Updated with limited-time $200 bonus and new 5% categories for Q1 2015. The Chase Freedom® – $200 Bonus has a new limited time promotion offering a $200 Bonus after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. In addition, you can earn an additional $25 bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period. This is the highest sign-up bonus I’ve seen for this “keeper” card and double the usual $100.
As a rewards credit card it is better than plain vanilla 1% cashback cards with its 5% cashback on rotating categories, good for up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter. Here are the categories for the rest of 2014:
From October through December 2014 (activate starting 9/15/14):
- Select Department Stores
From January through March 2015 (activate starting 12/15/14):
- Grocery Stores (Target and Wal-mart not included)
- Movie Theaters
Activate quarterly at ChaseBonus.com or call the number on the back of the card. All other purchases earn 1% back, with no tiers or expiration of rewards. Keep in mind that you actually earn Ultimate Rewards points. If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred and Ink Bold/Plus small business cards which also earn those, your Ultimate Rewards points can be combined and converted to miles like United Airlines, British Airways, and Hyatt hotel points. Depending on what you redeem for (i.e. plane ticket, hotel stay), Ultimate Rewards can be worth well more than 1 cent per point this way, which means you can actually get more than 5% value back.
I’ve had this card seemingly forever as the 5% rewards often come in handy, and there is no annual fee so there’s no reason to cancel it.
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