Chase Freedom vs Sapphire: Which is Better?
The Chase Freedom and the Chase Sapphire are two of the most popular credit cards on the market today. These are both great cards because they offer rewards on all your purchases. In addition, both cards come with no annual fee and have a generous sign-up bonus. While both cards offer great programs, each comes with very different reward structure. Understanding this difference will help you pick the best card for you.
The Chase Freedom card offers 1% cash back with rotating 5% cash back bonus categories that change every 3 months (on up to $1,500 in combined purchases). If you are looking for a way to earn cash back on your purchases, the Freedom Card is the way to go.
The Chase Sapphire card, on the other hand offers 2x points on dining at restaurants and 1 point on all other purchases. If your biggest expense category is dining at restaurants, consider the Chase Sapphire card. Through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can redeem points for travel rewards, which are potentially more valuable than straight cash back.
If you are a frequent traveler and want to maximize your rewards, you should look into the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. While it has an annual fee, the Sapphire Preferred has the most generous promotion of the three cards.
Chase Freedom gives you cash back every time you make a purchase. You earn unlimited 1% cash back on most purchases. This card also offers bonus cash back throughout the year. Every 3 months, Chase releases new bonus categories, for example gas stations. You earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in the bonus category (requires free and easy activation). Once you hit the bonus limit, you go back to earning 1% cash back until the new quarter begins.
The Chase Freedom card also offers a cash back bonus to new cardholders. If you spend $500 on your card during its first 3 months, you earn a $100 bonus. This is on top of regular cash back rewards. The Chase Freedom card is great if you want to earn cash back.
The Chase Freedom card has an introductory 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers offer while the Sapphire cards do not. If you plan to carry a balance or have a balance to transfer over, this might be a key factor to consider. Keep in mind, after the intro period, the variable APR applies, currently 13.99%-22.99% depending on your creditworthiness.
The Chase Sapphire card earns points on your purchases, not cash back. You earn 1 point for every $1 spent on most purchases. You earn 2 points for every $1 spent dining at restaurants (including fast food). You can convert your points into flights, hotel stays, merchandise, or gift cards at a large selection of retailers.
This card also offers a sign-up bonus with this card. If you spend $500 on your Sapphire card within the first 3 months, you receive 10,000 bonus points. If you dine out frequently, the Sapphire card is superior to the Freedom card.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
If you are really looking to maximize your rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card might be the best choice of all. This card uses a similar point system as the regular Sapphire Card. However, this card offers an annual point bonus. Each year, Chase gives you an extra 7% Annual Points Dividend on all new points earned on purchases -- even on points already redeemed.
The Preferred Card also has a higher sign-up bonus. If you spend $3,000 on this card during its first 3 months, you receive 40,000 bonus points. This is enough for $500 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Lastly, the Preferred Card has no foreign transaction fee and Chip and Signature technology, both features are great for frequent international travelers.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card does have a $95 annual fee (introductory annual fee of $0 the first year). If you are a frequent traveler or a big spender, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers the best deal.
View a side-by-side comparison of Chase Freedom vs Chase Sapphire vs Chase Sapphire Preferred.
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