Chase Freedom(SM) Credit Card: $50 Cash Bonus

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The Chase Freedom(SM) card was very popular about a year or two ago because if offered a cash back bonus after your first purchase and a very generous cash back rewards structure. In the last year, with the credit crisis and the tightening of credit, the card has gone through a few changes but still remains a very competitive cash back credit card.

$50 Cash Bonus

The current credit card offer is a $50 cash back bonus after your first purchase, which is the best offer I know of for cards with no annual fee. Other credit cards are offering higher new account bonuses but they will usually have an annual fee, typically waived the first year. The higher bonus amount is used to offset the annual fee.

0% Intro APR

When you apply, you will be offered a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers: 0% for up to 6 months on purchases, and 0% for up to 12 months on balance transfers, based on your application and credit history. With the holidays coming up, it could be a great way to pay for gifts now and spread the cost out across six or twelve months (pocketing the interest along the way as you put the money in a high yield savings account).

I would only use this strategy if I already had the cash for the gifts, I don’t recommend borrowing on credit for things you can’t otherwise pay for. That’s how you get yourself into trouble. Big trouble.

{ 35 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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35 Responses to “Chase Freedom(SM) Credit Card: $50 Cash Bonus”

  1. gstaran says:

    I have this card and used to love it. However, Chase changed its policy in November and you no longer have the 3% cash bonus. Instead, they give you points. Here is how it works now on my Chase freedom card: 1 point for every dollar you spend, plus 10% bonus, plus 10 points for each transaction.

    Is the card you are talking about a different one?

  2. rbatt says:

    I have this card and I get the 3% bonus still. If you are a Chase checking customer you get the bonus on your type 5 spending categories as opposed to 3 if you don’t have a checking account. Also if you save up to $200 in rewards you get a bonus $50. Good Card.

  3. otipoby says:

    Hmmm… gstaran, I have the Chase Freedom (the card pictured above) and my card works like Jim described. I get 3 categories that I get extra (I think 3%) and I think they change quarterly. I really like the card. It used to be better, though. If you save up enough points, you got more than $0.01 per point. I think it was 20000 points ($200) and they gave you $250. I never got to take advantage of that sweet deal and I doubt that will come back.
    This is my daily use card. I have another card (BoA) that has an annual fee that I plan on dumping. My credit score may take a hit, but should mostly rebound as my credit limit on my Chase keeps climbing.

    • gstaran says:

      Good for you. They changed term on mine and here is what they say in the statement:

      “Your Chase Freedom credit card along with your Chase checking account give you Exclusive Benefits! You get 1 point for every
      $1 you spend, plus you will receive 10% bonus points per $1 spent and 10 bonus points on every purchase. There is no limit to
      how many points you can earn and the points never expire. You can redeem your points for travel, merchandise, gift cards, or
      cash. To redeem, go online at”

      Although not mentioned here, they did say in the correspondence that the $200 for $250 is not available any longer.

      It’s interesting to see that some lucky ones still get the 20k points for a $250 check. That’s not the case for me.

  4. otipoby says:

    rbatt, you were typing as I was typing. I didn’t know the 20000 points for $250 was still active. Now I have a goal. Thanks.

  5. Srikks says:

    I have been using this card last year and I got $250 cash last week from Chase after saving 20000 points. It looks like this card still gives me 3% cash back in selected categories very month.

  6. MichaelM says:

    Thanks for the review. We are about to close a CC that is tied to our old credit union (we moved across the country), and want to open a new Credit Card.

    We’ve got a Wells Fargo card with 1% back, but WF has made goofed up our account more than once, so I want a backup card.

  7. I’ve had this card for about 2 years and even with the worse deals it’s still great for something that still pays back cash.

  8. BrianC says:

    Still one of my favorite cash-back credit cards. A no-brainer if you’re also a Chase checking customer.

  9. Soccer9040 says:

    I could talk about this card for days.

