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Chase vs. Citi Credit Cards: Which Is Best? [2024]

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Chase and Citi are 2 of the largest banks in the U.S. Offering a variety of financial services and products, these 2 compete fiercely for market share in the realm of credit cards, too.

Citi generally offers a more petite portfolio of credit cards, while Chase offers a stronger variety.

That being said, Citi still boasts some of the best points out there. In this guide, we’ll be comparing Chase’s best credit cards with the best that Citi has to offer, by each major segment.

Without further ado, here’s how Citi and Chase credit cards stack up against each other!

Comparing Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards

Chase’s proprietary loyalty program is referred to as Ultimate Rewards, and most of us refer to these points as Ultimate Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, or Chase points.

Citi’s points system is called ThankYou Rewards. Generally, these points are known as ThankYou Points, ThankYou Rewards Points, or Citi points.

Chase offers a series of credit cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, although several of Chase’s cards don’t earn Ultimate Rewards points.

Emirates New 777-300ER First Class Suites
Emirates 777-300ER First Class Suites. Image Credit: Cherag Dubash

Similarly, Citi has a handful of credit cards that accumulate ThankYou Points; however, there are also a number of credit cards that don’t earn ThankYou Points and instead earn other rewards like American Airlines AAdvantage miles or cash-back.

Ultimate Rewards points can be used in many ways:

The best value usually comes from leveraging transfer partnerships.

Beyond that, both Chase Travel portal bookings and Pay Yourself Back redemptions can net you a value of up to 1.5 cents per point.

Gift cards will get you 1 to 1.2 cents per point, while statement credit or cash-back redemptions earn 1 cent per point of value. Lastly, with Amazon.com, Apple, or other online shopping redemptions, expect less than 1 cent per point of value, usually around 0.8 cents per point.

Meanwhile, Citi ThankYou Points can be used for:

Citi ThankYou Points are also very easy to use; the best, as usual, is to transfer those points to travel partners.

After that, you can get 1 cent per point on Citi Travel Center bookings, up to 1 cent per point on gift cards, 0.5 to 1.0 cents per point on cash-back, 0.83 cents per point through Shop with Points, and 0.8 cents per point on Amazon.com purchases.

Transfer Partnerships

Chase and Citi share a handful of the same transfer partnerships, which is actually great news. That means you can get some fantastic value from your points, whether it’s with Chase or Citi.

Currently, Chase and Citi share the following transfer partners in common: Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Air France-KLM Flying Blue, Emirates Skywards, JetBlue TrueBlue, and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

Chase does offer a few incredibly useful transfer partners in comparison to Citi, including:

On the other hand, Citi has a different advantage over Chase with unique transfer partners including:

Although there are clear use cases for each of the transfer partners listed above, we give the edge to Chase.

Chase’s partnership with World of Hyatt cannot be taken for granted — this is the king of hotel transfer partnerships.

Chase also has a distinct partnership with a U.S. airline in United MileagePlus, while Citi does not.

That being said, Citi’s partnerships with Cathay Pacific Asia Miles and Avianca LifeMiles may prove advantageous for international travel.

Also, Citi has a 1:2 transfer partnership with Choice Privileges, which can be leveraged for Preferred Hotels stays. Lastly, Citi’s partnership with Wyndham Rewards can be extraordinarily useful when booking vacation rental stays exclusively through Vacasa (a Wyndham Rewards partner).

In the end, we value Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2.0 cents apiece, while Citi ThankYou Points are worth 1.6 cents each.

Best Overall Travel Rewards Card

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Image Credit: Štefan Štefančík via Unsplash

Looking for the absolute best “middle-of-the-road” credit card to travel rewards?

Chase and Citi both offer fantastic options in this space, so let’s take a look at our finalists!

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is our top credit card in this segment — this fantastic product is jam-packed with some of the best credit card benefits in the business.

You’ll first start off with a huge welcome bonus, and you’ll earn up to 5x Ultimate Rewards points:

  • 5x points on travel purchased through the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $250 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2x points on other travel
  • 1x points on other purchases

Every year, you’ll also get a 10% anniversary bonus for on your total card spend for the calendar year. So if you spend $20,000 on the card, you’ll get an additional 2,000 bonus points!

