This deal has now expired. All links revert to the original offer.
The Chase Freedom card is one of the most popular no-fee credit cards out there, largely due to it's bonus offer and 5% cash back quarterly categories. So it was good news when Chase announced an extra $125 - for $225 total - in an offer ending June 24. Here are the details:
- $200 bonus after $500 spend in first 3 months
- $25 bonus after adding an authorized user
- 5% cash back on quarterly categories
- 1% cash back on everything else
- No annual fee
- EMV chip card
- Approval status: Moderate (660+ credit score with decent income)
- Churn status: Moderate (reapply after 24 months)
This very well could be the best no-fee card on the market, an immediate must for cash-back enthusiasts and those wanting to avoid annual fees. The 5% cash back quarterly categories are surprisingly useful, with broad-reaching categories like "grocery" and "restaurants" making routine appearances (see the 2015 calendar further below).
I also appreciate the EMV chip. While not as prevalent in the U.S. (yet), EMV cards paired with a chip terminal are always much safer transactions. Even if this means not having to deal with fraudulent charges once a year, that's real value. Also of note is the $500 in spend over three months, which is very attainable.
In full disclosure, I'm a huge Discover fan and believe the company is under appreciated in the U.S. So my main negative of the Chase Freedom is that, while the 5% cash back categories are great, you can earn even more - and without having to deal with categories - with the Discover it Miles card.
Comparatively, Discover it Miles offers 3% on every purchase in the first 12 months of membership (and then 2% after). The Freedom card wouldn't come close to that 3% return if used for all of your spending. The Discover it Miles card also offers no foreign transaction fees and a free credit score tracker, in addition to widespread acceptance in countries like China (where Visa may not work).
The Final Word
With this limited time offer ending June 24, cash-back enthusiasts and those trying to avoid managing annual fees should think long and hard about this offer. But at the end of the day, we are only talking about an extra $125 in bonus offer. While that is better than nothing, it isn't worth stressing over.
As I noted above, also consider the Discover it Miles card if you fit the Chase Freedom profile. Best case, try getting both cards and use the Freedom card for the 5% quarterly categories and the Discover card for everything else. With that combo, a 3-4% cash-back return is completely realistic over the long haul.
Application links and other useful information is below:
Application link: $225 after $500 spend and authorized user in first 3 months.
Phone support line: 1-800-432-3117.
Online support page: Click here.
Disclaimer: Photos credit to Chase.