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Updated August 7, 2017

Chase Freedom Card Review

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Chase Freedom is one of the best credit cards for cash back, if used the right way. If not, there are drawbacks. Read on for the pros and cons to determine if this card is right for you.

Overall Score

4.3

Rewards

4.5

Interest Rates

4.0

Fees

4.5

Benefits

4.0
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Earn a $150 Bonus
  • 5% bonus rotating categories
  • Intro APR
  • No annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee

Bottom Line

Excellent cash back credit card for cardholders who pay in full

In addition to its rotating 5% cash back categories, Chase Freedom offers an introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months and the opportunity to earn a $150 bonus for new customers. With no annual fee, it is possibly the best cash back credit card.

But that's only true if it's used correctly.

Learn how this card works and how to use it to your advantage. Read on to see if it's right for you.

How Chase Freedom Works

One of the top features of the Chase Freedom card is the quarterly rotating 5% cashback rewards categories. Chase Freedom offers a standard 1% cash back on all other purchases, but you earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases (for up to $75 cash back) in bonus categories each quarter.. These bonus categories that offer 5% cash back change each quarter - every three months - and requires activation each quarter in order to take advantage of the 5% categories.

In our opinion, you get the best value from this card if you pay close attention to the spending categories each quarter and are diligent about charging any purchases under those categories to this card. The opportunity for up to 5% back is HUGE in the credit card world (most cards only offer 1% or maybe 2%).

Keep in mind, if you spend over the $1,500 quarterly limit in the bonus categories, you go back to the regular 1% cash back rate until the new categories rotate in after the three months are over.

It's a good idea to check out the type of rewards categories Chase Freedom offers first and see if they fit with your lifestyle and normal spending patterns before seriously considering this card.

The bonus categories for 2017 so far are:

  • Q1 (January 1 - March 31, 2017): Gas stations and local commuter transportation (includes taxis, subways, local commuter buses and trains; does not include parking, tolls, and Amtrak®)
  • Q2 (April 1 - June 30, 2017): Grocery stores (does not include Walmart®, Target®, discount or warehouse club store purchases) and drugstores (must be primarily a drug store and not just a store with a pharmacy in it)
  • Q3 (July 1 - September 30, 2017): Restaurants and movie theaters
  • Q4 (October 1 - December 31, 2017): Holiday TBA

Categories and merchants are announced before the start of each quarter.

Remember, you have to activate the 5% cash back categories every quarter. You can activate online, by text message, via email, by mobile app, by calling customer service, or in person at a Chase bank. Activating online is probably the easiest way to go as you can do it while checking out your account statement. If Chase is a bank you frequent already, then activating in person at a Chase ATM machine might be more convenient for you.

In addition, you can earn extra cash rewards by shopping online through Ultimate Rewards Mall, Chase's online shopping portal.

To give you an idea of some of the other 5% cash back categories offered in the past, here they are for the previous few years. Note that this is for historical reference only as categories do not necessarily repeat.

The bonus categories for 2016 were:

  • Q1 2016: Gas stations and local commuter transportation (includes taxis, subways, local commuter buses and trains; does not include parking, tolls, and Amtrak®)
  • Q2 2016: Grocery stores (does not include Walmart®, Target®) and Wholesale Clubs (such as BJ's® and Sam's Club®)
  • Q3 2016: Restaurants and Wholesale Clubs
  • Q4 2016: Department Stores (such as JCPenney®, Kohl's®, and Macy's®), Wholesale Clubs (such as Costco, BJ's and Sam's Club) and Drug Stores (such as Walgreens, CVS and Duane Read)

The bonus categories for 2015 were:

  • Q1 2015: Grocery stores (not including Target® and Walmart®), movie theaters and Starbucks®
  • Q2 2015: Restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond®, H&M®, and Overstock.com®
  • Q3 2015: Gas stations and Kohl's®
  • Q4 2015: Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Audible.com, and Diapers.com

The bonus categories for 2014 were:

  • Q1 2014: Gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks®
  • Q2 2014: Restaurants and Lowe's® home improvement stores
  • Q3 2014: Gas stations and Kohl's®
  • Q4 2014: Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores

Other Things We Like About Chase Freedom

The huge 5% cash back bonus in select categories is no doubt the best thing about the Chase Freedom card. But there are plenty of other attractive benefits as well.

