Saturday, June 16, 2007

Chase Freedom: Free Money

So seeing that I need to build my credit history I decided to sign up for another credit card to add to my Citi Professional Card. I was waiting for a card to give me a signup reward and a worthwhile cash back program. Enter Chase Freedom.

While reading @ work, I came across the post for a $250 signup reward when applying for the card. I was hesitant at first seeing that you only saw the signup on the landing page occasionally and on the application form there was no mention of the bonus. Regardless, some posters had detailed their success in getting the reward so I took the plunge.

Weeks passed and I was worried whether or not I'd actually get the card. I gave my email address and everything, but I'd had no word from Chase for a good two weeks or so. Eventally the card came but no mention of the rewards. I quickly signed up for the online account and scoured the pages for the reward. Nada.

So I thought I'd been screwed, but low and behold when checking my account balance one day the rewards showed up in my account. Clicked on "redeem" and received my $250 check in the mail about a week later.

So what's the good and the bad with the card?

  • Accumulating $200 in rewards is good for a $250 check (Otherwise you can cash out $50 in rewards for $50). Effectively that's a 1.25% cash back instead of 1.00% if you can wait to accumulate $200.
  • 3% on Gas, Grocery and Quick Service Restaurants. I rarely buy gas or groceries, so that really doesn't matter for me. I do go to places for lunch, but I've yet to see getting 3% back at the delis and sandwich shops I go to... I wonder if its only for fast food which I've been trying no to eat...
  • Online account is easy to use. No hassles
  • Ridiculous APR. I pay my balances in full every month, but if you miss a payment on this baby you're screwed. So definitely sign up for the email reminders when your bill is due.
  • No 3% back on regular restaurants.
All in all, I think I'll use the Freedom card over the Professional for everyday purchases and the like and reserve the Professional for restaurants. In the meantime I'll be on the lookout for possibly another card with a different type of reward.

One Love,

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