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Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Christine Krzyszton
Christine Krzyszton's image

Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

311 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 98U.S. States Visited: 45

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
Edited by: Juan Ruiz
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Juan Ruiz

Senior Editor & Content Contributor

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Juan has extensive experience in writing and editing content related to credit cards, loyalty programs, and travel. He has been honing his expertise in this field for over a decade. His work has been ...

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It’s difficult to argue that cash-back isn’t the most liquid form of credit card rewards you can earn. Additionally, many cash-back credit cards do not charge an annual fee. This combination can be appealing when you’re just starting out and looking for a rewards-earning card.

Keeping this desirable combination in mind, we’ve selected 2 popular credit cards for our comparison today. Both offer nice earning potential for everyday purchases, lack the expense of an annual fee, and have good-value redemption options and benefits you can use.

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® are similar in that both offer the ability to earn rewards via cash-back. When it comes time to redeem those rewards, however, you’ll find differences that could affect which card is more appropriate for your situation.

In our article today, we’ll cover all of the earning and redemption details, plus give you an overview of the benefits you can expect to receive on each card.

If you’re interested in the combination of a cash-back earning card that doesn’t charge an annual fee, you’ll find our comparison useful.

Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card vs. Freedom Unlimited Card — Overview

Washer and Dryer Sears
Need to pay back a large purchase over time? A 0% APR period for purchases can help you do that while not incurring interest charges. Image Credit: Sears

We will cover a lot of information on our featured cards, but before we do, we’ll briefly summarize and compare all the attributes of the cards, side-by-side.

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Feature or BenefitBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressChase Freedom Unlimited®
Welcome OfferEarn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.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 Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.
Earnings
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 in purchases each year
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations, up to $6,000 in purchases each year
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. online retailers, up to $6,000 in purchases each year
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases
  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Chase Travel and Lyft purchases (until March 31, 2025)
  • 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases
Redemption Options
  • Statement credits at 1 cent per point
  • Gift cards, shopping at Amazon, and merchandise
  • Transfer to premium Chase credit cards for potentially greater value with the option to transfer to hotel/airline partners
  • Statement credits, travel, cash back, gift cards, shopping at Amazon and Apple, experiences,
Travel Benefits and ProtectionsSecondary car rental insurance, with access to Premium Car Rental ProtectionSecondary car rental insurance, travel emergency assistance, roadside dispatch
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • Purchase protection
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership, upon enrollment
  • Purchase protection, extended warranty
  • Complimentary 3-month DoorDash DashPass membership (activate by Dec. 31, 2024)
  • Complimentary 3-month Instacart+ membership and $10 quarterly credit (activate by July 31, 2024)
Annual Fee and Authorized User Fee
  • $0
  • Authorized User: $0

Bottom Line: While the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card may have the earning edge on everyday purchases, the Freedom Unlimited card offers greater redemption flexibility, especially if you have a premium Chase credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® to facilitate transferring Ultimate Rewards points and receiving greater potential value. 

Welcome Offers

Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees
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The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This cash-back card offers a capped 3% at U.S. supermarkets, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 3% on U.S. online retail purchases!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

This cash-back card offers a capped 3% at U.S. supermarkets, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 3% on U.S. online retail purchases!
Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
$200
$0
19.24%-29.99% Variable,0% on purchases for 15 months
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cash-back credit cards, there are dozens of options to choose from. So what sets the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express apart from the rest?

This card is excellent at earning cash-back on your everyday purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. online retail purchases. So if you regularly spend money on everyday purchases, this could be the perfect card to add to your wallet.

