Credit Card Reviews

Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited: Is One Better For You?

Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer. Thank you for supporting us.  We appreciate you.

The Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited debate is a simple one to tackle.  Both credit cards are very similar, besides one important factor.  How they earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  They even have such a similar card name that people often confuse which card is which.  The Chase Freedom credit card is the original card which offers bonus categories that earn 5 points per $1 spent that rotate quarterly.  The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is the successor which offers a consistent 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.  The debate of frequent travelers and credit card experts is over which card is better for earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

 

Both Cards are the Same, Except for Earning Points

Everything about the two credit cards is identical besides how they earn points.  We will save you from looking at a comparison chart with only one difference.  We’ll focus in on the one important difference.  First we’ll briefly run through what the cards have in common.  Both the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited have the following features:

  • $150 Introductory Offer (15,000 Ultimate Rewards)
  • $25 for adding Authorized User (2500 Ultimate Rewards)
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months
  • No Annual Fee

You’ll Need a Good to Great Credit Score

Note that both cards have a 3% foreign transaction fee, so they aren’t the best cards to use while traveling internationally.  They both also get approvals with credit scores in the range of good to great (670+).  If your credit score is not at this level yet, learn about the credit cards available to those with fair credit.  The one difference these two credit cards have is how points are earned.

 

chase freedom vs chase freedom unlimited pinterest

 

The Chase Freedom earns 5 points per $1 spent on rotating categories, like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, department stores, phone bills, or cable bills.  They also have categories such as using Chase Pay or Apple Pay on your phone.  Each quarter there will typically be 3 different categories that earn the 5X bonus.  These category bonuses are limited to $1500 of spending each quarter.  So, the maximum amount of points earned per quarter is 7,500.  All other purchases will earn 1 point per $1 spent.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has no rotating categories, and simply earns 1.5 points on each and every purchase.  It has no spending limit for its earning rate.  The Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Freedom debate comes down to which of these two no-fee credit cards is best for you.

Let’s compare the Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited using the scenario of a person who spends $2,000 per month.

 

ScenarioQuarterly Points Earned with FreedomQuarterly Points Earned with Freedom Unlimited
1. Max Out All Quarterly Bonuses80003000
2. 50% of Spend in Quarterly Bonuses50003000
3. 25% of Spend in Quarterly Bonuses35003000

Chase Freedom Unlimited Review: Better for Simplification

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is great for people who don’t want to worry about where and when they spend their money, but still want an elevated rate of earning points.  By earning 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, you can simply use the card and earn the same amount of points on everything.  Never worry about going to a certain store or gas station, or activating any category bonuses.  This card is for no-nonsense people who just want simplicity.  If this is you, the Chase Freedom Unlimited would be a great addition to your wallet.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • Earning Points: You’ll earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.  No worrying about category bonuses.
  • Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Freedom Review: Better for Maximizing Points

The original Chase Freedom card is better for people who are looking to maximize their points earning with every purchase.  Because Chase Freedom has very good category bonuses, it’s possible to get nearly the full amount of bonus points per quarter (7500).  Many of the category bonus merchants even have gift card racks.  Gift cards can be bought to make purchases at the stores you regularly go to.  This technique can allow you to earn 5X points on nearly everything.  Personally, if we could only have one of the two cards, we would choose the Freedom because we’re willing to put in the extra effort to maximize points.

Chase Freedom

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Credit Card Review

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.  The categories are things like grocery stores, gas stations, internet, cable, phone services, Walgreens, and even using Chase Pay.  You’ll earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

chase freedom unlimited vs chase freedom

 

Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited: How About Both?

Why treat these cards like competitors when they can play together quite nicely?  Like Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry playing together on the basketball court, these two credit cards can be champions together (NBA reference).  If you pair the two credit cards, you can earn 5X points on all Chase Freedom category bonuses and 1.5X points on everything else using the Chase Freedom Unlimited.  This will give you the best of both worlds and a killer point earning combination.  Double the freedom has to be a good thing, right?

