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The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards are designed for daily use. While other cards prioritize travel, these cards offer the highest rewards on U.S. supermarkets, dining out, and transport.
However, there are crucial differences between the cards. We’ll look at these cards in more detail so you have the information you need to choose which card is best for you.
Simulation: Which Card Gives More Rewards?
While we’ve looked at various card features, it can be tricky to understand the real cash benefits without a direct scenario comparison. Since both of these cards are designed for your everyday spending, we will examine typical monthly spending to see the potential rewards you could obtain with similar spending.
Keep in mind to adjust the numbers to your regular spending categories, which may be different – so choose your card wisely and calculate depending on your personal habits.
Spend Per Category
Amex Blue Cash Preferred
Chase Freedom Unlimited
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$5,000 – Restaurants
$1,000 – Airline
$1,000 – Hotels
$4,000 – Gas
Estimated Annual Value
Editorial Note: Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollments may be required for select benefits. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more
Compare Welcome Bonus And Fees
Both cards offer cash welcome bonus, so you don’t need to convert and redeem points to enjoy your welcome bonus. The Blue Cash Preferred offers a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers a similar bonus but in a different way – additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)- worth up to $300 cash back.
Both issuers also offer some additional welcome bonuses. Amex offers Blue Cash Preferred new cardholders a $0 fee on Buy Now, Pay Later plans created in the first 12 months, while Chase offers higher cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases for the first year with a cap. However, Walmart and Target purchases are excluded from this offer.
However, while Chase has no annual fee for the Freedom Unlimited, the Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee of $95 ($0 intro for the first year). However, while Chase has a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% after the first 60 days, the Blue Cash Preferred offers lower balance transfer fee ($5 or 3%, whichever is greater).
Compare The Perks
Amex Blue Cash Preferred
- Equinox+ Credit: When you use your Blue Cash Preferred credit card to pay for your Equinox+, you’ll receive $10 a month in statement credit. Terms Apply.
- Additional Car Rental Insurance: When you use your Blue Cash Preferred card to reserve and pay for your car rental, you’ll receive additional car rental loss, damage, and theft insurance.
- Purchase Return Protection: You can enjoy return protection on eligible items with up to $300 per item and a cap of $1,000 per year. You must make your purchases with your card and negotiate with the seller first.
- Exclusive Ticket Presale Access: Via American Express Experiences, you can obtain exclusive access to card member only events and ticket presales for concerts, sporting events, shows, and family events. Terms Apply.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Free credit score with Chase Credit Journey – Credit Journey provides you with personalized insights to help you build, monitor and protect and improve your credit health.
- Service & Protection – Chase offers protections such as zero liability protection, 24/7 Fraud protection, extended warranty protection, purchase protection, auto rental collision Damage Waiver and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. You can also link your card to your Chase checking account.
- Up to $500 cash back per year for referring friends. You’ll earn $100 for each friend who gets a participating Freedom credit card.
Compare The Drawbacks
No financial product is without possible drawbacks and these cards are no exception. So, here we’ll highlight some potential negatives, so you can make an informed decision.
Amex Blue Cash Preferred
For U.S. supermarkets, there are certain chains that are excluded such as Amazon, Target and Walmart.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Although Chase has reduced the balance transfer fee to 3% or $5 for the first 60 days, after this time, the fees go back up to $5 or 5%.
So, if you want to take advantage of the 0% introductory offer, you’ll need to get your balance transfers organized quickly and you’ll still need to pay a fee.
Compare Redemption Options
Chase offers several ways to redeem your rewards. These include:
- Statement credit or a direct deposit: There is no minimum to redeem your rewards in this way and direct deposits are acceptable for most U.S checking and savings accounts.
- Amazon shopping: You can also use your rewards to pay for all or part of eligible Amazon.com orders when you link your card to your Amazon account.
- Gift cards: Chase has a variety of gift card options including for dining, entertainment and shopping.
- Travel rewards. You can use the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform to access competitive rates for travel products including hotel stays and flights.
- Charity: donating your credit card points to charity is a always appreciated and optional choice when redeeming your points with Amex.
