Blue Cash Preferred® vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Jennifer Doss
Written by
Jennifer Doss
Terms apply; see the online credit card application for full terms and conditions of offers and rewards.

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The CardName and the CardName aren’t usually two cards we’d think to compare; however, thanks to a redesigned rewards structure from Chase,  these two cards now compete well for certain credit card users. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.

Each card is unique in how cardholders can earn rewards, but rewards are valuable with both options. Which card is the most valuable for you though will depend. Continue on to learn more about how these two cards compare to help you decide which is the better fit for your needs.

Rewards earning rates

These cards are similar in that they both earn cash back in tiered rewards categories, but the categories aren’t the same, nor are many of the other card features.

The CardName offers 6% cash-back on up $6,000 spent annually at U.S. supermarkets (then, 1%) as well as on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, and awards 3% back on transit purchases and at U.S. gas stations, and 1% on other purchases. CardName is different in that it offers 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After the first year or $20,000 spent, cardholders can earn 5% cash back on Chase travel; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining; and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. 

Given how different these categories are, you could make an argument for carrying both, but there are some other factors to consider.

New cardholder welcome bonus offer

Welcome bonus offers aren’t always a guarantee, but in this case, both cards offer decent rewards to new cardholders who meet certain spend requirements within their first few months of card membership.

With the CardName, cardholders can earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!. The CardName offers a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new card within the first six months.

We never recommend choosing a card simply for a welcome bonus offer, but these offers never hurt, especially if two cards are otherwise neck-in-neck in your decision-making process.

Intro 0% APR period

Another thing these cards have in common is that that both offer an intro 0% APR period on new purchases and balance transfers. The CardName offers 12 months 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers, then RegAPR APR (See Rates and Fees), while the CardName offers a slightly longer intro period of 15 months on purchases and balance transfers before a regular RegAPR APR applies.

This can be an invaluable perk if you have a large purchase on the horizon and need a little extra time to pay it off. Having a 12-15 month interest-free period is huge, and can offer some financial relief if you find yourself having difficulty paying your credit card balance in full each month. Just be sure to pay off any balances before the promotional periods expire, as you’ll be charged a regular APR on any unpaid statements you may have upon promotion expiration.

Annual fees

Annual fee costs will likely be a big deciding factor in determining which of these two cards is a better fit for your needs.

The CardName card does not have an annual fee; however, the CardName charges a AnnualFees (See Rates and Fees) If you spend a lot in the Blue Cash Preferred® categories, though, the annual fee may well be worth it.

Think of it this way: if you spend just $132 at U.S. supermarkets each month earning 6% cash back, at the end of the year you’ll have easily earned enough rewards to cover the annual fee. Considering the fact that many households far exceed this amount, offsetting the annual fee should be a breeze for most cardholders. And this doesn’t even take the bonus or other rewards into account.

If you don’t anticipate heavily using your card though, or just want it for “other” purchases that don’t normally earn bonus rewards, the CardName could be a great fit for you as it does not charge an annual fee.

To learn more about how these two cards match up, check out the table below to compare their various rewards, benefits, features, and fees.

Blue Cash Preferred® vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

CardName

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CardName

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Annual Fee

AnnualFees

AnnualFees

New Cardholder Bonus Offer

Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new card within the first six months.

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back.

Rewards

Earn 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets annually, 6% on select U.S. streaming services, unlimited 3% back at U.S. gas stations and transit purchases, and 1% back on everything else

Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining; and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Redeeming Rewards

Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

Cash back rewards do not expire so long as account is open and there is no minimum for redemption. Rewards can be redeemed for cash back as a statement credit or direct deposit, gift cards, travel through Chase Travel, Amazon purchases, and Apple Ultimate Rewards® Store purchases.

Intro 0% Apr

Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening, then RegAPR

Enjoy 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on new purchases and balance transfers, then RegAPR

Foreign Transaction Fees

foreign_fee in U.S. dollars

foreign_fee

Travel Protection

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Global Assist® Hotline can help you prepare for your trip with customs information and more, and while you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home, coordination and assistance services such as lost passport replacement assistance, translation services, missing luggage assistance, and emergency legal and medical referrals are just a phone call away.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Roadside dispatch

Purchase Protection

  • If you try to return an eligible item within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won’t take it back, American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, and up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per card account.
  • If there is a fraudulent or incorrect charge on your statement, American Express will work with you to help resolve the issue.
  • Zero liability protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Purchase protection for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per year

Account Protection

  • Dispute resolution
  • 24/7 access to customer service specialist
  • Embedded chip technology
  • Fraud alerts
  • Fraud protection
  • Paperless statements

For a full synopsis of each card, see our CardName and CardName.

See Rates and Fees for the CardName

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author
Jennifer Doss
CardRatings Executive Editor

Jennifer Doss is a credit card analyst and the executive editor of CardRatings.com. She has worked as both a print and online journalist and has over a decade of experience in the media industry. Her published work has covered a broad range of topics, from...Read more

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Disclaimer:

The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.