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Chase Freedom Visa Review: $100 Cash Back Promo

Update: This offer is no longer available. Check out the Chase Credit Cards page to view Chase cards that are currently available.

I don't get super excited about credit cards that have rotating cash back categories. Personally, I tend to stick with cards that offer an unlimited amount of rewards at a fixed amount per dollar spent. It's easier to keep track of and I hate worrying about "signing up" for cash back promotions each quarter. That said, Chase's $100 cash back sign-up bonus after spending just $500 during the first 3 months makes the Chase Freedom Visa Card more appealing than it has been at times in the past.  If you're searching for a new cash back credit card and you prefer a card with no annual fee, here's 6 reasons why you may want to consider this latest offer from Chase:

  1. No annual fee, duh!
  2. $100 cash back after making $500 in purchases during the first 3 months. It's also $100 more than the competing Discover More Card (NOTE: This card is no longer available) offers new cardholders.
  3. 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus categories each quarter (You'll need to pay attention and activate your bonuses each quarter).
  4. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases, compared to the Discover More Card which only offers .25% until you hit a $3,000 spending threshold.
  5. Up to an additional 10% cash back when you shop online at select merchants through Chase's shopping portal. Don't overlook this added benefit because this is an easy way to rack up miles fast when making larger purchases.
  6. Your rewards never expire.

So what's not to like about this card?  As I mentioned, the rotating cash back categories can be a bit annoying, especially since you'll need to sign up and activate the bonuses each quarter.  In addition, the 5% cash back is capped at $1,500 per bonus category each quarter, and I never like any rewards that are "capped". Still, $75 in cash back each quarter may be hard to reach for many cardholders depending upon your annual spend.

The Verdict If you're willing to keep track of the bonus categories and you simply want a solid no annual fee credit card that offers cash back rewards, you might as well take advantage of this promo now and get $100 cash back.  Even if you only use the card for a month to spend $500 and get your free $100, it's not a bad deal at all. Since the Chase Freedom Visa Card has no annual fee, you can always park it in your desk afterwards and start using your primary credit card again.  No harm done and the cash will be yours to keep.

Updated May 8, 2013

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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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