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Chase Freedom® vs Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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Rewards Rate Details Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign Up Bonus Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
Annual Fee $0 $0
Foreign Exchange Fee 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
Purchase Intro Rate 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months See Rates & Fees
Card Details Chase Freedom® Credit Card Details Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Credit Card Details

Comparison Summary

Matchup: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express vs Chase Freedom®

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Category Cash Back vs Chase Freedom® Bonus Category Cash Back

  • Let’s take a scenario where the quarterly cash back categories for Chase Freedom® are grocery, gas, department stores and Amazon. In a year, you spend $6,000 on groceries and $1,500 each on gas, department stores and Amazon. At year’s end, with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express you will earn $45 more cash back than with the Chase Freedom® card.
  • Overall, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a better fit for consumers with clear spending habits, particularly in the grocery category, as it is unlikely that you will max out the bonus categories for Chase Freedom®. WINNER: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Sign-Up Bonus vs Chase Freedom® Sign-Up Bonus

  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months..
  • Chase Freedom®: Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Chase Freedom® only requires you to spend half of what Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express requires. WINNER: Chase Freedom®

Math Breakdown 5 percent bonus categories vs. constant cash back categories

Here’s a scenario using the 2016 Chase Freedom® cash back calendar with gas, grocery, restaurants and department stores as bonus categories. In this scenario, your yearly spending is allocated at $6,000 on groceries, $1,500 on gas, $1,500 on restaurants, and $1,500 on department stores. These values are divided evenly among each quarter.

With Chase Freedom® you’ll Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. With Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express you’ll earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases..

At the end of the year, you’ll earn $225 with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and $180 cash back with the Chase Freedom®. The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns you $45 more cash back. Even if you spend a bit more in a bonus category than you typically would to enjoy the 5 percent rate with Chase Freedom®, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express still earns more cash back.

Which Credit Card is Better

The best card for you depends on whether you consistently shop in certain categories or not. Since the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has three set categories that do not rotate — U.S. gas, U.S. supermarkets and at select U.S. department stores — it is a better choice for people who are consistently big spenders in those categories. However, if you aren’t a big spender in those categories and prefer rotating bonus categories, then you will benefit more from the Chase Freedom® card.

Expert Review

CompareCards: Chase Freedom® Credit Card Quick Review

The Chase Freedom® is a great cash back rewards credit card for savvy spenders who want to take advantage of a higher cash back rate in quarterly bonus categories. Cardholders who frequently spend in the bonus categories will earn the most cash back.

One of the best perks of this card is the intro bonus that requires a low spending amount. Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. The intro bonus kickstarts your rewards earning. Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Don’t forget to activate the bonus categories each quarter.

The bonus categories are random, and you don’t know what each quarter’s bonus category will be. In the past, categories have included gas, groceries, restaurants, movie theaters, department stores, Amazon and more. The range of bonus categories provides something for all consumers, allowing almost everyone to earn the high cash back rate.

If you’re carrying a balance on another card, Chase Freedom® offers a good 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months. However, be aware that there is a balance transfer fee — Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. The intro purchase period is 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months. After the intro period, your APR is 15.99%- 24.74% Variable. For people who don’t mind keeping track of quarterly bonus categories and want to earn high cash back rewards, the Chase Freedom® card is a great option.

Pros of the Chase Freedom® Card

  • Great for people who want a fee-free card with cash back rewards.
  • Great for people who are savvy and want to maximize the high 5 percent quarterly bonus categories.
  • Great for people new to credit cards or those looking for another card to maximize cash back.
  • Great for people looking for a high-value intro bonus. The bonus is great for the low spending requirement.

Cons of the Chase Freedom® Card

  • Not for people who may forget to activate the quarterly bonus categories. There are five ways you can activate: online at ultimaterewards.com or chase.com/freedom, provide your email at chase.com/freedom, call the number on the back of your card, visit a Chase location, or via ATM (available to Chase checking customers only).
  • Not for people who prefer a flat-rate card. You might not make a purchase in all or any of the random bonus categories.
  • Not for people who spend more than $500 per month in bonus categories. Higher rewards are capped at $1,500 each quarter.
  • Not for people who travel abroad. There is a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Best Way to Use the Chase Freedom® Card

To get the most out of your card, make sure to spend a lot in the bonus categories. Spending the full $1,500 or anything close to it will earn you the most cash back at the highest rate. You can earn $75 cash back if you spend $1,500 in a bonus category. To avoid missing out on the bonus rate, set an alert on your calendar to activate the bonus categories each quarter.

