Read on to Learn All About the Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Rewards Card
Choosing the right rewards card requires a bit of research on your part. Fortunately, we have done all the research for you in this guide to the Chase Freedom® rewards card.
This guide to the Chase Freedom® cashback card and the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar will fill you in on:
- The basics of the card, including the Chase Freedom® annual fee and the Chase Freedom® interest rate
- How to earn the Chase Freedom® cash-back rewards
- How the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar works
- What the 2017 categories are for the Chase Freedom® cash back calendar
- Options for redeeming the Chase Freedom® cashback rewards (other than for cash)
- Pros and cons of choosing the Chase Freedom® cash-back card
You will quickly see how this might be a great card for many people. Not only does the Chase Freedom® calendar give you the potential for higher earnings, but the Chase Freedom® annual fee is $0 – so you can keep those earnings!
Image Source: Pexels
Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Card 101
Before we get into explaining the Chase Freedom® rewards and the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar, let’s start with the basics.
Here are all the “fine print” details regarding the Chase Freedom® cashback card:
- Chase Freedom® annual fee: $0
- Introductory Chase Freedom® interest rate: 0% APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
- Chase Freedom® interest rate: 15.49% – 24.24% APR after the first 15 months based upon your creditworthiness
- Chase Freedom® interest rate for balance transfers: 15.49% – 24.24% balance transfer APR after the first 15 months based upon your credit worthiness
- Chase Freedom® interest rate for cash advances: 24.49%
- New Card member offer: $150 bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months from opening your account
- Minimum interest charge: None
- Credit needed: Good to Excellent
- Foreign transaction fee: 3%
Image Source: Chase
Why the Chase Freedom® Annual Fee Is Important
Let’s take a moment to discuss why the Chase Freedom® annual fee of $0 is so important. In fact, the zero Chase Freedom® annual fee is one of the main reasons to get this card.
When you are looking for a rewards or cash-back credit card, you will want to pay close attention to the annual fee. If the annual fee is more than what you will collect in cash-back or rewards, then it is not actually a good option.
Since the Chase Freedom® annual fee is always zero, every single cent you earn through cash-back is actually earned. Compare this $0 Chase Freedom® annual fee with the average credit card annual fee of $58 a year.
Similarly, the introductory Chase Freedom® interest rate of 0% for 15 months means you will not be spending any of your cash rewards on interest payments. Since the average cash back credit card interest rate is 20.90%, this is a big perk.
All-in-One Change Management Tools
Top Rated Toolkit for Change Managers.
Get Your Change Management Tool Today...
How to Earn Chase Freedom® Cash-Back
Now that we understand all of the basics of choosing this card (like the zero dollar Chase Freedom® annual fee), it’s time to talk rewards.
There are two ways to start racking up your Chase Freedom® rewards.
- 1% by making purchases: Every single thing you purchase with your Chase Freedom® cashback card will earn 1% cash back
- 5% on Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar: Learn more about the Chase Freedom® cash back calendar below
The 1% on all purchases is automatic without limitations. The 5% from the Chase Freedom® cash back calendar is a bit more complicated, so we will give you the full rundown.
The Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar
Now, let’s talk about all the bonus rewards through the Chase Freedom® calendar.
You know you are already earning 1% cash back on every purchase. On top of that Chase Freedom® cash-back perk, Chase also has a Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar that allows you to earn 5% in different popular categories each quarter.
Image Source: Chase
For the 2017 year, the Chase Freedom® cash back calendar highlights these top categories:
- January to March: The Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar had “gas stations” as the specialty category.You would earn 5% cash back pumping gas and local commuter transportation.
- April to June: The Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar has grocery stores and drugstores as the 5% cash back category (excluding Wal-Mart and Target).
- July to September: the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar will have a “Summer Fun” category. The details will be unlocked June 15th, 2017.
- October to December: the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar will have a “Holiday” category. The details will be unlocked September 15th, 2017.
