Why You Should Apply For The Chase Freedom Card(s)

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom® are two of the cards that I use to maximize the number of Ultimate Rewards points I earn. While these are both technically cash back cards, points earned on these cards can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Sapphire Reserve® Card, and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

So in this post I wanted to talk about why I think these two cards are really worth getting, and why I think many people often overlook them.

The basics of the Freedom & Freedom Unlimited

Both of these are no annual fee cards that offer some best-in-class return on spend:

  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers 1.5x points per dollar spent on all purchases, with no caps on the number of points you can earn
  • The Chase Freedom® offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 of spend per quarter


The Chase Freedom 2018 5x points categories

The Freedom Unlimited is the best personal credit card for earning Ultimate Rewards points in non-bonused categories, and the Chase Freedom offers some of the best rewards for those categories in which it offers quarterly bonuses.

Why people often overlook the Freedom Cards

In my opinion not nearly enough people have these two cards, and I think the reason is obvious enough. The cards “only” offer welcome bonuses of 15,000 bonus points after spending $500 within three months. These are fairly small bonuses in comparison to many of the 50,000+ point offers we see out there.

Understandably when a lot of people get started in miles and points they’re lured in by big bonuses, and that often leads to people picking the cards that are best for them.

As a result, people often overlook the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom®, since there’s not all that much instant gratification with those bonuses. But you want these cards because of their long-term value, not their short-term value.

Why you should consider the Freedom & Freedom Unlimited

These cards are worth considering for different reasons. First let’s talk about the Freedom Unlimited.

I consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® to be the single best credit card duo out there. The Reserve offers 3x points on dining and travel, and the Unlimited offers 1.5x points per dollar spent on other purchases.

If you have the Sapphire Reserve then all points you earn can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards the cost of a travel purchase, meaning the combination gets you 4.5 cents towards travel when paying for dining and travel, and 2.25 cents towards travel for all other purchases. That’s a really well rounded return.

Then the Chase Freedom® offers rotating 5x points categories that can earn you a pretty easy 30,000 points per year. Common bonus categories include things like department stores, gas stations, grocery stores, and more.

Why you should consider these cards early on

Both of the Freedom Cards are subjected to 5/24, meaning you won’t be approved for the cards if you’ve opened five or more new card accounts in the past 24 months (with some exceptions).

You can product change the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card to these cards if you’ve had them for more than a year, though also keep in mind that you’re only eligible for the bonus on either Sapphire Card if you don’t have either card, and if you haven’t received the new cardmember bonus on either card in 48 months.

So while the 15,000 point welcome bonuses on the Freedom Cards aren’t anything to get too excited about, I’d still highly recommend getting these cards early on, because they’ll earn you so many points over time.

You’ll thank yourself in no time if you have the combination of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and if you can also throw a Chase Freedom® into the mix for 5x points.

Bottom line

While many people are drawn to cards thanks to big welcome bonuses, that’s not why you’ll want to get either of the Freedom Cards. They have fairly good bonuses for no annual fee cards, but the bonuses aren’t anything to get excited about.

The reason you want these cards is because they’ll greatly help the number of Ultimate Rewards points you can earn in conjunction with a card that directly earns Ultimate Rewards points.

Earn Ultimate Rewards points

For more on everything you need to know about Ultimate Rewards points, see the Ultimate Guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Where do you stand on the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited? Do you find them to be worthwhile, or no?

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Comments

  1. @ Bill S. — If it’s coding as “gas” then it won’t also code as “warehouse”. But other readers have reported being able to go into Costco, buy the Costco Cash cards (which code as warehouse), then using those for fuel. Just check to make sure your Costco allows you to use the Cash Cards at the fuel pump.

  2. @ Bill S. – I have recent experience using Freedom at Costco and I can say during last quarter when gas was a category it gave me 5x points. This quarter I got 5x inside the Costco store and I got only 1x at Costco Gas. So like what Tiffany said it can’t code as both and it happens to code Costco gas as “gas” only.

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