Cha Chung-hwa started her acting career on stage in 2005 before landing a minor role in the 2010 movie Harmony, which was nominated for Best Film at the 47th Grand Bell Awards. In 2019, she became part of the hit tvN series Crash Landing on You. Her career breakthrough came the following year when she was cast in the top-rating tvN fusion sageuk Mr. Queen. Her work in the series scored her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 57th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2021, she portrayed a cold and authoritarian professor in the KBS2 campus coming-of-age drama At a Distance, Spring Is Green. That same year, she appeared in the well-received tvN series Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha as a Chinese restaurant owner who loves to gossip.

Cha Chung-hwa attended Sangmyung University’s theater department. In October 2023, she married her non-celebrity boyfriend.