 

Transfer Points to a Premium Chase Card For More Value

Here’s a little secret that you’ll want to know if you have any Ultimate Rewards points.  When Chase Ultimate Rewards are redeemed using either of the Freedom credit cards, points are worth 1 cent each.  But, because Chase Ultimate Rewards points are transferable between different cards, and even between different people (only household members), point values can be multiplied.  With a few of the other premium Chase credit cards, it’s possible to redeem points at a higher value.

Upgrade your Ultimate Rewards

When redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, points are worth 1.25 cents with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Preferred and 1.5 cents with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  All three of these credit cards also come with the ability to use Chase’s travel transfer partners.  By transferring to some of their travel partners at a 1:1 ratio, it’s possible to redeem points for well over 2 cents each.  If you’re able to have one of these premium Chase credit cards to go along with your Freedom or Freedom Unlimited, it always makes sense to transfer points before redeeming.

transfer chase ultimate rewards

 

Chase Freedom Activate Quarterly Bonuses

In order to be eligible for the Chase Freedom 5X quarterly bonus categories, you’ll need to activate your card each quarter.  You’ll visit this Chase web-page and fill out your last name, last 4 digits of your card, your zip code, and press enter.  That’s all.  It’s very simple, and Chase will even send you reminders via email.  For your category bonuses to work, you’ll need to activate your Chase Freedom by the middle of the last month in that quarter.  For instance, you must activate your card by December 14th, 2018 to be eligible for the quarter 4 bonuses in 2018.  With Chase’s reminders and the fact that you’ll want to know what the bonus categories are, it’s easy to remember to activate your card.

 

Chase Freedom Calendar: Rotating Categories

To see the current and upcoming Chase Freedom 5X bonus categories visit the Chase Freedom Calendar.  You’ll also be able to activate your card on the same page.

Chase Freedom Calendar wide

 

If you’re looking to add a great credit card for earning points by spending, either the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Freedom are great additions to any wallet.  They are very similar cards with that one large difference.  How points are earned through spending.  Pick which card fits your style best, or even better, go with both.  Definitely look into the other Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards to partner with these so that you can both maximize your earning and your point redemptions.  Just think, if you can earn 5X points on every $1 spent, and then redeem those points for a value of 2 cents or more, you’re essentially getting 10% or better back in value on your spending.  That’s pretty impressive, compared to the typical 1% cash back earned with other cards.

The Best Travel Credit Card: Why You Should Get it First

Chase Travel Credit Cards

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer. Thank you for supporting us.  We appreciate you.

If you want to earn the most possible points for travel, you’ll need to start with the best travel credit card available.  There are a few factors that you should pay close attention to while shopping for a new credit card.  Obviously, you’re getting a travel credit card because you want to travel more.  With the best travel credit cards you will earn tons of travel points and receive travel benefits that you may have thought were only for the rich.  Credit cards are a great way to earn free travel for you and your family.

Since I started traveling with points and miles, I’ve earned nearly 2 million points and traveled as often as I want.  I’ve been to Hawaii (my favorite place) at least once every year for the past 7 years.  I don’t think I’ve paid more than the taxes and fees ($11.20 round trip) for any of those flights.  I figure if you have good credit, you might as well put it to work for yourself.

 

Important Factors in Finding the Best Travel Credit Card

  • Introductory Offers
  • Minimum Spending Requirement
  • Point Earning Potential
  • Travel Benefits
  • Annual Fees
  • Annual bonuses

best travel credit card for earning

Introductory Offers

The best travel credit cards all offer an introductory bonus offer.  These offers are structured so that you earn a select amount of bonus points after spending so much money on your new credit card within a certain time frame.  For example, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card you earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of having the card.  Obviously, this is a very important feature because it gives you extreme value right away.

Minimum Spending Requirement

Introductory offers aren’t usually automatically given to you after being approved for a credit card.  You’ll typically have to complete a minimum spending requirement within a specified time frame.   Then your points bonus will be released into your account.  Minimum spending requirement amounts vary, but typically are between $500-5000 within the first 3-4 months.

Point Earning Potential

Some of the best travel credit cards have spending categories that will earn bonus points.  These bonus categories range from groceries, to gas stations, all the way to office supply stores and online advertising for businesses.  Typically bonus spend categories will earn 2-5x points for every dollar you spend.  Each credit card has a different set of bonus categories, which allows a lot of potential to earn points.

