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The Purpose of a Rewards Credit Card
In this series of articles, which starts with the Chase Freedom rewards card, I am evaluating credit cards for users who are thinking only about the rewards and how to maximize them. You should only use the cards if you have money in your normal banking account to cover your charges. The idea is that since you will already be spending money daily on normal purchases like groceries and gas, you can use a card to buy or pay for these things and get rewards. If you pay with your credit card, then pay off your credit card bill every month. By doing this, you won’t pay interest and you can take advantage of the rewards.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s get to the first credit card I will be reviewing and discussing.
Chase Freedom Card Benefits and Rewards
Of the 20 plus credit cards that I will be reviewing, the first will be the Chase Freedom card. The Chase Freedom card was launched in 2006; it was originally called the Chase Flexible Rewards card.
Since its inception, the Chase Freedom card has gone through many different changes. At launch, the card boasted triple points on purchases at grocery stores, gas stations, and fast food restaurants. In 2007, Chase changed the formula and card holders were given the opportunity to earn triple points on 15 categories, but you could only earn triple points on the top 3 categories where you used the card the most. The card back then was a good option and remains a decent option today but what exactly do you get today? Well, let’s find out.
The Chase Freedom card in 2020 offers some nice perks for a no-annual-fee cash rewards card. New members and recipients of the Chase Freedom card will receive a bonus option that is very easy to achieve if you just use it as discussed above. This means using the card for your normal everyday purchases and paying the card off as you go.
The initial new member bonus will give you $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account. Most people will earn that just from buying groceries and gasoline in the first month.
The best part of this card, however, is the rewards. Every quarter, there is a category Chase sets where the cardholder earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases for that category (you must activate the category on your Chase account every quarter) and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Annual Percentage Rate and Other Rates
The annual percentage rate (APR) is 0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. After the initial 0% APR, cardholders can expect a variable APR of 16.49% to 25.24%. Additionally, the cash advance APR is 26.49% and will vary based on the prime rate. For balance transfers, there will be an intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After the first 60 days, it will be either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Additional fees for cash advances will be either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. Foreign transactions will cost you 3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars. Finally, as stated before, there is no annual fee for this card, making it an ideal card for newbies to the credit card rewards game.
Ask Sebby: Is the Chase Freedom still a keeper card in 2019?
Earning points is pretty easy. Basically, you just swipe your card on everyday purchases and you get your points. However, keep in mind that some things will not net you points, such as the following:
- Balance transfers
- Cash advances
- Travelers checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers, or similar cash-like transactions
- Lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, race track wagers, or similar betting transactions
- Any checks that access your account
- Unauthorized or fraudulent charges
- Fees of any kind, including an annual fee; if applicable
The points earned come in at 1% cash back for each $1 spent. When talking about actual value, these numbers equate to $0.010 in cash back rewards, which is equal to 1 point for each $1 spent. For example: If you spend $100, you will earn $1.00 in Cash Back rewards, which is equal to 100 points. You can use these points for cash, gift cards, travel, pay with points for a statement credit to cover Chase Pay merchant purchases, and products or services mad available through the program or directly from third party merchants. Additionally, you can also combine your points earned with other eligible Chase cards that have Ultimate Rewards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred and/or Chase Sapphire Reserve cards.
Chase Freedom Review by Credit Shifu on YouTube
Do I Recommend This Card?
So, there you have it. That is the Chase Freedom card. I personally have not used this card yet as I am currently about to get into the credit card rewards game myself. However, I do believe this will be the first card I apply for with Chase.
Apparently, Chase can be difficult to get started with and it is recommended you have a credit score of around 690 and at least a small credit history established. I have had credit established since I was 17 years old when I first purchased an iMac with a loan I obtained from a local loan company. When I look at what this card offers, I absolutely would recommend this card, specifically for beginners. The big thing with this card is the easy introductory offer of $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening. This is a very easy number to reach for the reward. In addition to that new member bonus, you will get that 5% cash back on those specific quarterly categories and 1% cash back on everything else. This is definitely a great card for beginners. So, go take a look and sign up today.
*Please note, I have no affiliation nor am I paid by Chase for this article or review. Also, I am not a current cardholder.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.