Pros
  • 3% back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after.
  • 3% back on purchases at U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after.
  • 3% back on purchases on online retail purchases on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after.
Cons
    • Rewards are not flexible and can only be redeemed for cash-back. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Balance Transfer is back! Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening. After that, 19.24% to 29.99% variable APR.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Everyday® Card. Enrollment required.
  • Enjoy up to $15 back per month when you purchase a Home Chef meal kit subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your enrolled Blue Cash Everyday® Card.
  • Terms Apply.
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.24%-29.99% Variable,0% on purchases for 15 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Freedom Unlimited Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
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 Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.
Up to $300 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • INTRO OFFER: 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!
  • 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 travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Earning Rewards

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card offers elevated earning on select bonus categories while the Freedom Unlimited card has a flat-rate earning structure (with a few exceptions) where every purchase earns a flat rate of cash-back. Here’s how the cards compare:

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CardEarnings
Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 in purchases each year
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations, up to $6,000 in purchases each year
  • 3% cash-back on U.S. online retail purchases, up to $6,000 in purchases each year
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases
Freedom Unlimited Card
  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 5% cash-back on qualifying Lyft purchases (until March 2025)
  • 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases

Let’s look at some spending examples to see which might be the better card when it comes to earnings.

Spending Scenario #1 — High Spending at U.S. Supermarkets

Spending Breakdown:

  • $12,000 at U.S. supermarkets
  • $2,000 at U.S. gas stations
  • $2,400 dining out
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Amex Blue Cash Everyday CardFreedom Unlimited Card
  • U.S. Supermarkets — 3% on $6,000 and 1% on the remaining $6,000
  • U.S. Gas Stations — 3% on $2,000
  • Dining Out — 1% on $2,400
  • U.S. Supermarkets — 1.5% on $12,000
  • U.S. Gas Stations — 1.5% on $2,000
  • Dining Out — 3% on $2,400
$324 Total Earnings$282 Total Earnings

Spending Scenario #2 — Moderate Spending at U.S. Supermarkets and Lyft Travel

Spending Breakdown:

  • $7,200 at U.S. supermarkets
  • $1,800 on Lyft rides
  • $3,000 for dining out
  • $1,200 on U.S. online retail purchases
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Amex Blue Cash Everyday CardFreedom Unlimited Card
  • U.S. Supermarkets — 3% x $6,000 and 1% on the remaining $1,200
  • Lyft — 1% x $1,800
  • Dining Out — 1% x $3,000
  • Eligible U.S. Online Retailers — 3% x $1,200
  • U.S. Supermarkets — 1.5% x $7,200
  • Lyft — 5% x $1,800
  • Dining Out — 3% x $3,000
  • Eligible U.S. Online Retailers — 1.5% x $1,200
$276 Total Earnings$306 Total Earnings

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card offers elevated bonus earnings on purchases such as those at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retailers. If you spend heavily in these categories, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card could offer better earnings.

The Freedom Unlimited card earns bonus cash-back on travel through Chase Travel, dining and drugstore purchases, Lyft purchases, and a flat rate on every other purchase. The actual mix of your spending will determine the total earnings for each card.

Redeeming Rewards

Family at Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World with Mickey Balloons
Accumulate your Amex Reward Dollars or Chase Ultimate Rewards points to fund an annual family vacation. Image Credit: Disney

While reward-earning rates are important, the value of the rewards at redemption time is equally, if not more, important.

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CardRedemption Options
Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card
  • Statement credits at 1 cent per point (minimum redemption is $25)
  • Gift cards, shopping at Amazon, and merchandise
Freedom Unlimited Card
  • Statement credits, travel, and cash at 1 cent per point
  • Transfer to premium Chase credit cards for potentially greater value with the option to transfer to hotel and airline partners
  • Gift cards, shopping at Amazon and Apple, experiences

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card has higher earning potential on everyday spending, however, the ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Freedom Unlimited card to Chase premium cards results in Ultimate Rewards points having more potential value.

Transferring Ultimate Rewards points to cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers redemption values of up to 1.5 cents per point for travel and the additional option to transfer to Chase airline and hotel partners for even greater potential value.

Additionally, Ultimate Rewards points are also more flexible in that you can redeem them for cash at 1 cent per point.

Bottom Line: If your priority is to use your points for statement credits, both featured cards offer the same 1-cent value per point. However, if you have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card, you’ll receive far better value by transferring your points to one of those cards and redeeming them for travel. You can receive up to 1.5 cents per point for travel via the Chase travel portal or even greater potential value through travel transfer partners. 

