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Chase Freedom® vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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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. 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Sign Up Bonus Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Purchase Intro Rate 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months N/A
Annual Fee $0 $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Best For Earning 5% cash back on purchases in popular rotating categories. Earning points on travel and dining purchases that can be redeemed for travel.
Card Details Chase Freedom® Credit Card Details Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Credit Card Details

Comparison Summary

Matchup: Chase Freedom® Vs Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Freedom® Bonus Category Cash Back vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® Category Cash Back

  • Let’s take a scenario where you typically spend $3,000 a month with 40 percent on travel, 40 percent on dining and 20 percent on other purchases.
  • With Chase Freedom® if both travel and dining are bonus categories and you don’t spend anything in the other two bonus categories, you will earn $648 at year’s end. There is no annual fee, so you pocket everything you earn.
  • With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card you will earn $68 cash back each month with a total of $810 cash back at the end of each year. The $95 fee is waived in year one, so you’ll enjoy the full $810 cash back, and in subsequent years your net is $715. Note: This is when you redeem via Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Otherwise your net would be $648 in year one and $553 in following years.
  • Overall, it’s pretty clear that the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a better fit for big spenders in travel and dining. Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Freedom® Sign-up Bonus vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® Sign-up Bonus

  • Chase Freedom®: Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening..
  • Don’t let the higher cash amount for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card trick you. It’s only a 12.5 percent or 15.625 percent return, depending on how you redeem your points.
  • The Chase Freedom® cash back rate is nearly double at 30 percent. Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Math Breakdown

Chase Freedom® Math

There is no annual fee to calculate for this card. 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. That means bonus category purchases will earn 5 points per $1 spent and all other purchases will earn 1 point per $1 spent. Points are valued at $0.01, so 100 points equal $1.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Math

This card offers 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Points are also valued at $0.01, so 100 points equal $1. However, points are worth 25 percent more when redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®. So 100 points equal $1.25. The annual fee for this card is $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95.

To break even on the annual fee, you must spend:

  • $3,800 if you only spend in the 2X per dollar categories and redeem via Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $4,750 if you only spend in the 2X per dollar categories and redeem for cash or gift cards
  • $7,600 if you only spend in the 1X per dollar categories and redeem via Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $9,500 if you only spend in the 1X per dollar categories and redeem for cash or gift cards

Which Credit Card is Better?

The best card for you depends on where you frequently spend. If you are a big spender in travel and dining, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will earn you the most rewards. However, if you don’t frequently spend on travel and dining, you may benefit more from the rotating bonus categories with the Chase Freedom® card.

Expert Review

Compare Cards: Chase Freedom® Credit Card Quick Review

The Chase Freedom® is a good cash back rewards credit card that will allow you to earn a higher cash back rate in bonus rotating categories. By spending in the bonus categories each quarter, you will be able to increase your cash back.

The best incentive to get this card is the sign-up bonus. Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. This is a large bonus considering the low amount you need to spend to attain it. With this card you will also earn cash back rewards. 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.

Bonus categories rotate every three months. The categories have included a lot of different options, such as gas, grocery, restaurants, movie theaters, department stores, Amazon and more. The different rotating categories provide something for everyone to maximize their cash back.

In addition to cash back rewards, this card offers 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months. After that, your APR will be 15.99%- 24.74% Variable. Be wary of the balance transfer fee — Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. With no annual fee, the Chase Freedom® is a good option for anyone who wants to earn cash back rewards and doesn’t mind dealing with rotating quarterly bonus categories.

Pros of the Chase Freedom® Card

  • Great for people who don’t want to pay an annual fee and want to earn cash back rewards.
  • Great for people who want to maximize high 5 percent cash back rotating quarterly categories, up to $1,500 in combined purchases.
  • Great for people looking for their first credit card or a card to maximize cash back.
  • Great for people looking for a competitive intro bonus with a low spending requirement.

Cons of the Chase Freedom® Card

  • Not for people who might forget to activate the rotating quarterly 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 (checking customers only).
  • Not for people who like consistent rewards. Bonus categories are random, and you might not make purchases in the categories.
  • Not for people who are high spenders in bonus categories. There is a $1,500 cap each quarter.
  • Not for people who travel abroad. There is a foreign transaction fee — 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Best Ways to Use the Card

The best way to use the Chase Freedom® Card is to make purchases in the bonus categories, hitting the $1,500 cap, or close to it, each quarter. This way you will earn the highest rate for those categories. Remember that you have to activate the categories each quarter in order to enjoy the high rate. You can sign up for activation reminders via text message or email at chase.com/freedom.

Make sure to take advantage of the sign-up offer by spending the required amount (Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.). In addition, if you’re considering adding an authorized user, make sure to do so in the first three months from account opening and make your first purchase during the same three months so you can enjoy an additional $25 cash bonus.

Extra Perks of the Chase Freedom® Card

Cardholders receive an extra $25 cash back bonus when they make their first purchase and add an authorized user in the first three months from account opening. Cash back never expires as long as your account is open. This card also comes with plenty of bonus perks, including 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?

