Which Card Should You Get First: Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom?

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Million Mile Secrets Reader Josh commented:

Hi.  I don’t have either the Sapphire Preferred card or the Freedom card. I have 3 other Chase cards that I got over the last 3 months.  I am looking to get both the Sapphire Preferred and Freedom cards in the future.  However, I am not sure the best way to do so.  I know that you must have the Sapphire Preferred card in order to accumulate Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Freedom card instead of cash back.

My question is this: Can I get the Freedom card before the Sapphire Preferred card, accumulate the sign-up bonus, then transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards points to the Sapphire Preferred account when I get it later?  Or do I have to get the Sapphire Preferred card 1st, establish a Chase Ultimate Rewards account, then get the Freedom card for the sign-up bonus to be in Chase Ultimate Rewards points rather than cash back?

Which Card Should You Get First Chase Sapphire Preferred Or Chase Freedom

Josh Can Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points From the Freedom to the Sapphire Preferred Card for Flights to Places Like India, Regardless of Which Card He Got First

It doesn’t matter which card Josh gets 1st: the Freedom or the Sapphire Preferred.

But, I’d recommend he get the Freedom card 1st.  That’s because right now, Josh can get the limited-time 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus.   Usually the Freedom card bonus is half that.

Which Card Should Josh Get First: Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom?

Link:   Chase Freedom card

Link:   My Review of the Chase Freedom card 

Link:   Sapphire Preferred card

Link:   My Review of the Sapphire Preferred card

Josh can get 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points on the Freedom card after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

The sign-up bonus is normally 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (or $100 cash back).  So this is a good deal!

That’s why Josh should get the Freedom card first. Then he can apply for the Sapphire Preferred card later and combine all his Chase Ultimate Rewards points together.

Having the Sapphire Preferred card will allow Josh to transfer his Chase Ultimate Rewards points to partner airlines and hotels.

The Freedom card is 1 of my favorite cards because it has no annual fee.  So Josh can continue to build a long relationship with Chase (which has the best miles and points cards) and increase his credit score.

Every quarter Josh can earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for every $1 he spends (up to a maximum of $1,500 per quarter) in bonus categories.

This quarter the 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus categories are Amazon, Zappos, and select department stores.

Which Card Should You Get First Chase Sapphire Preferred Or Chase Freedom

Josh Can Earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points This Quarter at Zappos With His Freedom Card

Josh can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Freedom to the Sapphire Preferred, (no longer offered) Ink Bold, or Ink Plus card and then to certain airlines and hotels:

 Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners 
British AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)Korean Air
Singapore AirlinesSouthwestUnited Airlines
Virgin Atlantic
 Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners 

Bottom Line

Josh doesn’t have to get the Sapphire Preferred card first.  He can get the Freedom card before he gets the Sapphire Preferred card.  Then he can combine his Chase Ultimate Rewards points later so he can transfer them to partners such as United Airlines and Hyatt.

Although, I recommend he get the Freedom card first.  That’s because he can get 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $500 in the first 3 months on the Freedom.  This is a great offer because the normal sign-up bonus is 10,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Have fun traveling, Josh!

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14 responses to “Which Card Should You Get First: Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom?

  1. You did touch on it somewhat, but to further the point: I found it difficult to get a CSP even with good credit when I first started because I had no relationship with Chase. After a while I signed up for a non premium card and was accepted, since then they have not declined any of my numerous applications. There is value in building a relationship with Chase.

  2. It’s Korean no longer an option?

  3. I have the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus and the SPG Starwood Business. I will keep both the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the SPG Starwood, but I’m having 2nd thoughts about keeping the Chase Ink Plus. What are your thoughts, should I cancel the Chase Ink Plus and get the Chase Freedom?

  4. Your freedom card application link is showing $200 cash back, not 20,000 points.

  5. Thanks for the quick article Daraius!

    • @john – Korean is on pause for a lil bit.

      @dan – Depends. If you shop at a lot of office supply stores or telecom stores, the 5X from it could help.

      @mmt – You get 20K points which you can redeem for $200 cash back.

  6. do you have any more info on the KE pause vs withdrawal?

  7. @Million Mile Secrets — Well, I have the Ink Cash Business card, so everything I get on the Ink Plus I get on my Ink Cash, but limited to $25,000/yr which I will not surpass. Also, I will lose out on the No Foreign Transaction Fee, which I’m okay with b/c I have the Sapphire Preferred Card. And one last thing, I would not get 5X points on cell phone/sim card rentals at international locations with the Ink Cash, that I would have had with the Ink Plus. So all in all, not a loss, but I’m inclined to keep it because it’s valuable since I may use this card more frequently in the future. Is that a safe bet, to keep this card open and pay the annual fee? My concern and worry is if I try to open the Ink Plus again, I might not be able to get it even if I have a great credit score b/c I closed it at one point. Is that an accurate statement?

  8. Hi! I just got the Chase Freedom card to get the $200 cash reward bonus. Will I still be able to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred in a few months and get the $400 cash rewards/points? I know some credit card companies state the cash bonuses are only for new customers, and I’d feel weird calling them with the express purpose of milking their cash bonuses.

    Also, I’ve been churning credit cards for the last few months, so my credit score has dipped slightly from 770s to the high 750s. I’m planning to apply for one more in a few months then wait about a year for the next one to let my credit score recover a bit. Which is tougher to get approved for, the Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Business Plus? I’m thinking I should apply for the easier one first, then the tougher one a bit later.

    Thanks so much!

  9. Hi, I’m a college student and recently applied for a freedom card. I was wondering if I do not redeem my cash back option, does it stay in as points. And when I apply for the sapphire in the summer when I establish my credit history with chase, can I just transfer my points from my freedom over. May be a little bit confusing, but in general, does the points accumulated from freedom expire?

  10. Ijust got approved for the chase saphire preffered card, and noe I see that there’s a bonus on the BA chase card for 60,000 points, should I apply for that now or wait a few months?

  11. Hi,

    I just signed up/approved for the CSP credit card. I already have a CS card, is it ok if I cancel the CS card since I don’t have a use for both? Will my credit score be affected by much?