    3% back on my top 6 categories. Save $200 in rewards and they pay out $250.

    Chase tries to push products on you when you go in lately, but this is one time I actually sat down and gave the guy a chance. I was in for something else, he tried to sell me on the Chase card, I told him I already had Chase Freedom. He asked how much I used it, etc. Then he pulled out this little paper that described the Chase Freedom Plus card. Its the freedom card on steroids. I get 6 bonus catagories instead of 3. The cap is removed (your bonus is capped @ $12 per month) & I get the payout bonus of $200 = $250.

    The only thing is, this card cost me $60 per year I think. My other card might have been free, but I did some quick back of the napkin math and found that I would easily cover that $60 in additional rewards.

    So I signed up. I was told I would get a new card, I never did, but the reward structure changed right after that $60 hit my statement.

    I have gladly paid that fee for 2 years now. So far this year I have been paid out 3 times. ($750) and I have $58 in rewards in my account building up for the next time I can cash out.

    I then started to tell people about it and I came to find out that they didnt advertise this because it was only open to Chase Checking customers. So you had to basically go in and hear the speech or ask for it specifically.

    The bad news is they cutoff new customers to this program.

    I would still refer people to the normal Chase Freedom card. Its a great no hassle rewards card. No shopping in their “Catalog” of overpriced junk to cash out your rewards.


  10. Soccer9040 says:

    I had to look up the fine print:

    With Chase Freedom PlusSM, you now have the flexibility to earn cash back faster!

    You earn 3% cash back automatically on purchases in the 6 everyday categories where you spend the most each month. There are 15 categories in all! Your spending habits may change from month to month — the triple rewards you earn for them will stay the same. You also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. Here are the categories:

    Gas Stations & Convenience Stores
    Grocery Stores
    Quick Service & Fast Food Restaurants
    Utilities (Gas, Electric, etc.)
    Cable/Satellite TV & Internet Providers
    Department Stores
    Pet Stores & Veterinarian
    Phone/Cell Phone Bills
    Movie Theatres
    Gym Memberships
    Beauty Salons & Spas
    Movie Rentals
    Dry Cleaners
    Local Commuting
    You have a choice when it comes to rewarding yourself:

    Reach $50 in rewards and redeem for a $50 check, or
    Save up $200 in rewards and redeem for a $250 check – that’s a $50 bonus!
    With Chase Freedom Plus, you have the freedom to reward yourself the way you want to. There are no limits to the amount of rewards you can earn with Chase Freedom Plus. Switch between cash back, points, or miles and take your rewards with you. To switch, just click on the ‘Switch My Rewards’ link.

    • Shirley says:

      Chase Freedom PlusSM sounds very good. I will check to see if this is for new customers or only those already established.

      • Soccer9040 says:

        Be sure to reply back and let me know. Im curious. I have a feeling though that the program is closed to new customers entirely whether you are already a Chase customer or not.

        • ziglet19 says:

          I am curious to know too, as I recently became a Chase customer through the Washington Mutual conversion. This card sounds good.

  11. Izalot says:

    I have to call Chase because they will be charging an annual fee for this very same credit card in the next few months and the 2000 points for $250 is not available either!

  12. TheArabicStudent says:

    I’ve been using this card for about 2 years and I’m very happy with it. I always save up $200 worth in rewards and get the $250 check in the mail. People say it’s not available, but I just got it recently. They also increased my credit limit to $4500 just a few days ago.

  13. Chase has always been one of my favorite banks. recently we got a round trip air fare from them free with a credit card offer.

    John DeFlumeri Jr.

  14. eric says:

    I thought about getting this card a long time ago but the rewards dropped, and my current cards are still getting me 5% so I didn’t apply.

  15. Scott says:

    @rbatt: If in fact you are still getting 3% back in your top 3 (or 5) categories, that will end soon. Chase has been phasing their customers out of that system throughout this year. Some got phased out this summer. I got phased out this fall. Check FatWallet for a long post on this. Basically I used to get everything you mentioned in your first post above, but then Chase changed it all and I almost immediately closed both my checking account and credit card. Their rewards and customer service just don’t measure up anymore to the other cards and accounts I use.