Drawbacks of the Card

© noddymini (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Despite its benefits, there are a few reasons why you might want to consider a different rewards credit card.

  • You have to actually pay attention to rotating rewards categories: You'll want to do some thinking before you shop to make sure you're getting the most rewards possible. For some people, this adds a fun dimension to shopping, but for others, it might just be a pain.

    Keep in mind that the most you can get back at the 5% level is $75 a quarter as the card stops giving you 5% after you've spent $1,500 on combined purchases in the bonus categories. While $75 isn't chump change, some people may be turned off by the threshold.

    Don't want to worry about rotating rewards categories? You might want to consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited with unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase (Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited).

  • It can tempt you into buying things you do not need: By calling your attention to the different bonus categories every quarter, the card may prompt you to buy more at certain stores than you normally would, just to get the higher percentage of cash rewards.

  • You have to actually sign up to activate the rewards each quarter: We recommend setting up a notification through Google Calendar or on your phone so that you remember to sign up to reap the 5% bonus categories. If that sounds like a hassle, you may want a credit card that has a more consistent rewards program, like cash back or points on purchases that don't change.

  • There's a foreign transaction fee. If you do a lot of international travel, you may want to opt for a card with no foreign transaction fee. Chase Freedom charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. In comparison, credit cards from Discover and Capital One have no foreign transaction fee.

Is Chase Freedom: A Good Credit Card?

© robie06 (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

Is it worth applying for?

If you have good credit, then YES.

Chase Freedom is a strong contender as either a primary card or a secondary card. And there's little downside in adding it to your wallet since it has no annual fee.

And there is a lot of upside. By timing your spending correctly, it's hard to beat this card's bonus cash back on rotating categories. Because of this, some people use the Chase Freedom as a secondary card specifically for charges that line up with the bonus rotating cash back categories.

This card is great for people who are looking to earn cash rewards, rather than trying to figure out points or miles. It's a solid choice from a big bank for the "everyman/everywoman," considering its cash back program for everyday items, no annual fee, and introductory APR. Because of the foreign transaction fee, it might not be the best card for international travelers, but if you stay in the U.S. and use your card frequently, you'll be rewarded nicely.

Rewards Redemption Tip: Want to get the most bang for your buck? Take the rewards even further when used alongside the Chase Sapphire Preferred, a great card for travelers in particular. With the Chase Freedom alone, you cannot transfer the points you earn to frequent flyer programs or get any additional discounts on booking travel. But when you pool your Chase Freedom points with those you get from Sapphire Preferred, you can transfer them to many frequent flyer partner programs or score a 20% discount when you redeem points to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards online portal. This combined card tactic can really help you maximize your points.

How Chase Freedom Card Compares

© marfis75 (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

Though there's little downside to owning this card, it's still smart to compare similar cards to see which one suits your needs best. Here's our assessment to help you make an informed decision.

If you want the same rewards rate for every purchase:

 

Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.Cash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic!
Bonus Cash BackBonus Cash Back: 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 Categories for 2017:
Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2017): Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls, and Amtrak® purchases)
Q2 (April 1 - June 30, 2017): Grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases)
Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2017): Restaurants and movie theaters
Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2017): TBA
 

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on July 17, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: This card is similar to the Chase Freedom, but instead of the rotating categories, it offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. It's ideal if you just want the same rewards rate for every purchase.

