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Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card vs. Freedom Flex Card [Detailed Comparison]

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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.

Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card vs. Freedom Flex Card — Summary

Here is an overview of how each card stacks up in each category.

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Card NameBlue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressChase Freedom Flex℠
Welcome BonusEarn 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.
Earning Potential
  • 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in spend each year)
  • 6% cash-back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations
  • 3% cash-back on transit purchases (includes taxis, rideshares, parking, trains, buses, and more)
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases
  • 5% cash-back on quarterly rotating bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in spend)
  • 5% cash-back on Chase travel portal purchases
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides
  • 3x% cash-back on dining
  • 3% cash-back at drugstores
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases
Redemption Options
  •  Cash-back via statement credit
  • Chase travel portal bookings
  • Cash-back via statement credit
  • Gift cards
  • Shopping with select retailers
Statement Credits
  • Up to $10 monthly Equinox+ credit
  • Up to $7 monthly credit for The Disney Bundle
  • Up to $10 quarterly through Instacart
Travel Protections
  • N/A
  • Secondary rental car insurance
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
Shopping Benefits and Protections
  • Amex Offers
  • American Express Experiences
  • Chase Offers
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty coverage
  • Cell phone protection
Annual Fee$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (rates & fees)$0
Authorized User Fee$0 (rates & fees)$0

Bottom Line: Both cards really shine when it comes to their respective cash-back rates. The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card leads on supermarket, streaming, gas, and transit purchases. The Freedom Flex card is optimized for its rotating categories, Chase travel portal purchases, Lyft rides, dining, and drugstore purchases. 

The Value of a Welcome Bonus

Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card

HIGHEST CASH BACK
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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 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.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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.
Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
$250
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
19.24%-29.99% Variable,0% on purchases for 12 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)

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!

Pros

  • 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year) and on select streaming services
  • 6% cash-back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash-back on U.S. gas stations and transit (including rideshares, parking, etc.)
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases

Cons

  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 intro plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months from the date of account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each eligible purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be a variable APR of 19.24% - 29.99%. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations.
  • 3% Cash Back on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an auto-renewing subscription to Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. That’s $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment required.
  • 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 Preferred® Card. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.24%-29.99% Variable,0% on purchases for 12 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Redeem cash-back through your American Express account

Freedom Flex Card

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

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.

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.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

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.
Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
$200
$0
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 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.

Pros

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Powerful cash-back earner: 5% back on quarterly categories and travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Excellent cell phone insurance
  • Ability to pool points
  • Mastercard World Elite benefits

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fees in U.S. dollars
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% 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!
  • 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 Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

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.

Earning Potential

Person pumping gas green pump
A great cash-back credit card rewards you for the items you spend the most on. Image Credit: alexanderuhrin via Adobe Stock

Now let’s do a side-by-side comparison of which cards offer more cash-back rewards on select purchases.

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Bonus CategoryAmex Blue Cash Preferred CardFreedom Flex Card
U.S. Supermarkets6% cash-back (on up to $6,000 in spend each year)1% cash-back
Select U.S. Streaming Services6% cash-back1% cash-back
U.S Gas Stations 3% cash-back1% cash-back
Transit3% cash-back1% cash-back (excluding Lyft rides)
Chase Travel Portal 1% cash-back5% cash-back
Quarterly Rotating CategoriesN/A5% cash-back (on up to $1,500 in spend per quarter)
Lyft Rides3% cash-back5% cash-back
Dining1% cash-back3% cash-back
Drugstores1% cash-back3% cash-back
All Other Purchases1% cash-back1% cash-back

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.

Redemption Options

Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card

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.

Freedom Flex Card

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.

Bottom Line: When it comes to redemption options, we have to give the edge to the Freedom Flex card here, as it not only offers more options but also opens the door to getting even more value from your rewards when you pair it with an Ultimate Rewards-earning card. 

Statement Credits

Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card — Equinox+ and The Disney Bundle

Equinox app
Offset part of your Equuinox+ membership with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card. Image Credit: Equinox

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.

Freedom Flex Card — Instacart

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.

Additional Card Benefits

Freedom Flex Card — DoorDash

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.

Travel Protections

Here is how each card keeps you covered during your travels.

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BenefitAmex Blue Cash Preferred CardFreedom Flex Card
Rental Car InsuranceN/ASecondary
Trip Cancellation/Interruption InsuranceNot offeredUp to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses
Travel and Emergency Assistance ServicesNot offeredYes

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.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Both cards fare better when it comes to shopping protections. Here is what they offer.

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred card offers these benefits:

  • Amex Offers — Discounts and opportunities to earn more points with 100 merchants each month
  • American Express Experiences — Exclusive access to ticket presales

The Freedom Flex card offers these benefits:

  • Chase Offers — Discounts with select merchants
  • Purchase Protection — Covers new purchases against damage or theft for up to 120 days from purchase with up to $500 in coverage per claim and $50,000 per account
  • Extended Warranty Coverage — Extends a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year on eligible warranties of 3 years or less
  • Cell Phone Protection — Get up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage when your monthly bill with your card; you can have a maximum of 2 claims in a 12-month period, with a $50 deductible per claim

Annual Fees and Adding Authorized Users

Annual Fees

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.

Authorized Users

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card or the Freedom Flex card?

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.

What are the benefits of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred 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.

What are the benefits of the Freedom Flex card?

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.

Does the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card have an annual fee?

Yes, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee.

Does the Freedom Flex card have an annual fee?

No, the Freedom Flex card does not charge an annual fee.

Does the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card charge foreign transaction fees?

Yes, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card charges a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

Does the Freedom Flex card charge foreign transaction fees?

Yes, the Freedom Flex card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

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About Jarrod West

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times.

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