Travel Benefits

Another feature of travel credit cards is that many of them come with special travel benefits.  Airline cards may come with priority boarding, free checked bags, or airport lounge access.  Hotel cards often come with elite status at the hotel chain, which might allow for upgrades when you stay.  Many of the transferable point system credit cards come with free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.  A few credit cards also come with airport lounge access through Priority Pass, and even offer statement credits for travel purchases.

Annual Fees

All of these features sometimes come with an annual fee.  It’s important to review how much an annual fee is, and whether it is worth paying it for all the benefits you will receive.  Usually, the higher the annual fee is for a credit card, the more travel benefits you will receive.  Even though some annual fees can be very high, they’re often worth paying, especially if you’ll be traveling a lot.  Some travel credit cards will waive the annual fee in the first card member year.

Annual Bonuses

Some of the best travel credit cards offer a bonus on the card member anniversary.  These bonuses are automatically applied, and some are only earned if you spend a certain amount throughout the year.  Hotel credit cards often offer a free night at their hotels each year.  A few airlines give you a free companion fare each calendar year.  These annual bonuses can help offset the annual fee a credit card may have.

 

My First Travel Credit Card Ever

I was fortunate enough to start out with the best travel credit card ever: the Chase Sapphire Preferred.  My points journey all started when I had to get a root canal on my tooth.  After seeing how much the procedure was going to cost me out of pocket, I quickly started looking for a way to get some of that money back.  I had seen advertisements for credit cards that had introductory bonuses after being approved so I started my research online.  My plan wasn’t specifically to get a travel credit card until I accidentally came across a few travel blogs, while researching.

chase sapphire preferred credit card

 

I read a few posts, and quickly learned how lucrative using credit card points for travel could be.  Instead of redeeming at a value of one cent per point with cash back or purchases on the likes of Amazon, I learned that you can redeem points for travel at a value of greater than two cents per point.  Essentially getting double the value out of your points by using them for travel.  I had always wanted to travel more, but couldn’t afford it, so I jumped on the opportunity.  I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, because almost every travel blogger I came across said it was the best travel credit card of them all.

Introductory Offer Worth Two Round Trip Flights to Hawaii

With my good credit score, I was approved instantly for the best travel credit card.  Quickly, I started meeting the minimum spend to earn my bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards.  I had my root canal procedure (ugh), paid for it, and met the rest of the minimum spend with my regular purchases.  When I received my 50,000 point introductory bonus, I didn’t waste much time.  After reading about the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, I did my research and transferred my points to British Airways to book two round trip flights to Maui for 25,000 points each.

I was on my way.  Little did I know, I would read almost every travel blog post in the industry over the next few years and become an expert myself.  It’s pretty amazing that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still the best credit card for new points travelers after all this time.  It has withstood the test of time, and I still recommend it more often than not when someone asks me which is the best travel credit card to get first.

best travel credit card free hawaii

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred: The Best Travel Credit Card to Start With

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards and potentially even more if transferred to travel partners.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 2 points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Annual Fee: $95 (waived in year 1)

This is the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

What Makes This The Best Travel Credit Card

Versatility.  The number one reason the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best travel credit card is that it’s so easy to redeem points.  It’s especially good for people who are new to traveling with points because of this ease of use.  The points can be redeemed either through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal for a fixed rate of 1.25 cents per point, or by converting points to one of the transfer partners, which can net an average of over 2 cents per point.  Both options give an elevated redemption value.  If you’re willing to put in some effort in researching airline award charts, you’ll get the most out of your points by taking advantage of the transfer partners.

chase ultimate rewards transfer partner airlines

Chase Airline Transfer Partners

chase ultimate reward transfer partner hotels

Chase Hotel Transfer Partners

Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal – 1.25c/pt

At 1.25 cents per point, redeeming through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal is a good option.  Especially if you want to keep things as simple as possible.

Travel Transfer Partners – ~2c/pt

By transferring your points to one of the Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners, you’ll have the opportunity to earn over 2 cents per point on your rewards.  There are 13 travel transfer partners.  They include 9 airlines and 4 hotel chains, all of which transfer at a 1:1 ratio.  I regularly transfer my points to Ultimate Rewards travel partners.  I transfer to both British Airways to use their travel partners for flights, and Hyatt to most often stay at Hyatt Place properties.  I’ve found that by using these two transfer partners, we often get over 2 cents of value per point.

