Chase Freedom Credit Card Review 2020

Rating:
4.2/5
4.2 stars out of 5

The Smart Investor has collected card information independently. Issuers did not provide the details, nor are they responsible for their accuracy. The review is not a recommendation, the actual rates/fees may be different.

The Chase Freedom is one of the most popular cards for those who have good credit.

The card offers a $200 sign-up bonus after only spending $500 in purchases after 3 months. That is a low spending threshold to receive a sign-up bonus. The Chase Freedom card has 1% cashback on all purchases and 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases. 

This card also has revolving cashback bonuses that offer 5% on rotating categories. These categories change once a quarter but can increase your cash back if the consumer pays attention to their spending. It does have a cap of $1,500 on the bonus spending category.

The Freedom card does not come with an annual fee.

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

Chase Freedom review

On Chase’s Secure Website

Our Bottom Line

  • Simple and Attractive CashBack Card

Credit Rating Requirements

  • Good – Excellent Credit

PROS

  • 5% Cashback on Rottaing Categories, 1% on Everything
  • $150 Sign Up Bonus

CONS

  • 5% Bonuses has a Cap
  • High APR

Highlights

  • 0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases in the First 15 Months
  • No Annual Fee
  • Protection & Free Credit Score

Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):

Pros

Cons

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.

  • 1% Cash Back

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

  • 5% Cashback Bonus

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.

  • 0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases in the First 15 Months

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.

  • $200 Sign Up Bonus

You can get a $200 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.

  • No Annual Fee

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.

  • Protection & Free Credit Score

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.

  • Pool Points

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.

  • Other Bonuses

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:

  • 5% Bonuses has a Cap

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 Restrictions

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.

  • High APR

The APR for the Chase Freedom card is a 14.99%–23.74% variable rate, which is high for a card that requires borrowers with good credit histories. 

Cash advance is 24.99%

  • Balance Transfer Fee

There is a balance transfer fee required if you want to take advantage of the introductory 0% APR rate.Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. 

After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer

  • Foreign Transaction Fee

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:

Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great cash back card for those with good to excellent credit. The 1.5% cash back is one of the highest in the industry without having an annual fee or the hassle of figuring out which month for which type of purchases gets cash back.

In addition, the cash back feature is straightforward, unlike some other rewards cards that require you to jump through hoops to maximize the rewards. You can also get a $200 bonus after signing up by spending $500 in the first 3 months. This bonus has a low threshold compared to other cards.

If you don’t have time for calculations, you spend more than $1,500 monthly and you don’t have specific places where you spend you money, the Chase Freedom Unlimited can be a great option for you.

  • U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card allows cardholders to choose their spending categories each quarter in which they can earn the highest cash back. 

With the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card you can earn 5% cashback on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose. You also earn 2% on one everyday category, like gas stations, grocery stores or restaurants, and 1% on on all other eligible purchases.

This card also has a generous sign-up bonus and an 12 months introductory 0% rate on balance transfers, and the card has no annual fee.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card is a straightforward cashback card. This card offers a simple 1.5% back on all purchases with no limit or special categories. If you are looking to save money on interest, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card offers a 0% introductory rate for 15 months on balance transfers. 

This card offers many benefits to those wanting a simple straightforward card. It does not come with an annual fee and has a decent sign-up bonus  of $150 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. 

The APR for the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card is a 13.99% to 25.99% variable rate, which is high for a card that requires borrowers with good to excellent credit histories. Also, There is  %3-5 balance transfer fee required if you want to take advantage of the introductory 0% APR rate.

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. 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 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.If you want a card that does not have changing bonuses every quarter or  if you do not max out on the bonus categories each quarter – you may want to look for a card that offers higher cash back on all purchases.