Kim Jae-hwa made her acting debut in the 2010 film Harmony. In 2012, she played a Chinese table tennis champion in the sports drama movie As One. In 2014, she appeared in MBC’s Sly and Single Again and tvN’s Surplus Princess. She also became part of several KBS2 dramas in 2017 such as the workplace comedy Chief Kim and the legal series Witch’s Court. These were followed by more memorable portrayals of supporting characters in Secret Mother and My Strange Hero, which both aired on SBS in 2018. In 2021, she starred in the film Action Hero, which won her Best Supporting Actress at the 2022 Wildflower Film Awards. Also in 2021, she was cast in the award-winning action-drama film Escape from Mogadishu, which scored her a Best Supporting Actress nomination at the 58th Baeksang Arts Awards. In 2022, she joined the main cast of JTBC’s Cleaning Up, which was based on the British series of the same name.

Kim Jae-hwa attended Chung-Ang University. Her younger sister Kim Hye-hwa is also an actress.