Amex Points vs. Chase Points

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American Express and Chase are among the most popular credit card issuers today, each with a suite of cards that range from everyday cash back to the most premium travel cards on the market. 

But what really increases the value of any Amex or Chase credit card are the flexible rewards programs the issuers offer. American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards give cardholders the option to redeem points toward discounted travel, online purchases, other travel loyalty programs, and more.  

“Chase and Amex points have a ton in common in terms of how they work and what they can do,” says Summer Hull, director of travel content for The Points Guy, which like NextAdvisor is owned by Red Ventures. “Which is best for you will depend on your travel goals and patterns.” 

Here are the big differences between Amex and Chase points, and how you can maximize your rewards under either program to save money on future travel:  

Differences Between Amex and Chase Points

When it comes to earning points, Amex and Chase cards work very similarly. Depending on the eligible points-earning card you choose, you’ll get a certain number of points per dollar in various bonus spending categories. 

For example, with the American Express® Gold Card, you can earn 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), among other categories. And with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ll earn 3X Ultimate Rewards points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services, among other bonus rewards.

The big difference between Amex and Chase points is the redemption value you’ll get when you’re ready to trade in those points for statement credits, purchases, or travel. 

Here’s a list of redemption options each issuer offers:

American Express Membership Rewards redemptions:

  • Transfer your points to Amex’s travel partners 
  • Book or upgrade travel through AmexTravel.com
  • Pay with points at checkout with eligible online retailers
  • Buy merchandise items 
  • Gift cards 
  • Cover your card charges with statement credits 

Chase Ultimate Rewards redemptions:

  • Transfer points to travel partners at a 1:1 ratio
  • Book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal 
  • Book live events with your points with Chase Experiences
  • Use your points toward Chase Dining for takeout and dinner reservations 
  • Redeem for eligible purchases with Pay Yourself Back
  • Pay for merchandise items
  • Gift cards
  • Statement credits

Pooling points to maximize value

If you have multiple points-earning cards from Amex or Chase, both issuers allow you to combine the points you earn under the same account, so you can maximize different cards’ bonus categories. 

With Chase, points are worth more when you redeem them with a Chase Sapphire card account (you’ll get a value of 1.25 cents per point with the Sapphire Preferred Card, and 1.5 cents per point with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, when you redeem for travel through Chase). If you have either of these travel cards as well as a Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex card to earn rewards on everyday spending, for example, you can transfer the rewards you earn with those cards to your Sapphire card account, and redeem at the boosted rate. 

You can also combine your cash back and points into one account if another household member has a Chase card. However, you cannot pool points if someone has a different address than you. 

Amex cards don’t have the same benefit of boosting your redemption value, but you can still take advantage of different Membership Rewards-earning cards’ bonus categories. If you have multiple Amex cards that earn points (Amex cash back cards are not eligible), you can combine all of your points earned under your single Membership Rewards account and redeem them together. However, you cannot transfer your Amex points earned from one person’s account to yours or vice versa, even if they’re a spouse or partner in your same household. 

Are Amex or Chase Points Worth More?

The value of your points will depend on how you redeem them, but some redemptions are worth a higher value than others.

“There’s no bad redemption,” says Hull. “But there are redemptions that have less cash value than others.” A good rule of thumb is to aim for a redemption value of at least one cent per point.

But it’s important to know that you’ll most likely get the best value when you redeem points for travel under either program. 

When you redeem your Amex points for travel, you’ll have a few options. You can transfer to travel partners, typically at a 1:1 ratio, though some partners may offer up to a 1:2 point to point ratio. You can also get up to 1 cent per point value by booking travel through AmexTravel.com, the issuer’s travel portal. 

Other redemption options include up to 0.5 cents per point for merchant purchases, 0.5 – 1 cents per point for gift cards, and 0.6 cents per point for statement credits. American Express has a calculator on its website which you can use to see exactly how much each redemption option is worth based on the card you have.

Similar to Amex, you can also redeem Chase points for the highest value when booking travel. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points and Chase Ink Business Preferred® Card points are worth 1.25 cents, and Chase Sapphire Reserve® points are worth 1.5 cents per point when you book travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards travel portal. If you don’t have one of these three cards, your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent when you redeem for travel through Chase.

If you have an eligible Chase card, you can also transfer at a 1:1 ratio with Chase’s travel partners. Other redemption options, including cash back, gift cards, and merchandise purchases are generally 1 cent per point, too. 

