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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom card normally offers a sign-up bonus of 10,000 points when you spend $500 within three months of account opening. However, Chase has just launched a new, higher sign-up bonus of 20,000 points when you spend $500 within the first three months. You can earn an additional $25 when you add an authorized user and make a purchase.

If you just have the Freedom card, those 20,000 points are worth $200 in cash back, so you’re getting a 40% return on that first $500 of spending. However, if you also have one of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Plus Business Card), you can then combine points and transfer them to any of the program’s 11 travel partners as well.

In addition to earning 1 point per $1 on everyday purchases, the other feature that sets this card apart is the ability to earn 5x points on up to $1,500 of purchases per quarter with certain merchants.

The Freedom
The Freedom card’s 5X bonus categories this quarter include restaurants and Overstock.com.

The calendar for 2015 is as follows:

  • January 1 – March 31: Grocery stores, movie theaters and Starbucks
  • April 1 – June 30: Restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond, H&M and Overstock.com
  • July 1 – September 30: Gas stations and more
  • October 1 – December 31: Amazon.com and more

As a reminder, if you’re already a cardholder, you can register here to activate your spending bonus each quarter. If you maximize the 5x bonus each quarter, you can bank 30,000 valuable Ultimate Rewards points per year on $6,000 in spending. I value Ultimate Rewards points at about 2.1 cents apiece, so those 30,000 points are worth $630 – better than a 10% return on your spending.

On its own the Chase Freedom is one of the best cash-back cards on the market, but by maximizing the bonus categories and combining it with one of Chase’s premium Ultimate Rewards cards, it becomes even more of an asset.

For my review of the Chase Freedom card, watch this video

For more info on the Chase Freedom card, check out these posts:

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.