Chase Freedom Cash Visa: 5% Back On Popular Spending Categories

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  1. it’s fun to see people using credit cards to their advantage, I thought I was the only one, lol. i’m going to invent a special comfortable fat wallet. 😉

  2. Do people that already have this card get the new benefits or can we “upgrade” if it’s not automatic?

  3. Note that my experience with Chase customer support has been horrible. I personally won’t do business with them and canceled all the Chase-backed cards I owned.

    (The problem had to do with a false/fradulent charge on my card followed by a LATE CHARGE from Chase–while the vendor processing the purchase detected the problem as soon as the charge was made. Nothing was ever shipped. On top of that Chase forced me to sign and submit a form swearing that I was not responsible, but they “could hold me responsible” in the future if anything else was found out!)

    I’ve never received this treatment from other CC companies, be they Visa, MC, Amex, or Discover. In fact, Discover and Amex were wonderfully responsive on a couple of occasions when I disputed a charge.

  4. Mike H – not sure in your case, but I had one of the old Chase Cash Rewards cards that paid 5% on gas/groc/pharm and they forced me to this plan this summer. Now I make those purchases on my Driver’s Edge card. The thing that sucked was that you can only redeem at $25 and I had $15 built up at that point. So I just moved the recurring purchases that this card covers that my others don’t (Blockbuster, EZPass, cell phone) at least until I get to the $25 point. Might take a while though…

  5. Sounds like a good card. I’ma apply for this one now then cause of the sign up bonus and the added bonus.

  6. One reason to use the Points card rather than the Cash card is that I recall reading somewhere that Cash points expire more quickly than regular points. Since you can readily switch and convert from points to cash and vice versa, it would be better to accumulate bonuses as points until you’re ready to redeem for cash, at which point you can switch over immediately.

    @Mike H:
    I’m pretty sure you can upgrade your current plan. I was automatically upgraded. Call and ask for the dynamic rewards program.

  7. I was testing out the link you posted, as I’ve been trying to get my gf to sign up for this card for awhile (and a 50 dollar bonus would make it even better), however it doesn’t seem to work. If you copy the link location and only use the chase part, it will work. Something goes wrong with the part.

    Anyway, I also had a question about how credit card companies recognize which purchases go into which categories. As far as I have read, the merchants themselves must state their type of business. In particular, I was wondering about superstores such as Walmart or Meijer – which both offer not only food but tons of other purchases. However, when I go to Meijer I am mainly food shopping, and I hope that is counted as a grocery store…

  8. I’ve been looking at this card because of the nice rewards on it. I’m probably going to keep using something else for gas/grocery and use this card for most other things. Thanks for the review and $50 link!

    Meijer’s comes through as grocery (because that’s what its original emphasis was), but Walmart comes through as a superstore.

  9. I too have this card, but I have the Visa Signature version that I guess has more added perks (concierge service, etc). I signed up through a targeted offer of $100 cash back after first purchase (which I received when the statement closed recently). Great card and even better if you can wait for the $200 cash back threshold with $50 bonus.

  10. its about time somebody figured out a credit card can actually be an advantage to your finances! this is a great card.

  11. SavingEverything says

    Nice find. I’ve been eyeing this card; but since i have a chase card with very good apy (much lower than their low APY on the Freedom Visa), i’m skeptical of switching that would lose my good apy. On another front, technically speaking, using the a “Visa Signature” or Visa Preferred credit card costs the retailer (the store, merchant) a little bit more than a standard Visa credit card.

  12. Phillip, Hi! I work for a credit card processor, so to answer your question. A business has a thing called a SIC code, commonly referred to as an industry code. It’s a single identifying category. So your places like wal-mart will be classified by their prime type of business. I can’t say what other processors do, but I work for the largest in the country and we only use one SIC code per business. The purpose of SIC codes was originally intended to help corporations. To prevent their employees from taking a gas card to a movie theater etc. Credit card companies got creative, and started basing these reward points off of the SIC codes.

