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At a Glance
The Chase Freedom® Credit Card is one of the most popular cash back credit cards on the market today. While the card doesn’t provide the best rewards on the market, cardholders can take advantage of discounts and additional perks through Chase partnerships.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Are preparing to make a large purchase that would benefit from monthly payments at a 0% APR
- Would like to make a balance transfer without having to pay interest for a generous introductory period
- Regularly use a credit card to make purchases at grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and more
Chase Freedom® Credit Card Review
The Chase Freedom® is often talked about – and it’s easy to see why. Probably the most popular of the 5% cash back credit cards, the Freedom earns that impressive rate in a rotating selection of categories. The card also comes with some excellent introductory offers.
The Chase Freedom comes with a $200 statement credit after making $500 in purchases within the first three months. This isn’t an exceptional reward but provides additional value that might tempt some applicants.
The card also comes with 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. This is an exceptional value that more than makes up for the small introductory statement credit. Fifteen months interest-free is perfect for those planning a major purchase or with an existing balance they need to pay down.
Planning a large purchase is even more rewarding if that buy falls within the 5% cash back categories.
Earn 5% Back
The 5% back categories change every quarter. However, Chase doesn’t provide information bout upcoming categories until immediately before the current quarter ends. This is in sharp contrast to Discover, who offer full disclosure to the 5% categories well in advance.
The current Chase Freedom 5% categories for 2020 are:
- January – March: Gas stations, internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming services.
- April – June: Grocery stores, fitness clubs and gym memberships, and select streaming services
- July – September:Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
- October – December: TBD
Earn 1% Back on All Other Eligible Purchases
All other eligible purchases with the Freedom earn 1% back. The key phrase here is “eligible.” That’s because some purchases don’t qualify for rewards, per Chase’s terms and conditions. Cash advances, lottery tickets, or other gambling purchases, for example, don’t qualify.
Cash Back vs. Points
Chase tracks rewards as points, not dollar amounts. To calculate your rewards from points, keep in mind that $1 spent is equal to a single point. This means that for every 100 points you earn, you can redeem $1 in cash back. It may sound complicated, but it is a system that nearly every card issuer uses.
Ways to Redeem Your Points
With the Chase Freedom, cardholders have the Freedom to cash in points in several ways. The most basic option is to use points for statement credits or account deposits.
Additionally, cardholders can use points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal for more options. Redemption options include:
- Gift cards, from over 150 brands
- Amazon and Apple purchases
- Products offered through Ultimate Rewards
Redeeming points through Amazon results in a 20% less reduction in value, so 100 points translate to $.80 rather than $1. Other offers, however, may provide higher value than one cent per point.
Points never expire if the Chase account is open and in good standing. This means cardholders can move points from one Chase credit card to another for maximum value.
In addition to regular rewards, the Freedom Card earns additional incentives for using services from Chase Bank partners. Cardholders, for example, earn 4% cash back on Lyft rides until March 31, 2022, in addition to the 1% Lyft rides already receive.
New accounts also qualify for three complimentary months of DoorDash’s DashPass. DashPass provides free delivery on all DoorDash orders over $12. One the trial ends, however, cardholders will begin to be billed at the regular price, so be wary when using this perk.
Should You Apply for the Chase Freedom® Credit Card?
The Chase Freedom® card serves as a decent mid-tier cash back credit card, standing out with its introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers. This feature alone makes it a no-brainer if you’re considering large or multiple expenses that will require various installments to pay off.
Likewise, transferring existing credit card debt onto this card works exceptionally well, as you’ll have 15 months with 0% interest charges from the date you open your account. And while 15 months without interest charges is a great reason to apply for the Chase Freedom®, you’ll want to continue using it often for its 1% cash back earnings on all purchases.
While there are other cards rewarding 1.5% – see the Chase Freedom Unlimited® – or even 2% on all purchases, the Freedom® grants you a considerable boost of 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories that likely already get plenty of your attention financially. These include gas stations, cable/phone/Internet services, and grocery stores.