Looking for a New Credit Card? Check Out This Chase Freedom® Card Review
Choosing a new credit card is not a simple process. You want to make sure you are gaining rewards and benefits without paying many fees or extremely high interest. In that search for the perfect card, you may come across the Chase Freedom® credit card.
Is it right for you? What are the pros and cons? Do the Chase Freedom® benefits outweigh any rates and fees?
We are here to answer all these questions in our Chase Freedom® card review. Throughout this review, you will get:
- A rundown of all the basics like interest rates and fees
- An overview of the main Chase Freedom® benefits/Chase Freedom® card rewards
- A closer look at the Chase Freedom® bonus rewards program
- A glance at other online Chase Freedom® reviews
- Our Chase Freedom® card review of the pros
- Our Chase Freedom® card review of the cons
After you have read through this Chase Freedom® card review, you should have a better idea if the Chase Freedom® card is the right credit card for you.
Chase Freedom® Credit Card: The Basics
Before we start talking about the Chase Freedom® benefits or the Chase Freedom® bonus rewards, it is important to get a basic overview of the details.
Here is a Chase Freedom® Card Review on all the fine print, like annual percentage rate and fees:
- Annual fee: $0
- Minimum interest charge: None
- Credit needed: Good to Excellent
- 0% intro APR for the first 15 months
- 15.49% – 24.24% APR after the first 15 months based upon your creditworthiness
- 0% balance transfer APR for the first 15 months
- 15.49% – 24.24% balance transfer APR after the first 15 months based upon your credit worthiness
- $5 or 5% of the amount for a balance transfer fee
- $10 or 5% of the amount for a cash advance fee
- 25.49% cash advance APR
- 3% foreign transaction fee
As an extra Chase Freedom® bonus, new card members receive this offer: $150 bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months from opening your account.
Image Source: Chase
Chase Freedom® Card Review: The Basics
- The average cash back credit card interest rate is 20.90%, so the Chase Freedom® card falls right in line.
- The average annual fee for credit cards is $58 a year, so no fee is definitely one of the Chase Freedom® card benefits.
Chase Freedom® Benefits
Now that you know how the Chase Freedom® card operates as a credit card, let’s talk about the Chase Freedom® benefits.
Image Source: Pexels
This is a cash back credit card that allows you to earn Chase Freedom® card rewards in these ways:
- Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases.
- Earn 5% cash back on a new category each quarter (we will talk about these Chase Freedom® benefits in detail in the “Chase Freedom® bonus rewards” section).
- Earn even more cash back when you do the Shop Through Chase program. Here you can see which items and retailers Chase has partnered with to earn you up to 15% cash back.
As the name suggests, there is “freedom” in the way you choose to redeem these Chase Freedom® card rewards. If you do not want cash (or a statement credit), you can also get gift cards for retailers like:
- Best Buy
- Darden Restaurants
Chase Freedom® Card Review: Chase Freedom® Benefits
- With options to earn more than the base 1%, there is much more earning potential.
- With options to redeem your rewards, more people will be able to find ways to make their card work for them.
All-in-One Change Management Tools
Top Rated Toolkit for Change Managers.
Get Your Change Management Tool Today...
The Chase Freedom® Bonus Rewards
We already know that when you use your Chase Freedom® card, you earn 1% cash back on every single purchase. But this card also has Chase Freedom® bonus cash back rewards. This is one of the top highlights for any Chase Freedom® card review.
Each quarter, a new popular category will earn 5% cash back for the first $1,500 in combined purchases.
Image Source: Chase
As you can see in the image above:
- The first quarter of 2017 had “gas stations” as the Chase Freedom® bonus category.This means the first $1,500 you spent on gas gave you 5% cash back.
- The second quarter of 2017 has “grocery stores” as the Chase Freedom® bonus category.This means your groceries (other than Wal-Mart and Target) earn you 5% cash back.
- The third quarter of 2017 has not be activated yet, but we know the general Chase Freedom® bonus category will be “summer fun.”
- The fourth quarter of 2017 also has not be activated yet, but we know the general Chase Freedom® bonus category will be “holiday.”
Remember this important point to actually earn the Chase Freedom® bonus each quarter. These Chase Freedom® bonus rewards are not automatic. You must visit the Chase Freedom® credit card website and “activate” the bonus.
