THE GOOD

Rewards galore:

In addition to the unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases, within each calendar year, there are select categories every three months to receive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent. With a simple and free activation process, you'll enjoy 5% categories every three months, like gas stations, restaurants, and Amazon.com. Chase Freedom® also allows you to set reminders to make sure you don't miss out each quarter.

Signup bonus:

Unlike some other cash back credit cards, the Chase Freedom® Card offers a nice signup bonus. You can earn $100 Bonus Cash Back after you make $500 in purchases in your first three months from account opening. Traditional cards allow high reward benefits and no signup bonus, but the Chase Freedom® Card offers both and makes its place above the others.

Extra cash back shopping online:

If you enjoy shopping online, CHASE Ultimate Rewards has an online mall offering additional cash back bonuses if you shop online from one of their featured wholesalers. So no matter how you shop — in-person or online — Chase Freedom® offers you an abundant amount of cash back opportunities.

Large selection of redeemable options:

You can access all your rewards on CHASE Ultimate Rewards, where you are able to redeem your rewards as direct deposit, statement credit, hotels, airline travel, car rental, gift cards, and more. The Chase Freedom® Card offer more redeemable options than any other card reviewed in comparison.

0% INTRODUCTORY APR AND NO ANNUAL FEE:

As if the rewards aren't good enough, there is also no annual fee and 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Not only does the Chase Freedom® Card make earning points easy, it requires very little additional cost from you as long as you are good with making your payments on time.

THE BAD

MANUAL QUARTERLY ACTIVATION FOR THE 5% CASH BACK:

As significant as the 5% cash back program sounds, it's not automatically given to each cardholder. You have to activate your card to the program to be counted towards the 5% cash back rewards. However, the activation process is simple, takes seconds to complete, and can be done via various methods (online, SMS alerts, email, phone, Facebook, and Chase bank locations). Additionally, as long as you activate your card into the program before the end of the quarter's deadline date, you will receive the full 5% cash back on all category purchases made during that quarter.

DEFAULT PENALTY APR:

A default penalty rate is standard with credit cards, but the Chase Freedom® Card charges the highest penalty APR (currently at 29.99%) among the rewards credit cards. This means the high penalty APR will apply indefinitely if any of your APRs increase due to the slightest infractions of the terms agreement.

THE DETAILS

Rates and Fees
Annual Fee $0
Cash Advance Fee $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction
Cash Advance Rate (APR) 23.99%
Foreign Currency Transaction Fee 3% per transaction
Introductory Rate (APR) 0% for the first 15 billing cycles that your Account is open
Standard Rate (APR) 13.99% - 22.99%* Variable
Penalty Fees
Default Penalty Rate (APR) 29.99%
Late Payment Fee Up to $15 - $35 (depending on balance)
Minimum Interest Charge None
Over-Limit Fee None
Returned Payment Fee Up to $35
Balance Transfers
Introductory Balance Transfer Rate (APR) 0% for the first 15 billing cycles that your Account is open
Standard Balance Transfer Fee $5 or 3% per transfer
Standard Balance Transfer Rate (APR) 13.99% - 22.99%* Variable
Rewards
Additional Rewards for Dining 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent (rotates quarterly)
Additional Rewards for Gas 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent (rotates quarterly)
Additional Rewards for Groceries None
Additional Rewards for Shopping 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent (rotates quarterly)
Additional Rewards for Travel None
Bonus Points Offered 10% on all new points earned from the previous year
Rewards Earnings for All Purchases 1% cash back
Sign-Up Bonus $100 bonus after spending $500 within first 3 months
Type of Reward Cash Back

FEATURES

Title
  • Offers Companion Reward The airline credit card offers a companion airfare reward.

  • Additional 2:1 Rewards Categories The credit card offers 2:1 rewards or more for at least one additional purchase category - like dining, travel, gas, groceries, shopping, or other.

  • Bonus Points Offered The credit card offers bonus points you can earn throughout the year.

  • No Blackout Dates There are no blackout travel dates for your points, miles, or cash back rewards.

  • No Expiration Your rewards points, miles, or cash back rewards will never expire.

  • Sign-Up Bonus The credit card offers a sign-up bonus reward.

  • Unlimited Rewards You can accumulate an unlimited amount of points, miles, or cash back rewards with your credit card.

  • 2:1 Rewards or More The credit card offers 2 Points, 2% Cash Back, or 2 Miles or more for every dollar spent.

  • Early Boarding You receive priority boarding benefits as an owner of the credit card.

  • First Bag Free Your first checked bag is free.

  • In-Flight Spending Bonus You receive a discount or additional bonus points on all in-flight expenditures.

  • 24/7 Live Service You can speak with a live representative at any time of day about your credit card.

  • Emergency Support The credit card offers emergency support.

  • Fraud Liability The credit card offers fraud liability protection.

  • Purchase Security You will receive a refund for any item that a retailer doesn't accept as a return within a certain time period.

  • Exclusive Events You have access to exclusive events with the credit card.

  • Partner Point Transfer You can exchange your points for equal value with participating partners of the credit card, like hotels or airlines.

  • Price Protection You will be reimbursed the difference of any purchase made within a certain time period if you find a lower advertised price.

  • Book in Someone Else's Name You can use your airline rewards to book a trip in someone else's name.

  • Redeem for Airline Travel Rewards can be redeemed for airline travel.

  • Redeem for Car Rental Rewards can be redeemed for car rental.

  • Redeem for Cash Back Rewards can be redeemed as cash back or statement credit.

  • Redeem for Gift Cards Rewards can be redeemed for gift cards.

  • Redeem for Hotel Rewards can be redeemed for hotel stays.

  • Redeem for Merchandise Rewards can be redeemed for merchandise.

  • Redeem for Other Rewards can be redeemed for other categories, such as magazine subscriptions or charity donations.

  • Redeem Online You can redeem your points, miles, or cash back rewards online.

  • Redeem on Other Airlines Rewards can be redeemed for airline travel on other airlines.

  • Apply By Phone You can complete the credit card application process via phone.

  • Apply In Person You can apply for the credit card live in person.

  • Apply Online You can complete the entire credit card application process online.

  • Instant Approval You can get instant approval for the credit card.

  • Introductory Balance Transfer Rate (APR) The credit card offers an introductory balance transfer rate (APR).

  • Transfer from Credit Cards You can transfer a balance from another credit card.

  • Transfer from Loans You can transfer a balance from a loan to the credit card.

  • No Introductory Balance Transfer Fee The credit card doesn't charge a percentage fee on the new balance transferred to the card.

  • Car Rental Insurance The credit card offers car rental insurance.

  • Extended Warranty The credit card offers an extended warranty on purchases.

  • Lost Luggage Insurance The credit card offers lost luggage insurance.

  • Roadside Assistance The credit card offers roadside assistance.

  • Travel Insurance The credit card offers travel insurance.

  • Flight Insurance The credit card offers flight insurance.

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