Until June 24th, the Chase Freedom Visa is offering 20,000 point signup bonus for spending $500 within 3 months plus another 2,500 bonus points for adding a free additional user, for a total of 22,500 points.
This is marketed as a $200 signup bonus and $25 for adding an additional user, but you’ll actually get 22,500 points that can be used for $225 cash back, though the points are far more valuable when transferred into airline/hotel/train miles.
Previously the signup bonus was 10,000 points. Typically if you applied within the past 90 days Chase will match your bonus to the current bonus offer.
Chase Freedom is an excellent no annual fee card. It’s an easier card to get that most other Chase cards as it doesn’t require a Signature level $5,000 credit line. The real beauty of the card is in the quarterly 5% categories. Again, while they call it 5% cash back you’ll really get 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent which can be worth much more than 5% cash. For $1,500 in spending per quarter you will earn at least 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points (7,500 points per quarter at 5 points per dollar spent).
2015 bonus categories:
Q1: Grocery stores, Movie theaters, Starbucks
Q2: Restaurants, Bed, Bath & Beyond, H&M, and Overstock.com
Q3: Gas stations and more to be announced.
Q4: Amazon.com and more to be announced.
Through the end of 2015, the Freedom card also earns a 10% annual point dividend. The final dividend will be paid out in February 2016 for 2015 purchases. That means you’ll earn an effective 5.5 points per dollar on purchases from the 5 point categories and you’ll earn an effective 1.1 points per dollar everywhere else.
Freedom alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline/hotel/train currencies, but if you or your spouse has a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus card then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. You can read at the end of this post which currencies they can transfer to and why those points are much more valuable than just taking cash back. The Freedom card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those cards.
If you use those points for a trip worth where they are worth 2 cents each and then you’ll have effectively earned 10-11% back on those “5 point categories.” The sky is the limit of the value of airline miles as they aren’t tied to the cost of a ticket.