    • Soccer9040 says:

      I’m a Chase customer because National City pulled this rewards bait and switch on me years ago. It went from $5 checks attached to my statement every month to having to get $50 before a reward, and then $100. All along the way they reduced what you could earn. I quickly pulled the plug on that. Now that card gets 1 transaction a month (im thinking my cell phone gets billed there automatically) and I still get to count the available credit into my credit utilization.

    • rbatt says:

      I hop that’s not the case. I’m so close to the 250 reward. Keep your fingers crossed.

  16. Chris says:

    The Visa Platinum Rewards Card at Pentagon Federal Credit Union is still the best in my opinion. 5% on gas, 2% on groceries, and 1.25% on everything else. All with no limit.

    • Jim says:

      Yes, I just learned about that card and how you can join PenFed via the NMFA. That’s coming up in a post… 🙂

    • Diasdiem says:

      Okay, I just read up on that too, and that sounds pretty awesome. I may have to do this.

    • Julio says:

      PenFed is by far my favorite card and the most rewarding. This card reminds me of the Chase card of old, before they cut everything back. (I can still remember 5% at Wal*Mart before Chase caught on and eliminated that) those were the good ole’ days.

      I always recommend PenFed when I can. In addition to the stated categories you also get 5% on special promotional categories. 5% on airline, 5% on back to school, 5% anything, plus 2% at Wal*Mart. Another great thing is that cash back is credited each month, so you don’t have to wait to claim a check. Loved ordering a $2000 TV on Amazon and only having to pay $1900 back. That is what I call instant gratification.

  17. jsbrendog says:

    i have had this card for about 8 months and it is great.

  18. Diasdiem says:

    I’ve been thinking about getting one of these cards because it’s the top one recommended to me by Mint. Currently the card I use the most is an AMEX card through USAA because I get 5% back on groceries, gas and restaurants. That’s going to expire soon though and then everything will go to the tier plan, which tops out at 1.25% after you’ve spent like $17,000. So a guaranteed 1% back on everything and 3% on things I’m likely to buy sounds good. Not to mention extra back if you shop through their online portal.

  19. EXS says:

    I have this card (and a Chase checking account). I use it to get 3% back on the five categories I spend most on in a given month and for bonus cashback through Chase Rewards Plus online shopping (eg. Got 7% through Overstock [standard 1% + 6% bonus]; 7% at Target; 5% at Saks; 3% at Lego; 5% at Home Depot, etc.), but only after making sure the particular vendor has the best price (they don’t have a relationship with Amazon, for example.)

  20. aua868s says:

    Is the $50 bonus exclusively for new customers? I have a Chase Credit Card and Checking Account already…would I still be eligible for the $50 bonus after my first purchase using this card?…answers much appreciated…

  21. Michael says:

    The Charles Schwab card is by far much better than the Freedom. I had the Chase Freedom for 2-3 years and found that the “categories” for cashback were only for certain stores with the majority of them being in the category of “Other”. The Charles Schwab card, 2% cash back on all purchases, no limit or cap on rewards.

  22. TJ says:

    I like the Freedom card, I opened up a free chase checking card and the lady signed me up for the freedom card because she said it was “better” than my amazonvisa. I also got $125 for setting up the checking account. I signed in the ultimate rewards mall today and notice Jan-March I get 3% back on Dining among other things, its a shame they don’t enroll you in these bonus categories automatically, but take 30 seconds and I’m getting 3% back on food instead of ~ 1.1%

    I am thinking about getting the Citi Forward- it looks like better value (even for Amazon!) but when Chase Freedom has these bonus 3% categories in things I actually use (like eating out), then it seems like a much better deal than the Citi- where points seem to be valued much less, even though you get more of them.

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