Deciding between the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Freedom Card? Here are the various aspects of each card that you’ll want to consider.
Sign-Up Bonuses for the Chase Freedom Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The Chase Freedom Card comes with a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card comes with 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. (This translates to $625 toward travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.)
If you can swing the spending requirement, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has the better sign-up bonus.
Other Basics for the Chase Freedom Card
- Earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 per quarter in rotating bonus categories
- Earn 1 percent back on all other spending
- $0 annual fee
- 3 percent foreign transaction fee
Other Basics for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
- $0 annual fee your first year, then $95 annual fee each year following
- No foreign transaction fees
Great Things about the Chase Freedom Card
Chase Freedom can be a great card if you max out your spending in the quarterly bonus categories. You can also convert your Chase Freedom cash back into Chase Ultimate Rewards points IF you have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card. That means that you have to own the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred Card.
This card is primarily good if you’re looking for something that’ll earn you big points on random, everyday categories, vs. specifically travel and dining (unless, of course, one of those ends up as a quarterly bonus category one quarter).
The Chase Freedom Card also does not have an annual fee, which is a plus for some cardholders.
Additionally, if you’re not looking to convert that cash back into Chase Ultimate Rewards points, then you can maximize your cash back totals by combining the Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠.
Great Things about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
If the majority of your spending is on travel and dining, and you don’t feel you can maximize the quarterly bonuses, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is likely best for you.
Additionally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred comes with some great travel protection benefits. You receive primary car rental insurance when you pay for the rental with your card; trip delay reimbursement of up to $500 per ticket following a 12-hour delay; up to $10,000 of coverage for trip cancellation and/or interruption; up to $100 per day for baggage delays of 6+ hours.
Maximizing Chase Ultimate Rewards Points: The Math
However, if your end game is only to earn as many Chase Ultimate Rewards points as possible with straightforward spending, you want the Chase Freedom card. Here’s why.
If you spend $6,000 per year, with $1,500 per quarter in the Chase Freedom bonus categories, you’ll receive $75 cash back per quarter, or $300 per year.
If you hold a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card, you can convert the Chase Freedom cash back at a rate of 1 point per cent, so you would receive 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, if you spend $6,000 in the travel and dining categories, you’ll receive 2X per $1, so you would only end up with 12,000 Ultimate Rewards points at the end of the year.
Thus, if you’re willing to make the spending work, you can reap more benefits from Chase Freedom.
Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire Preferred are both great cards suitable for certain types of cardholders, but they can also be paired to get the most from your spending habits. Each has its perks. The Chase Freedom has no annual fee and potential to earn you loads of points with the quarterly categories. Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you a great sign-up bonus and is good for travel. Both, though, are easy to use and provide simple redemption, making them perfect for those new to the points and miles game.