Chase Freedom Cash Back Credit Card Review: High Bonus Rewards Rate

You can earn up to 5 percent cash back on certain purchases.

Chase Bank serves nearly half of American households with its variety of financial products and services, including banking, credit cards, loans and investment advice. If you’re considering opening a Chase credit card, you might be considering the Chase Freedom card, which allows you to earn cash back with every purchase.

Keep reading to find out why GOBankingRates named the Chase Freedom card one of the best cash-back credit cards.

Chase Freedom Review

The Chase Freedom credit card is a cash-back credit card that allows you to earn up to 5 percent back on purchases. You automatically receive 1 percent cash back on all purchases, but you can get an additional 4 percent cash back on purchases made in quarterly “bonus” categories. Depending on the time of year, these categories can include gas stations; internet, cable and phone providers; grocery stores; and specific companies like Lyft and Walgreens. Here are the Chase Freedom categories for bonus cash back for 2018:

  • January to March: Gas stations; internet, cable and phone services; Chase Pay, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay
  • April to June: Grocery stores, not including Walmart and Target; PayPal and Chase Pay
  • July to September: Gas stations, Lyft and Walgreens
  • October to December: Not yet announced

Note that in order to receive 5 percent cash back from purchases made in these categories, you must “activate” the category by the specified deadline. The 5 percent rate only applies on amounts up to $1,500 in total bonus category purchases made in a given quarter. Purchases in these categories above $1,500 will earn the default 1 percent cash back. Chase rewards are tracked as points, and each $1 in cash-back rewards earned is equal to 100 points.

Related: The 12 Best Cash-Back Sites Worth Your Time — and Hacks to Maximize Your Savings

The Chase Freedom card has no annual fee, and a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After the introductory period, the variable APR ranges from 16.74 percent to 25.49 percent, depending on your creditworthiness. When you open a new Chase Freedom card, you’ll receive a $150 sign-up bonus after you spend $500 within the first three months.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Chase Freedom

With so many credit cards available, it’s best to take the time to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of a given card before deciding to apply. Here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the Chase Freedom card.

Advantages

With the Chase Freedom card, you can earn up to 5 percent cash back on your purchases without paying an annual fee. Chase Freedom rewards points don’t expire, and there is no minimum to redeem them for cash back. In addition to using points to get cash back, you can use them to shop on Amazon, redeem them for gift cards or use points to book travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Plus, there’s a 0% intro APR for the first 15 months after you activate Chase Freedom, and a potential $150 sign-up bonus.

Disadvantages

There is a limit to the purchases that qualify for the 5 percent cash-back rate, both in terms of the category and the dollar amount. Purchases that don’t qualify for the higher rate still earn 1 percent cash back, but that’s lower than with Chase’s other cash-back credit card, Chase Freedom Unlimited, which awards 1.5 percent cash back across all categories.

Should You Get a Chase Freedom Credit Card?

With no annual fee, the cash back you get with the Chase Freedom credit card is really like free money. The card is a good fit for people who regularly make purchases within the typical bonus categories, as earning 5 percent cash back is a pretty substantial amount. The potential to earn a high percentage of cash back makes Chase Freedom one of the best cash-back cards. However, the default rate of 1 percent is lower than with other cash-back credit cards — including the Chase Freedom Unlimited card — so if your purchases are more varied, a different cash-back card could have more value for you.

Click through to learn about what type of credit card you should get.

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Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.