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The Chase Freedom card is a gem in the stable of Chase cards. One of the great things about it is no annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about getting rid of the card ever. Another useful thing is the rotating category bonuses that provide an increased bonus – 5% cash back at the select retailers/categories (one of this quarter’s retailers is Amazon). And finally, this card has the unique function of earning cash back that can actually convert to Ultimate Reward points (see below for more details).
– Chase Freedom Application Link – Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in 3 months
The Chase Freedom’s bonus normally sits at $100 cash back (or 10,000 Ultimate Reward points when transferred to a UR earning card). Every so often (this time last year was one such time), Chase doubles that bonus to $200 cash back (or 20,000 Ultimate Reward points). This is the highest bonus this card gets and will be here for a limited-time.
Cash Back or Ultimate Rewards?
This is a card that delivers cash back but can be converted to Ultimate Reward points when you transfer those points to a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or the now-departed Chase Ink Bold. Once the points are transferred, the “cash back” earned from the Chase Freedom becomes fully functional Ultimate Reward points, capable of being transferred to the full range of Ultimate Reward partners.
At the same time, if you do not have a Chase Ultimate Reward earning card, this card stands alone as a cash back offering. That can still be incredible helpful for those who like to get some serious return on spend and can maximize the rotating bonus categories. The best thing about the current offer is that you only need to spend $500 in 3 months – and you will get $200 cash back! That is a straight 40% bonus on your first $500 of spend! For example, you could buy an iPad Air 2 which retails at the $499 mark and that iPad will end up costing you only $300 out of pocket. Pretty great bonus.
To make it even better, you can add an authorized user and once they make a purchase on that card, you will be ready to get another $25 cash back (or 2,500 points).
The Card Details
EXPIRED: For a limited time, earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Offer ends December 17, 2014. Apply now!
- Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 13.99-22.99%
- 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases between October 1 – December 31, 2014 at Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores
- You’ll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants, and Amazon.com. It’s free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
- Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases
- No annual fee and rewards never expire
Every quarter, the card receives a refresh of categories and retailers that you can use the card at and receive a 5% bonus. That bonus maxes out each quarter at $1,500 worth of spend, or $75 cash back. Over the course of the year, maxing out those categories will net you $300 in cash back for $6,000 in spending. While the spending amount may seem high, don’t forget that some of those categories include gas stations (where you can buy gift cards), grocery stores (where you can buy gift cards), department stores (where you can buy gift cards) – get the idea? 🙂
This quarter’s categories have Amazon.com, Zappos, and select department stores (including Sears, JC Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s – the full list can be found here). The list for first quarter in 2015 is out and has grocery stores (not Wal-mart or Target), Starbucks, and movie theaters. Since you can buy gift cards at grocery stores, you should be able to max out the $1,500 easily.
Should You Get the Card?
To me, it is a no-brainer to get this card. Even if you never really use it again, to get the $200 bonus is a great incentive. Having no annual fee is helpful as well!
If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold, that just makes this card and its points all the more compelling as it can convert what it earns straight into Ultimate Reward points. That means, instead of only earning $300 back per year, you will get 30,000 extra Ultimate Reward points per year. That is a one-way ticket to Europe from the US!
It is a strong card with a great bonus and that is why I think it makes a really strong addition to your wallet.