Posted on

Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards Card Review

Small businesses are the bloodline of the economy, making up 46% of all non-farm gross domestic product within the United States and employing more than 48% of private sector employees, according to the most recent Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy report. As vital as small businesses are to a growing economic state, financing challenges are a prominent concern. A business credit card is often the first line of defense against cash-flow shortages and seasonal downturns in revenue. The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards Card is one of the most popular on the small business circuit given its plethora of perks.

Chase Ink Plus Business

Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards cardholders are privy to some of best benefits in terms of rewards potential available to business owners. Let’s take a look at how the Ink Plus Business card stacks up.

The Basics

The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card has an impressive rewards program for cardholders, touting the opportunity to earn five rewards points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases at office supply stores, on cable television services, on cellular and landline phone services and on Internet services. Rewards are also earned on combined purchases made at gas stations and hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel each anniversary year. For both the five times and the two times reward categories, cardholders earn points on the first $50,000 spent in any given year. All other purchases earn one reward point per dollar spent with no annual or lifetime limitations. Rewards do not have an expiration date as long as the credit card account remains open and in good standing.

Chase is well-known for offering strong rewards programs, and the Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card is no different. Rewards points can be redeemed for a number of different options, including cash back at a one to one ratio, meaning a 100 rewards equates to $1 in cash back. Cardholders can also redeem rewards for vacation packages, flights or cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. Gift cards are available from major retailers and merchants, and account holders have the option of shopping through the Amazon partner site with earned rewards as an alternative.

One of the most attractive features of the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card is the bonus offer available to new applicants. Currently, new cardholders have the opportunity to earn up to 60,000 bonus points when a minimum of $5,000 is spent on purchases within the first three months of account opening. When the bonus rewards are used to book travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards partner site, redeemed points are worth 25% more than other redemption outlets. For example, a flight or hotel accommodation purchased with 60,000 rewards points and redeemed through the site is worth $750 – a great way for business owners to put the Chase Ink Plus card to work for them.

Cardholder Extras

The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card offers additional perks to business owners above and beyond the rewards program. First, cardholders are not assessed any foreign transaction fees, a feature not found with all business credit cards. Business owners also have the option of adding an unlimited number of authorized users at no additional cost, saving both the time and hassle of giving certain employees access to spending on the card. Employee cards also come with individualized spending limits that can be changed at any time. As an added security feature, the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card comes with embedded chip technology, perfect for the business owner who travels outside the country on a regular basis.

Ink Plus cardholders also have the benefit of specialized account management only available to certain Chase customers. Account balances can be paid in full or over an extended period of time, based on the specific needs of the business and available cash-flow. Also, the Chase mobile app offers an easy, streamlined way to capture and tag business receipts on the go, in an instant. The combination of these additional perks gives the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card an advantage over comparable business credit cards.

The Fine Print

Credit cards can be lifesavers for small businesses, but it is important to understand how fees, restrictions and interest rates impact cardholders. The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card comes with an annual fee of $95, making is less attractive than some competing business credit cards with lower or no annual charge. Any business owner planning to utilize the Ink Plus credit card for a balance transfer should be aware that a greater of $5 or 5% of the total amount transferred is applicable, and cash advances incur a $15 or 5% fee, whichever is greater. Late payments may result in a fee, ranging from $15 up to $39, per payment.

The Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card does not offer an introductory interest rate or any balance transfer offers at this time. Instead, the standard annual percentage rate for purchases ranges from 15.49% up to 19.49%, based on the credit quality of the applicant; balance transfer rates fall into the same range. Interest rates on cash advances are a stark 25.24%, in addition to the aforementioned fees. Cardholders should know that because all interest rates associated with the credit card are variable from the onset, shifts in the market may have an impact on the actual interest rate applicable at any time. Chase states that the most qualified applicants are those with excellent personal credit history.

The Verdict

While the Chase Ink Plus Business Rewards credit card is an attractive solution for business owners in need of an accessible credit line with ample rewards, this card is best suited for individuals who are capable of earning enough in rewards to offset the $95 annual fee. For businesses who spend a substantial amount of cash on office supplies, cable and Internet services and travel, the rewards program is second to none. However, if your business does not spend much on these specific categories, or has relatively low spending on all other purchases, a card with no annual fee or a cash-back only rewards program may be a better solution.

Posted on

Comparing the Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited Cards

chase unlimited

Comparing the Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited Cards

Chase is really changing the rules of the credit card game as they recently announced a new card to their credit card arsenal, the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Rumors spread that the Chase Freedom product will be discontinued, but as of press writing, Chase is still accepting applications for the latter card. So, given the confusing name, and the fact that one product may eventually replace the other, what is the difference between the Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited?


chase unlimited


Associated Fees

Both cards have no annual fees, which makes it easier to keep both of these great cards forever. As of press writing, both also have a 0% introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers for the first 15 months. This is useful if you are planning to carry a balance on your card, but hopefully you won’t need to use this feature. After the first 15 months, the APR will change depending on the bank’s judgment of your credit worthiness, so check your terms as soon as you get approved for either card. Both cards also charge foreign transaction fees, so they may not be the best cards to use when you are planning to travel overseas, since these fees add up.

Looking at the associated fees related to both the Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited, there’s not much difference between the two.


