CapOne Platinum Card vs. Chase Freedom Cards [Detailed Comparison]

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We’re all about earning credit card rewards, however, today’s card comparison has a twist. We’re going to be looking at an excellent example of a card that works for building or rebuilding credit but doesn’t earn rewards, and 2 cards that do earn rewards but require good, or better, credit.

If you have good credit and are looking at the Capital One Platinum Credit Card as a consideration, we’ll show you how you might do better with a rewards-earning card. Or, if you’ve had the CapOne Platinum card for a while and managed it well, you might be ready for the next level of rewards-earning cards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card or the Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card.

With this perspective as a foundation, let’s look at our 3 featured cards, how the cards stack up against each other, and under which circumstances you would want to consider each card.

The Power of Approval

If you have just fair credit or no credit history at all, you’ll find the CapOne Platinum card the only card of our 3 featured cards for which you’d potentially qualify. If, however, you have good credit, or better, you may qualify for the Freedom cards we’re about to discuss.

Regardless of which position you’re in, you’ll find value in learning about these entry-level credit cards and how you might transition between the options.

Determine Your Credit Score

The first step in determining where you stand currently is to order a copy of your credit report and check it for accuracy. You can order a free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus at annualcreditreport.com.

credit report is not the same as a credit score, and your report may or may not show your score. To view your credit score for free, we recommend using either Credit Karma or Credit Sesame.

Find Your Qualifying Offers

For a risk-free way to find out if you might have card offers waiting for you, you can try using the CardMatch tool. No hard inquiry is done on your credit report and the process takes just a minute to complete.

Our guide to how to find the best prequalified and preapproved credit card offers online details more about Capital One’s risk-free approval tool and offers from Chase. You’ll need to enter your name, address, and last 4 digits of your Social Security number, but your credit report will not be hit with a hard inquiry by using the form.

Neither option is an actual credit card application, just simply a search tool to find out if you may have card offers waiting.

To learn more about the minimum requirements for Chase cards, we’ve put together an informative article.

Bottom Line: If you have no credit or less-than-perfect credit, your choices are limited for rewards-earning credit cards. However, there are plenty of options still available to build or rebuild your credit. And, once you’ve improved your credit, entry-level rewards-earning cards such as the Freedom Unlimited card and Freedom Flex card are both stellar cards worth considering. 

The Value of a Welcome Bonus

While the CapOne Platinum card does not offer a welcome bonus, the Freedom cards come with initial welcome bonuses that can be earned after meeting minimum spending requirements within the first 3 months after card approval.

Check out these card snapshots, including the welcome bonus offering (where available) and a summary of the cards’ features.

Credit CardBenefits & Info

Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card


Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card
Learn More
(at Chase's secure site)

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommendation (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $0

The welcome bonus that is offered on the Freedom cards, at face value, is worth $200. Cash-back, however, is initially earned as Ultimate Rewards points, which can subsequently be redeemed for cash, or for 1 cent each towards travel. If you have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card, points can be worth much more (we’ll cover that shortly).

Earning Potential

couple with luggage on beach looking at an airplane
Freedom cards offer elevated earnings on travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards. Image Credit: Patrick Foto via Shutterstock

Freedom cards earn cash-back in the form of Ultimate Rewards points on every purchase and bonus-level earnings in specific purchase categories. These Ultimate Rewards points can then be redeemed for cash-back, travel, statement credits, gift cards, and more.

The CapOne Platinum card is not a rewards-earning card. Its primary purpose is for building or rebuilding credit. 

Here’s how the cards compare in this category.

CardRewards Earning
Freedom Flex card
Freedom Unlimited card
  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Chase travel portal
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 3% cash-back on dining and at drugstores
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases
CapOne Platinum card
  • The card does not earn rewards

Bottom Line: With good credit, or better, you can qualify for cards that earn rewards and offer better overall value. Starting with a card for the purpose of building or rebuilding credit, like the CapOne Platinum card, can be a step towards achieving this objective.

Redemption Options

Ultimate Rewards points earned on the Freedom cards are some of the most flexible, and therefore valuable, rewards currencies you can earn. Here’s how our featured cards compare when it’s time to redeem rewards.