Other Redemption Options – 1c/pt

There are also a few other redemption offers that don’t involve travel, but they won’t get you as much value.  You have the option of using your points as cash back, to spend on Amazon, to spend on exclusive experiences, or to purchase gift cards.  All of these options give a fixed value of 1 cent per point.  I wouldn’t recommend using your points in this fashion, unless you really want something and don’t have the money for it.  It just doesn’t get you as much value as travel does.

 

Combine Other Chase Cards with the Sapphire Preferred

Another reason that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best travel credit card, is because there are a handful of other Chase cards that pair very well alongside the Sapphire Preferred.  In total there are six other cards that can be used to earn Ultimate Rewards points.  Three personal cards and three business cards.  They are all very valuable in their own ways and can be used together for the perfect storm of point earning.  If you have both personal and business expenses, you should look into which of these cards can help you earn even more free travel.  Between my wife and I, we have five of these cards and can earn category bonuses on almost every purchase we make.  This largely helps to earn enough points to travel as much as we want.

Chase credit cards to pair with chase sapphire preferred

7 Credit Cards That Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

***Only these cards have travel portal bonus redemption rates and transfer partners.

Ultimate Rewards Can Be Transferred Between Card Accounts

The best part of pairing up multiple Chase credit cards, is that the ultimate rewards from one card account can be transferred and combined with the points in another card account.  This means that, for instance, if you earn Ultimate Rewards with the Chase Freedom (which normally doesn’t have transfer partners available), you can transfer them over to your Chase Sapphire Preferred account to redeem them (either with the 25% portal bonus or with transfer partners).

Note in the chart above, that you will need one of the three starred (***) Chase credit cards in order to get a bonus and to have the option of redeeming through transfer partners.  While four of these credit cards are technically listed as cash back cards, you will still earn Ultimate Rewards.  These “cash back” Ultimate Rewards can be transferred to your other card accounts that have the full Ultimate Rewards travel benefits, so that you can get more value out of them.

transfer chase ultimate rewards

Chase Freedom Has Tons of Earning Potential with No Annual Fee

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Credit Card Review

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.  The categories are things like grocery stores, gas stations, internet, cable, phone services, Walgreens, and even using Chase Pay.  You’ll earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Chase Freedom Categories 2018Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

This rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

Chase Freedom Quarterly Spending Category Bonuses

Each quarter, you can earn up to 7,500 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards through the Chase Freedom’s category bonuses.  That means in a calendar year you could potentially have an extra 30,000 points to spend on travel.  For instance, that’s more than enough for a round-trip flight to Hawaii using transfer partners.  While you may not spend $1,500 in a quarter on gas, groceries or at Walgreens, they all happen to sell gift cards to an assortment of businesses that you may regularly make purchases at.  Those gift cards can be used for your future purchases.

While they try to make “Chase Pay” more utilized, Chase continually adds it as a bonus category almost every quarter.  That means that you can earn 5 points per dollar anywhere that accepts Chase Pay.  You can find a list of merchants who accept it on the Chase website.

Don’t Want to Worry About Category Bonuses? Freedom Unlimited Earns 1.5 Points on All Purchases

15,000 Points after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn a $150 Bonus (via 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Introductory APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • Earning Points: You’ll earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases.  No worrying about category bonuses.
  • Free Credit Score: View your credit score, updated every week on Credit Journey.
  • Annual Fee: No annual fee

This rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Looking for More Luxury while Traveling?

If it’s luxurious travel that you’re looking for, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve.  It’s the best travel credit card for luxury.  It boasts, arguably, the best overall travel benefits of any travel credit card.  With the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card you will be living lavishly the second you step foot in the airport.

First off, you’ll go through airport security in a breeze with TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.  That means less of a line to wait in, your shoes and belt can stay on, and your laptop can stay in the bag.  You won’t want to spend much time in the security line with everyone else, because you’ll also have airport lounge access in over 1,200 locations worldwide.  Instead of sitting out in the terminal, you’ll be in a private area with comfortable seating, amenities like television and newspapers, and best of all: free food and drinks.  Once you travel in luxury like this, you’ll never want to go back… Trust me!