Chase Freedom® Card Review: The Bonus Categories
- 5% of $1500 is $75 each quarter of cash back perks on top of the 1% cash back on all your other purchases
Online Chase Freedom® Reviews
While it is important to do the research on the Chase Freedom® benefits and then decide if the card is right for you, it is also helpful to read Chase Freedom® reviews from other online sources.
Before we get to our Chase Freedom® card review wrap-up, here are some other online Chase Freedom® reviews.
- Credit Karma gives the Chase Freedom® card 4 out of 5 stars from 103 reviews
- Nerdwallet gave the card 4.6 out of 5
- Nerdwallet also named the Chase Freedom® bonus categories as one of the top cash back credit cards of 2017
- Value Penguin gives the Chase Freedom® credit card 94 out of 100
- Creditcards.com gave the card 2.5 out of 5 stars (citing the Chase Freedom® card rewards value as its drawback)
- Credit Donkey gives the Chase Freedom® credit card a 4.3 out of 5
- Money Under 30 recommended it and wrote that the Chase Freedom® card “is one of two credit cards my wife and I use most”
Chase Freedom® Card Review: The Bonus Categories
- Most of the online Chase Freedom® reviews are positive, especially when you compare them to reviews of other credit cards
Our Chase Freedom® Card Review: The Pros
Now that you have all the basic facts of the Chase Freedom® credit card, let’s get started with our Chase Freedom® card review. We will start with the pros of choosing this card.
Here is an overview of some Chase Freedom® benefits:
- Unlimited 1% cash back: No matter your spending habits, you can rest assured that you are getting 1% back on absolutely everything.This is one of the top Chase Freedom® benefits.
- Rotating categories: This is a pro (but you will see it is also on our “cons” list).As long as you happen to spend money on the quarterly Chase Freedom® bonus category, you get to benefit from a high 5% cash back.
And who doesn’t go grocery shopping, after all?
- No annual fee: This is such an important feature for a cashback credit card.It wouldn’t matter if you made some cash back rewards if you ended up spending that money on the annual fee.
- Credit requirement: You do not need to have excellent credit to get these Chase Freedom® benefits.Having only a “good” credit score is necessary.
- Intro APR: The introductory 0% APR is one of the Chase Freedom® card benefits since it allows you to make a big purchase and pay it off in installments before the interest payments kick in
- Redemption flexibility: If you do not want cash, you can easily exchange your cash back perks for useful gift cards (that can also be used as gifts)
Our Chase Freedom® Card Review: The Cons
Our Chase Freedom® card review would not be complete without a look at some of the negatives of choosing the Chase Freedom® card:
- Rotating categories: The concept of the Chase Freedom® bonus category turns into a con if you do not happen to buy the items in the quarterly category.For example, if you live in NYC and don’t drive, the “gas station” section would have been pointless for you.
- Activation: You have to remember to activate the Chase Freedom® bonus category each quarter.If you do not remember, you will not get the benefit monthly.
- Not quite 2%: Some credit cards offer 2% cash back (or more) on your purchases.If you have good enough credit to qualify for these and you feel you cannot take advantage of the Chase Freedom® bonus quarterly categories, the 1% cash back may not feel like enough.
- Foreign transaction fee: If you frequently use your credit card abroad, you will rack up many fees with the Chase freedom® credit card.
- No travel perks: Though you could absolutely use your cash back Chase Freedom® card benefits as cash to travel with, there are no explicit travel perks (like hotel or flight points).This combined with the foreign transaction fee may show there are better options for frequent world travelers.
Conclusion – Chase Freedom® Card Review
So are the Chase Freedom® card benefits ideal for you?
Overall, the Chase Freedom® credit card is a solid option. Most people who simply want a credit card for everyday spending will probably be completely satisfied with the Chase Freedom® credit card.
If you have excellent credit, want high-end perks, or travel abroad much of the year, you may be interested in looking to a different cash back credit card.
Make sure to take your time and even go back through this Chase Freedom® card review to make sure all the Chase Freedom® benefits, Chase Freedom® bonus categories, and even the basic credit card info (like APR) work for you!
AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:
Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.
Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.