Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ are 2 of the top cash-back credit cards on the market. Each offers great bonus categories, interesting card benefits, statement credits, and protections to help keep you covered.
If you’re trying to decide which card would make the better addition to your wallet, this guide will provide a detailed comparison of all of the offerings of each card to help you decide just that.
Here is an overview of how each card stacks up in each category.
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
|Chase Freedom Flex℠
|Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.
|Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months.
|Shopping Benefits and Protections
|$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (rates & fees)
|Authorized User Fee
|$0 (rates & fees)
This card is great for those who want to earn cash-back with U.S. supermarkets, U.S. streaming subscriptions, transit, and U.S. gas stations.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a stellar cash-back credit card for those looking to maximize every purchase they make.
With bonus categories like U.S. supermarkets, select streaming services, U.S. gas stations, and transit purchases, this card rewards you for the items you spend the most on in a big way! For those looking to earn up to 6% cash-back on their purchases, this could be the card for you!
The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.
The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.
While you can redeem the cash-back bonus through the Chase travel portal, adding a premium Ultimate Rewards card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will give you access to the Chase transfer partners where you can get significantly more value for your points.
Now let’s do a side-by-side comparison of which cards offer more cash-back rewards on select purchases.
|Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card
|Freedom Flex Card
|6% cash-back (on up to $6,000 in spend each year)
|Select U.S. Streaming Services
|U.S Gas Stations
|1% cash-back (excluding Lyft rides)
|Chase Travel Portal
|Quarterly Rotating Categories
|5% cash-back (on up to $1,500 in spend per quarter)
|All Other Purchases
As you can see, the 2 cards are quite different when it comes to their respective bonus categories, so this might be a key consideration in helping you decide which card is better for you.
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card might be significantly more rewarding if you have high amounts of spend in one or more of its 6% or 3% cash-back categories of U.S. supermarkets, select streaming services, U.S. gas stations, and transit purchases.
On the other hand, those looking for a card that rewards them for dining and drugstore purchases, along with Chase travel portal purchases, Lyft rides, and quarterly rotating bonus categories should likely opt for the Freedom Flex card. Of course, quarterly rotating bonus categories are a bit vague, so it might feel difficult to determine how useful that would be. In the past, these categories have included categories such as grocery stores, Amazon.com, gas stations, PayPal, and more.
Any cash-back that you earn with your Amex Blue Cash Preferred card can be redeemed as a statement credit to offset any purchases made with the card. Unlike other cash-back credit cards, you aren’t required to have a certain amount of cash-back rewards in order to be able to redeem, and you can redeem your rewards as often as you’d like.
The cash-back earned with your Freedom Flex card can be redeemed towards statement credits to offset purchases, for trips through the Chase travel portal, gift cards, and during checkout with select retailers like Amazon.
However, while the Freedom Flex card is merely a cash-back card on its own, those that pair it with a premium Ultimate Rewards card, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, can pool their rewards together to receive even more value. More specifically, you can redeem your points through the Chase travel portal with a 25% bonus, at a rate 0f 1.25 cents per point, or through Chase transfer partners where you can often get 2 cents per point in value or more.
To help offset the annual fee, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card includes up to $10 monthly credit towards an Equinox+ subscription when enrolled.
If you’re not already familiar, Equinox+ is the fitness brand’s at-home workout app that includes access to instructor-led live and on-demand classes, so you can always get a workout in no matter where in the world you are.
The $10 monthly credit can save you up to $120 each year towards the $39.99 monthly cost of Equinox+ — effectively netting you a 25% discount on your monthly membership.
Cardmembers also receive $7 back each month (up to $84 back annually) after spending $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription to The Disney Bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, when using your card. Note that enrollment is required, so be sure to get the most out of being a cardmember.
While it is fairly uncommon for a no-annual-fee credit card to offer any sort of statement credit, Freedom Flex cardholders receive a 3-month membership to Instacart+, offering free delivery and reduced service fees on your grocery orders, plus a $10 statement credit per quarter, adding up to $40 each year off your Instacart orders.
The Freedom Flex card also includes a free 3-month membership for DoorDash DashPass, the meal delivery platforms subscription service that offers free delivery and reduced service fees on eligible orders. Plus, after your free 3-months, you will be automatically enrolled in DashPass at 50% off for the next 9 months.
Since DashPass usually costs $9.99 per month, this could save you nearly $75 over the 12-month period.
Here is how each card keeps you covered during your travels.
|Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card
|Freedom Flex Card
|Rental Car Insurance
|Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
|Up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses
|Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
While neither card is great when it comes to travel protections, the Freedom Flex card is slightly better since it offers trip interruption insurance and emergency assistance services, while the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card does not. Additionally, both cards charge foreign transaction fees, so neither is a good option for your overseas purchases while traveling.
Both cards fare better when it comes to shopping protections. Here is what they offer.
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card offers these benefits:
The Freedom Flex card offers these benefits:
The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card charges a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee, while the Freedom Flex card does not charge an annual fee, so you’ll want to take that into consideration when deciding which card is a better fit for you.
Fortunately, neither card charges an additional fee for you to add an authorized user. Just keep in mind that while authorized users will still earn points and receive the same protections as the primary cardholder, you will not receive a second set of statement credits for the authorized user card.
So which is better, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card or the Freedom Flex card? That entirely depends on your spending habits, along with what benefits and protections you are looking for in a new card.
In our view, if your monthly spending falls in line with the bonus categories of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, and/or you’re an Equinox+ subscriber, then that likely would be the card for you. On the other hand, if your spending habits mirror the Freedom Flex card bonus categories, you want a card that offers cell phone protection, and/or you want to pair it with a premium Ultimate Rewards card, then the Freedom Flex card would be the way to go.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.
If you find yourself spending a lot of money at the supermarket or on streaming subscriptions, gas, and transit purchases, then the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card might be a better option for you. If your purchases are more geared towards dining, drugstores, or travel, and you like the idea of having a rotating bonus category where you can get 5% cash-back, then consider the Freedom Flex card.
The top benefits of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card are that it offers 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in spend each year) and select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash-back on transit and U.S. gas station purchases, and up to a $120 annual Equinox+ credit.
The top benefits of the Freedom Flex card are that it offers 5% cash-back on purchases through the Chase travel portal, quarterly rotating bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter), 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases, statement credits for Instacart, and cell phone protection.
Yes, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee.
No, the Freedom Flex card does not charge an annual fee.
Yes, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card charges a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.
Yes, the Freedom Flex card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.