I thought I might be depressed after downgrading my beloved and much respected Sapphire Preferred to the Chase Freedom card. I was wrong. Pretty normal.
(Disclaimer: I receive a referral credit for the Chase products mentioned in this post. I have had all of them myself, so they’re good cards. Thanks for the support if you apply for them through the Noob!)
I have been reaping the bennies the Freedom gives me with the 5x Ultimate Rewards points on rotating quarterly categories. But the hits don’t stop, because I also have a Chase checking account (plus they hold my mortgage… there’s a lot of Chase love in my life) so I get additional Chase perks. Nooberific.
However, the perks aren’t quite as good as they used to be. The Freedom used to come with a 10x bonus per swipe and 10% bonus if you had a Chase checking account. Now, Chase has revamped their program and you will receive a 10% annual bonus on the cash back/points you’ve already earned. This is just like the 7% annual dividend bonus you receive with the Chase Sapphire Preferred®. If you were previously enrolled in the Chase Exclusive program, you will automatically be enrolled in the revamped program.
I’m not one to make a lot of little transactions to maximize the 10x per swipe bonus of the old program, so the new 10% annual bonus will do just fine for me.
Also, the new program gives a 10% bonus on all points/cash back earned, even the 5x quarterly bonuses, and bonuses earned through the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal. So there’s that.
I’m already earning an extra 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points yearly with the 5x categories (7,500 x 4) so the 10% annual bonus will give me another 3,000 Ultimate Rewards points. I’ll take it.
The Chase Freedom® Visa is already a great card because it doesn’t have an annual fee. I plan on keeping mine forever and letting that average age of account aaage.
I’m glad that I downgraded my Sapphire Preferred to get my Freedom instead of using an inquiry and a Chase credit card application. I like to use all my Chase credit inquiries on the Ink Bold® Business Card or Ink Plus® Business Card if possible, because they have the largest sign-up bonus at 50,000 UR points after spending $5,000 in 3 months, and some of the most lucrative category bonuses. Building up my Ultimate Rewards balance is always on my mind.
The Freedom has a sign-up bonus of 10,000 points. Sometimes the bonus will go up to 20,000 and I’ve seen 35,000, once. If you’re just starting off, looking for a personal card, and you have an above average credit score (720+), then I would suggest applying for the Sapphire Preferred instead, because you will receive 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 in 3 months.
The Freedom is a great starter card, though, for college students or people needing to improve their credit score, and a good way to begin a relationship with Chase (they have most of the best rewards cards).
Also, the minimum spend is low, at only $500 in 3 months, so that’s something else to consider.
Remember to transfer points earned with your Freedom card to one of the many Ultimate Rewards travel partners. You must have the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold to do this. You can then combine points on the Ultimate Rewards website.
I’m just happy to be earning 5x points on rotating categories, plus an additional 10% annual bonus. What can I say? I’m sweet on the Chase Freedom.
But I do miss the respect I used to get when I pulled out my Sapphire Preferred. Legit.
— Noob MasterRead More
The new quarterly categories are restaurants, movie theaters, and Lowes. You will earn 5x per dollar spent in the quarter (up to $1,500 = 7,500 UR points). I don’t have any major home improvement projects going (as long as no one tells Jordan about the Lowes 5x bonus), so my plan is to buy some gift cards if I need additional help to meet the $1,500 maximum.
Yeah, we eat out more than we should, but I think we’ll still need to buy some gift cards for future use or presents.
If the Freedom is your only Chase card, then you will earn 5% cash back, but if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Ink Bold® Business Card, or Ink Plus® Business Card - you can combine your Freedom points and then have the flexibility to transfer them out to one of the many Ultimate Rewards travel partners. That’s how I prefer to use my Freedom 5x category points.
I just downgraded my Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom a couple weeks ago. Just in enough time to walk into a CVS and buy some Vanilla Reloads before the first quarter ended. (Drugstores was one of the 5x bonuses last quarter. Easy.)
I love the Freedom for the 5x points opportunity it gives me, and because it’s a no annual fee card. I can keep it forever, letting that account age. The Freedom is a good option to start with if you’re looking to build credit history so you can take advantage of other (more lucrative) sign-up bonuses down the road with Chase.
If you already have the Freedom card, then don’t procrastinate! Get to earning that 5x bonus now. I won’t wait to start earning the extra 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points I get each quarter with my Freedom. Yep, I’m addicted to seeing my Ultimate Rewards balance swell.
(Disclosure: I receive a referral credit for the cards mentioned in this post. Thank you for the support if you decide to apply through my links!)
— Noob MasterRead More
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the announcement of the 2013 Chase Freedom category bonuses. Now, the Quarter 1 bonuses are announced!
Don’t be alarmed by the “Cash Back” – you can earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points if you have an Ink Bold® Business Card, Ink Plus® Business Card, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® card. Just transfer your Freedom points into one of the above mentioned Ultimate Rewards accounts, and from there you can transfer your points into your travel loyalty program of choice.
The quarter 1 categories are gas stations, drug stores, and Starbucks. Earning 5x Ultimate Rewards points on gas is killer. What’s even better is the drug store category, because you can buy Vanilla Reloads or other gift cards at many drug stores.
You will get 5% cash back or 5x points on up to $1,500. You have from January 1 – March 31st. The last day to activate your Freedom card is March 14th.
The Freedom card is a great card if you’re just getting started in this miles craziness, or trying to build your credit history because there’s no annual fee. That means you can (and should) keep your Freedom card forever.
Disclaimer: I receive a referral commission if you apply through my Chase links. Only apply through my links if you’re satisfied with the service I provide!
— Noob MasterRead More