The best Chase travel cards: August 2021 review

Gabriela Peratello
7 minute read

Using a credit card which offers rewards and perks on travel can be a great way to access discounts and exclusive offers, so you can treat yourself for less. Chase offers a range of credit cards which have different reward opportunities, including general travel cards, hotel cards and cards specifically for frequent flyers.

This guide introduces the features of Chase travel cards — with a deeper review of 3 of our favorites. We’ll also touch on the Wise Multi-currency Account as a smart solution to cut the costs of spending abroad.

📑 Table of Contents

Overview: Chase travel credit cards

Chase has 18 different consumer travel cards, and a further 4 business travel cards. That might make picking one a little daunting. To make life a little easier, check out our full review of some of the most popular Chase travel cards which is coming right up.

    Overall, Chase cards have some excellent rewards and competitive interest rates for people with good to excellent credit scores. Here are some of the key features to know about¹:
    • Select Chase general travel cards, or a partner card such as the Chase Disney, airline and hotel cards
    • Earn rewards, free hotel stays, upgrades and flights, depending on the card you select
    • Annual fees vary from zero to 550 USD/year for personal cards
    • All cards have opening offers for new cardholders, which can include extra rewards and discounts
    • Variable APRs apply based on your credit score and card choice — expect a range of 15.99% - 23.99%

    Compare the Chase travel cards with other providers

    Doing some homework before you choose a travel card makes good sense. Fees, interest rates and rewards vary widely between providers, so comparing a few is the best way to see which is the right card for your needs. Let’s take a look at one of the Chase travel cards — Sapphire Preferred — compared to similar products from other major providers.

    We’ll dive into this — and other Chase cards — in more detail in just a moment.

    Chase Sapphire Preferred²Bank of America Travel Rewards³American Express Platinum Travel Card⁴Discover it Miles Travel Card⁵
    Fees95 USD annual feeNo annual fee695 USD annual feeNo annual fee
    APR15.99% - 22.99% variable
      Intro APR of 0% for 12 months
      13.99% - 23.99% variable
    15.99% - 22.99% variable
      Intro purchase APR of 0% and balance purchase APR of 10.99% for 14 months
      11.99% - 22.99% variable
    Foreign transaction feeNo foreign transaction feeNo foreign transaction feeNo foreign transaction feeNo foreign transaction fee
    Recommended creditGood - excellentGood - excellentGood - excellent
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      • Hold dozens of different currencies
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      Chase Travel credit cards cards full review

      To help you navigate the broad range of Chase travel credit cards on offer we’ve selected some of the most popular to look at in more detail.

      Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card

      ✅ Pros❎ Cons
      • Chase’s best ever opening offer for new members — earn up to 1,250 USD to spend on travel
      • Transfer points to other travel reward schemes if you want
      • Double rewards on dining and travel spend
      • Use your rewards on travel for the best redemption rate — other categories aren’t so generous
      • Variable APR based on credit score — this card is best for people with good to excellent credit

      The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card⁶ can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and offers 1 point per dollar spend for most categories, and 2 points per dollar on dining, travel and takeouts. Other smart perks include travel insurance, emergency assistance and purchase protection.

      Features

      • 2 points per dollar spend on dining and travel, 1 point per dollar on all other spend
      • Great opening offers for new card holders
      • No foreign transaction fees
      • Additional perks, discounts and rewards with selected partner retailers
      • Purchases and trips could be covered by insurance you can call on if anything goes wrong
      • 24/7 customer service support

      Fees and charges

      Before you sign up for any credit card, you’ll want to understand the full range of fees and charges. Here are the key costs for the Chase Sapphire Preferred travel card — get the full terms and conditions online².

      Fee typeChase Sapphire Preferred cost
      Annual fee95 USD
      APR
      • Variable rate: 15.99% - 22.99%
      • Penalty APR up to 29.99%
      My Chase Plan fee1.72%
      Late payment feeUp to 40 USD
      Returned payment feeUp to 40 USD

      It’s worth mentioning the My Chase Plan option, which is available on many Chase credit cards. This plan breaks down the cost of larger purchases over 100 USD into fixed monthly payments which do not attract interest as long as you keep up to date. Instead of interest there is a fixed monthly percentage charge until the full amount is repaid.

      Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card

      ✅ Pros❎ Cons
      • Opening offer could be worth 900 USD on travel
      • Earn 3x rewards on dining and travel, plus annual 300 USD travel credit
      • Relatively high annual fee
      • Top end interest rates are on the high side — not ideal if you have a poor credit score

      The Chase Sapphire Reserve⁷ comes with a high annual fee, but the opportunity to earn rewards at an increased speed. That may make this card a good option if you use your credit card for travel and dining frequently.

      Features

      • 3 points per dollar spend on dining and travel, 1 point per dollar on all other spend
      • 50% better reward redemption rate when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
      • 300 USD annual travel credit, complimentary airport lounge access and luxury hotel benefits
      • No foreign transaction fees
      • Purchases and trips could be covered by cancellation, medical and other handy insurance policies for no extra fee
      • 24/7 customer service support

      Fees and charges

      Weigh up the features and fees of any travel credit card carefully. The most common charges are set out here, and you can get a full rundown of the card terms and conditions in the online product disclosure⁸.

