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The Chase Freedom card is a cash back credit card issued by Chase Bank. It stands out because it has a straightforward cashback structure of 1% on all purchases. It also has a rotating purchase bonus of 5% that changes every quarter. The Chase Freedom card offers a sign up bonus and introductory 0% APR. However, if you want a card that does not have changing bonuses every quarter you may want to look for a card that offers higher cash back on all purchases.
Chase Freedom Card
On Chase’s Secure Website
Our Bottom Line
Simple and Attractive CashBack Card
Credit Rating Requirements
Good – Excellent Credit
Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):
Chase Freedom Credit Card – Benefits
Let’s take a look at the benefits of the Chase Freedom card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.
With this credit card you get 1% cash back on everything you buy. You do not have to wait to use that cash. Many other credit cards have thresholds you must meet in order to use the cash back, such as hitting $50 before using the money. With Chase Freedom, the cash back also does not expire
Chase Freedom offers rotating 5% bonuses on purchase categories, like groceries. This is great for those who plan ahead. For example, if you want to take a road trip next year, you may want go on the month offering a 5% bonus on gas.
If you are looking to save money on interest, the Chase Freedom card offers a 0.00% introductory rate for 15 months on balance transfers. If you have a credit card that you are trying to pay down, you can transfer the account and pay no interest on the transfer for 15 months. You can also charge up the card and pay no interest for 15 months. This is great if you have a big purchase in mind and want to pay over time.
You can get a $150 bonus after signing up by spending $500 in the first 3 months. This bonus has a low threshold compared to other cards; in fact, many other credit cards have sign-up bonuses that require thousands to be spent in the first few months in order to get the bonus.
Many of the rewards cards that offer higher rewards than Chase Freedom have annual fees which end up eating into the rewards. The Chase Freedom card does not have an annual fee.
The Chase Freedom card has zero liability, purchase protection, chip- enabled security and auto rental collision damage waiver. These features help give you peace of mind. Also, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card will also update you monthly with what your credit score is. You can check this by signing into your online account. This is offered through Credit Journey and is based on your Transunion credit report.
If you hold other cards with Chase such as the business credit card product or Ink Business Preferred, you can pool your points to earn ever bigger rewards, cash back, or travel points. This is a great feature but be aware that rewards are not always a dollar for dollar transfer. Usually cashback is the best value.
There are a couple of other opportunities you can take advantage of in order to increase your bonuses with the Chase Freedom card. You can get $100 for referring a friend. You can also increase your sign up bonus by $25 after adding an authorized user to your credit card.
Chase Freedom Credit Card – Drawbacks
Here are the most important cons you should consider before apply to the Chase Freedom card:
Chase Freedom has a $1,500 cap on rewards for the quarter in the bonus category. This means if you spent $2,000 in a bonus quarter on gas, you will only get 5% back on $1,500. So if you are a big spender and looking to juice your bonuses, keep track of your spending in the bonus categories.
Chase Bank has a well-known rule that does not allow customers to sign up for multiple cards and receive multiple sign-up bonuses within a 24-month period. That means some who want to apply for the large sign-up bonus may not be eligible if they have received another Chase card with a sign-up bonus previously.
The APR for the Chase Freedom card is a 17.24%-25.99% variable rate, which is high for a card that requires borrowers with good credit histories. Cash advance is 27.24%
There is a balance transfer fee required if you want to take advantage of the introductory 0.00% APR rate. The fee is incurred when you transfer debts from one or more credit cards to your Chase Freedom card. This fee is $5 or 3% of the transfer, whichever is bigger. This fee is upfront and will be added to your debt load when transferred.
Chase Freedom has a 3% fee for each transaction in another country. If you are traveling outside of the US you may want to leave this card at home.
Alternatives to Chase Freedom Credit Card
There are other credit cards that do offer comparable cash back rewards – we’ve summarized the most popular cards which can use as an alternative to the Chase Freedom Card:
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has all the perks of the Chase Freedom, but has 1.5% cashback on purchases. It does not have revolving bonuses like the Chase Freedom card does. Cash back is for all purchases and there is not a cap on the 1.5% cash back. You could use the cards together to get 1.5% back on your normal purchases with Chase Freedom Unlimited and 5% on special promo purchases on your Chase Freedom card to maximize your rewards.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa is very similar to the Chase Freedom. It offers a $200 cashback bonus with $1,000 in purchases in the first 2 months. It has 1.8% cash back on the first year with mobile pay and then 1.5% after on all purchases. It has no annual fee and a similar APR range and credit range. It does have a shorter introductory 0.00% APR rate of 12 months.
CitiBank Double Cash card is another comparable cashback card. It does not have a sign-up bonus but does offer introductory 0.00% APR for 18 months. The CitiBank Double Cash card offers 1% cash on all purchases and 1% cash back after paying for those purchases. So you could make 2% back on all purchases as long as you pay your credit card bill. CitiBank Double Cash rewards do expire after 12 months and you have to hit a minimum of $25 before you can redeem the cashback.
Is the Chase Freedom Credit Card Right for You?
Chase Freedom is a cashback card for those with good to excellent credit. The 1% cash back is average but 5% quarterly bonuses increase your cash back. The 5% bonus does have a cap and if you are a bigger spender you may want to look to other cards that offer a higher cap for cash back on all purchases. Also, if you do not max out on the bonus categories each quarter you may want to look at other rewards cards.
It does have a generous sign up bonus and introductory APR period, but beware of the 3% transfer fee if wanting to take advantage of the 0% APR. If you want a card that does not have changing bonuses every quarter you may want to look for a card that offers higher cash back on all purchases. If you travel overseas this card should be left at home, with a 3% transaction fee outside of the United States that will eat up your cash back rewards.