To enjoy extra benefits as a new cardholder, spend the required amount to attain the intro bonus — Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Add an authorized user during this time, and you’ll benefit from an additional $25 cash bonus. Just make sure you make your first purchase during the same three months, or you’ll lose out on the offer.

Extra Perks of the Chase Freedom® Card

Adding an authorized user during the first three months of account opening, and making your first purchase during that time, earns you an extra $25 cash back bonus. Cash back does not expire as long as your account remains open. Additional perks include zero liability protection, chip-enabled security, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, and auto rental collision damage waiver.

How Do you Redeem Your Chase Freedom® Card Rewards?

Rewards are easily redeemable for cash back, gift cards, travel and more. You can redeem your points via your Chase Ultimate Rewards® account online or the Chase mobile banking app. All you need to do after logging in is click “redeem rewards” and choose a redemption method. Points are worth 1 cent when you redeem for cash back, gift cards or travel. So 100 points equal $1 in redemption value.

Is the Chase Freedom® Card for You?

This card is great for savvy spenders who want to earn a high cash back rate in rotating categories. With an array of categories changing every quarter, there’s something for everyone. You can enjoy added cash back with the intro bonus, at a low spend. When paired with a flat-rate card, this card will allow you to maximize your cash back earnings in bonus categories. Cardholders who consistently spend high in the bonus categories will see excellent rewards.

CompareCards: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Quick Review

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is one of the best cash back rewards credit cards, and at CompareCards.com, it ranks as one of our favorites. This card is great for big spenders on groceries, on gas and at select U.S. department stores. In these categories, you will earn a higher rewards rate. You will earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases..

The intro bonus for this card is $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.. This is a higher threshold than other cards require.

With this card, you will automatically earn the higher cash back levels for gas, for groceries and at select U.S. department stores; there is no activation needed. In addition, there is a $0 annual fee, which makes the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express a great option for frequent shoppers for groceries, for gas and at select U.S. department stores.

Although this is a cash back card, it also offers a good See Rates & Fees intro APR on purchases and See Rates & Fees intro APR on balance transfers. After that, your APR will be See Rates & Fees. Keep in mind, if you do a balance transfer, you will be charged Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.. If you spend the majority of your money on groceries, for gas and at department stores, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express can earn you a great cash back rate.

Pros of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • Great for people who don’t want to pay an annual fee and want to earn cash back rewards.
  • Great for people who want a sign-on bonus, after required spend.
  • Great for people who spend a lot on groceries (at least $500 per month), for gas and at select U.S. department stores.
  • Great for people who want a simple rewards program with no changing categories.

Cons of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • Not for people who are low spenders in grocery, gas and department store categories. Not for people who frequently travel abroad. This card charges a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
  • Not for people who want to redeem cash back at any value. Rewards Dollars must be redeemed in increments of 25.
  • Not for people who do grocery shopping or gas up at U.S. superstores and warehouse clubs. These are not eligible purchases and will only receive 1 percent cash back.

Best Way to Use the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The best way to use the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is to make all of your purchases for groceries, for gas and at eligible U.S. department stores on this card. This way you will earn the highest cash back rates for these categories. If you spend $500 a month on grocery purchases with this card, you will benefit from the high cash back rate. You will earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases.. Keep in mind superstores, supermarkets and warehouse clubs that sell gas are NOT considered gas stations and won’t be eligible for the higher cash back rates.

To earn extra cash back make sure to spend the required amount to get the intro bonus. You’ll receive a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months..

Extra Perks of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

There is no annual fee for additional cards for your family and friends, and Rewards Dollars won't expire as long as your account is open. This card also comes with numerous bonus perks, including a roadside assistance hotline, car rental loss and damage insurance, travel accident insurance, and a global assist hotline. Shopping perks include extended warranty protection, purchase protection, return protection, and dispute resolution. You will also enjoy entertainment access with card member-only events and exclusive presales.

How Do you Redeem Your Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Rewards?

Cash back earned is in the form of Rewards Dollars, which can be redeemed for merchandise, statement credit, or gift cards. To redeem your Rewards Dollars, log in to your account online and select “use Rewards Dollars.” From here you can select how you’d like to redeem your Rewards Dollars, but note that it must be in increments of 25.

Is the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express for You?

In order to maximize your cash back on groceries, on gas and at department stores you need the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. If you’re someone who spends $500 a month on groceries, this card is meant for you, and you’ll benefit from the high cash back rate. In addition, big spenders at gas stations and eligible U.S. department stores will earn a good cash back rate on all purchases in these categories. This card allows you to maximize your cash back rewards for everyday purchases for groceries, for gas and at U.S. department stores.

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