      Fee typeChase Sapphire Reserve cost
      Annual fee550 USD
      APR
      • Variable rate: 16.99% - 23.99%
      • Penalty APR up to 29.99%
      My Chase Plan fee1.72%
      Late payment feeUp to 40 USD
      Returned payment feeUp to 40 USD

      Ink Business Preferred credit card

      ✅ Pros❎ Cons
      • Opening offer could be worth 1,000 USD in cashback, or 1,250 USD on travel spend
      • 3x reward points on travel and some business spend
      • Order employee cards and set individual limits
      • 3x reward categories are fairly limited and may not suit all business types

      If you’re looking for a travel credit card you can use for your business travel, the Ink Business Preferred card⁹ might be the one for you. The annual fee of 95 USD is relatively low, and you can then order additional cards for employees to manage team spending.

      Features

      • Low annual fee of 95 USD
      • Employee cards can be ordered free and managed individually
      • 3 reward points per dollar on travel, shipping, business advertising and some office costs, to a maximum of 150,000 USD spend/year — 1 point per dollar on all other spend
      • Points do not expire
      • Redeem points for cash or travel — travel purchases get a 25% bonus on redemption rate
      • No foreign transaction fee

      Fees and charges

      Chase has a range of 4 different business travel credit cards, so it's worth checking the features and fees of a couple of them to see which fits your needs. Here are the key costs for the Ink Business Preferred card¹⁰:

      Fee typeInk Business Preferred cost
      Annual fee95 USD
      APR
      • Variable rate: 15.99% - 20.99%
      • Penalty APR up to 29.99%
      My Chase Plan feeNot available
      Late payment feeUp to 40 USD
      Returned payment feeUp to 40 USD

      Rewards

      Of course, if you are choosing a travel credit card, finding one with the best available rewards is important. You’ll want to check how you can earn points, and also where and how points can be redeemed, to make sure you’re making the most of your spending.

      Here’s a rundown of the three Chase cards we’ve picked so you can see how they measure up side by side.

      How to earn RewardsHow to redeem Rewards
      Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card2x rewards on travel and dining, 1 point per dollar on all other spendUse as statement credits or to book travel through Chase — 25% extra credit when you choose travel
      Chase Sapphire Reserve3x rewards on travel and dining, 1 point per dollar on all other spendUse as statement credits or to book travel through Chase — 50% extra credit when you choose travel
      Ink Business Preferred credit card3x rewards on travel and some business spend, 1 point per dollar on all other spendCash back or travel credit — 25% extra credit when you choose travel

      Fees and charges

      Check out this side by side comparison of the key fees and interest rates, to help you pick between the different Chase cards.

      Fee typeChase Sapphire Preferred costChase Sapphire Reserve costInk Business Preferred cost
      Annual fee95 USD550 USD95 USD
      APR
      • Variable rate: 15.99% - 22.99%
      • Penalty APR up to 29.99%
      • Variable rate: 16.99% - 23.99%
      • Penalty APR up to 29.99%
      • Variable rate: 15.99% - 20.99%
      • Penalty APR up to 29.99%
      My Chase Plan fee1.72%1.72%Not available
      Late payment feeUp to 40 USDUp to 40 USDUp to 40 USD
      Returned payment feeUp to 40 USDUp to 40 USDUp to 40 USD

      Spending internationally: exchange rate

      The Chase travel credit cards we selected do not charge a foreign transaction fee when you spend abroad, or shop online with international retailers. In most cases your purchase will be converted back to dollars using the Visa exchange rate which is active at the time the payment is processed. It’s worth knowing that the rate you get isn’t necessarily the rate at the time you make your purchase — it’s often a day or two before your card is charged, and you’ll receive the live Visa rate at that point.

      It’s also important to avoid dynamic currency conversion (DCC) when you spend internationally using your credit card. DCC is where you’re given the choice to pay in dollars or the local currency wherever you are. If you pick to pay in dollars you’ll end up spending more, because the exchange rate is selected by the retailer’s network, not Visa. Pay in the local currency where you are to get the best deal.

      Use the mid-market rate on international purchases: meet Wise

      If you’d rather know the exchange rate you’re getting before you make a purchase, check out the Wise Multi-currency Account and card. Open a free account online, top up with dollars and switch to the currency you need using the Wise app. With Wise you’ll always get the live mid-market exchange rate with no markups or hidden fees. Simply pay the low, transparent charge to switch currencies and then it’s free to spend using your linked card. Spend on and offline all over the world, and save money on fees as you travel.

      🚀 Start saving with Wise

      Check how Wise compares with Chase below:

      The true cost of sending USD to GBP


      Getting a travel credit card can be a good option if you’re looking to earn rewards you can use later to pay for experiences, tickets and more. Use this guide to help you figure out which card from Chase might best suit your needs. And don’t forget, the right card for your travels may not be a credit card at all. Take a look at the Wise Multi-currency Account and card to unlock low cost currency conversion wherever in the world you’re headed.


      Sources:

      1. Chase - Travel credit cards
      2. Chase - Pricing and terms
      3. Bank of America - Credit cards terms and conditions
      4. American Express - Platinum card
      5. Discover - Travel credit cards
      6. Chase - Sapphire preferred
      7. Chase - Sapphire reserve
      8. Chase - Pricing and terms
      9. Chase - Ink business preferred
      10. Chase - Pricing and terms

      Sources checked on 08.17.2021.


      This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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