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Is Chase Freedom the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

The short answer is NO. I recently saw this  post on Big Habitat blog with a title “Am I the only blogger who doesn’t really care about Chase Freedom?” 

Even though I’m not  a reseller like the author is,  it mirrored a lot of my own thoughts on the matter. But wait, you may say, there are tons of blog posts on this offer, and they all sing praises to Chase Freedom! It’s true, the sign-up bonus of 20,000 points is twice as good as it normally is, and the offer will most likely end on June 30th, though no official confirmation has been received. Full disclosure: This card does pay me commission if you apply through my site.

Chase Freedom offers 5 percent back in rotating categories each quarter and comes with some other benefits, like the ability to redeem 25,000 points for up to a $335 airline ticket. You can also combine your points with  Chase Sapphire Preferred’s Ultimate Rewards and transfer them to Southwest, Amtrak or United award programs. But does Freedom deserve this much coverage? Not in my opinion.

There are much better bonuses available, like Wells Fargo Propel that gives $400 cash back for any expense after meeting the minimum spend. Does it mean that Freedom is a bad card? By no means! Here are some reasons it may be a good fit for you:

1) You are just starting out in this hobby and have a credit score that is a bit below 700. The reason? You probably won’t get approved for other premium Chase cards anyway. According to CreditKarma, the average credit score of those approved for Freedom is 696. It would let you get established with Chase and give you a good leverage tool, in case you need to reallocate credit line in the future. It has no annual fee, so no need to worry about canceling.

2) You have already signed up for all  Chase bonuses. Freedom will now let you qualify for bonus if you didn’t get it in the past 24 months. So, if you had it a few years ago and canceled it, this could be a good chance to pick up some extra points.

3) You are looking for a good companion card to Amex Everyday Preferred and have no way of applying for US Bank Cash Plus.  I’ve mentioned before that that card is superior to Freedom. I assume that you rarely apply for bonuses and are just looking for a decent long-term card.

4) You are looking to collect Amtrak points or United miles through your everyday spend and already have Chase Sapphire Preferred, or are planning to get it in the near future. I’ve written about this combo in my Monday’s post.

If none of those reasons apply to you, I simply don’t see why you would apply for this card above all the other bonuses. Yes, the rotating categories bonus can be useful. But I’ll be honest, I have Chase Freedom and hardly ever bother to use it to get 5 percent back. I like to focus on meeting the minimum spend on my current card and don’t go out of my way to maximize every single promotion.

For example, we just had my parents over for a visit and spent a good chunk on restaurants. I used my new CITI AAdvantage Visa to pay the bills. To be honest, I simply forgot about Chase Freedom.  I missed out on about $16 (4 extra percent bonus) on $400  worth of dining expenses. I can live with that.

I have no plans to buy restaurant gift cards for future use because it’s not enough of an incentive to me. As I said, I focus on new sign-up bonuses. Besides, many times, you can find gift cards at more than 5 percent discount by looking at Giftcardgranny.

When I see blogs suggesting buying  those on a first Friday of the month with Chase Sapphire Preferred, all to collect 1 extra Ultimate Rewards point per dollar,  I yawn a little. No offense, my fellow blogging comrades !

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

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5 thoughts on “Is Chase Freedom the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

  1. I’m not really into the Chase Freedom either. I mostly churn for signup bonuses, so we don’t worry about the rotating 5X categories or anything like that. My husband still has a Chase Freedom and I’m an authorized user, but I don’t even keep it in my wallet.

    • Holly, that’s my feeling on the matter as well. In retrospect, I wish I did use Freedom for restaurants when my folks were here, but I won’t lose sleep over the lost points. Plus, now I can move on to my next card sooner!

      • I just don’t have time for all that. Plus, my husband will only use one card at a time. He will not change cards for different purchases to maximize points. I have to keep things simple or the peanut gallery complains =) To me, it’s all about signup bonuses anyway.

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