Chase Freedom Rewards Card Review | CreditShout

Chase Freedom Cash Back Rewards Credit Card Review

By Kevin / June 8, 2015
Chase Freedom Cash Back Rewards Credit Card

Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom Cash Back Rewards Credit Card Review

CreditShout Rating

Annual Fee: $0

Credit Required: Good

Rewards Program and Signup Bonuses*:

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 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 14.24-23.24%
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants, and select grocery stores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards never expire as long as your account is open

Intro APR

0% for 15 months

Intro Balance Transfer

0% for 15 months,* plus 3%  Transfer Fee

Regular APR

14.24%-23.24% Variable on Purchases and Transfers

The Chase Freedom® Visa has one of the best rewards program in the business. What I also like about this card is that you do not need excellent credit to enjoy a top cash back credit card.

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The Chase Freedom card offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate through out the year, which is very competitive with similar cards offered by American Express and Discover. The card earns you a flat 1% back on all other spending, making it a great all-around credit card to use for easy cash back.

Click here if you are looking for the new Chase Freedom Unlimited - and unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

Chase Freedom Rewards Program

The Chase Freedom cash back rewards credit card replaced the Chase Plus Rewards card many years ago, and it has been popular ever since. The Freedom card has one of the most generous rewards programs in the industry, and it’s actually very similar to the Discover it in many ways.

With the Chase Freedom credit card, you can earn points for cash back rewards. For many, this option is just what they are looking for. While there is nothing wrong with receiving points, some consumers prefer cash back. And with the Chase Freedom this is never a problem. Your options are easy to understand, and when coupled with solid customer service it makes for a great rewards credit card.

Our favorite feature of this card is the fact that you can earn a full 1% Cash Back on every purchase with no spending tiers or caps on how much you can earn. You can also earn 5% Cash Back throughout the year on rotating categories.

Chase Freedom 5% Cash Back Bonus Schedule for 2016:

  • January - March 2016: Gas stations (activate by March 14, 2016)
  • April - June 2016: Grocery Stores (activate by March 15, 2016)
  • July - September 2016: Restaurants and more (activate by June 15, 2016)
  • October - December 2016: Holiday Shopping (more details coming soon) (activate by September 15, 2016)

The nice thing about the quarterly rewards categories is they do complement consumer spending habits throughout the year. For example, the current bonus category rewards includes restaurants at the time of year people eat out more often.

In addition to the 5% back bonus, you can earn up to 10% and free shipping when shopping online through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall. Popular retailers participating in this program include Best Buy, Apple, QVC, Target, JCPenney, Sears and many others (several hundred actually).

After logging in to the Ultimate Rewards Mall with your Chase account you can select the online store you would like to shop at. You are then redirected to the retailer’s online store (e.g., bestbuy.com). Chase then tracks your purchases and you receive bonus cash back or points with your next statement.

Outside of the caps on the 5% bonus rewards, your cash back rewards are unlimited. And your rewards never expire, as long as you keep your account open.

Note For Chase Checking Customers: After the closing date on your December 2015 billing statement, Chase will no longer offer the 10% annual bonus for your cash back spending. You will receive your final 10% annual bonus award in early 2016. And from that point forward you will receive the exact same rewards as all other Chase Freedom cardholders.

Signup Cash Back Bonus

Chase normally offers a signup bonus reward of $100 if you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months. 

Additionally, you can earn another $25 cash rewards bonus by adding an authorized user and making your first purchase in the same 3-month period.

Chase Freedom Card Negatives

There are a couple of reasons that the Chase Freedom card may not be the cash rewards credit card for you:

  • You find rotating rewards to be a hassle, and prefer a no-fuss cash rewards card.
  • You plan on traveling abroad - in which case, your cash rewards will be overwhelmed by the foreign transaction fee.
  • The rotating rewards do not match your spending habits as well as other rewards cards.

Our Verdict

With so many credit cards to choose from it is not always simple to locate one that suits your spending habits and overall financial picture. Chase Freedom has quickly become known as having one of the best rewards programs around. There are not many cards that offer 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in popular categories and 1% unlimited cash back with no tiers.

To go along with this, Chase does not bring down the value of the card with a high annual fee and APR. Although there are other rewards programs out there, this card is one of our favorites and overall is one of the best you are going to find especially without an annual fee.

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