There’s plenty of reasons to choose a credit card that gives you cash back. From paying down your balance to gaining more spending power, a cash back credit card offers you the ability to earn as you spend.
But, how do you know which one is the right card for you?
New Member Bonus
Chase Freedom: $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
American Express Magnet: Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. You will receive the $250 back as a statement credit.
Winner = Chase Freedom (AMEX Magnet requires the card holder to spend way too much money in order to receive the bonus).
Chase Freedom: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
AMEX Magnet: Unlimited Cash Back 1.5% Cash Back on your purchases.
Winner = Chase Freedom (the 5% cash back for gas or groceries makes this a winner)
Please check creditcards.chase.com/freedom/calendar to view a calendar showing which 5% cash back category is active.
THE FINER DETAILS…
American Express Magnet Credit Card
Let’s start with the American Express Magnet card, which as the company boasts is “simply rewarding.”
Offering an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on your purchases, this credit card can help you earn plenty of green to make it until payday.
American Express offers the cash back in Reward Dollars that you have the option to redeem as a credit on your statement. You can also redeem your Reward Dollars for gift cards or merchandise through American Express.
Looking to earn a little more? Spend $1000 or more in purchases with the American Express Magnet card, and you’ll earn a cool extra $150 back in the first three months of membership with the card.
There are even more ways to earn Reward Dollars if you spend an additional $6500 in purchases in the first three months of owning the card. American Express will reward you with an additional $100 in Reward Dollars for a total $250 possible in cash back rewards.
You can redeem your cash back earnings with the American Express Magnet card when your balance hits 25 Reward Dollars.
The American Express Magnet card also offers plenty of other perks that make this card worth owning. You’ll find that making your payment each month is easy as American Express offers Plan It – a monthly payment plan that offers you a fixed monthly fee without an interest charge. This is ideal for those larges purchase. Plus, you’ll continue to earn cash back rewards on these purchases as well.
Have a question about your American Express Magnet card? Take advantage of the company’s Global Assist Hotline no matter where you are located in the world. It can help with lost passports, legal help, custom information, and more. There is also Roadside Assistance offered with the credit card in case you are ever stranded.
A nice feature of the American Express Magnet card is its Purchase Protection that covers you when you buy a product. If it breaks or gets stolen up to 90 days from the moment you made the purchase, American Express will cover it.
APR on the American Express Magnet credit card is 0 percent for 15 months on purchases as well as balance transfers. After the introductory period, the APR moves to 14.75 to 25.74 percent. The card also has no annual fee.
Chase Freedom Credit Card
If you are looking for a credit card with even more earning potential, you may want to select the Chase Freedom card. This credit card offers a whopping 5 percent back on up to $1500 in combined purchases made in bonus categories each quarter. You’ll need to activate the offer each quarter, but the 5 percent cash back option will be all yours.
All other purchases earn you 1 percent back, and Rewards never expire for as long as your account is open. Plus, Chase offers no minimum balance to cash in your Rewards, making it possible to earn cash back even on small purchases.
You’ll also earn a nice $150 bonus on the first $500 you spend on purchase in the first three months of owning the Chase Freedom card. Rewards are earned at one point for each dollar spent.
The hefty rewards you’ll earn with the Chase Freedom card can be redeemed for cash or a statement credit. You can also use the rewards to purchase travel through Chase or redeem them for gift cards at your favorite locations. There is also a bevy of products and services that you can redeem your points for as well.
Points are valued at $.01 for cash, gift card, and travel redemption. Statement credits are valued at $.008 per point. This gives you choices as to how you want to use your points you earn on your purchases with the Chase Freedom card.
Chase offers the Freedom card with a 0 percent introductory APR for the first 15 months of ownership. This includes all purchases as well as balance transfers. After the first 15 months, the APR goes to 16.74 to 25.49 percent. The balance transfer fee is 5 percent of the amount transfers with a $5 minimum. You’ll also enjoy no annual fee with the Chase Freedom card.
The Chase Freedom card also offers plenty of other features that make it appealing. There are several protection options to use including the Zero-Liability Protection which covers you for unauthorized charges. The Purchase Protection covers damage or theft on items you purchase up to $500 for 120 days. There is also an Extended Warranty option, which extends the manufacturers warranty by another year.
Choosing between the American Express Magnet card and the Chase Freedom card is a challenge. Both cards offer plenty of cash back earning power and can help you rack up those reward points in a hurry.
The American Express Magnet card is ideal for making larger purchases as it has a greater earning potential for cash back savings. The Chase Freedom card, on the other hand, is a solid card for smaller purchases, where you want to earn quickly. Both credit cards have great introductory offers and plenty of ways to save with no APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
You won’t go wrong with either of these credit cards but normal everyday consumers will want to pick the Chase Freedom credit card over the American Express Magnet card.