Chase Freedom Credit Card Review

Best for: those who want to maximize their cash back rewards with category bonuses

For those who enjoy high cash back rewards from daily and common spending such as at grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations, the Chase Freedom credit card ranks at the top of the list of cash back reward credit cards.

The basics of the Chase Freedom credit card

  • APR: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 17.24% – 25.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Reward Rates:  Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, Apple, and more up to the quarterly maximum. Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer: $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

 Standout features of the Chase Freedom 

  • Long Introductory rate: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after opening an account.
  • Sign-on bonus: Earn a $150 bonus when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening an account.
  • Use Credit Journey to request a free credit check anytime without a negative impact on your credit score.
  • Reward points never expire as long as your account remains open.

The best way to use the Chase Freedom

Since the cash back reward categories change quarterly, you have to stay on top of the category bonuses. You have to stay in the know on which spending categories are up to bat for the quarter and focus spending with your card on the cash back categories for the quarter to maximize your cash back rewards. 

Use your card for all the spending you can as soon as you activate it so you spend at least $500 in the first three months to earn the $150 bonus. Maximize your bonuses (cash back reward points and the $150 bonus) by focusing on spending that first $500 in the first three months on the categories associated with that quarter. 

For the third quarter, fill up at your favorite gas station and earn cash back rewards. Use some of your favorite streaming services after heading home from the gas station to earn even more points. In the last quarter, buy holiday gifts for friends and family (which is probably what most of your money is going to anyway at this time of the year) to earn cash back rewards.

In a nutshell

The Chase Freedom credit card is the card cash back reward connoisseurs want in their wallet. It’s not a card for rookies when it comes to keeping up with the category changes for earning cash back rewards. With no annual fee and 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, it’s a clear credit card winner without any added expense. 

If you don’t like the challenge of keeping up with the changing spending categories for earning reward points, but rather prefer a simpler cash back structure that doesn’t require tracking category bonuses every quarter, you might want to seek out a flat rate cash back option like the Chase Freedom Unlimited. 

Kristie McCauley

Personal finance writer