The Chase Freedom Card comes with no annual fee and earns an unlimited 1% cash back with 5% cash back on $1,500 of spending on several rotating bonus categories. While the card may seem similar to many other products on the market, if you are a Chase Ultimate Rewards aficionado it should be one of your go-to cards.
- $150 bonus, after spending $500 in the first 3 months of card membership
- $0 annual fee
- Earn 5% cash back each quarter in purchases at specific bonus categories; cashback is limited to the first $1,500 of purchases
- Earn unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases
- Convert the cashback you earn into Chase Ultimate Rewards (requires holding a fee-paying Chase Ultimate Rewards cards)
- 0% APR for the first 15 months of card membership
- After 15 months a variable APR between 74% and 25.49%
The Chase Freedom comes with a $150 welcome bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of card membership. While this is not terrific value compared to other cards, for a card with no annual fee the welcome bonus is not bad. Bear in mind you can convert the $150 to 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points which is excellent value.
5% Quarterly Cashback Bonus Categories
The stand out feature of the Chase Freedom Card is the revolving quarterly bonus categories, that earn you 5% cashback on a combined spend of up to $1,500. With the Chase Freedom you can earn up to $75 each quarter. The categories are diverse, and over the years we have seen Gas stations, Supermarkets, Chase Pay, Mobile Wallet payment, Amazon, and a host of other merchants.
Maximizing your bonus every quarter you would earn $300 back on $6,000 of spending every year. You could convert these to 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and leverage more than $300 of value for them.
Converting To Ultimate Rewards
If you hold the Chase Freedom Card alone, all you will earn is cashback; however, if you pair the card with a fee-paying Chase Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can convert your cashback dollars to Ultimate Rewards points. According to the Chase terms and conditions each $1 earned in cashback converts to 100 Ultimate Rewards points.
This ability and ratio mean that the Chase Freedom can offer tremendous value. Spending $6,000 (from your quarterly bonus) on a regular Ultimate Rewards earning card would gain you 6,000 Ultimate Rewards points (assuming a 1X earning rate). Spending the same amount on bonus categories in a year would earn you enough cashback to convert to 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which is a fantastic deal.
The Chase Freedom Card comes with no annual fee, which when you weigh up against its benefits make it quite an attractive proposition.
Like a lot of Chase cards, the Chase Freedom is subject to the 5/24 rule. So, you will have to make an assessment of whether you are eligible to apply or not.
As we mentioned earlier, you can either take the cashback generated by the Chase Freedom Card or if you combine it with another fee-paying Chase Ultimate Rewards card you can convert it to Ultimate Rewards points. Ultimate Rewards are highly flexible and can be transferred to several airline and hotel loyalty programs, as well as redeemed directly with Chase for travel awards.
Standalone, the Chase Freedom is a decent product and compares favorably with other similar products on the market today. There are several other cards that offer quarterly bonus categories and unlimited 1% cashback. However, when you combine the Chase Freedom Card with an Ultimate Rewards earning card it can turn into a Chase Ultimate Rewards powerhouse.