Pro Tip

You can get a lot more value for your points when you redeem for travel with a Chase Sapphire card. For example, if you have 15,000 points that you earned with a Sapphire Reserve card, you can redeem them for travel at a boosted rate of 1.5 cents per point. That means, instead of $150 worth of travel, the same 15,000 points are worth up to $225 in travel spending.

Amex vs. Chase Transfer Partners

Transfer partners are one of the most lucrative Amex and Chase points redemption options.

Each issuer has a different combination of partners, so if you book with a certain hotel brand or airline often, you may choose one credit card issuer over the other to stretch your points further. 

With Chase, you can only transfer points to partners using a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Business Preferred Card. 

You can transfer points to Amex partners if you have any card that earns Membership Rewards, including the following:

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • American Express Gold® Card 
  • American Express Green Card
  • American Express EveryDay® Credit Card 
  • AmEx EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

American Express has 20 transfer partners (18 airlines and 2 hotels), while Chase has 14 partners (11 airlines and 3 hotels). There are often minimum transfer amounts you must meet before you can transfer points to partners, which may range from 500 to 1000 points or more. 

Here’s a complete list of both issuers’ travel partners: 

Amex Airline Partners: 

  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • Aer Lingus Aerclub
  • Aeromexico Club Premier
  • Air France-KLM Flying Blue
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Avios
  • JetBlue True Blue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic FlyingClub

Amex Hotel Partners:

  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Choice Privileges

Chase Airline Partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Canada
  • British Airways
  • Emirates
  • Flying Blue (Air France and KLM)
  • Iberia
  • JetBlue
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic

Chase Hotel Partners:

  • Hyatt
  • IHG
  • Marriott Bonvoy 

If you’re interested in opening a travel credit card for the transfer partner benefit, think about which partners give you the most value based on how you already travel. You may choose Amex cards, for example, if you live near a Delta Air Lines hub and prefer to stay in Hilton hotel properties when traveling. On the other hand, if you typically fly domestic, you may get more benefit from Chase airline partners like Southwest and JetBlue.

Best Cards to Earn Amex Membership Rewards

Each Amex credit card has different spending categories to earn rewards. Some of the cards are more focused on saving money on your travel expenses, while others offer more points on groceries, gas, and other everyday expenses. Here are a few Amex credit cards that earn Membership Rewards to consider: 

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Good for Travel The Platinum Card® from American Express

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)

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Good for Travel The Platinum Card® from American Express

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)

  • Intro offer:

    Earn 100,000 points

  • Annual fee:

    $695

  • Regular APR:

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Rewards rate:

Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Valuable welcome offer
  • Tiered rewards structure
  • No foreign transaction fee (See Rates & Fees)
  • Travel perks including lounge access and airline fee credits

Cons

  • Very high annual fee
  • Relatively high APR
  • Not great for rewards outside travel categories

The Bottom Line

From high-earning travel rewards categories to cash credits that can offset the cost of your next vacation, the Platinum Card from American Express has a long list of benefits. Just make sure you can take advantage of them to make the high $695 annual fee worth your while.

Additional Card Details

  • Up to $200 annual airline fee credit
  • Up to $240 in digital entertainment credits (up to $20 per month) on eligible purchases and subscriptions with: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required
  • Up to $155 annual Walmart+ membership credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • Up to $100 fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card
  • $189 annual statement credit for a Clear® membership
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash to use on rides or Uber Eats in the U.S. annually ($15 per month and a bonus $20 in December), plus Uber VIP access
  • $300 in annual statement credits (up to $25 per month) on eligible Equinox memberships or a digital subscriptions to Equinox+, an on-demand fitness app
  • Up to $100 in annual statement credits toward purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com (up to $50 every 6 months, per calendar year)
  • Access to American Express Global Lounge Collection including Centurion Lounges and Delta SkyClubs (when flying same-day Delta Air Lines flights)
  • Access to Fine Hotels & Resorts program, plus credits and benefits during your stay, including $100 credit towards eligible onsite activities
  • Hilton Honors Gold elite status enrollment
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status enrollment
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • American Express preferred seating and presale access
Good for Dining American Express® Gold Card

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American Express® Gold Card

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)

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Good for Dining American Express® Gold Card

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)

  • Intro offer:

    60,000 points

  • Annual fee:

    $250

  • Regular APR:

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Rewards rate:

Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X). Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Tiered points system
  • Welcome bonus offer
  • Annual credits

Cons

  • Annual fee
  • Value of points dependent on how you redeem

The Bottom Line

The American Express Gold Card offers a great rewards structure that lets you rack up points when you make everyday purchases on groceries and dining out. You’ll get the most value from your American Express Gold if you use your points to save on travel — especially if you transfer your points to airline or hotel partners. The Amex Gold is one of our favorite travel rewards credit cards, and frequent travelers can get a lot of value from it, even in spite of its $250 annual fee.

