I personally have this card - I personally have this card, and in this review, I will reveal the full scoop on his rewards program. Right now, new cardholders will get $100 in cash back bonus if they spend $500 within three months. I originally got this card back in 2006 when it was first launched1. Back then, I had the Chase Flexible Rewards Card and it was converted to this card. The highlight of this card is that it is both a cash back and a rewards card2 in one.
Briefly History Of Freedom's Rewards - Since it's inception till today, the card has gone through various changes. When the card was first launched, you could earn triple points on purchases at grocery stores, gas stations and quick service restaurants1. Then in 2007, the changed the formula again. You were given the opportunity to earn triple points on fifteen expense categories, though you could only earn triple points on your top three biggest categories3.
How You Earn Reward Points - At its core, you earn 1% rebate (or 1 point depending on how you look at it) for every dollar that you spend on the card. You can earn unlimited rebates. But if all this card were to give was 1%, then it wouldn't be very good. But there is a lot more.
Rotating Categories - Rather than paying more than 1% on certain expenses like it used to, this card now pays 5% rebates4 on categories on a 3 month rotating basis for up to $1,500 in spending in these categories. Below is the 2013 schedule.
Discounts at merchants' online store - Chase has taken a leaf from Discover and now offers cardholders the chance to shop on their online shopping portal and get discounts (or rebates) when they shop through their Chase account. The online shopping portal is actually the Chase Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall5. Shopping through the Chase account allows the merchants and Chase to track your purchases and give you the rebates. You can see a screenshot of their merchant partners at the end of this review.
Rewards - Travel - You can redeem points for travel items. There are several ways to do this. Firstly, you can book your travel through Chase's online travel booking site. By doing so, you can use a combination of points and cash to pay. You can also transfer points into gift cards for Continental OnePass Miles. Below are screen shots of one of their travel partners.
Rewards - Gift Cards - You can redeem points for gift cards. The Ultimate Rewards program is the only program today that lets you get 1% value for your points in gift cards at all redemption levels. This is what I mean. You need only 1,000 points to get $10 in value of a gift card. Most other programs require 1,500 points for $10 in gift card value. You can see a screen shot of samples of Chase gift card partners at the end of the review.
Rewards - Merchandise - Like most other programs, there are also lots of merchandise to redeem with your points and you can donate points to charities as well. But since there are so many merchandise, I will not list them here.
More benefits if your Chase Freedom is a Visa Signature - For those who apply for this card and get approved for a Visa Signature version, you can get even more benefits simply for being a Visa Signature holder. If you go to Visa's website, you will find that they have their own shopping portal as well. If you use a Visa Signature card through their online merchant portal (you need to login into Visa's site), you will be able to get discounts from popular merchants. This is an additional benefit in addition to the Ultimate Rewards shopping mall that you have with this card.
Ultimate Rewards Shopping Mall Partners
Ultimate Rewards Gift Card Partners
1. Chase Freedom Empowers Customers with Industry's Next Generation of Rewards Card Program
2. Press Release: Chase Freedom Offers Relevant Rewards To Customers
3. Chase Launches Next Generation of Chase Freedom
4. Press Release: Rotating Categories increases to 5%, add BluePrint
5. Press Release: Chase introduces new statement credit feature to Chase Freedom cards
6. Chase checking account customers get bigger benefits when using credit card
7. Chase Launches Proprietary Rewards Program Providing Uniques Benefits and Services