Chase Freedom® Credit Card Review

Chase FreedomIf you are looking for a great credit card to earn cash back, the Chase Freedom® is a favorite to many. With an introductory cash bonus, multiple ways to earn cash back, and a long 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers– this cash back credit card is one to really consider adding to your wallet.

Let’s take a closer look at what the Chase Freedom® really has to offer:

Card Details Summary:

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it’s automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Credit Type Needed: Good or excellent credit is required – which is typically a credit score of 680 or higher, to be considered for approval.

0% Intro APR: The Chase Freedom® credit card offers a long 0% APR for 15 months for those wanting to make a balance transfer or large purchase. There is a $5 or 5% fee of the amount transferred, that does apply to balance transfers – so if you are wanting to transfer a balance, be aware of that.

Sign-up Bonus: Receive a $150 cash back introductory bonus after spending at least $500 on purchases within your first 3 months of account opening.

If you add an authorized user within the same first three months after opening an account, you can earn a $25 bonus.

This credit card is available to those who meet acceptance criteria, who don’t currently have this credit card, or have not received a sign up bonus for this card in the past 24 months. Other terms and conditions may apply.

Earning Cash Back:  With the Chase Freedom®, earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in categories that rotate. After you meet the quarterly maximum rate, your rate will drop to 1%. On all other purchases, earn 1% cash back.

In order to receive the 5% cash back rate, you will need to take action and activate the bonus categories each quarter. There are different ways to opt in or activate – online, email, phone, ATM, Chase location, or via text message. Chase tries to make it easy, as you can schedule calendar reminders to prompt you to activate the bonus categories each quarter.

The bonus categories for January-March 2018 include:

  • Gas Stations
  • Internet/Cable/Phone Services
  • Chase Pay®, Android Pay™, Apple Pay®, Samsung Pay

The bonus categories for the rest of the calendar year of 2018, have yet to be announced.

Extra Cash Back Opportunities: Chase does offer a few extra ways that you can increase your cash back earnings with the Chase Freedom® card. 

Fuel Rewards – Now through the end of 2018, you can receive instant Gold Status with Fuel Rewards. To receive the benefits, all you need to do is activate on the Fuel Rewards website. After you obtain Gold Status with Fuel Rewards, you can save 5 cents on every gas fill up (up to 20 gallons) at participating Shell gas stations through the end of the year.

Invite Friends – If you are a fan of your Chase Freedom® credit card, you can send an invite to your friends by use of a button. By doing so, you can earn $100 cash back for each friend who gets the Chase Freedom® card, up to $500 per calendar year.

Online Shopping – If you do a lot of shopping online, you can earn 1% – 15% extra cash back when you Shop through Chase®. Offers do vary, but if you prefer to do your shopping online, it is a great way to earn some extra rewards.

Cash Back Breakdown: Cash Back rewards are the rewards you earn in the Chase program. Rewards are tracked as points, and for every $1 in Cash Back rewards that are earned it is equal to 100 points.

Points are earned by making purchases of products and services – minus any returns or refunds. Purchases do not include things like balance transfers, money orders, lottery tickets, casino gaming, cash advances, etc. For full details, please read the terms and conditions included with the application.

Life of Points: Points earned do not expire if your account remains open and in good standing.

However, points will be forfeited immediately for misuse of the rewards program, failure to pay, bankruptcy, fraudulent activities, etc.

Rewards Redemption: Chase offers various ways to redeem your Cash Back rewards points.

Cash Back – There is no minimum to redeem your points for cash back. You can choose to receive a direct deposit into your U.S. checking or savings account, or you can receive it in the form of a statement credit. – Choosing to link the Chase Freedom® credit card to your account, allows you to redeem your cash back instantly to help pay for eligible orders. Depending on how much you have available, you can pay for part or all of the order – including tax and shipping.

Travel – Book your travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards® and receive competitive rates and flexible ways to pay.

Gift Cards – If you prefer gift cards, you are able to redeem your points for gift cards at popular restaurants and merchants. A few examples include: Starbucks, Bloomingdale’s, Marriott, and more.

Chase® Added Benefits: There are a few added service and protection benefits that come with having a Chase Freedom® credit card. After you open a Chase credit card account, you will receive a detailed guide to any added benefits including what is covered and any limitations, restrictions or exclusions that do apply.

Fraud Protection: Chase helps monitor your account with real-time fraud monitoring.

Fraud Alerts: You will be notified by phone, text message, or email if Chase notices any unusual activity on your card account.

Zero Liability Protection: You will not be held responsible for any unauthorized charges that are made with your card or account information.

Purchase Protection: Purchase protection from Chase will help cover your new purchases for up to 120 days against theft or damage – up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Extended Warranty Protection: Receive the ability to extend the time period of a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an extra year –on eligible warranties of three years or less.

Rates and Fees: It is hard to find a credit card that doesn’t have any interest rates or fees. Before applying for any credit card, it is important to read the terms and conditions with the application to ensure you will have no surprises later on. Let’s take a closer look at the Chase Freedom® rate and fee information:

Purchase Introductory Rate: 0% for 15 months from account opening

Balance Transfer Introductory Rate: 0% for 15 months from account opening

APR for Purchases and Balance Transfers: 16.24%-24.99% variable. The APR rate you will receive depends on your credit history.

APR for Cash Advances: 26.24% variable

Penalty APR: N/A

Annual Fee: $0

Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

Cash Advance Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater

Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Late Payment Fee: Up to $15 if your balance is <$100; up to $27 if your balance is $100 to < $250; Up to $37 if your balance is $250 or more

Returned Payment Fee: Up to $37

Additional Rate and Fee Details

Our Take: If you are wanting to transfer a balance, this is not the best card for the job – there are credit cards with longer 0% introductory periods and offer no balance transfer fee available in the market. If you like to earn cash back on your purchases and don’t mind having to opt in to the categories each quarter, the Chase Freedom® will serve you well.