Additional Card Details

  • Up to $120 annual dining credit
  • Up to $120 in annual Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides
  • Up to $100 credit on qualifying activities when booking through the American Express Hotel Collection
  • $250 annual fee
  • Amex Offers
  • Car rental insurance
  • Global travel assistance hotline
  • Baggage insurance
  • Extended warranty on covered purchases
  • Purchase protection
  • Dispute resolution
Good for Transit American Express® Green Card

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American Express® Green Card

Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)

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Good for Transit American Express® Green Card

Editor’s Score: (3.9/5)

  • Intro offer:

    45,000 points

  • Annual fee:

    $150

  • Regular APR:

    See Rates & Fees

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Rewards rate:

3X points at restaurants including takeout or delivery. 3X points on transit including trains, buses, ferries, subway, and more. 3X points on travel including airfare, hotels, cruises, tours, car rentals, and more. 1X points on other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Earn bonus rewards (3x points) at restaurants, on transit, and on travel
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual credits for LoungeBuddy lounge access and CLEAR membership
  • Earns points towards Amex’s flexible Membership Rewards program

Cons

  • $150 annual fee
  • High APR for purchases
  • Not as many added benefits as more premium travel cards

The Bottom Line

The American Express Green Credit Card is worth considering if you like the American Express Membership Rewards program, and you’re looking for a travel card that won’t set you back too much when it’s time to pay the annual fee. You’ll earn flexible rewards points on dining, transit, and travel, the annual fee is lower than American Express’ more premium travel cards, and annual statement credits can help offset the cost for regular travelers.

Additional Card Details

  • Up to $100 annual statement credit toward CLEAR membership
  • Up to $100 annual statement credit for lounge access through LoungeBuddy
  • $150 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Trip delay insurance
  • Secondary auto insurance coverage
  • Baggage insurance plan
  • Purchase protection against damage or theft
  • Extended warranties
Good for Maximizing Everyday Spending The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

Editor’s Score: (N/A)

  • Intro offer:

    15,000 Points

  • Annual fee:

    $95

  • Regular APR:

    12.99% to 22.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit score:

    740-850 (Excellent)

Rewards rate:

3x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x). 2x points at US gas stations. 1x points on other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Bonus points in everyday spending categories
  • Rewards boost each time you use your card 30 or more times within a billing period
  • Earn American Express Membership Rewards points instead of cash back
  • 0% APR on purchases for a limited time

Cons

  • Rewards cap on spending at U.S. supermarkets
  • Only frequent card users can qualify for rewards boost
  • 0% APR offer does not apply to balance transfers

The Bottom Line

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card offers bonus rewards in everyday spending categories and an introductory 0% APR for purchases. Plus, you’ll earn rewards as points you can redeem within the American Express Membership Rewards program, which offers plenty of high-value redemption options. If your most frequent spending categories are groceries and gas, and you make a lot of purchases with your card each month, this card is worth considering.

Additional Card Details

  • Use your card 30 or more times within a billing period and you’ll earn 50% extra points on those purchases
  • 0% APR on purchases for 12 months, followed by a variable APR of 12.99% to 22.99%
  • Secondary auto rental coverage
  • Global Assist hotline
  • Return protection on eligible purchases
  • Amex Send & Split lets you split bills and send money to others
  • Amex Pay it Plan It lets you quickly pay off purchases under $100 or pay off larger purchases over time with a fixed plan fee and no interest
  • Access to Amex Offers
Good for No Annual Fee The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

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The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3.0/5)

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Good for No Annual Fee The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (3.0/5)

  • Intro offer:

    10,000 Points

  • Annual fee:

    $0

  • Regular APR:

    13.24% – 24.24% Variable

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Rewards rate:

2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x). 1x points on other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Earn points toward the Amex Membership Rewards program
  • Introductory 0% APR offer for purchases
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Minimal cardholder perks
  • Lower welcome bonus and earning rate than other no annual fee rewards cards
  • Intro 0% APR offer does not apply to balance transfers
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

The Bottom Line

With the American Express EveryDay Credit Card, you can earn American Express Membership Rewards points without paying an annual fee. It’s not the most lucrative rewards card, but you’ll earn bonus points at U.S. supermarkets and when you use your card at least 20 times per billing cycle. And if you have a large upcoming purchase, you can also use this card’s 15-month 0% APR period on purchases.

