Should You Chase After the 5% Cash Back from the Chase Freedom Visa?

One of my favorite cash back credit cards has always been the Chase Freedom Visa.  I find it to be the best overall credit card on the market today because it packs a punch in a variety of areas.  The card opens with a $100 cash bonus and keeps up the pressure with a 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.   Tack on 5% cash back and no annual fee and you see why Chase has done such a good job in putting the Chase Freedom® Visa – $100 Cash Back together.

Chase Freedom Visa Review

I’ve seen the ads for this card all around. I’m sure you have too. Chase proudly displays their 5% cash back feature. If you’re looking for a good rewards card, this is definitely one to consider. Let’s dive a bit deeper and look at what this card has to offer. Here are the main features:

  • This offer is for people with a good to excellent credit history which means, among other things, that your credit history is clear of bankruptcy and seriously delinquent accounts
  • Earn $100 Bonus Cash Back after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers and purchases.
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 spent at Restaurants, Movie Theaters and Lowe’s from 4/1/13 – 6/30/13
  • You’ll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like supermarkets, gas, drugstores and even home improvement stores.  It’s free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases without limits on what you can earn
  • Up to an additional 10% Cash Back when you shop online at select merchants through Chase
  • No annual fee and rewards never expire

Chase Freedom Visa Categories 2013

The Chase Freedom® Visa – $100 Cash Back 5% cash back is earned on rotating categories. Here are the categories for 2013.

  • January – March: Gas Stations, Drugstores and Starbucks stores
  • April – June: Restaurants, Movie Theaters and Lowe’s
  • July – September: Gas Stations, Theme Parks and Kohl’s
  • October – December: Amazon.com and select department stores

The rest of your spending earns rewards at the standard 1%. Considering this rotation of different percentages, it’s hard to make a calculation of what your potential earning could be.  Therefore, I think it’s wise to consider this card if you spend a lot in each and every category. Factoring the 5% on certain categories, I think it’s safe to say that you’d come out averaging around 2% for the year.

I think the bottom line on the Chase Freedom® Visa – $100 Cash Back is that it’s a solid, no annual fee rewards card with a great up front 0% promotion and a nice $100 bonus. And depending on your spending type, it’s likely you could beat the rewards offered by other cards. Not your card? Compare the Chase Freedom Visa with some of the best cash back credit cards available today.

“Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the issuer’s Affiliate Program.”

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Last Edited: May 9, 2013 @ 5:02 pm
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a husband and father of two. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. I am happy for you, really, but pissed at Chase.
    I have a card issued by WaMu (Washington Mutual) which of course was taken over by Chase. As part of the take over, I lost access to see my FICO whenever I wished.
    I called Chase and asked if this card can be converted to the Freedom Card. Nope. I’d need to cancel (if I want) this card, and apply for the new one. Of course, that’s:
    a) a hard inquiry on my credit report
    b) a loss of that history and new card starts the clock

    On the other hand, the grocery stores sell gift cards, which I hate, but certain ones make sense, as in pick up $1000 of HD cards, wait a day and go buy your stuff. For large purchases, it’s a way of getting that bonus. If I got the card I would only use it for the 5% category.

  2. I think chase freedom’s ultimate rewards program is very good. but honestly, it’s a ripoff from Discover’s ShopDiscover rewards program. they’re 99% same!

  3. @Joe – Sorry to hear that. Genius idea regarding the gift cards. Never would have thought of that one.

    @money green life – agree. as for rewards it mirrors the discover more card.

  4. I appreciate the complement PT. Genius to you, OCD to my wife.
    At its simplest – on last day of grocery store bonus QTR buy enough cards to take you as far out as you’re comfortable. 5% here is a better return (and tax free) than the banks are paying on you money.
    For big projects, buying the Home Depot card at the grocery store is fine, so long as you don’t over estimate and are stuck with a card you might not use for a while.
    Gas is predictable, if the store carries the card of the Gas you like.
    For me the $50 in my pocket is worth the effort.
    (this comes from my experience when I had a card that gave 5% at drug stores, and my CVS had a great card rack)
    /Joe

  5. Jo/Gaelicwench says:

    I have the DiscoverMore card, which does mirror the Chase Freedom card. No point having two CCs that do the same thing….and yes, I’ll take Discover over Chase any day of the week.