CardRedemption Options
Freedom Unlimited card

Freedom Flex card

  • Points are worth 1 cent each towards travel in the Chase travel portal, for statement credits, and for cash
  • Points can be redeemed for gift cards, shopping, and experiences; the value of your points for these redemptions vary
  • Points can be transferred to a Chase premium card and redeemed for up to 50% more value for travel via the Chase travel portal or transferred from premium cards to travel partners for even greater potential value
CapOne Platinum card
  • N/A

Bottom Line: Both Freedom cards earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for travel, statement credits, and cash. You can also redeem for gift cards, shopping, and experiences or transfer the points to premium Chase cards for greater potential value at redemption time.

Travel Benefits and Protections

Travel benefits and protections can add significant value, especially when you’re not paying an annual fee on your card. Here are some of the most useful benefits and protections that come on our featured cards.

BenefitCapOne Platinum CardFreedom Unlimited Card & Freedom Flex Card
Car Rental InsuranceSecondary coverage in the U.S. (primary coverage outside of the U.S. if you have no other insurance) on 15-day or fewer rentalsSecondary coverage for car rentals in your country of residence up to 31 days in length and primary coverage outside the country of residence
Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, and Trip Delay CoverageNo coverage$1,500 per person, up to $6,000 per trip, for a covered event
Roadside AssistanceNo coveragePay 1 low pre-negotiated flat fee for each service call and receive towing, jump-start service, tire changing, gas delivery, lock-out service, and more; terms and limitations apply
Travel Accident InsuranceUp to $100,000 for severe injury or death via common carrierN/A
Travel Assistance Hotline24/7 assistance when more than 50 miles from home; cardholder is responsible for actual services received24/7 assistance when traveling “away from home;” cardholder must pay for actual services received

In addition to the benefits above, the Freedom Unlimited card has access to benefits at the Luxury Resort & Hotel Collection. These benefits include daily breakfast for 2, room upgrades when available, free Wi-Fi, early check-in, late checkout, and a unique property-specific amenity.

Bottom Line: Although the CapOne Platinum card does not earn rewards, you’ll find a few useful travel benefits on the card. Freedom cards, however, come with a longer list of travel benefits and protections.

Shopping Benefits and Protections

Shopping couple
Eligible items purchased with your card may qualify for shopping benefits and/or protections. Image Credit: Ivanko80 via Shutterstock

When making purchases with any of our featured cards, it’s good to know you’ll have shopping benefits and protections that can save you money or provide coverage should something go wrong with your purchase.

Here’s a sampling of the benefits and protections you can expect from our featured cards.

CapOne Platinum Card

  • Extended Warranty — For eligible items purchased with your card that have manufacturer’s warranties of 12 months or less, an additional 12 months will be added. There is a maximum limit of $10,000 coverage per item and purchases with more than 12-month warranties do not qualify.
  • Price Protection — Eligible purchases made entirely with your card receive 60 days of protection if you find a lower advertised price. You could receive up to $250 per item for the difference in price.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — Foreign purchases will not be charged a transaction fee.

Freedom Unlimited Card and Freedom Flex Card

  • Purchase Protection — Eligible items purchased with your card receive up to 120 days of protection against theft, damage, and “involuntary and accidental parting.” Coverage is limited to $500 per item, $50,000 per account.
  • Extended Warranty — Receive 1 additional year of protection for eligible items purchased with your card that have manufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less. Coverage limits are $10,000 per item, $50,000 per account.
  • Introductory 0% APR Period on Purchases — Receive up to 15 months with no interest charges, from the date of card approval to repay eligible purchases made with your card.
  • Chase Offers — Find these offers on the home page of your Chase online card account, add the offer to your card, and receive cash-back after your purchase.
  • Chase Shopping Portal — Earn up to $25 per dollar spent when shopping with Chase’s online shopping portal.
  • DoorDash DashPass Subscription — Receive $0 delivery fees on orders over $12 for 3 months and 50% off membership for the following 9 months (activate by December 2021).

Freedom Flex Card

  • Cell Phone Protection — In addition to the above shopping protections and benefits, the Freedom Flex card also offers cell phone protection. Receive up to $800 per claim for damage or theft of your eligible phone when you pay your monthly bill with your card. There is a limit of 2 claims per 12-month period and a $50 deductible per claim.
  • World Elite Mastercard Shopping Benefits — Receive additional benefits such as Shoprunner membership, Lyft credits, Fandango movie ticket discounts, 5% cash rewards on Box wholesale purchases, and more. Minimum purchases may apply and there are limits and conditions.

