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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Chase Freedom
Earlier this month, Chase launched a lucrative limited-time bonus offer for the Chase Freedom card of 20,000 points when you spend $500 in the first three months. That offer is set to expire June 24, so if you’ve been waiting to apply, today is the day!
The Freedom card’s sign-up bonus is usually just 10,000 points with the same spending requirement, so this offer is twice as good, plus it comes with the opportunity to earn an additional $25 cash back when you add an authorized user and make a purchase in the first three months. All told, you could be getting up to $225 cash back on $500 of spending, which is a 45% return.
If you have one of Chase’s premium Ultimate Rewards cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Plus Business Card, then you can combine points from your various Ultimate Rewards accounts (including the one attached to your Chase Freedom card) and transfer them to any of the program’s 11 travel partners.
The other main benefit of this card, which is pretty amazing for one with no annual fee, is that you can earn 5 points per $1 spent on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter at participating merchants. The bonus categories for summer (July 1-September 30) include gas stations and Kohl’s stores, giving you another great option for maximizing gas rewards during the busy summer road trip season.
Each year, you can earn a total of up to 30,000 bonus points on $6,000 in spending by maximizing those 5x categories. However, remember that if you have the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus, those 30,000 bonus points can be used as full-fledged, transferable Ultimate Rewards points, which I value at 2.1 cents apiece. That equates to a return of $630 on $6,000 in spending, or 10.5%!
On its own, Chase Freedom is one of the best cash-back cards on the market. However, if you can maximize the quarterly bonus categories and combine it with one of Chase’s premium Ultimate Rewards cards, then it becomes a pretty powerful tool for earning travel rewards.
It’s worth noting that many readers and other bloggers have reported difficulty getting approved for certain Chase cards in the last few weeks (specifically Freedom, Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus). There is substantial anecdotal evidence that Chase is flatly denying applications for those cards from anyone who has exceeded an unpublished threshold of credit card inquiries.
I reached out to Chase representatives and asked them to clarify the official policy regarding approvals, and their response was: “Chase carefully reviews each application and considers not only credit score, but several factors, including the number of accounts opened and the types of accounts that have been opened.” The takeaway is that if you’ve applied for a lot of other cards lately, your chances of being approved for Chase Freedom may be lower than they would have been previously. If you don’t fit that description, then you should have nothing to worry about.
Watch this video for more of my review the Chase Freedom card
For more information on the Chase Freedom card, check out these posts:
- Chase Freedom 20,000-Point Sign-Up Bonus Returns
- Why Chase Freedom Isn’t Just Another Cash Back Card
- What is the Best Rewards Credit Card with No Annual Fee?
- Ranking the Top Cash Back Credit Cards
- Quarterly 5% Bonus Categories: Chase Freedom & Discover It
- Ways to Maximize Each Ultimate Rewards Partner
- Chase Freedom Ends 10% Annual Bonus & Other Changes
- How to Get 1.34 Cents Per Point for Travel with Chase Freedom
- Maximizing Credit Card Bonus Categories to Earn More Points
- Top Credit Card Offers with No Annual Fee
It's a stellar cash back card on its own, but when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom's 5x Category Bonuses let you rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, transferrable to partners or redeemable via the portal.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- 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
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
- Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
- No annual fee