Here is the big catch: to earn the 5% cash back, you must first visit the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar website and “activate” that Chase Freedom® Calendar option before you earn the rewards. It will not be automatic.
How Much Can the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar Earn You?
Know that the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar 5% offer is not unlimited. It is only for the first $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter.
But 5% of $1,500 is $75 each quarter. That’s $300 each year on top of the other 1% cash back earnings you have made.
When you do not have to pay a Chase Freedom® annual fee, you can see how quickly all this extra cash can add up – simply from buying things you would have purchased anyway.
Options for Redeeming Your Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Rewards
One of the benefits of the Chase Freedom® cashback card (outside of the $0 Chase Freedom® annual fee) is the rewards flexibility.
Once you have earned all your Chase Freedom® rewards from the 1% back on everything and the 5% from the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar, you have lots of redemption options.
Here are some of the things that you can do:
- Regular Chase Freedom® Cash-Back
- Amazon Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Rewards
- Lowe’s Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Rewards
- Best Buy’s Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Rewards
- Darden Restaurants Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Rewards (Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Yard House, and Red Lobster)
- Macy’s Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Rewards
And you can choose different options from time to time. If you need cash this month, but six months form now you want an Amazon gift card – you can do that.
Cashback or Gift Cards?
Since the Chase Freedom® rewards gives you flexibility in how you redeem your rewards, here are a few things you should know first.
If you choose regular cash back… You can redeem that cash in two ways:
- As direct deposit into your bank account
- As a statement credit (which means you pay down your debt more quickly…this is a great option for people who have racked up some debt and are about to lose the introductory Chase Freedom® interest rate)
If you choose gift cards… Know that you won’t be penalized. It works just like cash. This option can be great:
- To use as a gift (Macy’s or Amazon gift cards can be great for baby or bridal showers)
- To use for date nights (the restaurant options)
- To use for groceries (Amazon.com)
Do the Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Rewards Expire?
One of the biggest concerns people may have when they choose a rewards card is: do the points/rewards/cashback perks ever expire?
When it comes to the Chase Freedom® cash-back rewards you accrue (including those from the Chase Freedom® cash back calendar), they will never expire. So you do not need to worry about turning them in before losing them.
There is one exception: if you close your Chase freedom® cashback card, the rewards will go away. If you do close it, make sure to redeem all your points first.
Pros of the Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Card
Now that you understand all the basics (like the Chase Freedom® annual fee), how the Chase Freedom® rewards work, how the Chase Freedom® calendar works, and how to redeem the rewards – let’s go over pros and cons for the card.
Some of the top pros for choosing the Chase Freedom® cashback card are:
- No Chase Freedom® annual fee: As we have mentioned before, this is a huge perk for those wanting to get cashback credit cards.
- Good introductory Chase Freedom® interest rate: 15 months of no interest allows you to make some big purchases and pay them off before the regular Chase Freedom® interest rate begins.
- Ways to earn 5%: For many people, the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar and its revolving 5% categories is a big perk.
Since they are common (like gas and food) most everyone should be able to take advantage.
- Unlimited ways to earn 1%: No matter what you are doing with your Chase Freedom® cash-back card, you can earn 1% back.
Cons of the Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Card
Some of the biggest cons against the Chase Freedom® cashback card are:
- Travel: If you primarily use credit cards for travel perks, this may not be the ideal card for you.
Of course, you could use the cash redemption choice and put that money aside for traveling.
But you won’t get hotel, flight, or rental car perks.
- The Chase Freedom® calendar: While this also was on our “pros” list, it can be a “con” for others.
If you do not use the category, you will miss out of 5% cash back for an entire quarter of the year.
- Activation: The fact that you have to activate the current category on the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar means you might forget and miss out on the big rewards.
Conclusion – Is Chase Freedom® Cash-Back Right for You?
Now you have all the information to decide whether or not the Chase Freedom® cash-back card with their Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar system is right for you.
If you want a zero Chase Freedom® annual fee, great rewards options with the Chase Freedom® Rewards Calendar, and flexibility in rewards redemption – this may be a great card 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.