Statement Credits

Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card outshines the Freedom Unlimited card in the area of statement credits. You’ll find the following statement credits on the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card:

  • The Disney Bundle: Get a $7 monthly statement credit each month you spend at least $9.99 on an eligible subscription to The Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Enrollment is required. Valid only at DisneyPlus.com, Hulu.com, or Plus.espn.com in the U.S.
  • Home Chef: Earn up to $15 back monthly (up to $180 annually) when you order from Home Chef. Enrollment is required.

Annual Fees and Authorized Users

Neither card charges an annual fee and there is no cost to add authorized users.

Travel Benefits and Protections

While each of our featured cards comes with several of its own travel benefits and protections, both cards share some common perks.

The following benefits come on both the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card and the Freedom Unlimited card:

  • Secondary Car Rental Insurance — Pay for the entire car rental with your card, decline the rental car agency’s CDW or LDW coverage, and receive secondary car rental coverage for damage and theft. Secondary car rental coverage means that you must file a claim with your own insurance company before coverage kicks in.
  • Emergency Travel Assistance
    • The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card provides assistance while traveling with its Global Assist Hotline.
    • The Freedom Unlimited card also provides services with its Travel and Emergency Assistance Services dedicated line.

Both cards provide access to assistance 24/7 when you’re traveling, including medical and legal referrals, help with a stolen or lost passport, emergency transportation assistance, and more. Cardholders are responsible for the cost of actual services received but referrals are complimentary.

Each card also offers an additional set of unique benefits.

Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card

  • Access to Premium Car Rental Protection — For 1 low fee that covers the entire car rental period, you’ll have premium car rental coverage that will be primary coverage with no need to file a claim with your own insurance. Rates for Premium Car Rental Protection range from $12.95 to $24.95 per rental period.
  • Best Rate Hotel Guarantee — Book your prepaid hotel room via AmexTravel.com and pay with your card. If you find the same room advertised online, you could receive the difference in price.

Freedom Unlimited Card

  • Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance — Purchase your trip with your eligible card or rewards earned on your eligible card and if a covered loss disrupts your trip, you could receive up to $1,500 per person, $6,000 per trip.
  • Roadside Dispatch — Receive roadside assistance with just 1 call 24/7. The cardholder is responsible for the pre-negotiated service rate of $69.95 per instance.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Broken dropped smashed phone
Shopping protections such as purchase protection can provide coverage if a qualifying item is damaged or stolen. Image Credit: TimeStopper via Adobe Stock

Both of our featured cards offer an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of card approval. After that, regular APR as listed in the tables above will apply.

Additional shopping benefits and protections offered by each card include the following:

Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card

  • Amex Offers — Enjoy offers that provide statement credits for specific merchant purchases which can save you hundreds of dollars each year.
  • American Express Car Purchasing Program — Receive discounted pricing on your new car purchase and have the option to charge at least $2,000 of the purchase price to your eligible card.
  • Purchase Protection — Pay for the eligible item with your card and receive 90 days of coverage from the date of purchase if the item is stolen or damaged. Coverage limits are $1,000 per item, up to $50,000 per calendar year.
  • ShopRunner Membership — Enjoy free 2-day shipping and returns with select retailers with your complimentary membership that normally would cost $79 per year.

Freedom Unlimited Card

  • Chase Offers — Similar to Amex Offers, cardholders can view and activate a variety of offers to earn statement credits for their purchases.
  • Shop through Chase — Earn more cash-back when you utilize the shopping portal to purchase with your card.
  • Purchase Protection — Receive coverage up to 120 days from the date of purchase for eligible items purchased with your card. Coverage is provided for damage or theft, up to $500 per claim, up to $50,000 per calendar year.
  • Extended Warranty — This coverage extends the manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less, on an eligible item, for 1 additional year. Coverage limits are $10,000 per item, up to $50,000 per card account.
  • DoorDash DashPass Membership — Receive 3 months of complimentary DoorDash membership and 9 months at a 50% discount. Members receive free delivery and discounted fees.
  • Instacart Benefits — Cardholders are eligible for a free 3-month Instacart+ membership plus a $10 quarterly credit. Activate by July 31, 2024.

