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Updated April 7, 2014

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

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.

Chase Freedom
Apply for Chase Freedom
  • Earn a $100 Bonus after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 13.99%-22.99%.
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases between April 1 and June 30, 2014 at restaurants and Lowe's® home improvement stores
  • You'll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants and Amazon.com. It's free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee and rewards never expire
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
13.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
$0

Chase Sapphire

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 Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Card
  • 10,000 bonus points when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening - that's $100 in travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards(SM)!
  • 2,500 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Points never expire and there are no limits on how many points you can earn
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, merchandise, cash back and more
  • Earn an additional point per dollar spent when you book airfare and hotel accommodations online through Chase Ultimate Rewards(SM)
  • 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
  • No Annual Fee!
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
15.99% (Variable)
$0

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM.
  • Earn 5,000 additional bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to participating frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
  • 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/A
15.99% (Variable)
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

View a side-by-side comparison of Chase Freedom vs Chase Sapphire vs Chase Sapphire Preferred.

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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.