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Chase Freedom is a great cashback rewards card for rotating bonus categories without an annual fee. Rotating bonus categories earn 5% cash back on combined purchases up to $1,500 each quarter, and everything else earns automatic, unlimited 1% cash back. The Chase Freedom card also gives cardholders access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program. Read more Chase credit cards reviews to learn about other Chase credit cards or submit your own.
The Chase Freedom card has excellent cashback bonus categories and numerous benefits, including 0% balance transfer rates for 15 months, an attractive signup bonus and secondary car rental insurance, without an annual fee.
- Generous signup bonus offer
- 5% cash back on select categories
- No annual fee
- Unlimited 1% cashback
- Foreign transaction fees
- Must opt into rotating categories
Chase Freedom review
Chase Freedom gives cardholders the best of both worlds — bonus cash back for select rotating categories and a flat percentage cash back on everything else. Plus, the sign-up bonus gives new cardholders an extra $150.
You’ll get the most out of Chase Freedom when it’s combined with another points-earning Chase card (including Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred cards).
$150 sign up bonus
1%-5% cash back
$0 annual fee
Chase Freedom benefits
The combination of Chase Freedom rewards and benefits make it a great card for everyday spending. Highlights of Chase Freedom card perks include an easy-to-hit signup bonus, low-rate balance transfers and travel insurance.
- Chase Freedom signup bonus: With your successful application, you’re eligible for a Chase Freedom bonus of $150 cash back if you spend $500 on new purchases within three months of opening the account.
- Chase Freedom cashback: Each quarter, a new bonus category earns 5% cash back, and all other purchases receive a flat 1% back. Chase Freedom categories include pharmacies, groceries and everyday services like internet or cable.
- Introductory 0% APR period: Get 15 months of 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers. The balance transfer fee is 3% for the first 60 days, then 5% after that.
- Chase Freedom travel insurance: Travel insurance is a free benefit to Chase Freedom Visa Signature cardholders with a credit line above $5,000. This insurance covers eligible cardholders and their families up to $250,000 for accidental death or dismemberment while traveling. It also covers up to $5,000 for trip interruption or cancellation and up to $3,000 for lost luggage.
- Car rental insurance: The Chase Freedom car rental insurance provides cardholders with secondary car rental insurance, which is utilized after primary personal car insurance, and can help cover the cost of theft or damage to a rental vehicle.
- Purchase protection: Chase will reimburse, replace or repair eligible items purchased with a Chase Freedom credit card up to $500 if lost, stolen or damaged within 120 days of receipt. Chase Freedom purchase protection is limited to $50,000 per account per year.
- Chase Credit Journey: Chase Freedom credit cardholders get access to Chase Credit Journey, which includes VantageScore 3.0 credit scores from TransUnion with weekly updates, credit alerts to prevent identity fraud, and a credit simulator tool to help find out how different financial decisions could affect your overall credit score.
What are Chase Freedom bonus categories?
Bonus categories earn
5% on first $1,500 spent
in combined purchases
Chase Freedom earns limited 5% cash back on different rotating bonus categories each quarter and unlimited 1% back on all other purchases. Cardholders can earn the 5% bonus rewards on combined purchases up to $1,500 per quarter. After $1,500, continued spending on a rotating Chase Freedom bonus category will earn unlimited 1% cash back. The cardholder is responsible for opting into new categories before the deadline closes each quarter.
The Chase Freedom calendar of rotating bonus categories starts in January and is announced at the beginning of each quarter. Chase provides a convenient notification tool that is compatible with popular calendar apps, such as Outlook and Google Calendar, to help cardholders remember to opt into new bonus categories. Chase also allows you to view bonus categories for current and past quarters. Specific merchants may be included on the bonus calendar, though there may be some merchant exclusions from general categories as well.
How to maximize Chase Freedom rewards points
You will get the most out of the Chase Freedom card if you also have another Chase card eligible for Ultimate Rewards — use the Chase Freedom card exclusively for Chase Freedom rotating categories for 5% cash back, and use another Chase card with a higher flat-rate, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, for everything else.
Chase Freedom cardholders can increase the value of rewards up to 50% by transferring cashback rewards into Ultimate Rewards points, which are especially valuable when redeemed for travel. For example, cash back rewards on a Chase Freedom card worth $150 could be converted to 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points. The Ultimate Rewards points may then be valued at up to $300.
While this can be slightly more complicated than some other points cards, the potential for greater rewards points is an excellent benefit and allows you to maximize your reward amount.
Chase Freedom credit card FAQ
- What credit score is needed for a Chase Freedom card?
- You are probably eligible if your credit score is at least 645 (which falls in the upper portion of the “fair” range). Those with good, very good and excellent credit scores should not have difficulty obtaining the Chase Freedom card.
- Is Chase Freedom a good first credit card?
- Chase Freedom is a good first card because it comes with so many benefits, has no annual fee and gets you into the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. However, some applicants may not have a high enough credit score to qualify. If you feel you won't remember to opt into new bonus categories on time every three months, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited card might be a better starter card for you as it offers a flat 1.5% back.
- Does Chase Freedom have an annual fee?
- No. One of the perks of the Chase Freedom card is that it does not have an annual fee. However, cardholders are responsible for a 3% balance transfer fee for each balance transferred during the introductory APR period and a 5% fee per cash advance. Additional fees are more thoroughly described in the Chase Freedom terms and conditions.
- Does Chase Freedom have foreign transaction fees?
- Yes. You're charged a 3% ($5 minimum) foreign transaction fee if you use the Chase Freedom credit card with retailers or merchants outside the United States. This also applies to online purchases.
- Is Chase Freedom hard to get?
- The Chase Freedom card should not be hard to get for those with a credit score above 645, but applicants below that number may not be eligible. If approved, your credit limits will vary depending on your financial history and credit score. The Chase Freedom application is simple to complete online or over the phone.
Is Chase Freedom worth it?
The Chase Freedom credit card is worth it because it’s easy to earn rewards through bonus categories and there’s no annual fee. Chase Freedom reward categories include many everyday places you'd use your card, such as drug stores, gas stations, home improvement stores and even tolls. Plus, the Chase Freedom credit card is eligible for Ultimate Rewards points. Cardholders can increase their cash back amount by using Chase’s shopping portal on eligible categories as well.
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We have a small business in Northern CA. We use(d) our Chase Freedom Card to fund inventory purchases. After 4 major fires (two required evacuation), Covid, and a virtual monsoon in 2019, Chase decided, in the words of their representative, to be "understanding and helpful" by closing the account for late payments. Incredible. I was encouraged to reapply for another card though. Not again, not ever. If anyone is even considering a Chase account for any reason, we highly encourage you to rethink it. This is a soulless conglomerate and the very epitome of big business gone bad. STAY AWAY!
I have had my Chase Freedom card for approximately 14 years. I love it, and I have recently received the chase freedom unlimited which offers a bit more back in rewards on purchases. I love them both, and I can only think of one time in 14 years that I had an experience with customer service that I did not like, but nothing that made me want to part with my card.
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Do yourself a favor and avoid Chase bank, stay away!! They have increased APR when other banks lowered or stopped charging interest charge for 30-90 days due to covid 19 nightmare we are into. I'm paying off my card and close all chase bank accounts. I highly recommend do not ever apply or use any chase cards.
I reported an usual charge and card was canceled without consent. I have been forced to take leave due to lack of mobility options due to not having a credit card to use and unable to pay for goods. No alternative was offered or given while waiting for a new card. I am still waiting to hear from a supervisor from the company.
Chase Freedom Credit Card Company Information
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- Chase Freedom Credit Card
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