Chase Freedom® Review

Our Detailed Review of This Card

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Chase Freedom® offers an attractive combination of an unlimited cash back card - with a terrific $150 bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months - and a 15-month 0% introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers. It also features generous ongoing cash back rewards that will put some extra cash in your wallet.

Chase Freedom® will earn you 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly (on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter) and 1% back on everything else. The categories vary from quarter to quarter, so it's a nice opportunity to earn cash back on a number of different purchases. For example, January through March of 2018's categories included gas stations, Internet/cable/phone services and purchases made with Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Chase Pay. Then April through June's categories were grocery stores and purchases made through PayPal or Chase Pay. July through September's categories were gas stations, Lyft and Walgreens. Finally, October through December's categories are department stores, wholesale clubs and Chase Pay. Although you do need to sign up each quarter to receive the 5% back, Chase offers a cool reminder feature that will text or email you each quarter. You can also choose to receive quarterly reminders that will appear in your online calendar (Outlook, iCal, Google and Yahoo are covered).

There are tons of redemption options available to Chase Freedom® users. First off, you can redeem your cash back rewards for a statement credit or have them deposited directly to your bank account. Or if you'd prefer non-cash rewards, you can redeem them for a wide selection of gift certificates or at Amazon.com. Your rewards will transfer to Amazon.com in a 1:1 ratio, so $1 in rewards will equal $1 at Amazon, and you can use them to pay for all or part of your purchase. You can even redeem your rewards for travel by combining your rewards with other Chase cards that offer Ultimate Rewards like Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Ink Business Cash Credit Card. By transferring your rewards to either of those cards you can get 20% off travel by booking via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Or you can transfer them at a free 1:1 ratio to Chase Sapphire Preferred and then transfer them again for free at a 1:1 ratio to participating travel rewards programs like United Mileage Plus, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards and Hyatt Gold Passport.

The lengthy 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers that Chase Freedom® offers can save you a fair amount in interest fees, particularly if you typically carry a balance. There is a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum), which is pretty standard, but it might be worth it depending upon how much you're planning on transferring and what your current interest rate is. If you're not sure, see our free Balance Transfer Calculator, which will do all the math for you and let you know what card is best for your situation.

Chase Freedom® is a good choice for anyone who wants a terrific cash-back card that offers both quick ($150 intro bonus) and long term cash back rewards. And if you plan to carry a balance, you can take advantage of the 15-month 0% intro on balance transfers and purchases to save money on interest fees.

Rewards

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $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.

Redeem Rewards
  • Rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • Rebates can be redeemed for cash, as well as travel, gift cards or statement credits.

Fees and APR
  • Annual Fee: $0.
  • Purchase APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, then 16.99% - 25.74% variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months, then 16.99% - 25.74% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.


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