The Chase Freedom® card provides an easy way to redeem your rewards. You can redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more. To redeem points, log in to your Chase Ultimate Rewards® account online or via the Chase mobile banking app, click redeem rewards, and choose how you want to redeem them. When you use points to redeem for cash back, gift cards or travel, each point is worth $0.01, which means that 100 points equal $1 in redemption value. You also have the option to combine points from other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards.

Is the Chase Freedom® Card for You?

This card is for anyone who wants to earn a higher cash back rate in bonus categories. The various bonus categories have something to benefit everyone. The sign-up bonus is a great way to earn extra cash back, and if you add an authorized user, you can earn an extra $25 cash back. This card is great to pair with a flat-rate card that will earn you a higher rate on non-bonus category purchases. This way you can maximize your cash back earnings.

CompareCards: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Credit Card Quick Review

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will reward big spenders in travel and dining. By charging all of your travel and dining purchases on this card you will earn a rewards rate of 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

The 25 percent redemption bonus you will receive from redeeming points via Chase Ultimate Rewards® is the best incentive to get this card. In addition, if you’re a member of a leading frequent traveler program, you will benefit from a 1:1 point transfer for programs that partner with Chase.

This card does not have an intro APR offer, so you will be charged 16.99% - 23.99% Variable. There is also a high balance transfer fee — Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. We don’t recommend doing a balance transfer with this card for these reasons. With great rewards for frequent travelers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a good option for travelers who want to earn extra rewards for doing what they love — traveling.

Pros of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Great for people who frequently travel. You’ll earn 2X points, and there are no foreign transaction fees.
  • Great for people who dine out. You’ll earn 2X points on dining.
  • Great for people to use in combination with other Chase co-branded cards.
  • Great for people who want a higher redemption value for points. Get 25 percent more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Great for people who belong to a Chase partner’s frequent travel program. Chase points transfer at a 1:1 value.

Cons of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Not for people who don’t want to pay an annual fee. The annual fee is $95, waived the first year.
  • Not for people who infrequently travel and dine out.
  • Not for people who have less than excellent credit.
  • Not for people simply looking for a cash back card — 100 points are worth $1 when redeemed for cash back and $1.25 when redeemed for travel. If you want a cash back card, there are better options like the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer with 1% cash back when you buy and 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases.

Best Ways to Use the Card

The best way to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is to use it for all travel and dining purchases. This way you will earn higher points on these purchases. When it comes to redeeming your points, one of the best ways to maximize your rewards is to redeem for travel by using Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Your points will be worth 25 percent more. Also, if you are a member of one of Chase’s partner frequent traveler programs, you will be able to transfer points at a 1:1 value. This is another great option if you want to combine points you’ve accumulated through a partner’s program. Ultimately, finding the best offer depends on what deals are live on Chase Ultimate Rewards® or a partnering frequent traveler program.

Take advantage of the sign-up bonus by spending the required amount — Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This is equivalent to $500 cash back or $625 toward travel when redeemed via Chase Ultimate Rewards®. In addition, if you want another bonus, add an authorized user in the first three months from account opening and make your first purchase during the same three months so you can enjoy an additional 5,000 bonus points (worth $50 in cash or $62.50 in travel).

Extra Perks of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Cardholders receive 5,000 bonus points when they make their first purchase and add an authorized user in the first three months from account opening. There are no foreign transaction fees. You can transfer your points to leading frequent travel programs at a 1:1 value, and points never expire. This card also comes with plenty of bonus perks, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, and auto rental collision damage waiver.

How do You Redeem Your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Rewards?

You can redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more. To redeem points, log in to your Chase Ultimate Rewards® account online or via the Chase mobile banking app, click redeem rewards, and choose how you want to redeem them. When you use points to redeem for cash back or gift cards, each point is worth $0.01, which means that 100 points equal $1 in redemption value. When you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® you earn a 25 percent redemption bonus, so 100 points equal $1.25. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel, or $500 when redeemed for cash.

In addition, you can transfer points on a 1:1 value to leading frequent traveler programs. Air travel partners include: British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue’s AIR FRANCE and KLM, Korean Air SKYPASS, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus® and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. Hotel travel partners include: IHG® Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® and World of Hyatt. When you transfer points to a frequent flier program, the value of points is up to the airline or hotel’s discretion. This means you may get more or less value for your points.

Is the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for You?

This card is great for frequent travelers and diners who want to earn more points for purchases in those categories. Currently, there are two great sign-on bonuses that can earn you a total of $687.50 (after required spend and addition if authorized user). Also, redeeming points for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards® will increase a point’s value by 25 percent. A great idea is to pair this card with the Chase Freedom® card so you can earn a higher rewards rate on non-travel and dining purchases. This card is a must for frequent travelers who want to maximize their points across frequent traveler programs.

*General Disclaimer: See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. We make every effort to maintain accurate information. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty. To confirm terms and conditions, click the "Apply Now" button and review info on the secure credit card terms page.

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