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Chase Freedom® Card: Plenty of Perks With This Cash Back Card

If you are looking for a good, everyday cash back card that offers a sign-up bonus, no annual fee and more, the Chase Freedom® card, which offers 5% back on purchases in rotating categories, may be an excellent choice.

Pros:

  • 5% cash back in rotating categories
  • 0% intro annual percentage rate (APR) on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • Sign-up bonus
  • No annual fee

Cons:

  • High APR
  • Need to register for rotating categories
  • Foreign transaction fee

Experian Review

The Chase Freedom® card offers 5% cash back on purchases in rotating categories for life's necessities like food and gas, and also provides a helpful 0% APR introductory offer for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. You'll also get a sign-up bonus of $150 when you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months, and there's no annual fee.

Collect 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases at merchants in the card's quarterly bonus categories. Previous bonus categories have included department stores, drugstores, wholesale clubs, gas stations and restaurants. To rack up your cash back in these categories, you will need to activate this benefit each quarter. The maximum cash back redemption is $75.

Choose How to Use Your Cash Back

The points you earn using the Chase Freedom® card are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed. You can use your redeemed points for any available reward option, including cash, gift cards, travel, and products or services available through Chase or directly from third-party merchants. You can use statement credits to pay at retail checkout counters to cover all or part of your purchase, but the value of the points drops to $.008 per point. Learn more about redeeming your points at Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Making the Chase Freedom® Card Work for You

The most important thing to remember with this card is that you must activate the bonus category each quarter to get your 5% cash back. If you do not, you'll only get 1% cash back for all purchases.

Also, plan your purchases to take advantage of the $150 sign-up bonus when you spend $500 within the first three months of account opening.

Terms to Consider

The Chase Freedom® card is not the best choice for traveling because it charges a 3% foreign transaction fee for purchases outside the U.S. And although you get a lengthy 15-month 0% introductory APR, you'll pay 3% on the amount transferred, which can add up if you are transferring balances from several cards.

If registering for rotating categories is not something you want to have to remember every few months, an alternative in the same Chase family of cards is the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, which provides 1.5% cash back for purchases all the time rather than offering rotating categories.

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