Chase has increased the sign-up bonus on the no annual fee Chase Freedom Card, now offering a sign-up bonus of 20,000 points after spending $500 within three months (marketed as $200 cash back, though as I’ll discuss below you can do better than that). Plus earn a $25 bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period. Previously the sign-up bonus was only 10,000 points after spending $500 within three months.
The sign-up bonus itself isn’t amazing, though the great thing about this card is the earning potential. You earn five points per dollar spent in rotating quarterly categories, which can translate into a huge return. When you register your card each quarter you then earn 5x points for the first $1,500 spent in the category.
For example, this quarter the 5x points bonus categories are amazon.com and select department stores. Meanwhile for January through March of next year they’ve announced the bonus categories will be gas stations, Starbucks, and movie theaters.
With a bit of creativity it shouldn’t be too tough to max out the bonus categories each quarter, earning a total of 30,000 points for $6,000 of spend. That’s an amazing return, and the best part is that if you have a card that accrues “premium” Ultimate Rewards points (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Plus® Business Card), you can pool the points earned with your Freedom Card and transfer them to one of the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.
This is a card I’ve always wanted to get, though the sign-up bonus just wasn’t compelling enough at 10,000 points and there were always other cards I wanted to apply for first. With the higher sign-up bonus I’m signing up now, especially since this is a card that’s worth keeping long term given that it has no annual fee and has the potential to earn so many points.
After doing the math, I’m easily giving up 20,000+ points per year by not having the card, and that’s not even factoring in the sign-up bonus, so will be taking advantage of this personally.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I earn a referral bonus for anyone approved through the above links. Thanks for your support!)