Bottom Line: Freedom cards come with several shopping benefits and protections. The CapOne Platinum card does not have as many benefits but the card does not charge foreign transaction fees. Freedom cards charge 3% on foreign purchases. 

CapOne Platinum Card vs. Chase Freedom Cards — Summary

It’s time to look at an overall side-by-side comparison of our trio of featured cards.

Feature or BenefitCapOne Platinum CardFreedom Unlimited CardFreedom Flex Card
Annual Fee

$0

Earning PotentialThe card does not earn rewards
  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 3% cash-back on dining and at drugstores
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other purchase
  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Chase travel portal
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 3% cash-back on dining and at drugstores
  • 5% cash-back on quarterly bonus categories, up to $1,500 in purchases
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchase
Redemption OptionsN/A
  • Redeem points for 1 cent each for travel via Ultimate Rewards, cash-back, or statement credits
  • Redeem points for gift cards, shopping, and experiences; values vary
  • Transfer to premium Chase cards for up to 50% more in value, and from premium cards to travel partners for even greater potential value
Travel Benefits/Protections
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel assistance hotline
  • Secondary car rental insurance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Trip cancellation, trip interruption
  • Travel and emergency services hotline
Shopping Benefits/Protections
  • Extended warranty
  • Price protection
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase protection
  • 3-month DoorDash DashPass subscription plus 9 months at a 50% discount
  • Introductory 15-month 0% APR period on purchases
Additional BenefitsAvailable to no-credit or fair-credit applicantsVisa Signature access to Luxury Resort & Hotel Collection benefits
  • Cell phone protection
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits

Hot Tip: Trying to decide which Freedom card to apply for? See our detailed comparison of the Freedom Unlimited card vs. Freedom Flex card.

Final Thoughts

As we mentioned earlier, the CapOne Platinum card is designed for those who wish to build or rebuild their credit. If you have good or better credit, this card is not the best option for your situation, and a next-step rewards earning card would be a better alternative.

If you have had the CapOne Platinum card for more than a year, have managed it well, and have improved to good or better credit, you’ll receive more benefits with a rewards-earning card, making the Freedom cards excellent to consider. To further review Chase rewards-earning card options, you’ll want to review our article that compares the best Chase cards.

Since Chase does not offer a card for bad credit or no credit, the CapOne Platinum card can serve as a good starting point to improve your credit and subsequently qualify for a rewards-earning card. Unlike secured cards that are widely available for bad or no credit, the card does not require a security deposit. And while the card is issued with a low $300 credit limit, after 5 on-time payments you may receive a higher credit limit.

The card also has no annual fee and does not charge foreign transaction fees.


The information regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, and Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 


Frequently asked questions

Which Chase Freedom card is best?

You can’t go wrong with either the Freedom Unlimited card or the Freedom Flex card as the cards are very similar. The Freedom Flex card does offer a cell phone protection benefit that the Freedom Unlimited card does not have.

Both cards offer bonus category earnings but the Freedom Flex card offers 5% cash-back on rotating quarterly bonus categories, up to $1,500 in purchases.

Neither card charges an annual fee.

Can I have more than 1 Chase Freedom card?

Yes, you can have more than 1 Freedom card. You may not receive a welcome bonus, however, if you have received a welcome bonus on the same card within the past 24 months.

Is the Capital One Platinum card a secured card?

No. The CapOne Platinum card is not a secured credit card and does not require a security deposit.

Do Chase Freedom cards charge foreign transaction fees?

Yes, both the Freedom Unlimited card and Freedom Flex card charge 3% on foreign transactions.

What is the credit limit on the Capital One Platinum card?

The initial credit limit on the CapOne Platinum card is $300. After 5 on-time payments, you may qualify for a higher credit limit.

Christine Krzyszton

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine, who lives in Northern Michigan, travels about 300,000 miles a year despite her remote location. Her expertise is traveling the world on a weekend with no pre-determined destination in mind, letting the cost of the airfare determine where she will go. She has over four million flown miles and elite status on all three major domestic carriers.

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