Additionally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit, a complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership, and a 25% redemption bonus on Chase Travel portal bookings and Pay Yourself Back redemptions in select rotating categories.

This credit card has some of the best travel insurance available, including primary car rental coverage, baggage insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and roadside dispatch.

Lastly, you’ll enjoy no foreign transaction fees, authorized users for no additional annual fee, purchase protection, zero liability protection, and extended warranty coverage.

Runner-up: Citi Strata Premier Card

[upgp_table cc_id=551447]

The Citi Strata Premier card is one of our favorite credit cards out there. If you’re looking for a fantastic catch-all credit card and are looking to keep your credit card portfolio as simple as possible, this card could be your saving grace.

As an introductory offer, the Citi Strata Premier card has a fantastic welcome bonus. It also earns 3x Citi ThankYou Points on a vast array of purchases:

  • 10x points on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked through CitiTravel.com
  • 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, EV charging stations air travel, and hotels
  • 1x points on other purchases

Having a single credit card earn bonus points on all of those categories is almost unheard of, except for the Citi Strata Premier card.

Once per calendar year, you can also enjoy a $100 annual hotel savings benefit on a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, when booked through thankyou.com.

The Citi Strata Premier card offers trip delay insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and lost or damaged luggage insurance. Strata also has MasterRental coverage (secondary car rental insurance).

This card gets you access to Citi Entertainment, no foreign transaction fees, authorized user cards for no additional annual fee, and contactless payment capabilities.

Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Preferred card wins out against the Citi Strata Premier card thanks to its rewards of 5x points, which is equal to a return on spending of 10%. 

Best Overall Business Card

Happen to be a business owner? Chase has some incredible products for small business owners; unfortunately, Citi doesn’t compete well in this arena.

Let’s take a look at the best overall business credit cards available!

Winner: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

NEW OFFER
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.

The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.
Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel
100,000 points
$2,000
$95
21.24%-26.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a powerhouse for earning lots of points from your business purchases, especially for business owners that spend regularly on ads.

Plus the card offers flexible redemption options, including access to Chase airline and hotel transfer partners where you can achieve outsized value.

Business owners will also love the protections the card provides like excellent cell phone insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and more.

Pros
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on up to $150,000 in combined purchases on internet, cable and phone services, shipping expenses, travel, and ads purchased with search engines or social media sites
  • Cell phone protection
  • Purchase protection
Cons
    • No elite travel benefits like airport lounge access
  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel℠
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • Round-the-clock monitoring for unusual credit card purchases
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Travel℠
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.24%-26.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Our favorite business credit card between Chase and Citi is the Ink Business Preferred card, which offers fantastic rewards and benefits.

You’ll notice a 6-figure welcome bonus, which is easily worth $2,000 based on our valuations.

Even better, you can earn up to 3x Ultimate Rewards points on select business categories for a total of $150,000 in combined purchases every cardmember year:

  • Ads purchased with search engines or social media sites
  • Internet, cable, and phone services
  • Shipping expenses
  • Travel

Better yet, earn 5x points on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025!

That’s equal to a return on spending of 6% when earning 3x points and 10% when earning 5x points! Other purchases will earn 1x points, which is a 2% return on spending.

You’ll even enjoy a 25% redemption bonus on travel bookings made through Chase Travel, as well as a 25% bonus on Pay Yourself Back redemptions, which cover select rotating categories.

The Ink Business Preferred card is one of the few credit cards that offer cell phone protection, which can deliver up to $1,500 in value to you every year!

Also, this card boasts superb travel insurance, including primary car rental insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, zero liability protection, fraud protection, no foreign transaction fees, and employee cards for no additional annual fee.

Runner-up: Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Ink Business Unlimited card is a stellar option for business owners looking for a no-fuss uncapped 1.5% cash-back card without an annual fee.

The Ink Business Unlimited card is a stellar option for business owners looking for a no-fuss uncapped 1.5% cash-back card without an annual fee.
Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
$750
$750
$0
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

As a business owner, you likely keep pretty busy and probably prefer a credit card that just keeps things simple.

If so, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card might be just the card for you. From zero annual fee to a flat cash-back rate, the card is a no-frills option that you don’t have to think twice about.