    • I have a discover and the chase freedom and maybe the one I have is different than the DiscoverMore card, but I stopped using the discover when I found out that you have to rack up 5000 points before you can get $50 dollars in cash. Especially when I reached my annual enrollment time and had to go back to 1/4 point for every dollar spent.  Why invest all that money into 1/4 points when Chase, you get 5% for certain categories, and 10% for each transaction. The last time I redeemed, I had over 29300 and got over $293, every penny in cash back when I needed it.  They didn’t yell me that since I had only 29300 point, i could only get $250 because the cut off is in $50 increments, they just gave me all the cash I had accumulated to the penny.  Does the DiscoverMore do that?

  6. An update – I called again and the service rep had no issue flipping me over to the Freedom card (from an old Wamu card).
    I read elsewhere, and verified, the 5% is limited to $800 in spending ($40 bonus) per quarter. Quite a bit lower than the potential. Gas alone we’d hit $1200/qtr. As mentioned, I could easily blow through a couple $K at HD.
    The WaMu card was just mine, and I’d not bother my wife with a copy, I’ll just pay attention to the schedule of rewards, and grab the $40/qtr.

  7. Thanks for the update, joe. Glad they worked with you.

  8. I just signed up for the next quarter (July-September) online. It says the following:
    Sign up now and earn 5% Cash Back on every eligible dollar you spend up to $1,500 between July 1st and September 30th, 2010 in the following categories:

    Gas
    Airlines
    Auto Rentals
    Hotels

  9. Have you guys heard about the fact that you can gain lots of points/miles by combining a Chase Checking + Chase Freedom + Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold. This way you have access to the Ultimate Rewards, you receive 10 bonus points per transaction on the Freedom, you can roll over all those points to the Sapphire. People have racked up TONS of miles/points this way. Being able to transfer all these points to airlines/hotels etc.. in my book is very valuable.

  10. I have this card. I’ve had fraudulent charges on this account twice in the last sixth months. In the most recent instance I called a week ago when I received a notification that there had been questionable activity. I was told there was no issue with my account. Someone proceeded to charge my account from all over the country all week long. The last time this happened Chase sent me three different letters telling me they were reversing fraudulent charges that were not fraudulent. Terrible customer service. Terrible security. The good cash awards don’t make it worth it.

  11. I have this card. I’ve had fraudulent charges on this account twice in the last sixth months. In the most recent instance I called a week ago when I received a notification that there had been questionable activity. I was told there was no issue with my account. Someone proceeded to charge my account from all over the country all week long. The last time this happened Chase sent me three different letters telling me they were reversing fraudulent charges that were not fraudulent. Terrible customer service. Terrible security. The good cash awards don’t make it worth it.

  12. I’ve had this card for 3 or 4 years now, and I’ve never had a problem with it (other than the number getting jacked once, so I had to have a new card reissued). But customer service was great about it. I use this and the Blue Cash Premier form AmEx as my main cards and I’ve been happy with both.

