Update: The limited time increased bonus on the Freedom Visa will come to an end today. As long as you see the $200 offer (20,000 points) on the application you can still apply and get the offer.
It will go back down to $100 (10,000 points) tomorrow.
Originally posted on 11/17:
The Chase Freedom Visa now comes with a 20,000 point signup bonus for spending $500 within 3 months.
This is marketed as a $200 signup bonus, but is actually 20,000 points that can be used for $200 cash back, though the points are more valuable when transferred into airline/hotel/train miles.
This is double the previous signup bonus and is available for a limited time only.
Additionally it also offers another 2,500 bonus points (marketed as $25 cash back) for adding a free additional user, for a total of 22,500 points.
Typically if you applied within the past 90 days Chase will match your bonus to the current bonus offer.
Chase Freedom is one of the best no annual fee cards. 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 and more to be announced.
Q3: Gas stations and more to be announced.
Q4: Amazon.com and more to be announced.
I coined the term “Chase Trifecta” several years ago and this is one of the last times to take advantage of it. It refers to having a Chase checking account, a Chase Freedom card, and your choice of either a Chase Sapphire Preferred card or a Chase Ink Plus Card,
Through 02/2016 Freedom card earns a 10% annual point dividend in February on all points earned during the previous calendar year if you have a Chase checking account. 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.
Other Chase cards you can apply for at the same time include the Chase British Airways (Which has no fee for the first year until 12/31 only, 50K signup points, 1.25 Avios per dollar, and an annual companion award ticket if you spend $30K+ in a year), Chase United Explorer (30K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, and it gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance including in the US and Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more), the Chase Marriott (with 50K signup points plus a free night upon signup and a free night every subsequent year upon renewal) ,the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, no fee the first year, free primary car rental insurance including in the US and Israel, plus 2-2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees), the Chase Ink Plus (50K signup points, 5 points per dollar on telecom/office supplies, 2 points per dollar on hotels and gas) and the Chase Ink Cash (which has no annual fee and gives 5 points per dollar on telecom/office supplies and 2 points per dollar on dining and gas).