Chase Freedom Review

Chase Freedom Credit Card
Millennial Money icon Rating 8.5 / 10
The Chase Freedom card rewards card members with 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in categories that change each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases. New card members will enjoy a 0% intro APR for 15 months and receive a $150 welcome bonus after spending $500 within the first three months of account opening. We think the Chase Freedom card is a good choice for consumers looking for a straightforward cash rewards credit card with no annual fee or Chase loyalists looking to maximize their total rewards earnings with the 5% cash back offer.
Rewards Structure8.0/10
Introductory APR(s)9.0/10
Sign-up Bonus9.0/10
Cardmember Benefits7.0/10
Customer Service9.5/10
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • Up to 5% cash back*
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 0% intro APR for 15 mos. on purchases & balance transfers
  • $150 welcome bonus when you spend $500 within 3 months of account opening
Cons
  • 5% cash back requires quarterly activation
  • Limited travel benefits
  • High regular APRs

The Chase Freedom card is a cash back rewards card offering unlimited 1% cash back plus 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories.chase freedom review

It also comes with a $150 welcome bonus when new customers spend $500 within the first three months upon opening a Chase Freedom credit card account.

Though the Chase Freedom credit card doesn’t get as much attention as its flashier cousin cards, the Chase Sapphire or Chase Ink Business, it remains a perennial favorite among cardmembers and credit card experts alike.

With no annual fee plus access to Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site where you can stretch the value of your rewards up to 25% farther – the Freedom card will likely be a staple in your credit card rotation and for a good reason.

What credit score do you need for Chase Freedom?

One of the reasons why the Chase Freedom card is popular among credit card users is because it comes jam-packed with rewards that are accessible with good credit or higher.

Whereas other credit cards might require an “excellent” score of 750 or higher, consumers will likely qualify for a Chase Freedom card with a credit score above 690.

Will I get approved for a Chase Freedom card?

Chase Freedom Credit Card
The Chase Freedom might be perfect for you if you have a good or excellent credit score. Just make sure you take Chase’s 5/24 rule into consideration.

No matter how good your credit score, Chase has a policy of restricting credit cards for applicants who have opened five or more accounts in the last 24 months.

So while you would likely be approved for a Chase Freedom Card with a credit score of, say, 725, go back through your credit card history and make sure you have opened fewer than four new credit cards in the past two years.

Once you double-check Chase’s 5/24 rule and you know your credit score is 690 or above, you should be good to go!

Which is better, Chase Freedom or Sapphire?

While Chase Sapphire is one of the most robust travel rewards credit cards on the market, the Chase Freedom is a better all-around card that gives you the opportunity to earn up to $75 in cash back rewards every three months.

It works like this: While this card delivers uncapped 1% cash back all-year-round, customers opt-in to receive an extra bonus of 5% cash back in categories that are updated every quarter. All spending in these categories during the quarter is eligible to earn 5% cash back for up to $1,500 in spending or $75 in Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to watch your rewards categories closely and strategize your spending throughout the year, then you’ll love the Chase Freedom credit card.

On the other hand, if you eat out regularly and don’t want to miss out on double points on travel and dining, then you may want to opt for the Chase Sapphire instead.

You could also be like many Chase customers and use both! But remember – if you’ve already opened four new accounts in the past 24 months, you’ll need to pick one Chase card for now.

What is the best credit card from Chase?

Chase enthusiasts love to debate this question, and many of them can’t even choose. That’s why many loyal Chase customers aspire to own what’s known as the “Chase Quartet” – or all four cards from the Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire families.

If you had to choose just one, we recommend you go with the one that most closely suits your spending habits and your personality. Every card has drawbacks and benefits.

If having to pay an annual fee rubs you the wrong way, you like to take control of your cash back reward points by planning quarterly strategic spending, and you don’t travel abroad often enough to fuss over a foreign transaction fee, then we recommend you give the Chase Freedom card a whirl!

What travel protections come with the Chase Freedom?

Ever go on vacation and feel the urge to buy an amazing, one-of-a-kind souvenir? With the Chase Freedom card, any purchase up to $500 made on the card comes with damage and theft protection in the first 120 days.

The card protects you from ever having to swallow the costs of canceled plans. This card also comes with substantial trip interruption and cancellation insurance for when plans abruptly change.

When customers use their Chase Freedom card to book flights, they will be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 total per trip for all non-refundable passenger fares in the event of severe weather, sickness, or injury. No need to ever purchase additional trip insurance again!

Where Chase Freedom falls short for travelers

Though the Chase Freedom card is great for earning cash back domestically, there are a few reasons why you’ll want to go with a more robust travel credit card if you plan to spend a considerable amount of time outside of the country.

Why is the Chase Freedom card not the best when it comes to travel? For starters, it only offers secondary insurance for car rentals. There are other credit cards out there that offer full primary car insurance that would cover the cost of damage or even theft of a rental car.

Though these types of cards typically have a $95 annual fee, this protection alone more-than makes up for the cost of what a car insurance deductible payment would be.

Purchase protection with the Chase Freedom card

Travel aside, for more everyday purchases like a new couch or a washing machine, Chase Freedom customers are automatically eligible for a one year extended warranty of up to $10,000.

This applies to any new purchase when the item comes with a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less. Boats and automobiles are excluded from these protections, and so are pre-owned items.

What is the introductory APR of the Chase Freedom card?

Many customers flock to the Chase Freedom card because of its 15-month 0% APR period. Not only is there no annual fee, but becoming a new Chase Freedom card owner will bring over one year of no interest.

This is great for people with high-interest debt to pay off. Simply pay the balance transfer fee – either $5 or 3% when the transfer is initiated in the first 60 days – and enjoy some room to breathe while you pay down those high balances.

The 0% interest rate also applies to purchases, making the Chase Freedom Card a great choice if you have a major expense on the horizon that you’d like to budget to pay for over 15 months. Combine this 0% intro APR with the $150 welcome bonus, and you can automatically make $150 on the spending of $500 or more.

David Weliver

David Weliver

David Weliver is the Credit Cards Editor at Millennial Money. He is the Founder of Money Under 30 and is widely regarded as one of the top credit card rewards experts in the world. David has been writing about personal finance and credit cards since 2006 and been featured in The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and many others.
David Weliver

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Millennial Money has partnered with CardRatings and creditcards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Millennial Money, CardRatings and creditcards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. This site does not include all financial companies or financial offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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