If you have an existing balance to transfer:

 

Chase Freedom

Chase Slate

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 15 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 15 months0% introductory APR for 15 months
Purchase APR15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. 
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 
Bonus Cash BackBonus Cash Back: 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 Categories for 2017:
Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2017): Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls, and Amtrak® purchases)
Q2 (April 1 - June 30, 2017): Grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases)
Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2017): Restaurants and movie theaters
Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2017): TBA
 

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on July 17, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Chase Slate: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on July 17, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom and Chase Slate has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Slate: Chase Slate is the balance transfer king. Though both Chase Freedom and Slate offer a promotional interest rate for the first 15 months if you transfer a balance from another credit card (assuming you make at least the monthly minimum payment), there's one huge difference: Chase Slate will not charge you a balance transfer fee if you transfer within 60 days of opening your account. In comparison, Chase Freedom charges a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. So, if you need to move $3,500, you'd save $175 doing with Chase Slate.

The Chase Slate also has a Blueprint "Full Pay" plan, where you can check off categories you know you'll pay in full each month (groceries, gas, etc.) and no interest will be accrued. Or you can use the "Finish It" plan, which allows you to set a date you expect to pay off your balance and the amount you need to pay each month will be adjusted to make that happen. If you can't pay off your total balance every month, you can at least isolate certain purchases this way.

There aren't any cash rewards associated with the Chase Slate, so it's really not an ideal card for new purchases when there are so many rewards cards out there. It's best suited for those carrying cards with a high APR who need a break on their interest rates, not as an all-around card for everybody.

If you're planning on making a large purchase soon:

 

Chase Freedom

Discover It

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 15 months0% introductory APR for 14 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 15 months0% introductory APR for 14 months
Purchase APR15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors11.99% to 23.99% Variable* based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors11.99% to 23.99% Variable* based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.Introductory Bonus Cash Back: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers).
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.Cash Back Rewards: 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Bonus Cash BackBonus Cash Back: 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 Categories for 2017:
Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2017): Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls, and Amtrak® purchases)
Q2 (April 1 - June 30, 2017): Grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases)
Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2017): Restaurants and movie theaters
Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2017): TBA
Bonus Cash Back: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in rotating categories that change each quarter (requires free and easy sign-up for 5% Cashback Bonus)*
Limitations apply*. See issuer's website for additional program details.
Bonus Categories for 2017:
January - March 2017: 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases at Gas Stations, Ground Transportation & Wholesale Clubs
April - June 2017: 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases at Home Improvement Stores and Wholesale Clubs
July - September 2017: 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases at Restaurants
October - December 2017: 5% on up to $1,500 in purchases at Amazon.com & Target

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on July 17, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Discover It: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on July 3, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom and Discover it® Cashback Match™ has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Discover It: The Discover It card also has a 5% cash back for quarterly rotating categories. And it offers a great introductory cash back bonus: it will match the cash back you earned in the first 12 months after you open the account (for new customers only), so it's a good choice if you plan to make a lot of large charges in the first year.

Other pros of the Discover It include: a relatively lower regular APR after the introductory APR period lapses (and it won't raise if you do pay late occasionally), a free FICO credit score every month, highly-rated customer service, more options and rewards (as high as 20%) when you shop through Discover Deals (Discover's online shopping portal), and no minimum for redeeming your cash rewards.

Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees, which makes the Discover It a solid card for those who travel abroad. But Discover cards aren't accepted everywhere, so you'd be wise to have a Visa or MasterCard as well just in case.

Tip: Best Credit Card for International Travel

If you eat out and travel abroad frequently:

 

Chase Freedom

Chase Sapphire Preferred

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 15 monthsN/A
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 15 monthsN/A
Purchase APR15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors16.99% to 23.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors16.99% to 23.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual feeIntroductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. 
Points Deal Introductory Bonus Reward Points: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 
Bonus Cash BackBonus Cash Back: 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 Categories for 2017:
Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2017): Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls, and Amtrak® purchases)
Q2 (April 1 - June 30, 2017): Grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases)
Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2017): Restaurants and movie theaters
Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2017): TBA
 
Travel Travel Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Airline Airline Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Hotel Hotel Rewards: 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Points Point Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Restaurant Dining Rewards: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Airline Transfer Partners Airline Transfer Partners: Airline transfer partners include United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Korean Air, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on July 17, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: People who travel a lot, foreign or domestically, stand to get more in return for their purchases than regular users of Chase Freedom. Points are geared towards travel, and there's a 1:1 point transfer to participating travel partners. This means that 1,000 Chase points/miles equal the same for partner miles/points, including British Airways Executive Club and Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards.