Best Luxury Travel Credit Cards

The Best Premier Travel Credit Card: Chase Sapphire Reserve Gives You Airport Lounge Access

50,000 Points after spending $4000 in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: Earn an introductory 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months.
  • Statement Credits: Receive a $300 in statement credits each year (based on your account anniversary) to cover travel expenses like airfare and hotels.
  • Receive a $100 Statement credit as reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck enrollment.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on dining and on travel that doesn’t qualify for the $300 travel reimbursement each year and one point per $1 on everything else.
  • Travel Point Transfer Partners: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Extra Point Value: Receive 50 percent more value for your points when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Airport Lounge Access: Visit more than 1000 airport lounge locations while traveling with a Priority Pass Select membership.
  • Annual Fee: $450

This rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Have a Business or Side Hustle? Get Business Credit Cards to Earn More Rewards

If you have a business or even just a side hustle, you should be keeping your expenses separate with a business credit card.  There are some amazing introductory offers and point earning potential with business travel credit cards.  In my opinion, the Ink Business Preferred has the top introductory offer of ALL the best travel credit cards (personal or business).  Along with great introductory offers, these cards can earn a ton of points with their extremely useful category bonuses for spending.  They offer bonuses of 3-5X points on things like phone bills, internet bills, and office supply stores.  Even if you don’t have an incorporated business, it still counts.

best business travel credit cards

 

You can apply for business credit cards for your sole proprietorship, using your social security number instead of an EIN.  You may technically have a sole proprietorship and not even know it.  Do you make any money outside of your employed job?  Sell stuff on eBay? Have garage sales?  Do handy work on the side?  Sell crafts?  You have a sole proprietorship, and a reason to get a business credit card to earn more points.  Here is the best travel credit card for businesses.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Has an Introductory Bonus of 80,000 Points

80,000 Points after spending $5000 in the first 3 months

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from your account opening.
  • Earning Categories: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories (including social media advertising!) each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Other Benefits: Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.  You can redeem points for travel, cash back, and gift cards, or transfer your points to an airline or hotel partner.  You’ll get a cell phone protection plan of up to $600 when you pay your cell phone bill with the card.  You’ll receive rental car loss and damage coverage if your reservation is paid with the card.
  • Annual Fee: $95

This business rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Chase Ink Business Cash is the Best Kept Secret for Points Earning

50,000 Points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5 points per $1 spent on the first $25,000 spent on purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 2 points per $1 on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

This business rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

 

Ink Business Unlimited is Similar to the Freedom Unlimited – 1.5 Points Everywhere

50,000 Points after spending $3000 in the first 3 months

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on every purchase made for your business.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

This business rewards card pairs well with the best travel credit card.  Learn more about this card and find out how to apply HERE.

best travel credit card rewards

Keep It Simple With One Point System: Chase Ultimate Rewards

As you can see, there are many reasons why the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the best travel credit card.  It has a great introductory offer with a reasonable minimum spending requirement.  The annual fee is waived in the first year of having the card.  Most importantly, the reward points earned are very valuable when used for travel.  It’s very possible to use the introductory offer points to book flights for multiple people or for multiple vacations.

It’s also a great jumping off point to start traveling with points.  Because there are so many other Chase credit cards that also have the potential to earn Ultimate Rewards when paired together, you’ll be able to earn free travel for a long time to come.  With the travel credit cards mentioned above, there are 310,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points up for grabs!  And, that only includes the introductory offers.  You can earn even more points with their variety of category bonuses.  The bottom line is, if you want to travel more, start traveling using points instead of dollars.

The Best Business Travel Credit Cards: Better Than Cash Back

the best business travel credit cards

Editorial Disclaimer: This post may include references to offers from our partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to specific products. The opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer. Thank you for supporting us.  We appreciate you.

As a small business owner, you’re always looking to both save and earn more money wherever possible.  1% growth on your bottom line is more money in your pocket and therefore good for your business. If, for instance, you could sell your product for 1% more or manufacture it for 1% less, you’d probably be very happy.  One way that your business can earn more, is by getting a better return on all expenses.  The way to do that is through the best business travel credit cards and their introductory bonuses.  They will make you wonder why you were ever happy with that 1% cash back credit card.