Our list is not a fully inclusive list of every benefit, and the descriptions have been abbreviated. You’ll want to access each card’s guide to benefits for full information and terms and conditions.

Bottom Line: While neither of our featured cards charges an annual fee, the cards still offer plenty of travel and shopping benefits and protections. To explore alternative credit cards that do not charge annual fees, check out our list of recommendations. 

Additional Benefits

If you currently have credit cards with high-interest balances, the introductory 0% APR on balance transfers that comes on both cards could save you money.

Transferring high-interest balances to either of our featured cards allows you to pay back the balance over time without incurring interest charges. Here’s how the cards compare in providing this benefit.

Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card

Balance transfers to the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card qualify for the 0% APR period which extends for 15 months from the date of card approval. After that, regular APR as listed in the tables above applies (rates & fees). 

Bottom Line: A 0% APR period for balance transfers can save you money. High-interest credit card balances transferred to either of our featured cards can be paid back over time while no interest charges are incurred. 

Final Thoughts

For those consumers who spend mostly at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retailers, the better choice for this spending mix may be the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card with its bonus earning categories that align with those purchases.

If you spend a lot on travel, and categories other than supermarkets, gas, and online retailers, you may find greater potential in leveraging Freedom Unlimited card rewards with a premium Chase partner card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Doing so allows you to redeem for up to 1.5 cents per point on travel and to transfer points to travel partner loyalty programs.

Additionally, with both of our featured cards lacking annual fees, you can keep either card indefinitely and add to the longevity of your credit history.

For the car rental collision damage coverage benefit of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. For the purchase protection benefit of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. For the Global Assist Hotline benefit of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, you can rely on Global Assist Hotline 24 hours a day / 7 days a week for medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services while traveling more than 100 miles away from your home. Third-party service costs may be your responsibility. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations Apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Card Members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which card is better, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card or the Freedom Unlimited card?

If you spend a lot on everyday purchases such as shopping at supermarkets, gas, and online retailers, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card has the edge on earnings in those categories.

If you spend more on travel, dining, drugstores, and non-bonused purchases, or if your preference is to use your rewards for travel, the Freedom Unlimited card may be a better fit.

If you currently have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card, the Freedom Unlimited card is a wise choice to leverage the rewards earned on the card by using the transfer option for greater potential value.

How does cash-back work?

Every purchase you make on our featured cards earns cash-back first in the form of an associated rewards currency. For example, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card earns cash-back in the form of Reward Dollars and the Freedom Unlimited card earns cash-back as Ultimate Rewards points.

Each statement period, the Dollars or Points you earned are deposited into your rewards account and can then be redeemed for cash-back statement credits and more. Terms and conditions apply to each rewards program.

How does the introductory 0% APR period for purchases work?

An introductory 0% APR period is a specific length of time from the date of your card approval during which you can purchase items using your applicable card, carry a balance between statement periods for those purchases, and pay back the purchase over time without incurring interest charges.

Once the 0% APR period expires, however, you will be charged the normal APR charges. The interest rate charged at that time is based on your creditworthiness as determined by the card issuer — normally variable and quite high.

It’s therefore prudent to be sure to pay off any purchases prior to the expiration of the 0% APR period.

How does the introductory 0% APR period for balance transfers work?

If you have balances on credit cards that are charging high interest rates, a 0% APR period for balance transfers allows you to transfer those balances to either of our featured cards and then pay back those balances over time without interest charges.

There is normally a fee of 3% to 5% of the amount of the transfer (or a minimum of $5, whichever is greater) for the transfer transaction. Even with the fee, the savings can be significant since you will not be charged interest for the entire 0% APR period.

Some cards require that the balance transfer be made within the first 60 days after card approval. Additionally, when the 0% APR period ends, normal interest rates apply.

For that reason, you should be sure your transferred balance is paid off prior to the expiration of the 0% APR period.

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About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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