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Should you apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Freedom rewards card? Which credit card is better for daily spending? Here’s my comparison and review of these two popular rewards cards to help you decide.

Learn more: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Learn more: Chase Freedom®

Learn more: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Freedom

Best Sign-Up Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Freedom

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in 3 months.

The Chase Freedom® credit card currently comes with a sign-up bonus of $150 bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® comes with the ability to earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year of account opening, up to $20,000 spent. After that, you will earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Eligibility for the two cards is the same since they are both issued by Chase bank. From the terms and conditions on the application page: “This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months.” Basically, you can’t get the sign-up bonus if you currently hold the card you’re applying for, or if you have received a bonus on the specific card in the last 24 months.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred obviously comes with the larger sign-up bonus, but it does require a larger minimum spending requirement to meet. Still, 60,000 ($600 or $750 in travel) Ultimate Rewards points is a lot sexier.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best Spending Perks: Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Freedom® has rotating earning categories. You will earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, movie theaters, department stores, and Starbucks are a few examples of the categories.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® comes with the ability to earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year of account opening, up to $20,000 spent. After that, you will earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There is no minimum to redeem for cash back.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you 2x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on dining and travel, and 1x on all other purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a solid dining and travel bonus of 2x, but the Freedom comes out on top for me, even if its 5% categories are rotating and have spending/earning limits.

Winner: Chase Freedom®

Best Benefits: Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Freedom

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (CSP) has a $95 annual fee. The CSP doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, has chip & signature technology, primary CDW on car rentals, $10,000 trip insurance/cancelation coverage, and 24-hour access to dedicated customer service representatives.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred and Freedom are both a part of the Visa Signature card family, which means you save on wine tastings, hotels, movies, and much more. Both cards also let you earn extra points for shopping through their specific shopping portals.

The Chase Freedom cards are no annual fee cards. I love that! Having a no annual fee rewards card is sweet because you can keep it forever, creating positive credit history with no worries.

I like all the travel benefits the Sapphire Preferred offers, but the Chase Freedom is a no annual fee rewards card, so this category is a toughy.

Winner: Tie

Better Points System: Freedom or Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Freedom® earns cash back in the form of statement credits or direct deposit. You can also redeem your points for gift cards or for travel through its online portal. 10,000 points = $100 in travel or $100 in gift cards.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns Ultimate Rewards, which can be used for cash/statement credits, gift cards, or to book travel through its Ultimate Rewards website, where you also receive a 20% discount. But the real value of Ultimate Rewards points is in transferring them out to one of their 13 travel partners.

I have used my Ultimate Rewards points for domestic flights by transferring them out to British Airways. You can fly American Airlines with British Airways Avios since they are both in the One World Alliance. Here’s how you can book AA flights with Avios miles. 

You can also transfer Ultimate Rewards points out to Southwest Airlines or United for domestic airfare.

 

Transferring Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners can help keep points active.

I’ve transferred my UR points to Hyatt for swanky hotel rooms that I could never afford. You can see my reviews of the Andaz 5th Avenue, Park Hyatt Vendome, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, and Grand Hyatt in Macau.

And I’ve been able to fly in a Suite on an international Singapore Airlines flight a few times. These flights would’ve cost close to $15,000 or more. If premium cabin travel isn’t your goal, you can fly United to Europe for only 60,000 miles round-trip. That flight is easily worth $1,500.

The point is, there’s CRAZY value in being able to transfer out your Ultimate Rewards points to their travel partners. And this is something that you can do with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but you can’t-do with the Chase Freedom.

However, it’s worth mentioning that if you have both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Freedom, you can combine your points together. This will allow you to use your Freedom points to transfer out to a travel partner of the Ultimate Rewards program.

Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Conclusion: Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom Rewards Card

The Chase Freedom is a very solid card because it has no annual fee and you can earn 30,000 valuable points annually by maximizing its 5x quarterly categories. However, I wouldn’t have the Freedom unless I already held the Sapphire Preferred, so I could combine my points and have the ability to transfer them out to one of the travel partners.

If I was to pick one card, it would be the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, because it comes with a much larger sign-up bonus, more flexible points, and has better travel perks.

Hope this helps if you are trying to decide if you should apply for the Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom!

Learn more: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Learn more: Chase Freedom®

Learn more: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Geoff Whitmore

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Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom? Rewards Card Comparison & Review
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2 Comments On "Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom? Rewards Card Comparison & Review"
  1. Anonymous|

    Agree! Both the cards are awesome to hold together, especially given that Freedom has no Annual fee and has the 5x rotating categories that can be maxed out each quarter to stack up UR points!

    1. Anonymous|

      You’re right. The Chase Freedom and Sapphire Preferred make a great team.

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