You'll also get a fair amount of travel benefits, including trip cancellation/interruption insurance and car rental collision damage waiver. Plus, the Sapphire Preferred has no foreign transaction fee. It offers an extraordinarily high sign-up bonus as well. You earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

While the Sapphire Preferred has a travel-friendly rewards program and a $0 foreign transaction fee, it does have an annual fee (introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $95). There's no promotional APR on purchases or balance transfers, which won't win over consumers who carry a balance. You'll also need excellent credit to be approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, so if your FICO credit score is low, you should look elsewhere.

Expert Tip: If you have the Chase Freedom and Sapphire Preferred, you can use both to maximize rewards and combine points. A good strategy is to use the Chase Freedom on select spending categories (which earn up to 5% cash back) and Sapphire Preferred on travel and everything else. Generally, rewards earned with the Freedom card can't be transferred to frequent flyer programs, but by combining your points, you're ultimately getting more mileage out of every dollar spent.

If you want cash back without rotating bonus categories:

 

Chase Freedom

Citi Double Cash

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 15 monthsN/A
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 15 months0%* introductory APR for 18 months*
Purchase APR15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.49% to 24.49%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors14.49% to 24.49%* (Variable) based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. 
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.Cash Back Rewards: Earn cash back twice on every purchase: 1% cash back when you buy; plus an additional 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases
Bonus Cash BackBonus Cash Back: 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 Categories for 2017:
Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2017): Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls, and Amtrak® purchases)
Q2 (April 1 - June 30, 2017): Grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases)
Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2017): Restaurants and movie theaters
Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2017): TBA
 

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on July 17, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Citi Double Cash: Pricing information including interest rates, rewards, benefits and fees was obtained on June 20, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom and Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Citi Double Cash: This card attracts frequent credit card users who like the incentive of earning cash back on their payments. You get cash back twice: 1% on eligible purchases and 1% when you pay.
But there's no signup bonus and no 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories (which you may prefer it if don't want to bother signing up for the rotating categories each month). However, one thing to beware of with the Citi Double Cash is that you'll lose the cash you earned if you don't make an eligible purchase or a payment within a year's time. For more on how the cards compare, see Chase Freedom vs Citi Double Cash).

If you spend a lot on groceries and gas:

 

Chase Freedom

Blue Cash Everyday

 

Interest Rates and Fees

Introductory APR for Purchases0% introductory APR for 15 months0% introductory APR on Purchases for 12 months
Introductory APR for Balance Transfers0% introductory APR for 15 months0% introductory APR on Balance Transfers for 12 months
Purchase APR15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors13.99% to 24.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Balance Transfers APR15.99% to 24.74% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors13.99% to 24.99% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors
Annual Fee$0 annual fee$0 annual fee
 Terms Apply See Rates & Fees
 

Benefits and Features

Cash Back DealIntroductory Bonus Cash Back: Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.Introductory Bonus Cash Back: $100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
Cash BackCash Back Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.Cash Back Rewards: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
Bonus Cash BackBonus Cash Back: 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 Categories for 2017:
Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2017): Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls, and Amtrak® purchases)
Q2 (April 1 - June 30, 2017): Grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases)
Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2017): Restaurants and movie theaters
Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2017): TBA
 
Gas Gas Rewards: 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations. Terms and limitations apply
Grocery Grocery Rewards: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Terms and limitations apply

Chase Freedom: Pricing information including interest rates, benefits and fees was obtained on July 17, 2017 from published websites and is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Blue Cash Everyday: If you want hassle-free cash back with no rotating rewards categories and no enrollment required, this card from American Express, a CreditDonkey partner, has the same rewards categories year-round. You earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1% after that), 2% cash back at gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% on other purchases. It has no annual fee. In our opinion, it's a great cash back card if you spend a lot on groceries and gas.

