Chase Freedom Credit Card Review – The One Card Everyone Should Get?

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Chase Freedom Credit Card Review

Chase Freedom Credit Card Review

The Chase Freedom credit card has been a main stay in many people’s wallets for years.  It is a great starter card that comes with no annual fee.  The quarterly bonus earning structure is what makes the card a favorite of many.

In the past it was a card most people downgraded to but those days are long gone.  With Chase’s installation of the 5/24 rule and the one per family Sapphire rule downgrading to the card isn’t an easy option anymore.  It is now something that must considered as a card worth signing up for for anyone just starting out in the hobby.

This card is not to be confused with it’s newer sibling card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Current Sign Up Bonus vs Historical High

The current sign up bonus is as follows:

  • $150 bonus (15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $25 bonus (2,500 Ultimate Rewards points) if you add an authorized user and they make a purchase
  • No annual fee

There has been bonuses of $250 in the past but the $150 bonus has been the standard for a while now.


CLICK HERE to compare this and other travel rewards credit cards


Chase Freedom Credit Card Review

Bonus Restrictions

The Chase Freedom credit card does fall under the dreaded 5/24 rule. You can not sign up for the card if you have had more than 4 new credit accounts within the last 24 months.

The Chase Freedom credit card also has the standard 24 month bonus restriction language:

“This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.”

Earning Structure

The Chase Freedom card comes with the following earning structure:

  • Earn 1% (or 1 Ultimate Rewards point per dollar) for every purchase
  • Earn 5% (or 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar), on your first $1500 in purchases, each quarter in rotating categories.

The Chase Freedom credit card offers rotating categories each quarter that earn bonus points.  They are different from year to year and quarter to quarter.  They range from pharmacies, to grocery stores, to Amazon, to PayPal etc. The rotating categories usually end up providing a good opportunity to increase the return on your everyday spend.  Some quarters will be better than others.

Cardmember Perks

The Chase Freedom doesn’t come with many perks but they are as follows:

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Purchase Protection
    • Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account
  • Extended Warranty Protection
    • Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.

CLICK HERE to compare this and other travel rewards credit cards


Chase Freedom Credit Card Review

Fees

The Chase Freedom card comes with no annual fee.  It does come with a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Sign Up Bonus Value – $150

The card is essentially a cash back card and since there is no annual fee you would get to keep the full $150.

If you had a card that makes the Freedom card’s Ultimate Rewards transferable then the bonus is worth closer to $225.

Summary

The Chase Freedom credit card is unique because it is a great card for beginners, experienced people in the travel hobby, and people who have no idea about travel points.  It really is a one size fits all, utility knife type of product.

The card isn’t an everyday workhorse but it will find a semi prominent place in your wallet because of the rotating categories.  Chase is usually good at picking quarterly categories that are large spending areas for most people.

The Chase Freedom credit card really shines when you pair it with a premium Chase product.  A Chase branded product that has an annual fee makes the points earned from the Freedom card transferable.  Without a premium card to make the Ultimate Rewards points transferable the Freedom card is simply a cash back card.  But once transfers are on the table the value of the points are increased by 50-100%.  The cards that make this possible are the Ink Preferred, Ink Plus, Sapphire Preferred, and Sapphire Reserve.

The Chase Freedom credit card still has a lot of value without being able to transfer to partners but adding that option makes this card one of the better ones on the market.


CLICK HERE to compare this and other travel rewards credit cards


Chase Freedom Credit Card Review

Long Term Keeper

Since the Chase Freedom comes with no annual fee and it is impossible to get once you are over 5/24 this is a sure thing long term keeper.  There may not be a more clear cut case out there for a long term keeper, especially with the IHG card’s recent devaluation.

Conclusion

The Chase Freedom credit card may be the only card out there that everyone should have.  People from all walks of life can get value from this card.  The only people it wouldn’t work for is expats living overseas because of the foreign transaction fee.

The Chase Freedom is worth serious consideration on taking up a 5/24 spot.  It is a card that is impossible to get once you are past that point and one that everyone finds useful.  If you are able to pair it up with a Chase premium card then you unlock the possibility of racking up 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points each year.

 

Where does the Chase Freedom card rank for you?  Is it the one card everyone should get and keep?


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12 COMMENTS

  1. As long as Chase continues allowing the transfer of 30,000 bonus URs from a Freedom to a CSR (max’ing out the strategy you have outlined), there is no cheaper way to pay for $450+ of travel using rewards.

    I really appreciate how Chase cards can work in tandem with one another for optimal value. It requires some planning & management, but what a great system they have devised.

  2. @Pam…Yep, these are some pretty easy categories to max out on and collect those 30k points. I also just got the Chase Ink Cash card that gets you 5x on cable and phone. Every year I think I can accumulate enough pts. just from bonus spend on these two cards to get airfare for my family of four from land locked Colorado to a cruise port every year for free.

    • Just got the Ink Biz Preferred – plan to product change to the Cash in a year for 5x. The extra 50k URs in-branch for the IBP more than makes up for the 2x difference in a year’s time for my spend.,

    • You can’t double dip them anymore – that is the point. You can only get one or the other every 24 months.

  3. My CSP recently turned 24 months, so I downgraded to Freedom and successfully applied for CSR (after waiting a few days for the change to be made in their systems). This is my second Freedom as my oldest account is also a Freedom. I got that card in college many years ago from a bank that was eventually merged into Chase. I also have a Freedom Unlimited that I product changed from a Slate that had a similar history.

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