Chase Freedom Credit Card Review For 2020

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Learn why the Chase Freedom® Credit Card is the best option if you spend more in categories for groceries, gas, and dining.

Chase Freedom® Credit Card

4.0

Annual Fee
$0

APR
16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR

Credit Needed 
Good/​Excellent
680 - 850

EFFECTIVENESS

A bonus categories cash back card

FEES

There is a $0 annual fee on this card

EASE OF USE

Apply in less than 5 minutes

SUPPORT

Responds pretty quickly

    Credit Knocks Overall Star Rating:     

  • No Annual Fee
  • 5% Rewards On Categories
  • Access Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Intro APR On Purchases 
  • Intro APR On Balance Transfers
  • Has Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Need Good Credit To Apply

SUMMARY: 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is one of the best credit cards you can get if you need a well balanced cash back card. 

Unlike other cards, there are no minimums or caps on your cash back and the rewards will never expire, as long as you have an account.

However, the card does charge foreign transaction fees and doesn't have any bonus reward categories.


What's The Chase Freedom Credit Card?

When it comes down to it, the Chase Freedom credit card is a cash back card that has no-annual-fee and rotating bonus categories. 

You will earn 5% cash back on a rotating category that changes every 3 months. And due to a partnership with Lyft you can get 5% cash back on every Lyft ride. 

This card also has a 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. 

However, if you prefer not to keep up with categories and want a simple cash back card this is probably not the card for you.

You Can also transfer your points to an Ultimate Rewards card if you have one. 

Who Is JP Morgan Chase? 

JPMorgan Chase Bank was founded in 1955 and is a national bank headquartered in Manhattan.

chase bank logo

They are a financial services holding company and  serve nearly half of U.S. households with credit cards, all types of personal and business loans to personal and business banking. 

JPMorgan Chase, is one of the Big Four banks of the United States and have more than 5,100 branches and 16,000 ATMs nationwide. 

In 2016 their assets were around $2.49 trillion and they have A ratings from Moody's, S&P, and Fitch for financial strength and stability.

Chase 5/24 Rule

Unlike most credit card issuers, Chase has instituted something called the 5/24 rule.  

This rule allows Chase to automatically deny your credit card application if you have opened up five or more credit cards within a 24 month time period. 

The goal of this rule seems to be to stop people who just want to get a credit card for the sign up bonus.   

With this being said, you should probably apply for all of your Chase credit cards first since other lenders don’t have this rule. 

Chase Freedom Card Basics

Below are some of the basic features of the Chase Freedom Credit Card:

  • Card type: Cash Back
  • Annual fee: None
  • Cash Back rewards: 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories each quarter 
  • Lyft Cash Back rewards: Earn 5% cash back on Lyft through March 2022. 
  • Base Cash Back: Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases 
  • Intro APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months
  • Interest rate: Ongoing APR is 16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR.
  • Cash advance APR: 26.49% Variable
  • Late payment fee: Up to $39.00
  • Cash advance fee: $10.00 or 5%, whichever is greater
  • Credit reporting: Reports payment history to all three credit bureaus.
  • Transfer Fee: The greater of $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

When you first get this card, using it to make a large purchase can save you a ton of money in interest payments; even better if that large purchase is part of your 5% category.

chase freedom

Benefits Of The Chase ​Freedom

$150 Sign Up Bonus

You can earn $150.00 after you spend $500.00 on purchases in the first 3 months from opening your account. 

5% Cash Back On Rotating Bonus Categories

You will get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter. 

After you hit your $1,500 limit all remaining purchases will be at the 1% cash back amount.  This is probably when you want to switch to another card. 

And guess what, your rewards will never expire as long as you have the account and there also isn't any minimum required to redeem your cash back rewards. 

No Annual Fee

What makes this card stand out from almost any card is that there is no annual fee.

This means that just by getting approved for this card you are coming out on top when you start using it's cash back rewards. 

0% Intro APR for 15 months 

Taking advantage of this Intro APR will be one of the best uses for this card when you first apply for it.   

This card is going to give you 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months which means you can take your highest interest rate debt from one credit card and transfer it to your Chase Freedom for 0% interest.

The “Chase Trifecta”

The cool thing about Chase cards is that you can transfer points from other Chase cards such as your Chase Freedom or your Chase Freedom Unlimited to your Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred card.   

We know that the Chase Unlimited card earns 5% cash back on rotating categories. 

However, unlike the Chase Ultimate Reward cards it doesn't come with the 1:1 transfer ratio to other partners. 