Bottom Line

© Global Panorama (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

For a quick review, here are the pros and cons when considering Chase Freedom:

Pros:

  • Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter (for up to $75 in cash back rewards). Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter (requires activation) like gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum.
  • No annual fee.

Cons:

  • 3% foreign transaction fee of each transaction in U.S. dollars.
  • Must remember to activate rewards categories each quarter to get the 5% bonus categories

In our opinion, there are very few cons with this card. But if you think bonus categories that change every quarter are a hassle, this rewards credit card may not be for you.

However, for everyone else, especially those who prefer getting cash rewards rather than airline miles, the Chase Freedom card is a first-rate way to earn cash back as long as you have excellent/good credit. But keep in mind that you get the best value out of this card only if you remember to activate the quarterly categories and are careful with your spending.

Since the Chase Freedom has no annual fee, it's a cost-effective way to earn those rewards (assuming you pay off the balance every month).

David R is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison and financial education website. Write to David R at davidr@creditdonkey.com. Our data-driven analysis has been recognized by major news outlets across the country and has helped consumers make savvy financial and lifestyle decisions. (read more)

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy financial decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on August 3, 2015. This content may have been updated on August 7, 2017. Information including APR, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check Chase website for updated information.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

Disclaimer: The information for the Chase Freedom, Discover it® Cashback Match™, Citi® Double Cash Card, and Chase Slate has been collected independently by CreditDonkey. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

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    Credit Card Rewards

    So you've decided you want to earn rewards for your spending but aren’t sure how to pick the right card?

    Chase Ultimate Rewards: What You Need to Know

    Get the most out of Chase credit cards. Read this in-depth guide to Chase's Ultimate Rewards program. We'll explain how to get the maximum value.

    Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Citi Double Cash

    Chase Freedom Unlimited gives you 1.5% cash back, while the Citi Double Cash earns 1% cash back twice. Which is better? Learn the surprising truth.

    Review: Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited

    Does Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited make more sense? Read this in-depth comparison of these cashback cards to learn which is better. The answer may surprise you.

    Chase Refer a Friend: How Referrals Work

    Earn Chase points fast by referring your friends and family members. You can earn up to 50,000 extra points with little work. Read on.

    Best Chase Credit Card

    Find out what is the best Chase credit card in our rankings of top cards and promotions. Read the latest reviews and score the best deals with this guide.

    Is Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal Worth It?

    The Chase travel portal lets you book flights and hotels with your points. Find out how it works, how pricing compares, and when you should use it.

    Chase Shopping Portal: What You Need to Know Before You Shop

    The Chase shopping portal gives you extra points per $1 at over 200 popular stores. Here is everything to know about it to rack up your points faster.

    Chase Freedom vs Citi Double Cash

    In your quest to get a cashback credit card, you may be torn between the Chase Freedom and the Citi Double Cash Card. Both are great everyday cards for people who want to be rewarded when they go shopping, but the way these cards calculate returns varies in a big way.

    23 Best Ways to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards

    Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for the most value. This guide highlights some of the best redemption opportunities with Chase points and airline transfer partners.

    Fidelity Credit Card Review: 2% with No Annual Fee

    With unlimited 2% cash back on purchases, the new Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature has some real advantages and perks, but does it deserve a place in your wallet? Let's take a look at the pros and cons of this card and see if it suits your lifestyle.

    Chase Promotions: Which Credit Card Offer is Best?

    Looking for a Chase credit card promotion? Don't miss out! This month's list of standout deals includes cash back, balance transfer and travel offers.

    Are These Credit Card Mistakes Holding You Back?

    Mistakes can cost you — especially if the mistakes you're making are with credit cards.
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