The Chase Freedom, which has no annual fee, is one of the most popular cash back cards on the market. Each quarter, the Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back in categories like gas, groceries, dining, and Amazon. For everything else, it offers 1% unlimited cashback.
Because it offers so much in certain categories and so little in others, the Chase Freedom should be considered a companion card. What we mean is this is not a card you use as your primary credit card. You should use it to complement a primary credit card.
Sign Up Bonus (Grade: B+)
The Chase Freedom comes with a signup bonus of 15,000 points when you spend $500 in the first three months, and another 2,500 points when you add an authorized user who makes at least one purchase. With the Chase Freedom, a point is worth one cent so this comes out to $175 total. For a card with no annual fee, $175 cash is a strong sign up bonus.
|Sign Up Bonus||17,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards|
|Value Per Point||1 cents|
|Value of Sign Up Bonus||$175|
Daily Spending (Grade: B+)
The Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories up to $1,500 spent. It earns 1% cash back on other purchases or if you exceed $1,500 in the bonus category. You do need to “activate” the bonus online each quarter. This is a slight drawback, since you’ll need to remember or set a reminder.
One way to boost your earnings is through Chase’s shopping portal. You can gain access to it through your Chase account online. If you just click the link for the store you want in the Chase Ultimate Rewards shopping portal, you can earn an additional 2-25 points per dollar spent.
|Category||Points per Dollar Spent|
|Quarterly Category Bonus (Up to $1,500 spent)||5x|
|All Other Spending||1x|
|Chase Shopping Portal||2x-25x (additional)|
Additional Perks (Grade: A++)
Transfer Points to Premium Card – DON’T MISS THIS! If you have one of the premium Chase cards, the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or the Ink Business Preferred, you can transfer your Chase Freedom points into one of those accounts. The premium cards come with the ability to transfer points out to other programs like Hyatt and Southwest Airlines at a 1:1 rate. We value Hyatt points at 2.0 cents each and Southwest points at 1.6 cents each. So, when you transfer points earned from your Chase Freedom into a Chase Sapphire Preferred account for instance, they can be transferred into other programs where they’re worth potentially twice as much!
If you earned points at the 5% back rate and then have the opportunity to transfer them into Hyatt where they’re worth twice that much, you’ve effectively gotten 10% back on your daily purchases!
Redeeming Points (Grade: A+)
Since the Chase Freedom is primarily a cashback card, you know you’re getting the most flexible way to redeem points. If you use this card simply for the category bonuses each quarter and reach the cap each time, you’ll have earned $300 cash back on only $6,000 in spending. You’d have to spend $30,000 on the no annual fee Disney Visa to get the same amount.
Overall Grade: A-
As a companion to others in your wallet, the Chase Freedom is a fantastic card to hold. Maybe you decide to take a cashback strategy and pair this with the Citi Double Cash. Or, maybe you use this with your Chase Sapphire Preferred to take advantage of the transfer opportunities. However you use this card in your points strategy, the substantial quarterly category bonus of 5% makes this an easy choice for any Disney traveler.