Don’t forget too, 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter

Pros
  • 1.5% cash-back on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn rewards faster with employee cards at no additional cost. Set individual spending limits for greater control.
  • Round-the-clock monitoring for unusual credit card purchases
  • With Zero Liability you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Rewards Center

Our runner-up winner is the Ink Business Unlimited card. It’s one of our all-time favorite business credit cards because of its top-shelf rewards and low fees.

The Ink Business Unlimited card earns an uncapped, unlimited 1.5% cash-back on all business purchases.

The secret, though, is that these cash-back rewards can actually be converted to Ultimate Rewards points if you happen to have a card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Ink Business Preferred card.

The rewards will be converted at a 1% to 1x ratio, which translates to an accrual structure of 1.5x points and a 3% return on spending!

This credit card is one of the few out there that includes primary car rental insurance without an annual fee — you’ll also get purchase protection, extended warranty, zero liability coverage, and other travel insurance perks.

You won’t find any additional annual fees for authorized users, either.

Best Premium Travel Rewards Card

Chase Luxury Hotel Resorts Collection
Enjoy access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection from Chase. Image Credit: Chase

If you’re looking for high-end luxury travel benefits, you might love the idea of having a premium card.

Right now, Chase is the undisputed winner in this category, since the only card Citi used to offer (Citi Prestige® Card) is unavailable to new applicants.

Let’s see what Chase has to offer!

Winner: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth $1,125 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$550
22.49%-29.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros
  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
Cons
  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase TravelSM immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority PassTM Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 22.49%-29.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is our go-to premium credit card from Chase.

Thanks to a solid welcome bonus, incredible rewards categories, and a long list of travel perks, our favorite option is the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Right now, you can earn a stellar maximum of 10x Ultimate Rewards points:

  • 10x points on Chase Dining, car rentals, and hotels purchased through Chase Travel
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on select Peloton purchases over $250 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on flights purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3x points on other travel and dining purchases
  • 1x points on other purchases

This credit card comes with the famous $300 travel credit after every cardmember anniversary year, as well as a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, and a $100 TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS application fee credit.

You’ll even enjoy a complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription (when activated by December 31, 2024), access to The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, complimentary rental car privileges with Avis and National, and, of course, some of the best travel insurance.

These card benefits are rounded out with purchase protection, extended warranty, return protection, and no foreign transaction fees.

Best No-Annual-Fee Credit Card

Looking for a card with no annual fee that still earns awesome rewards? Read this section to locate our definitive winners!

Winner: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.
Up to $300 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Freedom Unlimited card is one of the easiest credit cards to start dipping your toes in rewards. In fact, this section is devoted wholly to cards without annual fees, making it an almost risk-free way to get started.

The earning rates are so powerful that you probably wouldn’t believe they come from a card without an annual fee:

  • 5% cash-back on travel booked through the Chase Travel portal
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025
  • 3% cash-back on dining and drugstores
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases

Remember, your rewards can be converted from cash-back to Ultimate Rewards points, so long as you have one of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, Chase Sapphire Reserve card, or Ink Business Preferred card.

This could double your return on spending from 5% to 5x points, which is equal to a 10% return!

Furthermore, the Freedom Unlimited card boasts purchase protection, extended warranty, zero liability fraud protection, authorized users for no additional annual fee, and secondary rental car coverage.

Runner-up: Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.

The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Powerful cash-back earner: 5% back on quarterly categories and travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fees in U.S. dollars
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Freedom Flex card is similar in many ways to the Freedom Unlimited card. That being said, it offers a few fundamentally different bonus categories.

  • 5% cash-back on quarterly rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 per quarter)
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025
  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% cash-back on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and at drugstores
  • 1% cash-back on other purchases

If you feel confident that you can keep up with and maximize quarterly bonus categories, the Freedom Flex card could be a great fit.

That being said, the Freedom Unlimited card boasts a 1.5% cash-back structure on non-bonused purchases, while the Freedom Flex card earns 1%.

The Freedom Flex card’s cash-back can still be converted to Ultimate Rewards points just like the Freedom Unlimited card, and you’ll also find travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, and cell phone insurance.

There are no additional annual fees or authorized users on the Freedom Flex card.