Additional Card Details

  • Use your Card 20 or more times in a billing period and earn a 20% points bonus on those purchases, not including returns and credits
  • 2x Membership Rewards points at AmexTravel.com
  • 0% APR on purchases for 15 months, followed by a variable APR of 13.24% to 24.24%
  • Secondary auto rental coverage (does not include liability)
  • Global Assist hotline
  • Eligible for Amex Send & Split, Amex’s peer-to-peer payment service
  • Eligible for Amex Pay it Plan it, Amex’s flexible payment program
  • Dispute resolution

Best Cards to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards

Only the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and the Ink Business Preferred cards let you earn Ultimate Rewards points directly. If you have a Chase cash back credit card, you’ll earn cash back in the form of points which can be redeemed in the Chase portal at a value of 1 cent per point, but the points cannot be transferred to travel partners. 

Here are a few of our favorite Chase cards which you can use under the Ultimate Rewards Program. Keep in mind, only the first three on this list allow transfers to Chase travel partners.

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Good Starter Travel Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)

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Good Starter Travel Credit Card Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Editor’s Score: (4.5/5)

  • Intro offer:

    80,000 points

  • Annual fee:

    $95

  • Regular APR:

    16.24% – 23.24% Variable

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Rewards rate:

5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 3x on dining. 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Generous welcome offer
  • Tiered bonus points categories
  • 25% points boost when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point transfer at airline and hotel partners
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • High APR
  • Need to spend within bonus categories to maximize rewards
  • Other cards have similar bonus categories with higher rewards rates

The Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a tiered, points-earning rewards card geared toward frequent fliers. Its most valuable assets include a solid welcome bonus, premium points redemption options and access to Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program.

Additional Card Details

  • 25% redemption boost on points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or eligible statement credits via Pay Yourself Back
  • Get 10% value of annual purchases back in points every account anniversary
  • $50 in annual hotel credits toward hotel stays booked through Chase
  • Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections
Good Perks for Big Spenders Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)

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Good Perks for Big Spenders Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Editor’s Score: (4.3/5)

  • Intro offer:

    50,000 points

  • Annual fee:

    $550

  • Regular APR:

    17.24% – 24.24% Variable

  • Recommended credit score:

    740-850 (Excellent)

Rewards rate:

Earn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 5x total points on air travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Valuable welcome bonus
  • $300 travel credit and other added benefits
  • 50% points value boost when redeemed for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Metal card

Cons

  • $550 annual fee
  • High APR
  • Not a great choice if you travel infrequently

The Bottom Line

Luxe benefits and valuable points redemptions draw many people to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, despite its steep $550 annual fee. But if you travel often and your spending aligns with high-value rewards categories, the Reserve’s benefits can outweigh even the high cost of ownership.

Additional Card Details

  • 50% redemption boost on points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or eligible statement credits via Pay Yourself Back
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Up to $100 credit every four years toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee
  • Complimentary airport lounge access through Priority Pass Select membership
  • 10x points on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • Complimentary DashPass from DoorDash subscription through 12/31/24
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections
Good for Business Spending Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Editor’s Score: (4.1/5)

  • Intro offer:

    100,000 points

  • Annual fee:

    $95

  • Regular APR:

    16.24% to 21.24% Variable

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Rewards rate:

Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases – with no limit to the amount you can earn.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Great welcome offer
  • Tiered rewards structure with diverse category options
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • $150,000 annual spending cap in combined purchases on 3x rewards rate

The Bottom Line

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card has great perks for business owners. With rewards earning potential across four categories of business expenses, and a valuable sign-up bonus, this card can grab a lot of value.

