Chase Freedom Credit Card Review (Updated 2016)
The Chase Freedom Card is a high quality cash back credit card. Cash back credit cards allow you to earn cash back rewards every time you make a purchase with your card. The cash back earned ranges from 1% to 5%. The Chase Freedom card offers a high rate of cash back as well as many other benefits and features. This review will tell you everything you need to know about the Chase Freedom card.
Our favourite Things About The Chase Freedom Card
- 5% Cash Back: You can receive 5 % cash back on rotating categories like gas, groceries, and restaurants, up to $1500 each quarter. 5% is the highest you can get from any card on the market. You are noticed in advanced what the next category will be, allowing you to plan ahead of time. You will earn 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically. Below is a list of the 5% cash back rotating categories for 2016:
- 1st to March 31st: 5% on gas station purchases and local commuter method of transportation which inlaces subways, taxis, as well as busses and trains. Does not include parking and tolls.
- April 1st to June 30th: 5% cash back at grocery stores, however this does not include Wal Mart, and Target purchases.
- July 1st to September 30th: 5% cash back on various restaurants.
- October 1st to December 31st: earn 5% cash back holiday shopping ( details not yet disclosed)
- $150 Sign Up Bonus: This card has a great sign up bonus that will award you with $150 after you spend just $500 with the card in the first 3 months of card opening
- Long 0% introductory offer: This card offers long 0% introductory A.P.R. on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months of card opening. After the introductory offer, a variable A.P.R. ranging from 14% to 23% applies.
- Don’t need excellent credit: You can qualify for this card if you have good credit. Many cards that offer this much value, require you to have excellent credit to qualify, but not the Chase Freedom card.
- No annual fee: This card offers a whole lot of value for a no fee credit card.
- No limits to how much you can earn, and no expiry: there is no limits to how much cash back you can earn, which can’t be said about all credit cards. Also, the cash back does not expire so you do not have to worry about using your cash back at a particular time, and you can allow your cash back to accumulate over time.
- Include Chase Blueprint program: This card gives you free access to the Chase Blueprint program. This program allows you to pay me of your charges without incurring interest. For example, if you incur $1500 on credit card charges for the month of February, and your bill comes in February with a February 28th deadline, if you only paid $1000 off the $1500 owed by the deadline, you can choose exactly which purchases the $1000 would apply to. Thos allows you to maintain the grace period, allowing you to only pay interest on the remaining $500 owed. Click Here to learn more about the Chase Blueprint Program.
Things We Do Not Like About The Chase Freedom Card
- You have to activate the 5% cash back categories: Every quarter, you have to activate the 5 % cash back categories. Fortunately, you can sign up for alerts from Chase to your email or phone, reminding you to sign up up before the deadline. It is free to activate the revolving categories.
- Cash advance fee: If you use this card to withdraw cash from ATM’s you will be charged a 5% cash advance fee, with a minimum of $10. Also the variable A.P.R. on cash advance fees is 25.24%. While many cards have the same cash advance fee, there are many other cards with a lower cash advance fee. This is definitely not the card to use to withdraw money from an ATM, so make sure you avoid that.
- Foreign transaction fee: This card also has charges a 3% foreign transaction fee each time you use the card to pay in a different currency such as when you are travelling outside the U.S. There are better cards to use if you will be travelling outside the U.S.
Who The Chase Freedom Card Best Suits
- Those willing to use this card for their everyday purchases. To really take advantage of the 5% cash back features you will need to use the card on routine purchases, such as gas and groceries.
- Those with good credit, as you do not need excellent credit to qualify. If you are someone who only uses your card occasionally, you will not get good value out of this card.
How Chase Freedom Card Compares With Similar Cards
The Discover IT cash back card is this card’s biggest competition. It also offers 5% cash back categories that change each quarter, and then 1 % on all other purchases. It also has no annual fee.So far this card sounds just like the Chase Slate Card however the Discover IT differs in a few areas. First the bonus differs, as with the Discover IT card you will get double the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year with the card. For example, if you have earned $250 cash back, you will be awarded another $250, for a total of $500 cash back at the end of the year, pretty impressive. Next, the Discover IT credit card does not charge a foreign transaction fee, while the Chase Freedom card charges a 3% fee. So if you are someone who travels frequently and want a cash back card, the Discover IT card might be a better choice. Both cards have a 0% intro A.P.R. on purchases and balance transfers, however with the Chase Freedom card, the 0% is for 15 months, and the Discover Card’s 0% offer is only for 12 months. Another difference between these two cards is Chase is a Visa card which is more widely accepted then a Discover credit card.
Bank Americard Cash Rewards Credit Card
Another card that is similar to the Chase Freedom Credit Card is the Bank Americard Cash Rewards Credit Card. This is also a cash back credit card that, while it doesn’t have 5% rotating categories, it allows you to earn 1% cash back on every purchase, along with 2% on purchases at grocery stores, and 3% on gas for a maximum of $1500 for grocery and gas purchases each quarter. The sign up bonus is similar to the Chase Freedom card as you will be rewarded with $100 instead of the $150 after you spend the first $500 with 3 months of card opening. There is no annual fee with this card and it also has a cash advance fee and a foreign transaction fee just like the Chase Freedom Card.
Citi Double Cash Credit Card
The Citi Double Cash card is also a quality cash back card although it has a different cash back system then the Chase Freedom Card. You earn 1 % cash back when you make a purchase, then you earn another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases, whether in full or over time. Essentially, you will be consistently earning 2% cash back on all purchases. There are no revolving categories, as this is a flat rate card. There are no limits on the amount of cash back that you can earn, which is the same for the non bonus categories on the Chase Freedom Card. You might be able to earn more cash back with this card as with the Chase Freedom Card the 5% cash back categories are capped at $1500 on combined purchases. Both the Citi Double Cash Card and the Chase Slate card offer the same introductory offer of 0% intro A.P.R. on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months of card opening.
Should You Or Shouldn’t You? Our Verdict
Overall this is a high quality credit card that offers a lot of value. If you value cash back over reward credit cards then you should get this credit card. The $150 sign up bonus should come easily as you would only have to spend $167 per month to get that $150 bonus, its like free money in your pocket. If you are someone who will use your card often to taken advantage of the 5% cutback categories then you should get this card.
Due to the fact that the rewards do not expire, you can accumulate your cash back over time, allowing you to really benefit from the cash back. If you have excellent credit, and are looking for a cash back card, then you cannot go wrong with the Chase Freedom Credit Card. However, if you are someone who will travel often the foreign transaction fee can be a deal breaker, as there are better credit cards available.