  13. This is absolutely the best card.  They even will pay you back form your cash back for something that you’ve already purchased if it’s within a certain period of time.  I had a big bill coming up and needed extra cash last month.  The biggest cash back I had was from Chase enough for $293 dollars.  Most of that was accumulated through their quarterly 5% offer and I got dollar for dollar for the amount that I had accumulated.  What I mean is other cards will offer a 5% cash back, but when it comes to collecting cash, the worth drops to half.  Not with Chase freedom.  If you have 29,300 points, even if it’s all accumulated from the 5% cash back, you get the full $293.00 deposited into your checking within a few days. Further on Chase.  About a year ago, I went to Mexico to have some dental work done. Unfortunately, I ended up with a crook who padded my bill and ruined about 10 of my teeth. I had initially gone to that dentist because I wanted a non metal implant and in America, it would have cost me over $5000.  Through the implant manufacturer, I found this dentist that did this type of implant in Mexico and found out that the cost was $2000 done at his office BioDental Studio in Tijuana.  I was so excited to have found a holistic dentist that I didn’t thoroughly check him out. he ended up sedating me and up charging me for everything.  He drilled about ten of my teeth while I was under without even discussing with me a treatment plan.  Within one day, three of the fillings he placed fell out leaving huge gaping holes where the fillings had been.  They were so jagged and badly done that whenever I ate, the fillings would trap food in between my teeth making the condition worst than before.  Since the first implant, I’ve already had to get another and have been told by another dentist that I need a third one.  When this happened, I called Chase to tell them  to see what could be done.  I said to the agent that maybe they won’t even be able to get any of my money back since it was done in a foreign country.  The woman said, “No No No, They did that to you and you’re not going to file?  No, you file girl.”  She made me feel so supported that I proceeded with the claim.  within one week of sending in my claim, Chase redeposited the money into my account with a stipulation that it will be resolved hopefully within 30 days.  One week after that, refunded my foreign transaction fee with a note telling me that they did not think it was right to keep the fee after what that merchant did.  When I first went to that dental office, I had put the bill on two credit cards.  $2000 on my Chase Freedom and over $1500 on BankAmericard.   A week after filing the claim with B of A, I get a call from one of their agents telling me that they can not ask for money back for quality of work done in a foreign country and that was the visa and mastercard guidlines that they must all adhere to.  At that time I had not gotten a definitive answer from Chase and accepted the conclusion I got from B of A half expecting to get the same results from Chase.  Then I get a letter from B of A  restating that they could not ask for money back from a foreign country for quality of work and to add insult to injury, they tried to justify their decision by saying… “after all, a merchant has a right to get paid for work done.”  I was so livid that after being sedated, then having my teeth ruined, being quoted $130 and charged $570 for the sedation that I had to call B of A to protest.  I said to the agent,”  How can you say “after all, a merchant has a right to get paid for work done.”  the agent then said, “You did get the work, didn’t you.”  I said, but I was quoted $130 for sedation and I was charged $570.00  I didn’t order all my teeth to be drilled, I saw sedated. He answered back, “but you did get the work, didn’t you?”  That’s like a person going into a hospital to a Tonsillitus and having his leg cut off instead then being charged for it. Anyway, after a few months of not hearing from Chase, I finally called them and their answer was after 60 days, if the merchant did not respond, the money is mine.  So there’s two credit card companies, both swearing that they would protect you when there’s a dispute and one keeps their word, presents the dispute to the merchant and gets your money back and the other, yelling at you over the phone so they can justify their disgraceful lack of intregrity.

  14. I’ve had the Chase Freedom card for a couple years now.  It used to be better when they gave 5% back on everything.  Now they rotate the categories, so you don’t get as much back.  Also they make you “activate” your rewards every 3 months which is annoying.  Other than that, the card is pretty good. 

    • What does activate you rewards mean?  I have a Chase Freedom and never knew you had to do that.  I’ve had nothing but good luck with them.  
       
      Though, I don’t know and I wonder if anyone else has had this problem.  I have a Chase checking account.  they inherited me from Washington Mutual when Chase took over.  Because I had a free account with WaMu, Chase continued the offer the free account to to me too, but for some reason, I find it hard to balance my account.  It never comes out even like it did with Wamu.  I finally give up and just subtract the $10 or so dollars off and be done with it.  But now I’m wondering if they are just deducting a service charge without letting me know.  Has anyone else noticed that it’s hard to balance there check book with Chase?  I don’t know, maybe I’m just getting too old to tally it up, but this has been going on for a while now.

    • Thanks for the info. That would have been sweet to get 5% on all.
       
      By the way, you can give Chase your phone number and they will text you when the new rotating rewards are ready. All you do is text back “BON” and you’re all setup. Takes 10 seconds.