Additional Card Details

  • 25% more points value when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point value when you transfer to a Chase transfer partner
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty
  • Cell phone protection
Good for Maximizing Cash Back Chase Freedom Flex℠

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Chase Freedom Flex℠

Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)

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Good for Maximizing Cash Back Chase Freedom Flex℠

Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)

  • Intro offer:

    $200

  • Annual fee:

    $0

  • Regular APR:

    15.24% – 23.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Rewards rate:

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. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Extensive tiered rewards structure
  • Rotating bonus rewards categories every quarter
  • Valuable welcome bonus offer
  • 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • High ongoing APR after intro period
  • Rotating quarterly bonus categories capped after $1,500 in spending
  • Keeping track of rewards categories may be more complex than some other cash back cards

The Bottom Line

The Chase Freedom Flex card offers cash back rewards in rotating rewards categories that will let you save where you spend the most. Plus, you’ll earn rewards in ongoing bonus categories year-round.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (15.24% – 23.99% variable APR thereafter) ; intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days
  • 5% cash back on qualifying Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Cell phone protection
  • Free credit score and monitoring
  • Access to Chase Offers savings
Good for Flat Cash Back Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)

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Good for Flat Cash Back Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)

  • Intro offer:

    Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back

  • Annual fee:

    $0

  • Regular APR:

    15.24% to 23.99% Variable

  • Recommended credit score:

    670-850 (Good to Excellent)

Rewards rate:

Enjoy 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. 1.5% on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros

  • Flexible, hybrid rewards structure made up of tiered categories and flat cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Valuable first-year bonus
  • Competitive intro APR period can be useful for paying off large purchases over time

Cons

  • Not a great choice for international travelers — you’ll incur a 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Travel bonus rewards only apply to travel booked through Chase

The Bottom Line

Chase Freedom Unlimited is NextAdvisor’s pick for the best cash back credit card for its impressive rewards and flexibility for everyday spenders. But the card’s value goes beyond its primary rewards structure. A standout first-year bonus, introductory interest offer, and boosted redemption options make this card one of the best available on the market today.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory interest offer on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after account opening, variable 15.24% – 23.99% interest thereafter; intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • Complimentary 3-month subscription to Doordash’s DashPass, followed by 50% off DashPass for 9 months (activate by 12/31/24)
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections

Can You Combine Amex and Chase Points?

You cannot transfer points between your Amex and Chase credit cards. But if you’re for building a strategy with several cards, you can maximize your points when booking travel or making purchases.

For instance, if you travel a lot and want to earn the maximum points available on flights with the Amex Platinum, but you want the welcome bonus and everyday rewards that the Chase Sapphire Preferred offers, you might find both cards are worth adding to your wallet. Then, you can use your rewards to book different trips as you accrue points, or even book different legs of the same trip separately. 

Keep in mind that rewards strategies like this can be money-saving hacks for vacations, but only make sense if they offer savings on things you would have spent your money on anyway. That’s especially true for some of the more premium options from both issuers which carry very high annual fees. You should always pay your bill on time and in full each month to avoid debt, and make the most of the rewards you earn. 

Which Rewards Program is Right for You?

The rewards program that’s the best fit for you depends on a few factors — such as the rewards categories, your lifestyle, and travel preferences. For instance, do you prefer luxury perks when you travel? Do you prefer to earn rewards on travel or everyday purchases? Would you rather earn points or cash back? 

“Priorities shift,” says Hull. If you don’t travel much in any given year, you may find more value in redeeming rewards for simple statement credits. The next year, maybe you’ll plan a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, and want to upgrade your flight using the rewards you’ve earned. “You know, you can always earn more points. They’re a renewable resource.”

When it come to choosing between Amex and Chase, compare both the redemption options between the two programs, as well as the benefits of individual cards to determine where you’ll get the most value.

You may choose the Amex rewards program if you’re a frequent traveler or enjoy luxury perks. Amex cardholders often enjoy lounge access, access to luxury hotels, and annual credits toward your spending. Amex also offers more transfer partners, which could make it more valuable if you plan to redeem points this way. 

Chase offers its own valuable benefits, including the boosted redemption value for the Chase Sapphire cards when you redeem points for travel. And if you have a Chase cash back card, you can combine your cash back with other Chase travel credit cards to still earn those rewards at a boosted rate. Plus, you’ll have the option to pool points with other household members to maximize your rewards earnings across all Chase credit cards that you and your spouse earn. 

Ultimately, you’re going to get the most value on your spending with a card that aligns with where you already spend most. You’ll get great redemptions with both issuers, so it’s best to find a credit card with categories that you’ll earn rewards from often. 

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