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Chase Freedom® Credit Card Review

This content is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the issuer's Affiliate Program.

Chase Freedom® snapshot


If you want to get a little more juice out of your rewards credit card, the Chase Freedom® credit card could be the answer for you. In our opinion it’s one of the best cash back credit cards around for maxing out the amount of rewards you can earn without having to pay an annual fee. This card offers multiple ways to rack up cash back, making it a great fit for everyday spenders who use credit regularly. Keep reading to learn what we think makes the Chase Freedom® cash back card a winner and see how it compares to similar cards on the market.

Chase Freedom® credit card highlights

 

Annual fee:$0
Foreign transaction fee:3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Rewards program: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.
Bonus:Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
We think it's great for:- People who don’t mind a tiered rewards structure

- People who don’t want to pay an annual fee

We think these folks should do more research:- People who prefer to keep their rewards structure simple

- People who want to earn rewards specifically for travel
Our Verdict:Best for spenders who want to squeeze the most cash back value out of every day purchases
Additional Notes:Terms Apply

Chase Freedom® credit card basics

With the Chase Freedom® card earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate with new 5% categories each quarter. All other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back.

Chase Freedom® credit card perks

Eligible new Cardmembers earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in their first 3 months from account opening. That breaks down to approximately $167 a month in spending on the card, and purchases still earn the corresponding cash back rewards rate.

This card has no annual fee, which is a big plus. There is, however, a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

[Also Read: 5 Best Chase Bank Credit Cards]

Chase Freedom® Comparison

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Credit Card

Annual Fee: $0

Card highlights we want to feature:

  • You earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two categories you choose from U.S. Bank select qualifying merchants
  • You earn 2% cash back on purchases from your choice of one everyday category from U.S. Bank select qualifying merchants
  • 1% cash back on all your other everyday eligible net purchases
  • No annual fee

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Credit Card puts a new spin on cash back by giving members more flexibility as to where they earn the most rewards. This card allows you to earn 5% cash back on purchases in two categories you choose each quarter (from a selection of categories provided by U.S. Bank), up to the first $2,000 in combined net purchases. Cardmembers will need to choose the categories each quarter and enroll each quarter to earn at the higher cash back rate.

You also earn 2% cash back on purchases on your choice of one everyday category, like purchases made at gas stations or grocery stores – there’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn from this category. Like the 5% cash back category, you will need to choose the category from a selection U.S Bank provides each quarter.

And earn 1% cash back on your other eligible everyday net purchases. This card has no annual fee.

Terms apply.

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual Fee: $0

Card highlights we want to feature:

  • Cash back rewards program – you earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate
  • Plus, you earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically
  • There is an introductory offer: Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically, only for new cardmembers. There’s no signing up and no limit to how much is matched.
  • There is no annual fee
  • There are no foreign transaction fees

Discover it® Cash Back offers a tiered cash back rewards structure – earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

Discover sweetens the deal with this introductory offer: Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically, for new cardmembers only. There’s no signing up and no limit to how much is matched.

This card has no annual fee.

Terms apply.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Annual Fee: $0

Card highlights we want to feature:

  • Qualifying new Cardmembers you earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • There is no annual fee

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a streamlined version of the regular Chase Freedom® credit card. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers qualifying new Cardmembers – earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. And, no need to juggle quarterly changing bonus categories.

This card has no annual fee.

Terms apply.

You may be wondering if you qualify for any of these offers

Having a healthy credit profile is definitely a step in the right direction. There are many variables in the decision making process to extend credit, your credit score included. However, having a credit score in a particular range is not a guarantee that you will be approved for a credit card or if you are approved what the terms extended to you will be.

To give you an idea of credit scores and ranges (credit scores and ranges vary based on the credit bureau, below chart is based on the TransUnion scoring model), this is a chart that shows the average credit scores, taken from a subset of Credit Sesame’s 7 million members collected October 2015.

If you’re unsure of where you stand, check out your credit score before you apply for a card. You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company.

Chart7

Chase Freedom® credit card rewards

ChaseFreedomrewards

As mentioned earlier, the Chase Freedom® rewards program is tiered, meaning there are two different levels at which rewards can be earned. Every quarter, the 5% cash back bonus categories change and you have to remember to opt-in each time they do so in order to earn rewards at that rate (you’ll get a reminder from Chase). Otherwise, you’ll earn the same 1% cash back that applies to all purchases that don’t qualify for the 5% bonus.

Once you’re ready to use the cash back rewards you’ve earned, Chase gives you several redemption options. For example, receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts, you can also redeem rewards for gift cards and certificates to select retailers for shopping, dining, entertainment and more. Keep in mind that the redemption value may vary based on how you choose to redeem your rewards.

prosChase Freedom® Pros

We think the cash back rewards program is the Chase Freedom® card’s best feature and it’s especially attractive for people who use credit to cover day to day spending.

The lack of an annual fee means you can charge as little or as much as you like without fear of an annual fee eating into your rewards.

consChase Freedom® Cons

In terms of downsides, this isn’t the card to have if in your wallet if most of your credit card purchases center on travel. The Chase Freedom® foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars adds another $30 on to every $1,000 you spend while using your card for purchases outside the U.S., which is a drawback.

Keeping up with changing rewards bonus categories can also be a hassle and forgetting to opt-in can cost you the 5% cash back bonus. Choosing a card that pays one flat cash back percentage on everything might make more sense if you want a less complicated rewards structure.

Should you get the Chase Freedom® card?

We think Chase Freedom® is suited to people whose spending patterns are a good match for the card’s bonus categories. Assuming you hit the spending limit on purchases for the 5% cash back bonus each quarter, you’d earn a minimum of $300 cash back annually and there are no restraints on how much cash back you can earn on purchases at the 1% cash back rewards level.


Independent Review Disclosure: All the information about the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditSesame.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card. The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Credit Card is not available through CreditSesame.com.

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The information, including card rates and fees, presented in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date of the article. Please refer to issuer website and application for the most current information. Verify all terms and conditions of any offer prior to applying.

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Published July 20, 2016
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