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INSIDER SECRET: When you combine the Chase Freedom with certain other Ultimate Rewards points earning cards, you can turn your rewards into free travel.
Wondering whether the Chase Freedom card is worth it? I’ll admit, at first glance, the card seems pretty vanilla.
There isn’t a massive sign-up bonus like you’ll get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, but the Chase Freedom annual fee is a whopping zero dollars. Plus, it has a lot more earning potential than you might think.
The real question should be: What are you waiting for?
Chase Freedom Annual Fee
Apply Here: Chase Freedom®
Our review of the Chase Freedom
With the Chase Freedom card, you’ll earn a $150 cash bonus (or 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
It has no annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about whether the card’s benefits outweigh its cost.
It earns 1% cash back (or 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1 spent) on every single purchase you make. What makes this card so powerful is the ability to earn 5% cash back (or 5x points per $1) in rotating categories every quarter on up to $1,500 in combined spending when you activate the bonus.
In the second quarter of 2019, for example, grocery store purchases are included in the Chase Freedom 5% cash back rotating categories. Once activated, cardholders are able to earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent at grocery stores from April 1 through June 30.
Groceries are a big part of most budgets, so it’s one of those categories that would be easy to maximize. If you make the most of your spending every quarter, you can earn $300 per year (30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) in bonus category spending alone (4 quarters x $75 per quarter).
Plus, your points could actually be worth more, depending on other Chase cards that you have in your wallet. With the right Chase cards, you can move the rewards you earn with the Chase Freedom to other cards and combine your points.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred, you get a 25% bonus when redeeming your points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is even better, giving you a 50% bonus when booking travel through Chase’s website.
That means, if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your Chase Freedom welcome bonus can be worth $225 in travel. And if you maximized your bonus category spending throughout the year, the Ultimate Rewards points you’d earn would be worth $450 in travel with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Plus, if you have any of the annual fee cards mentioned above, you can combine your points and then transfer them to Chase’s excellent travel partners, like Hyatt and United Airlines, and potentially get even more value.
Note: All of these cards are subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule. Chase will not approve you for most of their cards if you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank (not counting Chase business cards and certain other business cards) in the past 24 months.
Want to learn more about Chase Ultimate Rewards points? Be sure to check out these guides for more information on earning and using flexible travel rewards:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Review
- Chase Points Value
- Best Way to Use Chase Points
- Chase Transfer Partners
- How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- How to Setup a Chase Ultimate Rewards Account
- How to Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- Do Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Expire?
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