Best Card for Cash-Back

Cash in wallet
Image Credit: Allef Vinicius via Unsplash

Now let’s pivot to cash-back rewards. In this section, we’ll focus on the best credit cards for cash-back rewards.

Winner: Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
$200 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!

This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.

Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.

Pros
  • Uncapped 2% for every $1 spent (1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay)
  • Flexible redemption options
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • No bonus categories
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Bonus Offer: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • Citi Double Cash® Card Travel Portal Limited Time Offer: Earn a total of 5 ThankYou Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rental, and attractions, excluding air travel, when booked through the Citi TravelSM portal on ThankYou.com or by calling 1-800-Thankyou and saying “Travel.” Offer is valid through 11:59 PM Eastern Time (ET) 12/31/2024.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase
Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

The Double Cash card is one of our favorite cash-back credit cards because of how simple the rewards are.

Although you won’t find a huge welcome bonus on this card, it’s one of the best cards to hold long-term.

The biggest selling point of the card, however, is that you can earn 2% cash-back (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay).

The rewards you earn are in the form of ThankYou Points — if you also have the Citi Strata Premier card, you can access the full list of transfer partners. Otherwise, these points are generally redeemable for cash-back, direct deposit, gift cards, or limited transfers to JetBlue or Citi’s hotel partners.

The Double cash card comes with fraud protection, access to Citi Entertainment, and no-additional fee authorized user cards.

Runner-up: Citi Custom Cash® Card

Citi Custom Cash® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!
Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Custom Cash® Card is inventive when it comes to cash-back credit cards. Instead of earning a set amount of cash-back on predetermined bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% cash-back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, without an annual fee.

Thanks to that unique perk, you’ll never need to worry about whether you’re using the right card for the right purchase, as your Citi Custom Cash card will always pay you 5% back on whichever category you end up spending the most on each month.

Pros
  • 5% cash-back (on up to $500 each billing cycle) from your largest purchase category, including restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment
  • No annual fee
  • Multiple redemption options
Cons
  • Your 5% category is limited to $500 in spend ($25 in cash-back) each month
  • Not particularly rewarding for any purchases outside of your top 5% cash-back category
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Special Travel Offer: Earn an additional 4% cash back on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked via the Citi Travel℠ portal through 6/30/2025.
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Our runner-up credit card is the Citi Custom Cash card, which happens to be one of Citi’s newer credit cards.

You’ll earn 5% cash-back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent:

  • Drugstores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Live entertainment
  • Restaurants
  • Select streaming services
  • Select transit
  • Select travel

Being able to earn 5% cash-back from such an immensely broad list of popular bonus categories is huge, though the one drawback is the low cap of $500 every billing cycle. On all other purchases, you’ll earn 1% cash-back.

The Citi Custom Cash card comes with zero liability on unauthorized charges, contactless payments, the ability to choose your payment due date, and access to Citi Entertainment.

This card comes with no additional annual fees for authorized users, too.

Hot Tip: For more options, check out these 5% cash-back credit cards.

Best Business Card for Cash-Back

The next section we’ll cover is the best business credit cards for cash-back.

The unfortunate reality is that Citi doesn’t compete heavily in the business credit card segment; therefore, our top cards are both from Chase.

Winner: Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card offers great rewards and no annual fee. Any new business owner that needs to get going will enjoy this card.

This card offers great rewards and no annual fee. Any new business owner that needs to get going will enjoy this card.
Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening.
Up to $750
Up to $750
$0
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 18.49% - 24.49% variable thereafter.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has a lot going for it that makes it a compelling choice for small business owners. The card features a very lucrative 5% back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year.

When you factor in that the card has no annual fee, and 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter, you could be adding big value back into your business for no cost out of pocket.

Pros
  • Earn 5% back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% back on all other purchases
  • 10% Business Relationship Bonus if you have the Ink Business Cash card plus a Chase Business Checking account on your first card anniversary
Cons
  • Spending caps in bonus categories
  • Low points earning outside of bonus categories
  • Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 10% Business Relationship Bonus If you have the Ink Business Cash card plus a Chase Business Checking account on your first card anniversary
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 18.49% - 24.49% variable thereafter.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Our favorite business credit card for maximizing cash-back is the Ink Business Cash card, which can earn up to 5% cash-back.

