Earn 17,500 bonus points with the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards

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Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited

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Are you looking for an inexpensive way to get a large influx
of Ultimate Rewards points? The Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards are Ultimate
Rewards cards that offer a large bonus with a low spending threshold and no
annual fee: You get 15,000 points ($150) if you spend $500 in first three
months and 2,500 points ($25) if you add an authorized user and make a purchase
in the first three months.

If you are thinking of applying for the bonus on one of
these cards, we recommend you go all in and collect both the sign-up and authorized
user bonus. Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most flexible and valuable
rewards currencies on the planet. You have a plethora of options to redeem your
points, including transferring them to other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards to
get more than $175 worth of value (more on that below).

Recent changes to the
Chase Freedom cards’ sign up bonus

While some rewards cards frequently update their sign-up
bonuses, the offers on the Chase Freedom cards are very consistent. The Chase
Freedom Unlimited card has kept the same sign-up bonus since it was introduced
in 2016, and we haven’t seen any recent changes to the sign-up offer on the Chase
Freedom card:





CHASE FREEDOM CARD RECENT CHANGES
There have been no changes to the Chase Freedom card sign-up bonus this year.

 





CHASE FREEDOM UNLIMITED CARD RECENT CHANGES
There have been no changes to the Chase Freedom card sign-up bonus this year.

Which Chase Freedom card
is better in the first year?

Since the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards
offer the same exact bonus, it comes down to which card offers the better
earnings rate. Our calculations show that the average cardholder is likely to
earn more rewards with the flat 1.5 percent cash back rate on the Chase Freedom
Unlimited card than with the 5 percent bonus categories on the Chase Freedom
card:

Comparing the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards








  Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Rewards rate

  • 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 per quarter)
  • 1% cash back on other purchases

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases

Annual fee $0 $0
Introductory offer

  • $150 if you spend $500 in first 3 months
  • $25 if you add authorized user and make a purchase in first 3 months

  • $150 if you spend $500 in first 3 months
  • $25 if you add authorized user and make a purchase in first 3 months

Estimated earnings in first year ($15,900 spend) $355 $414

That said, there’s nothing to stop you from applying for
both cards and potentially earning both cards’ sign-up bonuses. Actually, the
Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards go nicely together – you can use the
Chase Freedom card to earn 5 percent cash back on its quarterly bonus
categories and the Chase Freedom Unlimited card to earn 1.5 percent cash back
on everything else. See the Chase Freedom bonus categories for 2018:






Winter Spring Summer Holiday
January – March April – June
(Activate by June 14, 2018)
July – September
(Activate starting June 15, 2018)
October – December
(Activate starting Sept. 15, 2018)

  • Gas stations
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay

  • Groceries
  • PayPal
  • Chase Pay

  • Gas stations
  • Lyft
  • Walgreens

Coming soon

Who is eligible to apply
for the sign-up bonus?

New cardholders who have not received a sign-up bonus for
the same card within the past 24 months are eligible to earn the bonus with the
Chase Freedom cards. Of course, you have to qualify for the cards first, which
means you have to have a credit score in the good to excellent range (at least
680).

Chase doesn’t appear to have a hard limit on how many cards
you own, though they may deny your application if you have too large of a
credit limit across your other Chase cards. Also, while there is no strict rule
on how many Chase cards you can apply for within a certain timeframe, many
applicants report a limit of one to two new cards per month.

Chase has come down hard recently on applicants who have
opened several credit cards at once. Though it’s not an official policy, Chase
appears to be enforcing a “5/24” rule on new credit card applications. What
this means is – if you have opened at least five credit card accounts in the
past 24 months with any issuer (not
just Chase) – your application will likely be denied. The rule seems to apply
to any credit card account that shows up on your credit report, including
co-branded store cards and authorized user accounts. (On the plus side,
business credit cards that don’t report to your personal credit report do not
affect your chances of being approved.)

Bonus tip: If the
sign-up bonus increases within 90 days after you’ve been approved, you can ask
to be matched to the higher offer.

Best ways
to use the Chase Freedom cards’ sign-up bonus

The Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards are
flexible point cards that offer a wide array of options for redeeming or
transferring your points. You can redeem points as statement credits, as direct
deposits into a bank account, for gift cards or travel or to purchase merchandise
through Amazon.com or the Chase Pay app.

As cash back cards, the Chase Freedom cards offer a flat 1
cent value on most redemption options. However, there are a few options that
you want to avoid. Our table below shows that Amazon.com and Chase Pay
purchases are valued at only 0.8 cents per point:

Redemption options for Chase Freedom cards










Redemption option Point value Bonus value
Statement credit 1 cent $175
Direct deposit 1 cent $175
Gift cards 1 cent $175
Ultimate Rewards portal travel 1 cent $175
Amazon.com purchases 0.8 cent $140
Chase Pay purchases 0.8 cent $140

You can also transfer points from the Chase Freedom cards to
certain Chase Ultimate Rewards cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve
cards. As you can see from the table below, transferring your points to one of
these cards will allow you to get more value out of your sign-up bonus. You get
a 25 to 50 percent bonus on your points if you redeem through travel through
the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, depending on which card you own.

Also, you can transfer your points at 1:1 value to one of
Chase’s many travel partners to get even higher values on your points. For
instance, we value Southwest Airlines points at 1.57 cents on average (note the
value can vary widely on the ticket that you purchase), which means your $175
bonus can net you $275 of value on average when used for Southwest airfare:

Redemption options for Chase Sapphire cards

















Redemption option Point value Bonus value
Chase Sapphire Preferred travel redemption 1.25 cents $219
Chase Sapphire Reserve travel redemption 1.5 cents $263
British Airways transfer 2.29 cents $401
Singapore Airlines transfer 2.17 cents $380
Southwest Airlines transfer 1.57 cents $275
United Airlines transfer 1.52 $266
Korean Air transfer 1.4 cents $245
Hyatt Gold Passport transfer 1.37 cents $240
Ritz-Carlton transfer 1.22 cents $214
Air France transfer 1 cent $175
Virgin Atlantic transfer 0.8 cent $140
Marriott Rewards transfer 0.8 cent $140
IHG transfer 0.65 cent $114

An extra $500 per
year

In addition to a sign-up bonus, the Chase Freedom cards offer a referral bonus worth up to $500 each year. Chase’s “Refer-a-Friend” program gives
Freedom cardholders $100 cash back for each person they refer who is approved
for the Freedom card – up to five people per year. To take part in the
promotion, enter your last name, zip code and last four digits of your credit
card on Chase’s refer-a-friend
page
. On the following page, enter the first name and email
address of each person you wish to invite. You also have the option to post an
invitation link to Facebook or Twitter or refer friends through the Chase app.

See related: Chase
Freedom vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which is best?
, Chase
unveils its bonus category for Q3 2018
, Chase Ultimate Rewards guide: The best ways to earn and use Ultimate Rewards points

The editorial content
below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not
driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you
click on links to products from our partners. Learn
more about our advertising policy




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