February 26, 2018
Review: Chase Freedom Credit Card
The second credit card I ever got was the Chase Freedom. I was new to the world of credit cards and points back then. I used it as a cash back card since it has no annual fee and offers 5% back on rotating categories. It’s still in my wallet today, but I get a lot more than 5% in value now that I know how to maximize Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points.
The Chase Freedom offers 15,000 points after spending $500 in the first three months of account opening. You can earn an additional 2,500 points after adding your first authorized user and making a purchase with the authorized user card in the same three months.
Cardholders earn 5x points per $1 on up to $1,500 in purchases on rotating quarterly bonus categories and 1x point per $1 on everything else. Chase publishes upcoming quarterly bonus categories about two weeks in advance. You can see the first quarter 2018 categories above. Chase often offers bonuses on outlets like Walmart & Department stores, Grocery Stores, Restaurants & Movie Theaters, and Amazon.
The Chase Freedom is marketed as a cash back card. You can redeem points for statement credits at a rate of 1 cent a piece. Redeeming for cash back would net you $150 from the sign-up bonus, 5% back on bonus categories, and 1% back on everything else. That said, you can get a lot more value that 1 cent per point.
Chase allows you to transfer Freedom points to any Ultimate Rewards earning credit card. Once those points are transferred, they become Ultimate Rewards points. UR points can then be transferred to various airline frequent flyer programs and redeemed for Business or First Class travel!
You can easily get between 5-10 cents per point (you can go even higher if you’re creative) in value with Ultimate Rewards points instead of the flat 1 cent you get with Freedom points. Some examples of UR earning premium cards include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Ink Business Preferred. You can turn your Chase points into Chase UR points as long as you have the Freedom and a premium UR earning credit card.
Cardholders receive a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening. *As I’ve said before, you should be paying your credit card statements in full every month to maintain a high credit score and avoid credit card debt.
The Chase Freedom has no annual fee but it does charge foreign transaction fees.
Should You Get It?
The Chase Freedom is a great way to maximize your Ultimate Rewards points earning power. I always take advantage of the rotating quarterly bonus categories to earn 5x points per $1 and I combine that with my Chase Sapphire Reserve which always earns 3x points per $1 on travel and dining. The Chase Freedom is a decent option as a cash back card for bonus category spending, but it’s a lot more valuable when you can turn the points into UR points.
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