5,000 within the first three months. Only certain American Express cards have more valuable bonuses. But the minimum spend requirements are often more than $5,000.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the best and most versatile transferrable points currencies in the industry. They are great for beginners and seasoned travelers alike. Fortunately, Chase offers eight great cards that let you earn UR points in different ways.
This post presents my ranking of the Chase UR earning cards based on earning opportunities. The list will look different if you account for perks, redemption options, and annual fees.
It looks like the Ink Business Preferred and the Ink Business Cash have a lot of overlapping bonus categories. The Ink Business Cash looks like a great cash back card. I might consider it next year once under 5/24.