More information on each card can be found below:

 

Are You Missing Out on Free Travel Rewards?

If you’re using cash, a debit card, or even the wrong credit card for business expenses, you are missing out on either cash back or free travel.  While cash-back can be great, most cash-back credit cards will only earn you 1-2% back on all purchases. If you were to get the right combination of business travel credit cards, you could instead be regularly earning 5-10% value or more back in travel points.  Even better, if you’re willing to apply for business travel credit cards continually earning introductory bonuses, you can often earn at least a 10-20% travel value return on your spending.

best travel credit cards for business

 

34% Value Back Using a Business Travel Credit Card

Is it really possible to get as much as 34% back on your business expenses?  It sure is.  I’ll give you an example with one of the current business travel credit cards offering a great opportunity.  If, for instance, you sign up for the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card and used it for your next $5000 of spend, you’d earn at least 85,000 points (introductory bonus plus at least 1x points on your spend).

How much is 85,000 points worth? On average, Chase Ultimate Rewards are worth about 2.0 cents (according to The Points Guy – Sept. 2018) each when used for travel. That means that your business spending of $5000 just earned you a potential travel value of $1,700.  A whopping 34% value back on your spending!!! No joke! That’s a lot more value than your average 1-2% cash back of $50-100… Think of the possible vacations you could be taking with all those points.

 

Travel More, While Spending Less

If you already travel a lot, you’re now going to be saving a lot of money using points, instead of your hard earned money.  If you don’t travel much yet, by now using business travel credit cards, you”ll have enough travel points to do it without spending much money at all.  Over the past few years, I have been able to travel as often as I can get time off, thanks to the abundance of points I’ve earned.  With all the hard work you’re doing on your business, I’m sure you could use a nice vacation!  Can you feel the warm sand between your toes yet?

best business travel credit cards airport

Best Business Travel Credit Cards Available Today

While the Chase Ink Preferred introductory offer is currently the best in the market at 80,000 points, there are plenty of other great business travel credit cards that can earn around $1000 of real world travel value.  There are also some extremely valuable benefits that come along with these business travel credit cards.  Some of them will save you money. Others will help you earn even more points through category spending bonuses.  I’ve compiled a list of the five best business travel credit cards that you should look into, according to their introductory bonuses and features.

 

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

80,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from your account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories (including social media advertising!) each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases, with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Other Benefits: Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.  You can redeem points for travel, cash back, and gift cards, or transfer your points to an airline or hotel partner.  You’ll get a cell phone protection plan of up to $600 when you pay your cell phone bill with the card.  You’ll receive rental car loss and damage coverage if your reservation is paid with the card.
  • Annual Fee: $95 Annual Fee

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

The Introductory Offer is one of the best we’ve seen for any credit card.  It’s a surprise how much value they give for a credit card with only a $95 annual fee.  We have this card and love the benefits.  We used the introductory offer bonus to purchase two round-trip flights to Hawaii, and still have 30,000 points left over.  That’s pretty impressive in itself.  On top of that, the spending category bonuses are worthwhile for most online businesses.

 


Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

50,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

Receiving this large of an introductory offer bonus on a no annual fee credit card used to be unheard of.  Now Chase has two of them.  I see this card as an excellent supplemental credit card to go along with the other Ink credit cards.  Because it earns 1.5 points per dollar on ALL purchases, it’s great for those purchases that don’t fall into a category bonus of the other cards.

 


Ink Business Cash Credit Card

50,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn $500 bonus cash back (via 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.  You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Special Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: There is no annual fee.

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

I love this travel business credit card!  Why? Because it earns 5 points per dollar on multiple categories that I actually spend in regularly.  Phone bill, internet bill, and all office supplies earn 5X points!  On top of that, office supply stores sell gift cards that can be used for many of our other expenses.  Did I mention it currently has a huge introductory offer bonus and no annual fee?  I loved this card even without the bonus!

 


Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card

60,000 Point Introductory Offer

Chase Southwest RR Premier Business Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: You’ll earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months that your account is open.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases. You’ll earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Points Redemption: There are no blackout dates when you redeem points, no seat restrictions, bags fly free, and there are no change fees.
  • Annual Fee: $99 (Earn 6,000 bonus points after your Card member anniversary.)

