Chase Freedom Credit Card
Chase Freedom Credit Card
What we like:
Best for redemption flexibility
|Intro Offer||$150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in first 3 months from account opening|
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers
|Rewards Rate||5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate|
1% cash back on all other purchases
|Regular APR||17.24% – 25.99%|
- Bonus categories tend to be in line with most people’s regular spending habits
- The 0% APR for 15 months is competitive
- The sign-up bonus should be easy to reach
- High rewards rate in quarterly rotating categories
- No annual fee
- Option to maximize cash back through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program
- Tap to Pay functionality
- You need to spend in specific categories to get a high rewards rate
- 5% cash back rate is only available on up to $1,500 in qualifying purchases each quarter
Recommended Credit Score
Chase Freedom Review: Our Thoughts on the Cash Back Card
The Chase Freedom Credit Card is a good rewards card for everyday spending. It works anywhere Visa is accepted, and the bonus rotating categories tend to be in line with typical household expenses, and redeeming rewards is flexible.
In this Review:
Chase Freedom Benefits
The Chase Freedom cash rewards credit card has some advantages. First, there is a 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months after opening an account. This is a pretty solid intro period and can help you save if you’re currently paying off a balance or trying to finance a big purchase.
The current welcome offer is a $150 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months after you open a new account. Some other cards offer larger sign-up bonuses, but you also need to spend more money to qualify for them, and most come with an annual fee.
You’ll have the opportunity to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in quarterly rotating bonus categories. You do have to activate these categories to be eligible.
On all other purchases, cardholders earn 1% cash back automatically.
Cash back rewards don’t expire, and there’s no minimum to redeem cash back. You can redeem your earned rewards as a statement credit, a direct deposit into a checking or savings account, or by booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Additionally, you can link your Chase Freedom Card to your Amazon account to use your cash rewards to pay for Amazon orders at checkout.
Downsides of the Chase Freedom Credit Card
Although the Chase Freedom card’s quarterly categories offer you the potential to earn great rewards, they do take a little more work to track and opt-in. If you don’t opt-in each quarter, you won’t be eligible for 5% cash back even when you make purchases in those categories. Instead, you’ll earn the automatic 1% cash back.
Additionally, if the quarter’s bonus category is in an area you don’t normally spend much money, you won’t be able to earn bonus rewards. In these cases, a flat-rate cash back card, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, may offer higher rewards.
How It Compares to Similar Cards
Relative to other cash back credit cards, the Chase Freedom performs well in a few important areas. The fact that the card’s bonus categories are usually in areas where people spend the most money puts the Freedom card ahead of many competitors. Also, the flexibility in the redemption of cash back is a big perk. However, there are a few other strong options.
Chase Freedom vs Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a newer card than the Chase Freedom. Rather than offering special bonus categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited features unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The cash back is automatic and cardholders don’t have to meet a minimum threshold to redeem.
In lieu of a sign-up bonus, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers 3% cash back on up to $20,000 in purchases during your first year. After that, all rewards revert to the standard 1.5% cash back.
Other than that, the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited are very similar with a 0% intro APR for 15 months after opening an account and no annual fee.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited could be better for someone who doesn’t want to worry about opting into bonus categories every quarter.
Chase Freedom vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a premium travel credit card. It limits the highest rewards earning opportunities to travel and dining, with a rewards rate of 2 points per $1 spent. These points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal (for a total rewards rate of 2.5%), so it’s less valuable than the 5% you could get with the Chase Freedom card, but it may be preferable if you spent a lot on travel and dining.
Additionally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a generous signup bonus of 60,000 points—worth $750 if redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards—but you have to spend $4,000 in the first three months after account opening to qualify.
Finally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has an annual fee of $95.
The Chase Freedom is better for everyday spending, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred is for people who spend a lot on dining and travel. However, if you can qualify for the big sign-up bonus, the Sapphire Preferred has a lot to offer.
Bottom Line: Is the Chase Freedom Card Right for You?
The Chase Freedom Card is a fairly straightforward card for people who spend in common day-to-day categories such as at grocery stores and gas stations. The biggest downside is having to opt into bonus categories every quarter, but if you’re willing to do that, you can earn a 5% cash back on those purchases.3.96 Chase Freedom Credit Card
Author: Ashley Sutphin
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