Here’s the rewards structure in detail:

  • 5% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases every account anniversary year at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft purchases through March 31, 2025
  • 2% cash-back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases every account anniversary year at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1% cash-back on other purchases

Best of all, the cash-back rewards on the Ink Business Cash card can be converted to Ultimate Rewards at a 1%:1x ratio, which allows you to earn up to 5x Ultimate Rewards points if you also have an Ultimate Rewards credit card.

Rounding out the Ink Business Cash card is the primary car rental insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, zero liability fraud protection, and no-additional fee employee cards.

Runner-up: Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Our runner-up card is the Ink Business Unlimited card, which we actually discussed in the “Best Overall Business Card” section.

These rewards are convertible to Ultimate Rewards points at a 1% to 1x ratio, and you’ll also enjoy primary rental car coverage, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, travel insurance, and zero liability fraud protection. Lastly, there are no additional annual fees for employee cards.

Best Balance Transfer Credit Card

The last category we’ll be highlighting is one that’s relatively unknown in the world of credit card rewards: balance transfer credit cards.

If you’re looking to consolidate any existing high-interest debt on other credit cards, pay close attention to this section!

Winner: Citi Double Cash® Card

We love this card because it allows you to arbitrate credit card debt through balance transfers and earn industry-leading rewards on everyday purchases.

You’ll earn 1% cash-back (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay, earned as ThankYou Points) — and these points can be used with the full list of airline and hotel partners as long as you have another ThankYou Rewards card like the Citi Strata Premier card.

There are no additional annual fees for authorized users, and you’ll get fraud alerts, contactless payments, and much more.

Runner-up: Citi Rewards+® Credit Card

Citi Rewards+® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This no annual fee card rewards cardholders for everyday purchases. Earn bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations, plus your points are rounded up on every purchase.

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)
This no annual fee card rewards cardholders for everyday purchases. Earn bonus points at supermarkets and gas stations, plus your points are rounded up on every purchase.
Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com.
20,000 points
$320
$0
0% intro APR on balance transfers and on purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR of 18.74% - 28.74%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-840)
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • Plus, as a special offer, earn a total of 5 Thank You® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on CitiTravel.com through December 31, 2025.*
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 18.74% – 28.74%, based on your creditworthiness. There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The Citi Rewards+® Card – the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap.
  • No Annual Fee
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers and on purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR of 18.74% - 28.74%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars

More importantly, you’ll get that lovely introductory balance transfer fee as part of the welcome bonus. The welcome bonus also gets you some fantastic bonus rewards on top of everything!

On an ongoing basis, the Citi Rewards+ card earns 2x ThankYou Points at supermarkets and gas stations, up to the first $6,000 per year.

This card offers an exclusive benefit whereby your rewards will be rounded up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase, making it easy to earn even more points!

The Citi Rewards+ card also allows you to get 10% points back when you redeem, up to the first 100,000 points redeemed per year (and therefore, a maximum of 10,000 points back every year).

Of course, authorized users can be added with no additional annual fee.

Final Thoughts

Chase and Citi both have some superb credit card options. As we’ve seen in this guide, Chase tends to focus on the slightly higher-end customer, usually in the premium segment, while Citi tends to focus on appealing to the mass market.

Overall, you’ll have plenty of options if you want to make the most of your credit card slots; you’ll have no problem making the right decision when keeping this guide handy.

The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chase better than Citibank?

In the context of credit cards and rewards, most regard Chase as a better option than Citibank. Certain exceptions apply, but Chase points are generally more valuable than Citi points, for example.

Which bank is bigger, Chase or Citi?

In terms of total assets, Chase is significantly larger than Citi.

Does Chase own Citibank?

Chase does not own Citibank. Citibank and Chase are totally different banks, and many would consider them to be direct competitors.

Which credit card is better, Chase or Citi?

In general, if you’re looking for a premium credit card with great travel rewards, Chase is better.

But if you’re looking for the best cash-back or balance transfer cards, Citi has a slight edge.

Which is better --- the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Citi Strata Premier℠ card?

We think that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is better than the Citi Strata Premier card. Earning up to 5x Ultimate Rewards points and better all-around benefits make the Chase Sapphire Preferred card a better card than the Citi Strata Premier card.

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About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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