When it comes to making money for popular spending categories like groceries, dining, and entertainment, there are plenty of choices in the credit card space. Often the battle for the best cash back credit card comes down to one that offers a generous rewards structure for what you spend the most on.
In this battle we examine the Capital One SavourOne Cash Rewards credit card and the Chase Freedom UnlimitedÂ® card. For those cards, it will depend on how much cash back you need for categories like groceries, dining, travel, and entertainment.
While the SavorOne card will allow you to earn more money depending on your lifestyle and spending habits, the Freedom Unlimited card focuses on offering a competitive flat rate on general purchases.
If you want to know which card is right for you, here’s everything you need to know about what these credit cards offer.
|Welcome bonus||$ 200 cash bonus after spending $ 500 within 3 months of opening the account||$ 200 cash bonus when you spend $ 500 on your card within 3 months of opening the account|
|Annual subscription||$ 0||$ 0|
Capital One Highlights SavorOne Cash Reward vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited
As you can see, both of these cards offer competitive reward rates in popular spending categories, especially for catering. But which one is best for you depends on other areas of your budget and how you like to make money.
Welcome Bonus Winner: Tie
Both cards have identical welcome bonus amounts, spending requirements, and a timeline to meet the requirements. To get the bonus for either card, you will need to spend around $ 167 per month on the cards for three months. If you transfer even a small portion of your spending to either of these cards, you should have no problem fulfilling the spending requirements and receiving the bonus.
Reward Rate Winner: Chase Freedom Unlimited, with a few caveats
At first glance, the Chase Freedom Unlimited wins out in terms of rewards potential due to the high reward rate for groceries – 5% back on up to $ 12,000 in the first year. However, this advantage does not extend to big box stores like Target and Walmart. Excluding big box stores, annual spending cap, and one-year income schedule, rewards on this category will be limited in the long term.
The SavorOne grocery category offers 3% off and also excludes Target and Walmart purchases. However, there is no limit on the amount of Cash Back you can earn and this category of bonus remains at 3% over the long term. In addition, you will also have the advantage of earning 3% on meals and streaming with this card.
Where the Chase Freedom Unlimited has the potential to regain the lead is in its âeverything elseâ category. While the SavorOne only offers 1% cash back on general purchases, the Freedom Unlimited increases to 1.5%. If you spend mostly on groceries and meals with the card, it won’t make a huge difference. But if you’re looking for a card to swipe anywhere you go, Freedom Unlimited’s higher general rate makes it more lucrative.
Foreign Transaction Fee Winner: CapitalOne SavorOne Cash Rewards Card
Like all Capital One cards, the SavorOne card has no foreign transaction fees. The Freedom Unlimited card, however, has a 3% transaction fee for purchases made abroad. If you frequently travel or buy items overseas, it’s best to use a credit card with no overseas transaction fees.
Which card pays the most?
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited
Again, the cash back you earn will depend on your lifestyle. If you lean more towards dining and travel, your expenses will be different from those of the homemaker who frequents the grocery store. Here’s how much you can earn on each card based on your spending profile:
Travelers, restaurants and entertainment:
|Category of expenditure||Monthly expenses||SavourOne
|To eat||$ 400||$ 12||$ 12|
|Races||$ 250||$ 8||13 $|
|Entertainment||$ 150||$ 5||$ 2|
|Diffusion||$ 50||$ 2||$ 1|
|To travel||$ 200||$ 2||$ 10|
|Pharmacy||$ 75||$ 1||$ 2|
|Miscellaneous purchases||$ 500||$ 5||$ 8|
|Annual cash back||$ 399||$ 567|
Dana is the gourmet and traveler par excellence. With her spending habits, she would earn $ 399 in cash with the SavorOne card and $ 567 with Freedom Unlimited (assuming her trip is booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal) for the year. Even when the grocery rate adjusts after the first year to 1.5%, she would still lead with the Chase Freedom Unlimited with $ 462 in cash back for the year.