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

Southwest’s reward booking process is by far the easiest to maneuver of all airlines.  Their points coincide with the dollar price of flights so you can get a great deal when they have sales.  I’ve flown round-trip for fewer than 7,000 points before.  The introductory offer bonus can go a long way.  Also, the introductory offer currently counts towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass, which is the absolute best deal in the traveling with points world.

 


CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select World Mastercard

70,000 Point Introductory Offer *LIMITED TIME OFFER

CitiBusiness Aadvantage Platinum Select Credit Card

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Introductory Offer: (Limited time) You’ll earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles after making $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening
  • American Airlines Benefits: Your first checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines flights.  You’ll save 25% on American Airlines in flight Wi-Fi when you use your card. You’ll also receive preferred boarding on American Airlines flights.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 2 miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases.  You’ll earn 2 miles for every $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations.  You’ll earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $99 (waived for the first 12 months)

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

Wow! This introductory offer bonus is pretty special.  Plus, they’re still waiving the annual fee for the first 12 months.  It’s not every day you see an offer like this.

 


The Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN – LEARN MORE

Up to 75,000 Point Introductory Offer

AMEX Business Platinum Credit Card LEARN MORE >

Features That Make This Credit Card Great:

  • Welcome Offer: You’ll earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points. You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Category Spend Bonuses: You’ll earn 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. You’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more (up to 1,000,000 additional points per year).
  • Flight Bonuses: 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards Pay with Points for a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year. You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • Airport Lounge Access: You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge CollectionSM offering access to the most lounges across the globe.
  • Other Travel Benefits: $200 Airline Credit per calendar year.  Global Entry or TSA PreCheck statement credit.  Hilton & Starwood Gold Status.
  • Terms Apply

Our thoughts about this travel credit card:

While this card isn’t for all businesses due to the high minimum spend to earn the welcome bonus, it has it’s valuable perks.  If you’re able to earn the welcome bonus, it’s very valuable with the Membership Rewards transfer partners.  The flying benefits of this card are what it’s all about in our opinion.  Lounge access, travel credits, free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck for 5 years, and hotel status all comes with this credit card.  If it’s right for your business, it can make traveling a joy.

LEARN MORE >

 


How We Chose the Best Business Travel Cards

  • Introductory Bonus Value: Obviously, a large portion of the value in these credit card offers comes from the introductory bonus.  We like to use The Points Guy’s point valuations to calculate a more accurate dollar amount for each offer when used for travel.
  • Earning Potential: We researched which cards have true value in their category spend bonuses.  This means they have earning bonuses in categories that are often used by businesses.
  • Travel Benefits: We factored in annual travel credits, like the $200 airline credit and lounge access offered by the Business Platinum Card from American Express OPEN.
  • Annual Fees: While an annual fee can make sense, we only find it worth paying them if the benefits of the card far outweigh the yearly cost.

Are You Eligible For a Business Credit Card?

If you have a business or even just do some freelancing jobs as a side hustle, a small business credit card can help you separate your expenses, give you more buying power, and let you earn points from your business purchases. As you’ve seen, business credit cards offer bonus rewards on categories such as office supplies, airfare, advertising, dining and gas.  If you’re eligible through your business or side hustle, you could benefit greatly by having one or more business credit cards.

When you apply you will be asked for an EIN if your business has one.  Use this number on your application, which you should have received when you applied for your business.  If you are working as a sole proprietor, you won’t have an EIN and can simply use your social security number in this field when applying.  I have personally applied for and been approved for multiple business credit cards using both types of identification numbers.

Earn More Points Through Category Spend Bonuses

On top of the great introductory offers, category bonuses on spend make some of these business travel credit cards even better. Most of them have bonus spending categories that could make a lot of sense for your business. A couple of the category bonuses that I frequently take advantage of, are: 3X rewards for advertising on social media platforms from the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card, and 5X rewards on office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services from the Chase Ink Cash credit card.  Oh, and by the way, office supply stores happen to have a plentiful gift card selection… Wink, wink. This means that there is the potential of earning 5x points on almost all expenses that your business has.

vacation from business using points

Take More Vacations: It’s Now Possible

The conclusion of this story is that if you’re interested in traveling, and you’re currently making the mistake of using cash, debit card, or even cash back cards for your business expenses, YOU’RE PROBABLY DOING IT WRONG!!!  Find the right business travel credit card for your small business.  Then start earning something more valuable than 1-2% cash back. You can be getting much more value back from your business expenses.

