Amex EveryDay Vs. Chase Freedom — Which Is Better?

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Reader Django asked the following question on my post about the 2015 Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories:

Lucky – do you have a recommendation between this card and the Amex Everyday cards you blogged about a few weeks ago? I presume part of the answer has to do with the value of Membership Rewards points and, as I’ve never had them, I’m not really sure how they stack up vis-a-vis Chase points. Your thoughts would be really helpful here.

As far as I’m concerned, the Chase Freedom and Amex EveryDay are the two all around most lucrative no annual fee credit cards. But they’re also very different in terms of their value propositions.

Chase Freedom® benefits

The Chase Freedom isn’t a card I’d use for everyday spend. That’s because the points the card accrues can typically only be redeemed for cashback, at the value of one cent per point. The exception are the 5% cashback bonus categories, whereby you receive 5% cashback on rotating quarterly bonus categories, on up to $1,500 per quarter.

The real value of the Chase Freedom is how well it complements the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card. In conjunction with one of those cards, the Chase Freedom points can be converted into “premium” Ultimate Rewards points, which can be transferred to the Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners.

So the way I see, the two biggest selling points of the Chase Freedom are as follows:

  • For helping to maintain an excellent credit score by keeping the card long term. One of the things that factors into your credit score is the average age of your accounts, and having this card is a great way to keep up the average age of your accounts.
  • For use in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Plus® Business Credit Card to maximize the category bonuses and then transfer those points to an Ultimate Rewards travel partner.

Amex EveryDay® Card benefits

Unlike the Chase Freedom, the Amex EveryDay is a no annual fee card I could actually imagine as a primary card for everyday spend.

For one, this card doesn’t accrue watered down Membership Rewards points, but rather the “premium” points which can be transferred to airline and hotel partners, much like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Amex-Membership-Rewards

The card also has some awesome bonus categories. It offers 2x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases. Then it offers 1x points on other purchases. Best of all, if you use your card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period you get 20% more points on those purchases.

So for someone that’s not a huge credit card spender, that could very well be the best no annual fee card for everyday spend.

The way I see, the two biggest selling points of the Amex EveryDay are as follows:

  • For helping to maintain an excellent credit score by keeping the card long term. One of the things that factors into your credit score is the average age of your accounts, and having this card is a great way to keep up the average age of your accounts.
  • For use on everyday spend for someone that’s not a huge credit card spender. If you do spend a lot on credit cards, the Amex EveryDay Preferred might be a better option for you.

Bottom line

Both the Chase Freedom and Amex EveryDay are fantastic no annual fee cards. And I think both cards are worth having, if for no other reason than the positive impact that having some credit cards long term has on your credit score. I think people often underestimate the importance of having a few cards long term to balance out your average of accounts, assuming you’re someone that opens and closes a lot of credit cards.

The Chase Freedom is a great complement to some other Chase products, while the Amex EveryDay is a fantastic card to use for primary spend if you’re not a huge credit card spender. If you are a big spender, one of Amex’s premium products is a better bet for you.

What do you think? Do you have either the Amex EveryDay or Chase Freedom, and if so, what do you use them for?

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Comments

  1. I pay the $95 fee for the Preferred as the extra bonus is worth it based on my numbers……and Freedom should be the first card of every FF…..IMHO……..

  2. I took the $95 hit and went with the everyday pref. The 50 % bonus on miles was more than worth it for me. I pay my rent on this credit card, and put over 200 a week on it for food and another 500 a month for gas. So the 50 % bonus on that spend alone is worth it for me.

    But this coming new year i will also be buying many a gas card from grocery stores for the 5 X points on my freedom card.

    That will keep me going til March.

  3. Chase seems to be taking AMEX head on. With the grocery bonus of the Everyday Preferred card maxing out at 4.5 times, Freedom now has groceries giving as much as 5X for the first quarter.

    Except…Everyday Preferred has a Small Business offer good from now thru the end of Jan. And two of my local full size, but non-chain, grocery stores are on the AMEX Small Business list. Which means I’m getting 5.5 MR points at them, assuming I make 30 purchases a month. But I get half a point more on grocery spend at Safeway and Trader Joes with Freedom. Unless that puts my use of the EP below 30 times a month, in which case the Freedom gives 2 points more at my small business grocery stores.

    Whew !

    I pretty much need to carry a spreadsheet around with me to know which card to use where and when.

  4. What about the benefit of holding a no fee card so that your MR points will never expire even if you want to cancel charge card(s).

  5. I have both cards, but the Amex Everyday card is far better. I make the 20 first purchases on small items like drinks and snacks to reach 20x benefit. Then, I would charge any eligible bills (cell phone, tv, insurance etc etc). After second month, the first month points posted and the bonus 25k points as well.

    Wait for pre qualified card and ignore them. I waited till second or third (another month) and was offered 25k points for spending 2k in 3 months. Best offers were 50 dollar gift cards for 5k points (gap, chillis, etc). Other gift cards and services had lower values, but still free. Numerous options for points usage (partnering sky miles transfer, amazon, use points to pay purchases,etc)

    Perfect fit for anyone who might not charge a ton, but make sure you hit that spending requirement for bonus points. Well worth it all if you play with the math and leverage 20x benefit.

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