Q: What's the difference between the Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire cards? Which one is preferred?
If you travel often, you'll probably prefer the Chase Sapphire card. If you're looking for more opportunities to earn cash back the Chase Freedom offer may be a better fit for you. Let's run down some of the key differences between the two rewards cards:
Introductory offers: Chase Freedom appeals to budget-conscious consumers with a 0 percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. Chase Sapphire hooks frequent travelers with 10,000 bonus points after you spend $500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
Bonus rebate offers: Chase Freedom cardholders earn up to 5 percent back on purchase categories that rotate every quarter subject to quarterly spend cap and activating the bonus each quarter. Chase Sapphire cardholders double their earned points when using their credit card on dining at restaurants.
Reward redemptions: Chase Freedom pays out a cash back reward as a statement credit every three months. Chase Sapphire lets you accrue points that you can redeem on the fly for travel expenses, merchandise and more.
Customer service: Chase Sapphire members get one exclusive perk. Call the number on the back of your card, and you can get direct access to a service advisor anytime.
Both cards feature Chase's "Ultimate Rewards," a program the Wall Street Journal covered when it launched in 2009. At the time, WSJ pointed out that Chase program managers wanted to streamline some of the rewards offered in the credit card issuer's previous version of the Freedom card. Chase also wanted to compete more aggressively against American Express, launching a Sapphire card to appeal to the kinds of cardholders accustomed to carrying American Express Platinum or Centurion cards.
Both cards also happen to include one of our favorite features, the Chase Blueprint online service. Blueprint helps you manage your plan to pay down balances faster, especially when you've been making major purchases. If you're really on the bubble and you've got the excellent credit score needed to qualify for either card, the live phone support for Chase Sapphire might just tip the scales in that card's favor.