6 Great Beginner Credit Cards

If you’re one of our regular readers, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that we encourage people to start out with Chase cards because of the 5/24 rule. If you aren’t a regular reader here, or just need a reminder, the 5/24 rule is that Chase will not approve you for certain cards if you’ve opened 5 or more cards in the past 24 months. If you don’t start out with the Chase cards that are under the 5/24 rule, it’ll be harder for you to get them later on down the road.

So with that in mind, which Chase cards are best to start out with? Which ones are best for you really depends on what you want out of the card. The following is a list of Chase cards split up into categories based on what they are best for.

A waterfall we found under some hanging bridges in Costa Rica.

The 6 Best Chase Credit Cards to Start Out With
      1. Chase Sapphire Preferred. This card is a good one if you’d like a card that is flexible. It allows you to transfer the points you earn to different airlines and hotels programs. Also, if you have one of the Chase Freedom Cards you can transfer the points you earn from a Freedom card to a Sapphire card. Chase Sapphire Preferred’s annual fee is $95, and it’s waived the first year. It also allows you to earn 2x points on travel worldwide as well as on dining at restaurants worldwide. Any other purchases will earn you 1 point per dollar spent. Chase Sapphire Preferred will give you 50,000 points after signing up and spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. To apply for Chase Sapphire Prefered click here.
      2. Chase Sapphire Reserve. Chase Sapphire Reserve is very similar to Chase Sapphire Preferred. One big difference between the two, however, is that Chase Sapphire Reserve charges a $450 annual fee that is not waived the first year. It does have a lot of advantages though! It allows you to earn 3x points on travel and dining worldwide. It also gives you $300 travel credit each year, so if you use it for anything that codes as travel, it reimburses you for the charge up to $300. This one also gives you free Global Entry as well as access to airport lounges with Priority Pass. It gives you 50,000 points after signing up and spending $4,000 in the first three months. You can apply for it here. One important thing to note is that you can’t get both the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Once you get one can’t get the signup bonus for the other. 
      3. Chase Ink Preferred. This card is a good one if you’re looking for a business card. You have to have a business to get the card, but don’t skip by this one right away if you don’t consider yourself to be a business owner. You might have a business without even realizing it! If you regularly sell things on eBay, babysit, or pet sit you could count that as a business and apply as a Sole Proprietor. Just make sure to be honest on the application about the details of your business. The card is very flexible, just like the above-mentioned cards, because it lets you transfer the points you earn to use with different airlines and hotels. It has a $95 annual fee. It gives you 80,000 points if you spend $5,000 in the first three months. You can apply for it here.
      4. Chase United Mileage Plus. This next card is a good one if you are hoping to do a lot of international travel. It gives you 40,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months of having it. It has a $95 annual fee. It’s not as flexible as some of the other Chase cards because it only earns you United miles, but it’s useful because you can use it to book international United or United partner airline flights. Click here for more information on using United miles. You can apply for the card here. It should be noted the signup bonus regularly goes up to 50,000 points and at times they’ve sent people offers up to 70,000 points.
      5. Chase Southwest Premier. This card and the next one are good ones if you’re hoping to fly domestically. Also, Southwest has a great perk, but you’ll likely only be able to get the perk if you get this card plus the following card (Chase Southwest Plus). So, we recommend if you want one of these cards, you get both. The perk is that if you earn 110,000 miles in the same calendar year, Southwest will give you a Companion Pass for the remainder of the calendar year you earned it, plus the following year. So, whenever you book a ticket with Southwest (either with points or with money), you get to add a companion for free. Southwest points have a fixed value, rather than basing prices off an award chart like some other airlines. The advantage to this is that Southwest points can be used on any Southwest flight. If a Southwest flight has an available seat, you can book it with points, it won’t be held for someone else to get it who is paying with money. Once you have the card, every time you pay the annual fee you earn 6,000 additional points. The annual fee is $99. At the moment, Chase Southwest Premier and Chase Southwest Plus don’t have the best signup offers. On occasion, they go up to 60,000 points as a signup offer. It would be best to wait for their offer to go up again to 60,000 before you get them. You can apply for Chase Southwest Premier here.
      6. Chase Southwest Plus. This card is just like the above-mentioned card. If you get it, it would be best to get Southwest Premier with it so you can get the Companion Pass. This one gives you 3,000 points when you pay your annual fee. The annual fee is $69.You can apply for Chase Southwest Plus here.
    The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

    There are some other great Chase cards, but they aren’t under the 5/24 rule so it’s best to get the above ones first, then move on to the other ones.

    In Summary

    Were you able to pick out which cards were best for you? I know it was a lot of information!

    A quick summary is that the first three cards are really flexible and allow you to use the points you earn with them with a lot of different airlines and hotels. Out of those, the third earns the most points (and is a business card). The second gives you free Global Entry as well as free lounge passes and $300 travel credit. And, the first has no annual fee the first year.

    The fourth card gives you United points that would be most useful for international travel.

    The last two cards are good for domestic travel and are best gotten together because they can help you earn a Companion Pass to bring along a friend for free on each of your flights the calendar year you earn it as well as the year after you’ve earned it.

    Once you’ve figured out whether you value flexible points, international, or domestic travel more, you should be able to easily decide which card is best for you.

    As always, if you want something clarified, need any advice, or just want to say hi, feel free to drop a comment below or send us an email. We always love hearing from you all!

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