But here's the thing, you can just transfer the points to any of your Chase Sapphire cards and then complete the 1:1 transfer. 

Essentially making the value of your Chase Freedom points increase when you use it with another Chase card. 

Additional Bonuses

Below is a quick list of a few additional bonuses that come with the card that I wanted to mention: 

  • Just tap to pay technology for fast and easy checkout on purchases
  • Get 3 months of DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service.
  • ​Purchase protection for new purchases for 120 days
  • Extended warranty protection on purchases for an additional year

The benefits offered with this card really does make it stand out especially when you remind yourself that that is absolutely no annual fee.

Quick Overview Of The Rewards Program

Earning Rewards

The Chase Freedom card is going to make you do a bit of work for that 5% cash back.

This is because that cash back is only valid for specific types of purchases that rotate every 3 months and you have to activate the card for each time period.

While it's only a few clicks to get things running, it's easy to forget to actually activate the rewards.  

However, once you are activated, it's a simple as using the card for the category to get your maximum rewards.

And if you have a Chase Unlimited Rewards card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can increase your earnings between 3X to 5X depending on how you redeem your points.

Redeeming Rewards

There are a few ways to redeem your Ultimate Rewards points:

Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal - You can use the ultimate rewards travel portal to redeem points for travel and hotels. 

Statement Credit - Your cash back will go on your accounts statement as a credit.

Gift Cards - You can get gift cards at 1 cent per point or less, but be sure the value is worth it because all Gift Cards aren’t created equal.

Chase Pay® - You can also use your points to pay for purchases at certain places like Amazon, but usually you will only get about .08 cents per point value.

Card To Card Transfer - You can maximize your Chase Freedom cash back rewards if you have one of the Chase Rewards Cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Ink Business Preferred.

Having these cards will allow you to combine your Freedom cash back points into Ultimate Rewards points.

chase freedom credit card review

Chase Freedom Vs Chase Freedom Unlimited

I am sure you are wondering what's the difference between the Freedom Unlimited and the original Freedom. 

The main difference is the way that you earn cash back: 

Chase Freedom 

The Chase Freedom pays 5% cash back in bonus categories that change every three months; things like grocery stores, restaurants, entertainment, and gas stations. 

Your 5% is good up to $1,500.00 per quarter in spending.  The remaining purchases will earn 1% cash back.

Once you get to the 1% cash back stage you should probably switch to another card with better cash back or rewards benefits.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited pays 1.5% cash back on every purchase and doesn't have any bonus categories or spending limitations.

The one that will work best for you will depend on how you spend.  If you are spending more in categories like gas and groceries, then the Freedom card might be a better card for you. 

But if your spending isn't set at a specific category, then you probably should go with the Freedom Unlimited.

How To Cancel Your Freedom Card

Now, if things change and you need to cancel your card there are a few ways to do it: 

Cancel Your Chase Credit Card Over the Phone

You can cancel your Freedom card over the phone, all you need to do is call 1.800.432.3117. 

You will be prompted to enter your card number and once you do that you can just skip the prompts and ask to speak to a representative that will assist you with canceling your card.

Cancel a Chase Credit Card With Snail Mail

Believe it or not, there are still people who prefer to cancel things by traditional mail. I wouldn’t say this is the fastest way to complete the process, but it will still get the job done. 

All you need to do is write a quick letter including your name, address, the credit card number, and a short request to cancel the account. 

You should probably send the letter certified with a return request receipt just to make sure it arrived and someone signed for it; the address is:

National Bank By Mail
Mail Code OH1-0333
340 S. Cleveland Ave.
Building 370
Westerville, OH 43081
United States

Cancel Your Chase Credit Card Online

While there isn’t much information about online cancellation, it can be done.  All you need to do is log into your account and go to the “Secure Messages” section. 

Send a quick message requesting that the card be cancelled and of course be specific if you have more than one account with them.

It usually takes 24 hours to get a response but this route will work as well.

Is There A Fee For Closing My Account?

Outside of the fees associated with your remaining balance, there is no fee for closing your account.

I would recommend keeping the card active as long as you can, there really isn't a reason to cancel the card any time soon.

Taking Action On Your Credit

Hopefully, you found this Chase Freedom Credit Card Review helpful because having good cash back card is critical. 

And here's the thing, you are going to need to manage the rotating categories to get the maximum amount of rewards. 

But having this card in your wallet can prepare you to become a master at growing rewards points.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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