The Chase Freedom card is a staple in many cash back connoisseur's wallet. The card earns 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter on up-to $1,500 in spend. You'll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. You have to sign up for the spend category each quarter, which let's be honest, we struggle to remember to make our kids lunches for school. If you can tackle that problem, you'll be alright. Also, can you send us a reminder about school lunches? Thanks.
The Freedom really shines when you pair it with either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you hold either of those cards, you'll be able to redeem your points for 1.25 cents each (Preferred) or 1.5 cents each (Reserve) when used to book travel. That means your cash back earning is boosted to 6.25% and 7.5% respectively. The Freedom has some other unique perks that may make it worth keeping in your wallet.
Swipe.That.Plastic. It's pretty straight forward. Freedom earns cash back on your everyday purchases. Sign up for your rotating categories. Redeeming is just as easy. Redeem any amount of points for a statement credit. 1 point equals a penny when redeemed as a statement credit. Be a pro and sock that cash back away in a savings or investment account.
Chase has their own payment platform, Chase Pay. You can use points to pay for purchases in real time if you'd like, but points will only be worth .8 cents each. You lose value here, which will make your penny jar sad. You can also redeem points for travel using Chase's travel center. Complete terms for redemption requirements can be found here. With that being said, if you are going to be traveling, we strongly recommend picking up either a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card to round out your Chase Ultimate Rewards portfolio. Your points will be worth more when redeemed for travel.
Besides offering some rewards categories that you'll have to follow on a quarterly basis, does the Chase Freedom have other redeeming qualities?
First off, you should have good to excellent credit if you plan to get the bonus for new customers. Applicants with average credit may not be eligible for the bonus, but still eligible for the card.
This card will treat you well if you are looking for cash back, low APRs for a balance transfer or to finance a new purchase, or to dabble in using rewards for travel. It doesn't have an annual fee, so you really have nothing to lose other than opportunity cost. If travel is high on your list of things to do, then pair this with another Ultimate Rewards card down the road and you'll be set. Even if you're in a spot where you are carrying a balance month to month, this card is okay, since the first 15 months come with an introductory rate. Just clean up your spending habits before that intro period ends, eh?
Anyone who has opened more than 5 credit cards in the last 24 months. Your application will be auto declined. You may as well be dead to Chase for credit card purposes at this point. It's a real thing.
If you're not interested in learning how to transfer points to travel partners and you don't want to keep up with rotating categories a credit card like the Uber Visa will likely treat you better. The cash back earning structure is straight forward and you'll earn 4% on dining and 3% on travel with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.
Freedom is a solid choice for beginners looking to start their cash back journey and work their way up to a travel card like the Sapphire Preferred. It's a solid card for someone that needs an intro APR balance transfer or new purchase rate. It's also good for the seasoned traveler that holds a card in the Sapphire family. It's not the best for someone that applies for a lot of credit cards or if you have a higher end travel card with another bank, or if you just plan on using a card for simple cash back indefinitely.