  13. I’ve had this card since the $200 bonus (which I recently cashed in on and did receive $250!) and the one frustrating thing has been the categorization of stores. NO grocery stores that I shop at (Star Market, Stop and Shop, Trader Joe’s) are categorized “grocery”; they’re all listed as “other.” Same with gas stations for heaven’s sake. So don’t assume that you’re getting the 3% return when most likely you’ll be getting 1%.

  14. Jonathon, do you, or any other reader know of a credit card that doesn’t charge an international fee?

  15. Frank- Capital One might still be fee free for international charges, but you might want to check the current fine print, in case they changed it. AFAIK, it’s about the only part of the “No hassle” card that really isn’t a hassle…

  16. Frank, I have 1 card from my credit union which doesn’t charge intl fees, but their rewards are bad… You might want to check out credit unions in your area. alternatively, wamu charges 1%, which will be negated by the 1% you earn from spending.

  17. Frank, Capital One. Not a cent is charged for purchases in other currencies and recently this card started reporting your credit limit to the credit agencies. They give 1.25 % on every purchase.

  18. I just got my Citi CashReturns Card from mail. I will use that for 3 months to get 5% cash back on all purchases.

  19. FNBO update-they are lowering their rate to 5.05%, but they’re adding a credit card which offers 2% on all purchases back into your FNBO acct for the first year, and there’s no fee. Jonathan-what are your thoughts on this vs. the Chase card?

  20. Is that for new apllication on Chase freedom or for al Chase Freedom card?
    I have Chase Freedom about 1 year ago and its offer is 3%/1% on the other purchases , of course, no sign up bonus.

  21. I just got my first bill from this card and I am so disappointed. The CASH BACK averages to a little over 1% for entire purchases on card. The CASH BACK cannot be redeemed except in $50 increments–where I have to APPLY for a CHECK (What about Paperless!). MY CASH BACK EXPIRES AFTER 1 YEAR. In my view this card is a big rip off of false advertising. They are doing more harm to themselves and the company by all the advertising for this card that raises expectations that aren’t met. They’d be smarter just to deduct 1 or 2% from the bill each month and forget all the hype.

  22. I had the same experience this week as Jessica described above in late september. The Chase Freedom card does not recognize Smith’s supermarkets as grocery – and Smith’s is one of the largest chains in the southwest. I’ve had other Chase cards that did recognize Smith’s, incidentally…Also, the Freedom card did not recognize my vet bill, or Petco, for their categories. This card is a rip-off.

  23. is the $50 credit rewards bonus still active (the $250 check for $200 in rewards? i’m interested to know as I’m about to apply for this card

  24. I don’t know if this card has changed since you originally posted it, but the fine print says that the maximum bonus monthly rebate is 12 or the first 600 of your top three categories. So, it’s a lot of card management for what amounts to 144 extra dollars a year. In addition, they don’t seem to offer the 200/50 anymore.

  25. Hmm…Justin, I think you’re right. What a pity…it sounded like it was a great card. :/

  26. I’m currently using, for this year

    Citi Drivers Edge
    6% gas, 6% groceries, 6% Drugstores (+ credit for mileage)

    Costco TrueSavings Amex
    3% Restaurants, 2% Travel

    Citi Home
    Cable/Phone/Internet/Cell 6%

    Fidelity World Points
    1.5% everything else

  27. Justin:

    But aren’t the Citi cards’ rates just promotional rates? They’ll expire in a year right?

  28. Yep, the best deals are always teasers. Better this than a mortgage teaser rate! I don’t mind closing and opening ~3 cards per year.

  29. Oh I see. So you don’t actually keep any of those cards after the promotional periods?

    This is a real bummer…I was JUST about to sign up for it too. I want to settle in with a card that I don’t have to worry about expiring. I’m just not as proactive as you about opening and closing I guess. 😀

    Well, onwards to more searching! There’s gotta be a similar current card out there.