If you’re not sure about the five cards we mentioned above, you can compare a larger selection of business travel credit cards here: Travel Credit Cards.  Take some time to review and compare what’s best for your business.  Imagine the vacations you and your family could be taking together…

Value of a Credit Card – Chase Sapphire Preferred

The value of one credit card introductory bonus can be enormous. Credit card introductory bonuses are the points or miles that a bank is willing to give you when you sign up for their credit card and meet an initial spending level that they designate. A typical credit card introductory bonus could be 50,000 points or miles for signing up for a particular credit card and spending $3000 on that card within the first 3 months of applying.

Best Credit Card for Travelers New to Points and Miles

The card that I refer to people who are interested in earning travel points through credit cards is most often the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. It typically offers 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of having the card. The offer changes occasionally in how many points are offered or how much the initial minimum spend is.

Whenever someone asks me what credit card is best to get first, I always ask them what they want to achieve with the points. Usually the person asking has no idea, they just know that they want to travel more. In this situation the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the best offers around due to its versatility. It allows the customer to either spend their Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly with Chase or transfer to an array of airlines and hotels. The transferring of the points will typically give a more valuable redemption of points. For these reasons, I will show you what the points from signing up for this one card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, can achieve for you through a real life experience. My sister in law, Amber, and her fiance, recently took advantage of this offer to book part of their honeymoon!

Terms of the Bonus

As mentioned above, the current terms of the Chase Sapphire Preferred deal is to receive 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of having the card. They also mention that this bonus is worth $625 worth of travel. I’m going to show you that it can be worth quite a bit more. How much more? You’ll see… it’s pretty crazy!

Meeting the Minimum Spend

After applying for the card you’ll need to meet the initial minimum spend so that your bonus points will be released into your account. Amber had her regular spending plus some wedding expenses that needed to be paid so she was easily able to meet the initial minimum spend. If you already spend $4,000 per three months, great! You’ll meet your spend just with that. If you don’t typically spend that much, you can get extra spending in a variety of creative ways. A few of these ways to get extra spending are by saving up large purchases that you have been planning on, or Christmas gift shopping ahead of time. There are many ways to meet minimum spends to earn your bonus. A good reference is on the Frequent Miler blog.

The Numbers:

They spent about $9,000 in the initial three months of having the card which earned them the following:

50,000 pts – introductory bonus
9,000 pts – regular spend points
5,000 pts – authorized user bonus points (another bonus for adding a second card for her fiance)

=64,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Where to travel?

They decided that they wanted to travel to the beautiful islands of Hawaii for their honeymoon! They’ve been to Oahu so wanted to experience something new… Or somethings! They ended up finding flights that were available through Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines to travel from the San Francisco Bay area to Kauai, then to Maui, and back home to the bay area.

OAK to LIH = 25,000 miles + $11.20 taxes/fees (booked using British Airways miles)
LIH to OGG = 14,000 miles + $11.20 taxes/fees (booked using United Airways miles)
OGG to SFO = 25,000 miles + $11.20 taxes/fees (booked using British Airways miles)

Total amount saved on these flights combined: $1,345.40 (I’d call that a win)

Points and the value of them

Overall this was a great travel rewards redemption, which got excellent value out of their points. Their flights to/from Hawaii ended up with a value of 2.3 cents per point, and their inter-island flight earned a value of 1.4 cents per point, coming out to a total of 2.1 cents per point. 64,000 points spent and $1,345.40 saved.

 

The value of one credit card introductory bonus

This is just one example of how one credit card introductory bonus can make an enormous impact on your travel and give extraordinary value. Amber ended up saving over $1,300 dollars on their honeymoon, which is pretty incredible. I’d say that’s quite a bit better than the $625 value that Chase puts on the introductory bonus!