We come to a similar conclusion with Sally at Home, who goes to the grocery store more often and prefers to entertain from her home:
Home entertainment and grocery stores:
|Category of expenditure||Monthly expenses||SavourOne||Unlimited freedom
|To eat||850 $||$ 26||$ 26||$ 26|
|Races||$ 750||23 $||$ 38||11 $|
|Entertainment||$ 75||$ 2||$ 1||$ 1|
|Diffusion||$ 75||$ 2||$ 1||$ 1|
|To travel||$ 0||$ 0||$ 0||$ 0|
|Pharmacy||$ 75||$ 1||$ 2||$ 2|
|Various purchases||$ 650||$ 7||$ 10||$ 10|
|Total||$ 2,475||$ 60||$ 77||$ 51|
|Annual||$ 717||$ 927||$ 612|
With the Capital One SavorOne, Sally earns $ 717 and $ 927 in cash back in the first year. Once Chase Freedom Unlimited only offers 1.5% cashback on races, it will only earn $ 612, which is about $ 100 less than it would with the Capital One SavorOne.
You can see that depending on how you spend your money, one card may offer more cash back than the other. Of course, you can fall perfectly between these spending profiles, making the cash back you earn roughly the same with either card. The moral of the story: Your spending habits will determine which card offers the most cash back.
Why should you get the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards card?
In both spending examples, this card didn’t earn as much as Freedom Unlimited, except when the higher reward rate for groceries dropped after the first year. So this card beats Freedom Unlimited in the long run if you use it for more groceries and dining. Plus, you’ll get cash back on entertainment, streaming, and shopping from Vivid Seats.
As a Mastercard, the SavorOne card offers additional benefits such as extended warranty and price protection. In addition, this card offers an APR period of 0% for 15 months with an APR varying from 14.99% to 24.99% thereafter. This APR applies to both purchases and balance transfers, which can come in handy if you need to pay off high interest debt or fund a new purchase over time.
In addition, the SavorOne card offers a 24-hour travel assistance service that issues an emergency replacement card. Cardholders are also entitled to travel accident insurance when they use their credit card to purchase tickets.
You can redeem your cash back for a statement credit, check, or gift card. You can also pay with your rewards at checkout on PayPal and Amazon.com.
Keep in mind that there may be restrictions on what you can buy with your reward points. For example, Amazon has a list of restricted articles you cannot redeem any rewards, including digital music, Kindle eBooks, Prime Video titles, and other digital downloads.
Recommended credit score
You will need good to excellent credit (670-850) for this card.
Why should you get the Chase Freedom Unlimited card?
Even for a card with no annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers a decent list of card benefits, including:
- Free DashPass subscription
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty coverage
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Access to the Chase Pay Yourself Back tool
In addition, this card has an introductory APR offer almost identical to that of the SavorOne card: 0% for 15 months for purchases and balance transfers. After the 15 months, the regular APR will be 14.99% to 24.74% (variable), slightly lower than the APR range of SavorOne.
Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards can be redeemed in a number of ways. The value of your rewards depends on how you choose to redeem them:
- Cash back (credit statement or deposit): 1 cent
- Travel: 1 cent
- Gift cards: 1 cent
- Purchases of apples: 1 cent
- Purchases on Amazon.com: 0.8 cent
- Charitable contributions: 1.25 cents
Recommended credit score
You will need good to excellent credit (670-850) for this card.
The bottom line
These cards are often opposed, mainly because of their cash back offers on groceries and meals. But depending on your lifestyle, one might offer more cash back than the other. Based on our spending example, the SavorOne wins for those spending on groceries, meals, and entertainment, but only after the Chase Freedom Card adjusts the grocery rewards after the first year. The Freedom Unlimited card, however, offers a slightly better list of benefits in terms of the Pay Yourself Back tool and the ability to redeem rewards more flexibly, especially on travel through Ultimate Rewards.