The Chase Freedom is one of the best cash back cards to have if you use a credit card to pay for a diverse range of products and services. With their rotating bonus categories, you can get new and exciting cash back offers every quarter on the items you shop for most.
The card offers new bonus rewards categories every three months and has no annual fee. That means you only pay for what you spend (with a bit of added interest, of course).
The card has a variable APR of 16.49%-25.24% but has a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. And there’s even a welcome bonus of $150 if you spend $500 in the first three months of opening your card.
Aside from the welcome bonus, the Chase Freedom card offers 1 percent cash back for every dollar spent on all purchases. You’ll also get a bonus 4 percent cash back on quarterly categories for up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter (activation required). That gives you the possibility of a combined 5 percent cash back on bonus category purchases.
To learn more about the Chase Freedom card, check out Bankrate’s review.
Chase 2020 Cash Back Bonus Calendar
The first step to maximizing your bonus category rewards is knowing your calendar. There are new categories every quarter. The categories for 2020 are:
January – March 2020: Gas stations, select streaming services, and internet, cable, and phone services.
April – June 2020: TBD
July – September 2020: TBD
October – December 2020: TBD
Cash back categories earn the everyday 1 percent cash back plus a bonus 4 percent which totals to 5 percent back on purchases up to $1,500 each quarter. This cash back bonus gives you the potential to earn $75 cash back each quarter if you reach the spending cap. Purchases that are made outside of the bonus category will earn the normal 1 percent cash back per dollar spent.
How to activate bonus categories
Bonus categories must be activated to receive the extra 4 percent cash back. You can activate bonus categories in a number of ways. One of the easiest ways is to activate your rewards from your Chase mobile app. Rewards can also be activated online through your account hub or by phone, email, or a designated Chase location. And if you need a reminder to activate, you can set one in your calendar to make sure you don’t miss out on any rewards categories.
Here are the dates to activate your bonus categories:
January – March: Activate by March 14, 2020
April – June: Activation period begins on March 15, 2020, closing date TBD
July – September: Activation period begins June 15, 2020, closing date TBD
October – December: Activation periods begins September 15, 2020, closing date TBD
Once you’ve activated a category, you will earn 5 percent cash back on all category purchases for the quarter, even those made before activation, up to the quarterly maximum. If you have multiple Chase accounts, make sure you activate categories for each of your accounts.
How to redeem rewards
In order to redeem rewards, your account must be open and in good standing. Rewards are tracked as points. Each dollar earned in cash back is equal to 100 points. You can begin redeeming points once you’ve reached 2,000 points, i.e. $20 cash back. Cash back can be redeemed as statement credit or a direct deposit into an eligible checking or savings account at a U.S. bank.
You can also redeem your points to the Chase Ultimate Rewards hub. Points can be redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards for gift cards, purchases on Amazon or with the Apple store. You can also redeem points for travel.
Your cash back rewards should show up immediately to your account. When you check your statement, you will see bonus category rewards listed in the form “Bonus from 4Q 5 percent category.” As long as your account is open and in good standing, your points won’t expire.
Get extra perks with Chase’s Ultimate Rewards program
While the Chase Freedom card offers great cash back rewards on its own, it can offer even more when paired with another Chase card in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program. Adding a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® could boost your redemption possibilities between 25 percent and 50 percent. The one thing to note is that both of these cards come with an annual fee, so make sure your return in cash back will be worth the annual investment before you apply.
The bottom line
The Chase Freedom card is a great cash back option for you if you have good to excellent credit and use your card to do shopping in a variety of places.
If you feel like you won’t be able to take advantage of all of the bonus categories, another cash back rewards option is the Chase Freedom Unlimited® , which offers a fixed cash back rate for all purchases.
If you want to learn more about what cash back card may be best for you, check out our reviews of the best cash back credit cards.