  30. Not trying to spam but here’s some useful info:

    As of this posted date, the 200/50 cashback feature IS STILL going on. I just checked with a Chase CSR. He did also confirm that there is a “spending cap” of $600 on your top 3 categories but no cap on the 1% cashback, which kicks in for your top categories once you go past $600.

    I just also realized that the categories might not be great for me since my top two spending areas are usually “superstores” like Wal-Mart and educational material like textbooks. o_O

  31. You have all been so helpful as I am trying to learn all I can before taking the CC plunge. Am trying to earn any way I can but would also love the miles/points to convert into my favorite airline(s). I am so ready to travel but need a card that is open to me converting back and forth as say: I can only use United to fly to Idaho which is sooo expensive but I usually use US Airways to fly to AZ.
    So, what do any of you think of the Starwood Amex for this? Reading all of the comments is helping me to decide which other card(s) to use also.

  32. Similar to Jessica and Elisa, I am wondering what (if anything) shows up as a supermarket or gas station. I have had my Citi Platinum Select MasterCard Rewards Card for a month now. I just checked my online statement, which shows that, so far, I have charged $724 and my CashBack is $7.24. That is exactly 1%, despite several charges at Stop & Shop supermarket and Amoco Oil.

    What gives? Do some stores deliberately NOT use SIC codes to identify themselves as supermarkets or gas stations because perhaps Citi charges them a higher percentage of each purchase?

    I live in New Jersey, and Stop & Shop is one of the two largest supermarket chains. Has anyone tried to complain to Citi about this? (I am assuming any Citi card has the same problem.)


  33. I agree with John, Chase Customer Support is horrible. I was basically FORCED to sign an inflated credit card reciept…Istanbul, Turkey…yeah, what was I thinking…and Chase offered nothing. No protection from disputed charges. I’ve had this card for 14 years and charged over $400,000 in that time. Nothing.
    I’m looking for a replacement after my home loan goes through. Too bad, too. My Marriott points increased substantially because of it…bye bye Marriott!!


  34. To: Justin
    Doesn’t closing and opening CCs affect your credit score? I’ve heard it’s best to keep your oldest CCs open even though you don’t use them.

  35. Getting the Chase reward check was very easy for me. I simply order two $50 checks with my rewards dollars. About a week later I got two checks in the mail and deposited them into my checking account. Also the website says that my rewards dollars expire in February 2011.

    This is also the qoute that is on every statment.

    “Note: If you use a credit card that earns rewards, please note these purchase descriptions may be different than the categories we use to determine the rewards you earn per purchase, and we don’t use them to calculate your rewards. Learn more.”

  36. Looks like Chase is now doing 3% in your Top 5 categories (as opposed to just Top 3) if you pair the Chase Freedom credit card with a checking account!


  37. I went to the Chase Freedom Cash Visa Card website and there is no mention of the cash option, just the points. Have they changed their rewards policy?

  38. When does the $50 bonus show up? I made my first purchase a week ago.

  39. If I keep on signing up a credit card, cancel after a while and then sign up again, would that hurt my credit score?

  40. The freedom card cash back never expires if you have a Chase checking account. Everything has been great. I use my chase debit card at walmart because I get a little more than 1% cash back, but everywhere I get 3% I use my Freedom card. Everyone should have a backup low APR card for emergency. Good cash back cards like the Freedom have a higher rate so you want to make sure to pay them off at the end of the month to get the interest waived. use the low APR card for anything you wont be paying off at the end of the month. And yes if you keep getting new cards, it will hurt your credit score. If you dont get a lot of new credit cards and you have steller credit, it wont hurt.

  41. I like the reward point from Chase Freedom card however; redeeming it is very difficult. First of all, you can’t get cash money or apply towards your account in any form except, you agreed to the terms that you do not want to receive paper statement any more. They only let you redeem the reward at Companies they have deal with. These are companies like Best Buy, Macy’s, Target, STARBUCKS, Ace, and ECT. I would rather get other card where I have the choice to however way I spend my money.

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