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Full Review Chase Freedom Credit Card Rewards
Can a Credit Card Set You Free?
The first thing that comes to mind with the Chase Freedom credit card is well...freedom. It's probably the work of a marketing genius to lure unsuspecting consumers like me to a credit card named after one of the virtues of the USA. So it begs the question: Will obtaining and using this credit card have you singing The Star-Spangled Banner?
Chase Freedom Card
Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening - Let's start with the signing bonus for the card: a cool $100 after your first three months. The $500 requirement is on the low end of the scale so it shouldn't be a problem for anyone to get the $100 bonus.
Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period - Bonus $2 is $25 for an authorized user. If you have someone you can add to the card, then this is just gravy.
0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. - My personal favorite perk of the card! 0% balance transfer cards are becoming fewer and fewer in the marketplace, but they are a great tool for folks that have run up big balances in the past. Consider it a free loan on your past transgressions, and a chance to get back on your feet.
5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases between July 1 and September 30, 2014 at gas stations - Gas rewards! Now you're speaking my language! Whoever put together the rewards for the Chase Freedom card just went right down the list of what's needed in the marketplace and rounded them all up together. Most cards will give you a 2x or 3x bonus which obviously pails in comparison to the 5x Q3 bonus on this card. If you're planning a big road trip in the family van or SUV then this is another reason to consider this card.
You'll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months - There's some fun gamification going on here. You check in quarterly to see what the new 5% categories are, and you'll typically get some old favorites like gas stations, pharmacies, restaurants, groceries, toy stores? Well you get my drift. In other words, while this may not always be your go-to card, if you're like me and you like to roll with a regular rotation of credit options, then Chase Freedom will have a place at least one quarter per year.
Unlimited 1% Cash Back - Frankly 1% cash back is not a big deal on its own. And the fact that it is unlimited shouldn't be that big a deal either, but at the end of a list of other benefits, it's a nice addition and I'll take it.
No annual fee - Hurray!
And The Bad
Choices - So what's not quite right about the Chase Freedom card? It's not an A+ home run credit card option. The signing bonus is good, the lack of annual fee is good, the benefits and rewards are all good, but it's not fantastic.
You have over 100 choices of credit cards, and let's face it, you're probably looking at a new credit card every 6 months to a year. Your first choice should be an elite level credit card with a massive signing bonus, VIP benefits, and no annual fee for the first year. When you churn that card in year 2, then you're probably looking at a similar card from a different credit card provider that will give you rewards in the neighborhood of $400 or $500.
So it's not really until your 3rd or 4th option that you look for a jack of all traits, and master of none like the Chase Freedom card.
I believe that being frugal and making smart money choices is like any other exercise. As we continue to practice good habits in saving money where possible, finding deals for what we want, and having a good time at it, then we become better at dealing for a living.
I'm committed to sharing my experiences with getting the most out of using credit cards, saving and spending tips, and I might even add a slice of perspective without trying to be a psychoanalyst like some other personal finance folks out there.
Please let me know what you think and if you'd like to hear my take on a specific topic.