Chase Freedom 20,000 Point Sign-Up Bonus!

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 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!)


  1. Bonus categories this quarter are great. Amazon and department stores, in my household meaning Nordstrom. Which comes with additional shopping portal bonuses, is just the thing for holiday shopping.

    But next quarter: Starbucks and movie theatres? That leaves me with just gas, and thankfully there is no way I’m spending $500 a month on that.

    Hard to complain too much, since it’s a free card, so other than once a week for gas, it can stay in my sock drawer. But I was really disappointed to find out what the next bonuses were going to be.

    However for someone who doesn’t have one yet, the 20K UA or BA miles for no fee and only $500 minimum spend is a great sign up deal for sure.

  2. If you didn’t have either of them, and had to choose between CSP with the new 50K+5K bonus and the CF, which one would you choose?

  3. I’ve had the Chase Freedom since 2007, back before I became wise in the ways of the miles/points game. I added my wife as an authorized user at the time, and she’s still on the account as an authorized user. If I remove her, can she then apply for this on her own and receive the sign-up bonus? Or will the fact that she’s an authorized user disqualify her from the sign up bonus?

  4. @Julian,
    if you only have the Freedom card, the points are only good for cash back / gift cards. You need a SP or INK card in order to transfer all earned ultimate reward points to transfer partners like United and Hyatt.

    She’s not the primary account holder so she should still be eligible for the bonus.

  5. @ Robert Hanson — It can require a bit of creativity sometimes, but many gas stations sell gift cards, so it shouldn’t be too tough…

  6. Hi Lucky, do you know if Starbucks and gas stations outside of USA is eligible for bonus points? We are traveling for work and have been eyeing the Chase freedom for while already. But we just applied and got approved for the United miles card 2 months ago, so let’s see…

  7. Applied and approved for my wife through your link, Lucky. Love the site and appreciate all you do to keep us informed. Just a little way for us to give some love back!

  8. @ Audrey — If I’m not mistaken the bonus categories are US only, though I could be wrong. Keep in mind the card has foreign transaction fees, though, so it’s probably not worth it either way.

  9. Lucky,

    I like to collect more miles or points. We currently have Mastercard with Citi Platinum Level with AA miles and American Express Business Platinum. My husband told me if you sign up for more credit cards it will hurt your credit scores. Does it?
    Can we do better?

  10. I hope you are having a great trip so far. I actually found your post about credit score and so on and read it too:)
    I would love to get 20K + with one of the Chase credit card. Question is where could I use them. Seems to me Visa, Mastercard… I can use everywhere but Chase? Who will accept them?

  11. @ Kathrin — Chase is actually just the bank, while Visa and Mastercard issue the cards, so you could use them just about anywhere — they have the highest acceptance of any cards in the world.

  12. Lucky,

    I do see the benefit with the Chase credit card (no foreign transaction fee, 2Xpoints for travel and dinning and so on). However if I want to just keep it simple and collect miles with AA and partners wouldn’t it be better to apply for the Visa US airways credit card (sorry I tried to find the post where you had them all lined up but could not find it)since they will soon a milage partner with AA anyway. I have the point system with American Express as well. I am afraid opening another 3rd “account” will not increase my AA miles rather divide them up in 3 different accounts which might not be very helful. What do you think?

  13. @ Kathrin — There’s certainly a fine line between diversifying points and over-diversifying them. If you do want to collect more American miles you’d indeed be best off sticking to the US Airways credit card. I think it makes sense at some point to consider what your overall travel plans are and based on that decide which program suits you best.

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