When it comes to redeem your Blue Cash Preferred cash back, it's quite simple. Log into your American Express account and select “Use Reward Dollars” to redeem your Reward Dollars.
You can redeem your available Reward Dollars balance for a statement credit at a rate of 1.00 Reward Dollar to $1.00 as long as your available Reward Dollars balance is 25 or more.
Simply enter the number of Reward Dollars you want to use as a credit toward your next statement balance, and the credit should appear within three days.
How to Maximize Cards Benefits?
If you want to make the best use of your Blue Cash Preferred, there are some tips to help you:
- Meet the minimum spend for the introductory offer. You’ll get $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
- Don’t just buy groceries at the grocery store. You’ll get higher on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, but this doesn’t mean that you’re limited to groceries. You can buy homewares, tools and other items at U.S. supermarkets to maximize your cash back. Terms Apply.
- Reserve and pay for your rental cars with your card. This will provide additional insurance protection for damage and theft. However, Chase has better cards for rental car insurance.
- Check out American Express Experiences: If you like going to concerts, sporting events, and shows, be sure to check out this platform for exclusive access to ticket presales.
If you want to make the best use of your Chase Freedom Unlimited , there are some tips to help you:
Utilize Alongside Other Cards: You should maximize the cashback rewards you get by combining the use of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card with other credit cards for excellent credit, that might have complimentary cashback rates for certain types of purchases.
Budgeting: This credit card allows you to easily plan in advance as the cashback rates stay the same. Therefore, you can plan your purchases and figure out how much cashback you will receive when doing so.
- Sign up bonus – make sure you spend the right amount needed in order to maximize your sign up bonus.
Customer Reviews: Which Card Wins?
Satisfied customers report that this is a great card to negate the rising cost of groceries. While there is a cap of $6,000 per year, you can earn higher cash back on your bills at U.S. supermarkets. The other highlights include an easy to qualify for introductory cash bonus.
Satisfied customers report the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers some great rewards for everyday spending. This means that you can maximize your rewards without needing to drastically change your spending habits. Cardholders also appreciate the 0% introductory rate for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
When You Might Want the Blue Cash Preferred?
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card is one of the best Amex cards and can be a great option that could be good if:
- You tend to spend $500 or less a month at U.S. supermarkets, as you’ll enjoy higher cash back up to a cap of $6,000 per year. After this, you’ll earn 1%.
- You like attending concerts, sporting events, and other ticketed events and will make use of the Amex ticket presale platform.
- You plan on making $2,000 in purchases within the first six months, so you’ll qualify for the cash back bonus.
When You Might Want the Chase Freedom Unlimited?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is a solid choice if:
- You will spend at least $20,000 during your first year to maximize your sign up cash back bonus.
- You enjoy dining out, as you’ll get higher cashback on your purchases
- Prefer Dependable Cashback: You will have reliable flat cashback rates in place that allows you to plan ahead of time when making purchases and know what cashback you will get.
Compare The Alternatives
Both the Blue Cash Preferred and Chase Freedom Unlimited offer some interesting rewards, particularly for every day purchases.
However, there are some alternatives that you should know as well before making a decision of what's best choice for you.
American Express EveryDay® Card
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
$0 . See Fees & Rates
1X – 2X 2X at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 each year), then 1x on all purchases
1-5% 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on selected categories each quarter and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Also, you can earn 3% cash back on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services), drugstore purchases , and 1% on all other purchases
2% (1% when purchase and another 1% upon payment) 2% cash back rewards rate – 1% every time you swipe and another 1% upon payment.
10,000 points 10,000 points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months
$200 $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
Foreign Transaction Fee
17.49% – 28.49% variable
19.49% – 28.24% variable
18.49% – 28.49% (Variable)
You can get the premium cashback rate on U.S. Supermarkets until you have annual purchases in this area of $6,000. The rate then goes to 1%. Otherwise, there are no restrictions.
No transparent income requirements or proof of income requests are in place when you are looking to get your hands on the Blue Cash Preferred Card.
The points don’t expire as long as your account remains open. Therefore, you will not have to be worrying about using up the points before they expire.
The initial credit limit varies, but can often be between $1,000 and $5,000. It will depend on the various answers that you have given as part of the application process.