Chase Freedom Unlimited® vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

A “daily driver” credit card provides solid cash back and works well as a card for everyday purchases: the card you reach for most often. Two great options are Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. We compare these cards so you can decide which one to apply for, or if you want to apply for both.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Overall Rating
4.9

Welcome Offer
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)

Rewards Range
1.5% - 5%

Annual Fee
$0

Regular APR
20.49% - 29.24%

0% APR on Purchases
15 months

0% APR on Balance Transfers
15 months

Foreign Transaction Fee
3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Overall Rating
4.5

Welcome Offer
Earn a $250 statement credit

Rewards Range
1%-6%

Annual Fee
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Regular APR
19.24% - 29.99%

0% APR on Purchases
12 months

0% APR on Balance Transfers
12 months

Foreign Transaction Fee
2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Welcome Bonus

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.

The Chase bonus has the potential to earn more money, so it gets the win here.

Cash Back Rewards

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited® you get 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining; and 1.5% cash back on everything else.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns Chase Ultimate Rewards®. You can transfer your points to a Chase card that offers a bonus on these points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or transfer them to Chase's travel partners for even bigger rewards.

One of the most compelling reasons to get the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is its 6% cash back on groceries. This is an industry-leading cash back amount, even with the cap of $6,000 a year. You also get 6% cash back on select streaming services and 3% cash back on gas and transit. This includes tolls, ride share, parking, bus fares–almost anything associated with ground transportation. You also get a $7 monthly credit with an eligible Disney Bundle subscription, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+.

Which card is a better choice for you is pretty subjective. Where do you spend the most money, and which card offers a better value? If you travel often, the Chase card might be a better fit. But if you spend more on groceries and spend your evenings streaming the latest hits, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express might be a better value.

Here are the details for each card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Rewards:

1.5% cash back
On all other eligible purchases
Earn 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
3% cash back
Drugstores
Earn 3% on drugstore purchases
3% cash back
Dining
Earn 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
5% cash back
Travel
After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 

Rewards:

1% cash back
On all other eligible purchases
1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
3% cash back
Gas
3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
3% cash back
Transit
3% cash back on transit, such as taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains and buses
6% cash back
U.S. supermarkets
6% cash back on groceries up to $6,000 per year in purchases at U.S. supermarkets, then 1%
6% cash back
Streaming services
6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions

Rates and Fees

Both cards have a 0% introductory APR offer.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers 0% on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After that, your rate will be 20.49% - 29.24% variable, depending on creditworthiness.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers 0% on purchases for the first 12 months. After that, your rate will be 19.24% - 29.99%, variable, depending on creditworthiness.

You get a longer period of time to enjoy the introductory rate with the Chase card, even if you transfer a balance, so this is a win for Chase.

Also, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has an annual fee of $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. The Chase card does not have an annual fee.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® has a slightly higher foreign transaction fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars vs. 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. You wouldn't want to take either card anywhere internationally because there are cards out there that don't have foreign transaction fees. We list several credit cards with no foreign transaction fees in our list of best travel credit cards.

Who the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is Best For

If you travel even once a year and don't want a card with an annual fee, you may find the Chase Freedom Unlimited® a good addition to your wallet. You may also decide to get a more premium Chase card later, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Then you can transfer your points to the Preferred card and get 25% more value for your points when you use them to book travel through Chase. Or you can transfer the points to a travel partner for possibly even more value.

You also get elevated rewards on dining and drugstore purchases, so those who either eat out or order takeout frequently will appreciate those benefits. And there's no annual fee, which is great.

Who the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is Best For

People who spend $6,000 a year on groceries (which is only $500 a month), and who have more streaming services than they can count will love the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. This card is also great for people who spend on gas, parking, train fares, or rideshares. Unlike the grocery category, cash back for gas and streaming is uncapped. It does have an annual fee, but it's not terrible, and it's waived for the first year.

You could always give it a try to see if it works for you and if you're not happy with it, you can cancel it or downgrade to a card with no annual fee, such as the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

Also, check out our comparison of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express vs. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express as these two cards do pair well with each other.

Approval Odds

The credit score data listed below comes from publicly available information in a number of forums. The accuracy of the information cannot be verified. Keep in mind that credit card issuers consider more than an applicant’s credit score and that underwriting standards change over time.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved03/20/2023
785
Experian
$5,000
Approved07/18/2023
765
Experian
$12,500
Approved07/18/2023
773
TransUnion
$12,500
Approved07/18/2023
785
Equifax
$12,500
Approved09/06/2023
754
Experian
$9,000
Approved09/08/2023
740
Equifax
$15,000
Denied09/05/2023
738
Experian
---
Denied09/05/2023
740
Equifax
---
Denied09/05/2023
750
TransUnion
---

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved01/19/2023
825
Not Provided
$6,000
Approved05/04/2023
738
Experian
$20,000
Approved05/04/2023
748
TransUnion
$20,000
Approved05/04/2023
755
Equifax
$20,000

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express may entertain lower credit scores than the Chase card. Also, while all banks may look at opening multiple cards in a short time with some askance, Chase is well known for having an unwritten 5/24 rule. The rule means you likely won't be approved for a Chase card if you've opened five credit cards in the past 24 months. So, if you're thinking of applying for both cards, you may want to apply for the Chase card first.