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It's no secret that JPMorgan  Chase has some of the best credit cards out there for travel. If you're just starting out on your credit journey, then I recommend building a relationship with  Chase as soon as possible to start earning points.

Below is a general roadmap of how to get approved for your first  Chase credit card.

Phase 1: Apply for the  Chase Freedom Unlimited® or  Chase Freedom Flex℠

The  Chase Freedom cards are entry-level cards that earns 5% cash back on travel purchased through  Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3% on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants. Save up the Ultimate Reward points to redeem for travel when you get a premium credit card.

There are a few scenarios:
    a) if approved for the  Chase Freedom Unlimited or  Chase Freedom Flex= move to Phase 3
    b) if no answer = move to Phase 1.5
    c) if rejected = move to Phase 2

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Phase 1.5: Call the backdoor number and talk to a credit analyst

If you don't automatically get rejected for a  Chase Freedom card, then call the backdoor number and talk to a credit analyst to explain your financial situation.

Chase Freedom Backdoor Number: 1-888-270-2127‬

a) if approved = move to Phase 3
b) if rejected = move to Phase 2

Phase 2: Apply for the Slate card

If you get rejected for the  Chase Freedom card, then try applying for the  Chase Slate card on the same day to combine hard inquiries. When you apply for the  Chase Freedom and  Chase Slate online on the same day, it should only be 1 inquiry. YMMV.    

The  Chase Slate card can be product changed to a  Chase Freedom card after a few months.

a) if approved = move to Phase 1 or Phase 3
b) if rejected = get 700+ score by getting a secured card or dramatically increase your credit score and have a credit history of at least 6-12 months. Wait another 3-6 months to apply again (Phase 1 or Phase 2)

Phase 3:  Chase Freedom Unlimited /  Chase Sapphire Preferred /  Chase Sapphire Reserve / Other  Chase Cards

After you build a relationship with  Chase via the  Chase Freedom Flex or  Chase Freedom Unlimited card, wait 3-9 months before applying for another  Chase card.

I usually recommend going for the Chase Trifecta, which consists of the  Chase Freedom Flex,  Chase Freedom Unlimited, and the  Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the  Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
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Editorial Note:
Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.