Two of Chase’s most popular credit cards, Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, are highly regarded by savvy bounty hunters who like to squeeze the most out of their spending.
Here we will look at the meaning of each card and help you decide which one is best for you.
Chase Freedom Flex vs Sapphire Preferred: A Brief Review
|Map||Chase Freedom Flex℠||
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
|Bonus for registration||$200 if you spend $500 within the first 3 months.||80,000 points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months|
|Estimated annual reward value (for whoever spends $15,900 and earns the maximum number of Freedom Flex spinning categories)||$532||$578|
|The main advantages of the card||
Chase Sapphire Preferred charges a $95 annual fee and offers 5X points on rides purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; Triple Points for Meals, Selected Streaming Services and Online Grocery Purchases; 2x points on other travel purchases and 1x points on regular purchases. Plus, you get a $50 hotel anniversary credit before the travel rewards kick in.
Chase Freedom Flex, on the other hand, offers a wide range of bonus categories and does not require an annual fee. While it is best known for its 5% cash back rate in rotating quarterly categories such as gasoline and online shopping (when signing up to $1,500 per quarter, then 1%), it also offers a 3% cash back at drugstores and restaurants. purchases. Like Sapphire Preferred, Freedom Flex also offers 5% off rides booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Bonus for registration
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is known as one of the best travel credit cards with one of the best signup bonuses you can get without paying more than $100 a year.
How convenient, you ask? Right now, you can earn 80,000 points (worth $1,000 in travel) after spending $4,000 over three months. This spending goal may seem overwhelming, but if you use your card to pay all your utility bills and finally get that big purchase you’ve been waiting for (like a new laptop), you’ll probably find it can be achieved.
On the other hand, Chase Freedom Flex offers a $200 bonus (20,000 Ultimate Rewards points worth 1 cent each) after you spend $500 within the first three months. Although not as generous as Sapphire Preferred, it is a common welcome bonus among other popular cashback credit cards.
Use of awards
For more control over how you use your points, Chase Sapphire Preferred is a clear winner. It has a more flexible transfer policy that allows you to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to a range of Chase travel partners.
For example, frequent flyers of Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, United and Virgin Atlantic can use Sapphire Preferred Points in their travel loyalty programs. The same can be done for regular guests of Marriott Bonvoy, IHG and Hyatt. Plus, when you book through the Ultimate Rewards Portal, you get a 25% Trip Bonus to cover most or all of your trip.
The Chase Freedom Flex is no slouch in this regard either. This is a cashback card, but it actually rewards you with Ultimate Rewards points that you can use to travel on the portal. Other redemption options include credit, direct deposit, gift cards, and Apple purchases, all for 1 cent per point. You can even use your points to make purchases on Amazon.com, although each will only cost 0.8 cents.
Credit card aficionados know that some annual fees aren’t worth the cost when weighing the card’s rewards, perks, and annual bonuses. And for those whose budget can’t accommodate the annual fee, Chase Freedom Flex doesn’t have one and will provide you with a range of reward opportunities through rotating and fixed bonus categories. It also comes with great perks like mobile phone protection, extended warranty, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and free DashPass membership for three months (and 50% off for the next nine months).
You will pay an annual fee of $95 for Chase Sapphire Preferred, but it comes with many benefits. Not only does it give you a $50 Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit (annually), it also includes trip cancellation/disruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, on-road shipping, and a one-year free DashPass subscription (must be activated by December 31st). 2024).
In any case, both of these cards give you real bang for your buck, although keep in mind that Chase Freedom Flex generally provides a range of travel insurance at cost.
Chase Freedom Flex: the best choice for everyday shopping
For cardholders who want to be rewarded for travel and day-to-day expenses like food, groceries, clothing and gas, the Chase Freedom Flex is a clear winner. If you don’t mind tracking Chase’s refund calendar and signing up for rotating spending categories, they can earn a significant amount using Freedom Flex each time a purchase qualifies for a 5% bonus.
Let’s say, for example, that you spend an average of $300 a month on gas. If you use your Freedom Flex card to get 5% cash back during the gas qualifying quarter and 1% cash back the rest of the year, you’ll earn $72 by the end of the year. In contrast, if you use the Sapphire Preferred card for the same purchases, you will earn about $45 in gas purchases by the end of the year.
|$300 Monthly Gasoline Rewards|
|Chase Freedom Flex||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card|
|($300 x 5% x 3 months) + ($300 x 1% x 9 months) = $72.||$300 x 1 point x 12 months x 1.25 cents average cost per point = $45|
Chase Sapphire Preferred: Best for Flexible Travel
The value of Chase Sapphire Preferred comes down to a great signup bonus and the ability to transfer points. In fact, redeeming points can increase the value of your points even more than if you used them to travel with Ultimate Rewards.
For example, an 80,000 signup bonus is worth around $1,000 if you use it to travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, but if you upgrade to United at a 1:1 ratio, your points will be worth $1,216 (United Miles by 1.52 cents each). You can get even more by upgrading to Singapore Airlines ($1,888 at 2.36 points per dollar) or World of Hyatt ($1,600 at 2 points per dollar).
For avid travelers, this perk alone can offset the annual card fee. Based on your preferences, you will still want to consider whether it makes sense to redeem points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or by transferring to partners.
|Rewards for annual air travel expenses of $5,000.|
|Travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards||Transfer points to World of Hyatt|
|$5,000 x 5 points x 1 cent average = $250.||$5,000 x 2 points x 2 cents average cost per point = $200|
Smart card users will benefit the most from using both cards. In fact, Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Sapphire Preferred are the two spokes of the very valuable Chase trio.
Because Chase allows you to pool your rewards, you can transfer Chase Freedom Flex earnings to your Sapphire Preferred card and pay for rides with Chase Ultimate Rewards with a 25% bonus or transfer points to other loyalty programs.
However, those who want to stick with just one card should have little problem extracting value from any of them. If you’re not an avid traveler, the Freedom Flex card may offer more options for long-term cardholders, especially since there’s no annual fee. But the sign-up bonus and flexible redemption policy of the Sapphire Preferred card make it the perfect choice for those who want a quick free ride.