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July 31, 2017

How to Apply for a Chase Credit Card

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Applying for a Chase credit card? Here's what you need to know, including new Chase card promotions, how to check your application status, and rules to watch out for.

Chase has some of the best credit cards. Whether you're looking for cash back, travel rewards, balance transfer, or something for your small business, you can find a card to suit your needs.

Chase is known for jaw-dropping sign-up bonuses and lucrative rewards. If you've been eyeing one of the cards, here's everything you need to know to apply.

What is the Best Chase Credit Card Promotion for 2017?

What to Know About Applying for a Chase Card

Here is what you need to know about Chase applications:

  • Chase's 5/24 rule: Chase has a rule that if you've opened 5 credit card accounts in the past 24 months, you will not be approved for a new Chase card.

    This goes for cards with any bank. Some exceptions may be business cards with other banks. At the end, we have a list of which Chase cards are affected by this rule.

  • Chase's 2/30 rule: This rule says that you cannot be approved for more than 2 Chase cards within 30 days. To err on the more cautious side, we'd recommend you space out your applications to just one per month. The exception is a Chase business card.

  • You need good credit: In general, Chase's credit cards require good to excellent credit. This usually means a credit score of around 700+. If you know your credit isn't quite there, focus on building credit first.

  • Your total credit limit matters. Chase will look at how much total credit limit they've already given you. You may be denied if it's already too high. But you can ask if they can transfer some of the credit limit onto a new card.

  • You may be matched to the higher bonus within 90 days. There's no need to wait for a higher sign-up bonus to apply. If you've been approved and Chase is offering a higher bonus within 90 days, you can call them usually be matched to the higher bonus.

  • Where to apply: You can either apply online at Chase's website or pick up an application from your local Chase branch. Be careful if your bank branch says you've been pre-approved. You still need to go through the application process.

    Tip: Alternatively, you can also sign up for some Chase cards through us. If you've read our in-depth Chase card reviews and found them useful, you can support our site through our "Apply Now" button as well. This is at no extra cost to you.

How to Check Application Status

Sometimes you will get a quick decision. You may get this if your credit is excellent and you haven't had a lot of recent credit inquiries.

But if it's been a few days and you still haven't heard, you can check your application status.

  • Status hotline (1-888-338-2586): There is an automated application status hotline. You just need to enter your social security number. It should tell provide your current status.

  • Reconsideration line (1-888-270-2127): If your application is still pending or denied, it doesn't hurt to call the reconsideration line and speak to an agent.

Be polite and ask if there's any more information you can provide that can help them reach a decision. Be ready to explain any recently opened credit accounts or credit inquires.

Note: Chase unfortunately does not offer an online application status check. However, if you're already a Chase customer and have an account, you may be able to log in and see a new account for the new card.

How to Choose a Chase Card Right for You

Here are things to consider when evaluating which Chase credit card is best for you:

  • What is your goal?

    • Do you want cash back? If so, simple cash back cards like Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited make it easy to get something back for your purchases.

    • Do you want to travel more? Consider one of the travel reward cards. General travel cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred are flexible to use and the points can be transferred to a variety of travel partners. But if you have a strong loyalty to a particular airline or hotel, Chase also has co-branded cards with United, Southwest, Marriott, IHG, and Ritz-Carlton.

    • Are you trying to get out of debt? Chase offers several cards that have a promotional APR for balance transfers. The Chase Slate is our top pick because there is no balance transfer fee for transfers made within the first 60 days of opening your account.

  • How much do you spend per year? Credit cards with annual fees will have better rewards. But think about if you realistically can get enough in rewards each year to make up for the annual fee.

Our Top Picks for Chase Credit Cards

Best cash back: Chase Freedom Unlimited
We like Chase Freedom Unlimited because you get 1.5% cash back on ALL purchases. You don't have to worry about keeping track of and activating rotating categories. This makes it the better card for those with varied spending.

Chase Freedom Unlimited lets you earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. You earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There is also a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. The balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum. The cash back rewards will not expire as long as your card account remains open. There is no annual fee.

Best travel card: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best travel rewards cards. It has a huge sign-up bonus as well as these highlights:

Chase Sapphire Preferred lets you 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®. You can earn 5,000 bonus points if you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within the first three months from account opening. This card lets you earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. The points can be transferred 1:1 to leading frequent travel programs including airline transfer partners. The card has a $0 foreign transaction fee. The card also comes with premium travel and purchase protection benefits (including trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver). There is an Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.

Best for frequent travelers: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Reserve lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This card offers a $300 annual travel credit (as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card). This card earns 3x points on travel and dining worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. The points can be transferred 1:1 to leading frequent travel programs including airline transfer partners. There are no foreign transaction fees. The card comes with complimentary Priority Pass™ Select for access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide. There is a $450 annual fee.

Best for getting out of debt: Chase Slate
Chase Slate offers a $0 introductory balance transfer fee (for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening). This card has a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, a variable APR, currently 15.99% to 24.74%. Plus, you can receive your Monthly FICO Score for free. There is a $0 annual fee.

Best airline rewards: Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier
Southwest Credit Card offers 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. Earn 6,000 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary. You earn 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental partner purchases. 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. There is no foreign transaction fee. There is a $99 annual fee.

Best business: Chase Ink Business Preferred
The Chase Ink Preferred has a huge sign-up bonus and very generous rewards (given the reasonable annual fee):

  • 3x points on relevant business categories, such as travel, telecom, shipping, and advertising
  • Points can be redeemed toward travel on the Chase travel portal at 25% more value
  • Points can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio

Also, you don't have to be a corporation. If you're a freelancer or make side income tutoring, selling crafts on Etsy, etc., you're eligible to apply.

Ink Business Preferred lets you earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 80,000 points is worth $1,000 toward travel when you redeem via Chase Ultimate Rewards. Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn. There are no foreign transaction fees. There is a $95 annual fee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for a card at my local Chase branch?
Yes, you can get an application there. But the bank branch itself will not be able to approve you for a card.

How long does it take for my application to go through?
If you're lucky, you may get a quick response minutes after you hit "submit." This depends on your credit score and how many recent inquires or accounts you've opened. But it can often take 7-10 days for a decision to be made. If you are eager to find out sooner, you can try calling and ask if there's anything you can do to help their make a decision sooner.

What kind of credit do I need?
Chase usually requires good to excellent credit for their credit cards. This means scores around the 700 range. Sometimes, customers have been approved with a 650 score.

Does Chase offer a credit card for bad or limited credit?
Unfortunately, no. If your score isn't quite there yet, just focus on building your credit.

What cards are affected by the 5/24 rule?
Chase has a 5/24 rule that states: If you've opened 5 or more bank cards in the past 24 months, you will not be approved for the card.

The cards affected by this rule include the Ultimate Rewards cards and some of the co-branded cards with airline and hotel partners. This includes:

  • Chase Freedom
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • Chase Slate
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • Chase Ink Business Cash
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred
  • Chase Marriott Rewards Premier personal
  • Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus
  • Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier personal & business
  • Chase United MileagePlus Club Card personal & business
  • Chase United MileagePlus Explorer personal & business

If you want any of these Chase cards, prioritize them over other credit card applications.

I have great credit. Why was my application was denied?
If you have opened over 5 credit cards (even if not from Chase) over the past 2 years, you will not be approved. If you have too many recent inquires on your credit, it could also be reason for denial.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Slate, and Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

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CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.