When it comes to choosing a credit card, both the Chase Freedom and the Bankamericard Cash Back are two popular options. But when you compare them, does one card stand out more than another? Or are both strong contenders for your business? You may find yourself asking, which company's rewards or incentives better in the short term or the long run? Which card is better for my needs? We recently did a head-to-head comparison of Chase Freedom and Bankamericard Cash Back credit cards to see which card truly comes out on top. You won't believe what we found out – read on for all the details:
Incentives for New Customers
A signup bonus can be a great incentive to apply for a credit card. Of course, most customers look at the biggest incentive — the interest rate and balance transfer rate. Like other credit cards, the Chase Freedom and Bankamericard Cash Rewards Cards offer highly competitive signup incentives to encourage you to make purchases or transfer a balance to your new card. We've outlined the card details below.
Chase Freedom Credit Card
New customers may be eligible for special introductory offers with each card. For Chase customers, that's in addition to the major enticing offer of cashback on every purchase you make with your card, automatically. You can also get significantly higher cashback rewards for participating in rotating categories when they are offered each quarter. These include gas stations, restaurants and even websites like Amazon.com.
If you plan to use the card internationally, you should know however that there is a foreign transaction fee, so keep that in mind if you're traveling! We've conducted a thorough review of the best travel credit cards as well, so if you want the most airline miles and rewards for using your card when you travel, be sure to check it out!
Bankamericard Cash Back Credit Card
Both cards offer introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, the Bankamericard purchase and balance transfer APR returns to its variable rate, based on creditworthiness. New cardholders are eligible for cashback bonuses and receive cashback rewards on all purchases, but at a lower percentage than Chase's rotating categories.
Incentives for Loyal Customers
Getting a customer to apply for, and be approved for, your credit card is one thing. Keeping them, however, can present an even greater challenge. Both Bank of America and Chase offer several ongoing incentives to help encourage customers to continue to use their cards. We've outlined them for you in detail below:
The Chase Freedom card offers cashback across different categories, which change each quarter. Your cash back rewards never expire as long as your account remains open. Every three months, you'll need to login to your Chase account online to "activate" your rewards in order to start earning cashback. It may seem like a hassle, but it's only four times per year, and the categories are in line with normal consumer shopping habits. Currently they are as follows:
January – March – cashback at gas stations and local commuter transportation services
April – June – cashback at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Does not include Walmart or Target
July – September – cashback at restaurants and wholesale clubs
October – December – cashback for holiday shopping and wholesale clubs.
Chase regularly adds retailers to the list of categories as the timeframe comes closer, so be sure to check their website to see where you can get the most bang for your buck!
Bankamericard Cash Rewards
The Bankamericard gives you cashback on every purchase, but gives you more at grocery stores and gas stations, with benefit caps that reset each quarter. Unlike the Chase Freedom, the categories for cashback from the Bankamericard don't change. Like the Chase Freedom, however, your rewards don't expire as long as the account is open. Bankamericard also offers some additional incentives.
Perks of Each Card
Perks are one of the biggest selling points of a credit card beyond its interest rate, and both Chase and Bank of America have stepped up to the plate to make customers feel safer and more at ease doing business with their respective cards. They've also partnered with different third party companies to offer additional perks that may be a key deciding factor in which one you choose. We've outlined the biggest perks below:
Chase Freedom provides Zero Liability Protection which means you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges that are made with your card or account details. Zero liability protection extends to U.S.-issued cards only and does not apply to ATM or PIN transactions not processed by Visa.
The Chase Freedom card also comes with a number of shopping protectons including purchase protection and extended liability protection. The card also hosts a number of travel benefits including auto rental collision damage waiver and roadside assistance. Chase Freedom Visa Signature cardmembers can also benefit from trip cancellation/interruption insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and travel accident insurance. Consult your Guide to Benefits for more information or details on coverages.
Bankamericard Cash Rewards
The Bankamericard Cash Rewards card also offers a $0 liability for fraudulent transactions as well as online and mobile banking options. It comes with several other beneficial features too. For instance, You can add your Bankamericard to a mobile device and pay with a digital wallet using Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay. Bankamericard was ahead of its competitor in adding this feature. However, a version of a digital wallet feature has also been added to Chase Freedom with high cashback incentives.
Do you have to have a checking or savings account with either provider in order to obtain one of their cards? Are there incentives for getting or having an account with either provider?
Having a checking or savings account with either Chase Bank or Bank of America isn't a requirement in order to apply for these companies' credit cards, however the Bankamericard does offer you a customer bonus if you redeem your cash back rewards into your Bank of America checking or savings account. If you're a loyal Bank of America customer anyway, this customer bonus can add up quickly to your benefit.
Card Security Features
Identity theft and credit card fraud are very real and ever-present threats in today's society. Credit card providers have taken the initiative to not only strengthen their respective card offerings but have also adopted stronger security transaction encryption and technology to help make it harder for identity thieves and scammers to usurp your financial and personal information.
Both Chase and Bank of America have a zero liability purchase protection system in place, as well as options to notify you via email, phone and/or text about alerts on your account if fraudulent activity is detected. Both companies also leverage the latest in online security technology when you opt in for paperless statements. Support services at both companies take proper precautious when asking for and receiving personal or financial information over the phone.
The bottom line – which card is right for you?
When it comes to comparing credit cards, the Chase Freedom and the Bankamericard Cash Rewards card both seem very similar on the surface in terms of cash back rewards. However, they have decidedly different consumers in mind with vastly different goals when you dig a little deeper. A head to head comparison isn't really possible when there are so many key differences. Of course, the things which are perhaps the most important, such as interest rate and APR are generally in line with other competitive credit cards of this type.
But that is where the similarities end. Rather than give you a lower cashback rate across the board, like the Bankamericard Cash Rewards card does, Chase is opting to attract shopping-savvy consumers who follow a fairly predictable, seasonal purchasing routine. With comparable security on both products, that's one big point for Chase. However, some people may not appreciate having to opt in to rotating categories.
If you can keep on top of the categories, the Chase Freedom gives you a lot more cash back and convenience. If you'd rather be rewarded for loyalty and not have to deal with categories, the Bankamericard Cash Rewards card may be a better option for you. There are cards from both Chase and Bank of America, as well as other companies, which are better suited to things like travel, points and other incentives. Be sure to check out our reviews and in-depth guides on those cards as well.
But if you're trying to narrow down your choices between the Chase Freedom and the Bankamericard Cash Rewards card, you'll want to whittle down the pros and cons to determine what features are truly the most important for you. Ease of use? Convenience? More cash back? Customer service? Loyalty rewards? It can be a challenge to prioritize these things. Both companies have rock solid financial backgrounds and are well-known brands in the credit card space. And although we can't make your decision for you, it's our hope that our detailed review and comparisons featured here will help make your decision a little easier!