- Unlimited cash-back rewards for qualifying purchases
- Promotional APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers
- No annual fee
- Earn up to 5% cash back on everyday purchases
- Offers a decent sign-up bonus
- Charges a high balance transfer fee
- The card's rewards program is somewhat complex
Chase Freedom® is a cash back rewards credit card from Chase. This card offers up to 5% cash back on some purchases and 1% everywhere else. Plus, this card currently has an impressive $150 signup bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months after opening a new card. With no annual fee, it is a great card.
Chase Freedom® Rewards
Chase Freedom® is a rewards credit card that offers cardholders cash back on regular purchases. Cashback rates range from 1% to 5% depending on the purchase. But unlike most cards, the bonus rewards categories change every three months.
Chase Freedom® offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in the quarterly bonus categories. Recent quarters offered bonus categories including grocery stores, gas stations, and Amazon.com purchases. If you hit the max every quarter, that is $300 in bonus cash back. Beyond that, you still always get the 1% cash back with no limit.
For new cardholders, you can earn $150 in bonus cash back after spending $500 on purchases within three months of opening a new account. Get an additional $25 bonus when you add an authorized user and they make their first purchase in the same three months.
Freedom gets even more powerful when paired with an Ultimate Rewards earning card like Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. With those cards, your 1% cash back is worth 1 point per dollar in spend, and 5% cash back is worth 5x per dollar. Because Ultimate Rewards points are worth more than 1 cent each, this makes the rewards more valuable than with the Chase Freedom® card alone.
Chase Freedom® intro period
But wait… there’s more! Chase Freedom® offers a promotional APR introductory period for the first 15 months after opening a new account. That includes new purchases and balance transfers. If you have other credit card debt, a balance transfer to a no-APR card gives you an opportunity to pay off that debt faster while no interest accumulates.
The card does charge a 3% balance transfer fee for the first 60 days that then increases to a 5% balance transfer fee. But it's worth it if that helps you save money in the long-run - which is likely when many credit cards charge 10%, 20%, or more in interest each year.
Is Chase Freedom® Different from Chase Freedom Unlimited®?
There is a little bit of confusion in the credit card world around the sister card of Chase Freedom®. Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a newer card than Chase Freedom® and offers different rewards.
Freedom Unlimited® offers cardholders a similar bonus and introductory period, but there are no rotating bonus categories. Instead, this card offers 1.5% flat rate cash back on all purchases. So if you don’t care to track the rotating bonus categories and want something similar, Freedom Unlimited® is a good alternative.
Chase Freedom® Costs and Fees
If you use this card for regular purchases and pay it off in full every month, you should see no fees and no charges for your card use. But there are some situations where you have to pay some fees, and interest charges do apply if you don’t pay your card off in full.
After the 15-month introductory period ends, the card charges a variable rate interest APR depending on your credit history. This rate can rise and fall with market rates.
Balance transfers offer the same promotional APR period for 15 months and the same interest rate as purchases. Balance transfers also require a 3% fee for the first 60 days, then a 5% fee after that, with a $5 minimum per transfer.
Cash advances are generally a bad deal from any credit card. This card charges a 5% fee ($10 minimum) on cash advances. They also cost a higher APR.
Using the card outside of the United States requires a 3% foreign transaction fee. Late and returned payments cost up to $37 per occurrence.
This card has no annual fee.
Should you get Chase Freedom®?
Chase Freedom® is an excellent credit card. With no annual fee, a promotional period that lasts 15 months, and up to 5% cash back or 5 points per dollar on bonus categories, this card has earned its way into wallets and purses around the country.
If you don’t mind tracking the rotating categories and activating them (a one-click email activation), this card can be quite lucrative. If you think the rotating categories are confusing, consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card as an alternative.
The card is even better when paired with an Ultimate Rewards card, but it is a great value on its own for those interested in cash back. If that sounds like you, you won’t go wrong with Chase Freedom®.
Application Process: Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds.
Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate; unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Offers: Score a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases during your first 3 months as a cardholder. Get $25 more when an authorized user makes their first purchase in the same 3 month period.
Annual fee: None.
- 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
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49-25.24%. Intro balance transfer fee is 3% for the first 60 days, then 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- 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