No Annual Fee and Terrific Rotating Bonus Categories: Chase Freedom Review

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No Annual Fee and Terrific Rotating Bonus Categories:  Chase Freedom Review

Andrew RNo Annual Fee and Terrific Rotating Bonus Categories:  Chase Freedom ReviewMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

The Chase Freedom® is a no-annual-fee card which currently comes with a $150 cash bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

With the Chase Freedom, you’ll earn 5% cash back (5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in categories which rotate each quarter when you activate the bonus.

The Chase Freedom is perfect for folks who already have cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points or for people looking to get into our hobby and start earning points they can use for free travel!

You can apply for the Chase Freedom here.

Wake Up to This View on Oahu By Using Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Book Your Marriott Stay!

Here’s everything you’ll want to know about the Chase Freedom to decide if it’s a good fit for your wallet.

The Chase Freedom Sign-Up Bonus Is Worth $150 (or 15,000+ Chase Points) – and Potentially More!

Apply Here:   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 3 months of account opening.

However, your sign-up bonus could actually be worth more than $150!  Depending on other Chase cards that you have in your wallet, you might be able to move the rewards you earn on the Chase Freedom to those cards and pool your points.

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, 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 your Chase Freedom welcome bonus can be worth $225 in travel if you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Plus, if you have any of the cards mentioned above, you can combine your points then transfer them to Chase’s excellent travel partners, like Hyatt and United Airlines, and potentially get much more value.

How to Earn Points With the Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom card earns 1% cash back (or 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1 spent) on every single purchase you make.  However, 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.

For example, this spring Chase included grocery store purchases to earn 5% cash back.  Once activated, I was able to earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 I spent at my local grocery store from April to June.  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)!

Supercharge Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Earnings Using Chase Bonus Categories Every Quarter Like I Did This Past Winter Using Mobile Pay!

Ideally, you’ll want to pair your Chase Freedom with at least one annual-fee Chase card so that you can earn the 5% bonus in bonus categories and then use your other cards to make the most of your earning.  For example, you can earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on all dining and travel purchases with the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

How to Turn Your Points Into Big Travel!

You can redeem points you earn with the Chase Freedom at a rate of 1 cent each for cash back, paid travel, or gift cards.  However, as mentioned earlier, in order to really get the most value out of your Chase Freedom you’ll want to pair it with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Business Preferred Card.  Then you’ll be able to book paid travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal at a better rate.

However, you can earn even bigger travel when you transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to one of Chase’s travel partners.  Chase partners with various airlines like United Airlines and Southwest, and hotel chains like Marriott and Hyatt.  If you have one of the cards mentioned above, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners at a 1:1 ratio.


That means if you have Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer them over to United Airlines and book flights at United.com within minutes!  By transferring your points to partners, you can really increase the value of your points exponentially.

For example, you can turn 25,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points into a round-trip flight to Hawaii by transferring your points to Korean Air for Delta award flights!  That’s easily $700+ worth of value as opposed to the $250 cash back you would have earned with the Chase Freedom alone!

Benefits of the Chase Freedom Card

The Chase Freedom is great because it lets you earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points with no annual fee!  However, you get even more benefits with this card, including:

Extended Warranty

When you use the Chase Freedom to purchase an item, the card will extend the time period of a US manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of 3 years or less.  That lets you avoid purchasing additional warranties when making big ticket purchases!

Purchase Protection

Accidents happen!  The Chase Freedom offers protection against damage or theft for up to 120 days on new purchases up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Credit Journey

This is a great benefit because Chase will provide unlimited free access to your credit score as well as automatically enrolling you in alerts that can help you identify fraud.

Rental Car Insurance

You’ll get secondary rental insurance when you pay for the rental using your Chase Freedom.

Whats The Best Credit Card For Me
Take Advantage of Chase’s Purchase Protection in the First 120 Days From Your Initial Purchase!

Is the Chase Freedom Card Worth the Annual Fee?

One of the best features of the Chase Freedom is that it has no annual fee!  That’s one reason I’ve had this card in my wallet for years!

Does the Chase Freedom Charge Foreign Transaction Fees?

Yes.

Who Is Eligible for the Chase Freedom?

Most folks will be eligible to open the Chase Freedom card.  According to reports online, you’ll want to have a credit score in the 680+ range before applying though.  And if you’ve opened 5 or more credit cards from ANY bank in the past 24 months (excluding certain small business cards and Chase business cards), you’re not likely to be approved.

Wait until you are back under 5 cards opened in the past 24 months before applying for the Chase Freedom.

Customer Support for the Chase Freedom

With Chase offering Credit Journey for free with the Chase Freedom, your card is enrolled in fraud protection from day one.  They also offer Zero Liability Protection which means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information so you can have some piece of mind while using your new card!

Credit Cards Similar to the Chase Freedom

While I think the 5% cash back / 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 rotating categories are a great way to boost your Chase Ultimate Rewards point balance, the activation and tracking of bonus categories might be too much for some folks to keep track of.

Luckily, Chase has a similar card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which earns a flat 1.5% cash back (1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all purchases.  It also comes with the same sign-up bonus after meeting minimum spending requirements.  I personally have both the Freedom and the Freedom Unlimited, in addition to the Chase Sapphire Reserve, in order to make the most points every purchase!

If you have a small business, you might want to consider the Ink Business Unlimited card which is also a no-annual-fee card that has a sign-up bonus of $500 (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after meeting minimum spending requirements!  This card, like the Freedom Unlimited, earns a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases, but the $500 sign-up bonus is where this card really stands out.  Head on over to find out why Jason highly recommends the Ink Business Unlimited for small business owners!

Bottom Line

The Chase Freedom is perfect for folks who already have cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points because you can combine points from multiple Chase cards.  This card is also great for for people looking to get their feet wet with a no-annual-fee card that can help you earn free travel!

Remember, the Chase Freedom currently comes with a $150 cash bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, which is a great way to start building your points balance!

You can earn 5% cash back (5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) every quarter on up to $1,500 in combined purchases made in rotating bonus categories, which translates into up to an additional $300 cash back or 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points each year!  You can turn those points into Big Travel when you pool your points with annual-fee Chase cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, then transfer them to Chase’s travel partners like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.

You can apply for the Chase Freedom here.

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Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • 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
  • 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

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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I love what the Chase Freedom card offers but at some point how many credit cards can I use. I don’t want to collect them. It’s so much easier to use just one, maybe two cards to track spending.The 0% intro APR is extremely attractive, and the case bonus is a nice perk. I need to analyze what I am carrying and what that card affords me

I transferred 30,000 points to Hyatt and stayed for a weekend at a resort during peak season saving me $1,200…Score!

transferring points to my CSR card for redemption

Transferring points for flights to Florida to scuba dive with my partner and best friend!

Nikolay Aleksandrov

I took 55,000 Chase points and transferred them to Virgin Atlantic, then booked 2 tickets from NYC to London on Premium Economy, a $4K+ Value for next to nothing!

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