The Rewards

The Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card use the same point system: Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR), which is highly valuable as the points can be used as cash back or travel on the UR website. If you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Ink card along with your Freedom card, you can  transfer to various airline partners such as British Airways, Southwest, and United. You can also transfer your Ultimate Rewards Points to hotel partners such as Hyatt, Marriott and IHG.

If you still can’t understand the intricacies of the different points/miles used by hotels and airlines, you may opt to use the Ultimate Rewards portal to book tours, cruises, airline tickets, or hotels for an average of 1.25 cents per point.

Since both credit cards use the same Ultimate Rewards points, and cash back system, which is highly valuable, we deem them to be equal to each other.


Sign-up Bonuses

The Chase Freedom card has occasional promotional sign up bonuses as high as 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points, equivalent to roughly $200 or more in travel rewards upon spending $2,000 in three months once approved. Normally, both cards offer between 10,000 – 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points, equivalent to roughly $100-$150 in rewards, depending on how you value them upon reaching the spend limit once approved. For this aspect, both cards are also equal.


Additional Perks

An additional perk that the Chase Freedom & Chase Freedom Unlimited have is the auto rental collision damage waiver, which is always included if you use either of these cards to purchase a rental car. This will save you a bit of money by declining the collision damage insurance that the rental car companies may be offering.

Both credit cards also offer purchase protection and roadside assistance, which are mostly given to Visa Signature cards. On the additional perks side, both cards are equal.


Earning Points

If you look at our first three points above, you’ll see that both cards are equal to each other. However, there is a big tie breaker: how each card earns points for every dollar you spend.

The Chase Freedom card is a favorite card for all travel aficionados. Why? Because the Chase Freedom is a unique cash back card that allows you to earn 5 points for every $1 spent on rotating categories every quarter, with a maximum of $1,500 spent.

If you spent more than $1,500 a quarter on a specific category, it will default back to 1 point to $1 spend. These categories are normally announced at least a few months in advance, so you have ample time to make plans if this is a good deal for your spending habits or not. Chase categories range from restaurants, movie theatres, Amazon, Department Stores, grocery stores, gas, ground transportation, home improvement stores, and many more. A downside to the Chase Freedom card is that it will require you to activate the quarterly bonuses on your card. If you forget to activate the 5x bonus, you’ll only get the normal point for every spend, which is 1 UR point to $1. Also be sure to double check the merchant that you are planning to use the card for, to see if it is coded in the category you’re expecting it to fall under. Check the visa merchant website if you want to know more about the coding.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card, on the other hand, does not have rotating quarterly category bonuses, but instead gives 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points for every $1 you spend, no exceptions. This is especially good if you don’t want to bother remembering all the quarterly categories, therefore making it an excellent option for an everyday card.

So, which one is better? It depends on your spending habits: if you feel that you are going to use the card for everyday spending and not in a particular category, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited makes more sense to get. However, if you feel that you can make the most of the rotating quarterly bonuses (maximum of $1,500 per quarter), then the Chase Freedom is for you.



Looking at the cards more closely, it appears that they are almost equal in every aspect except for earning bonuses. So, which card should you get all things being equal? You can opt to get the Chase Freedom now (since there are rumors that it may be discontinued soon), then sign up for the Chase Freedom Unlimited a few months after. Taking into consideration Chase’s new 5/24 rule, it makes more sense to space out your applications accordingly, so that you can get both cards and enjoy the sign up bonuses that come with them. It all depends on your goals: whether you’ll want to use the card for travel or just as a regular cash back card, both the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited are great and should definitely be wallet staples.

Posted on

How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

For the last five years, Chase customers have been using the Ultimate Rewards Program to earn tons of points for travel perks. As the program has developed, many travel partners have been added, including airlines, hotels and more. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways for you to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points so that you can make the most of your purchases and earn vacations more quickly!

Three Credit Cards to Choose From

Chase offers three different cards when it comes to earning Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for airline miles or hotel points. You can opt for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Ink Bold or the Chase Ink Plus. None of these cards come without annual fees, but the annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year for each of these cards.

More Options For Earning Points

Chase does offer several other no-annual-fee credit cards that will earn points, but the points that are earned cannot be transferred for redemption by any of the partner programs. You can still use them for the actual program you are registered for, or exchange them for cash back or gift card options.

You can transfer your points among different Chase cards that are associated with the Ultimate Rewards, so if you have a higher-tiered card, you can transfer the points earned from your no-fee card, like the Chase Freedom, and then have more options when you want to redeem them.

Different Earning Potential Among Cards

There is a distinct difference when it comes to earning points if you are using the annual fee version or the no-fee versions of these Chase credit cards. All of the Chase cards mentioned offer earning potential of 1 point per dollar spent. When you have one of the annual fee versions of the cards, you will have the ability to earn bonus points in specific categories, up to 5 points per dollar spent.

For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2 points per dollar spent on airfare, dining and travel purchases, while the business cards, the Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold, each offer 2 points per dollar spent on gas and hotels. The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers an additional perk of a 7% bonus at the end of the year on all of your points earned. This means if you have earned 40,000 points during the year, you will receive a bonus of 2,800 points at the end of the year!

For business customers using the Chase Ink cards, it is possible to earn 5 points per dollar spent on all of your business expenses—including cell phone, internet services and cable charges. You can earn up to 250,000 points per year this way!

Redeeming at the Ultimate Rewards Mall

One of the great things about the Chase Ultimate Rewards program is the many ways in which you can redeem your points. The online shopping portal, the Ultimate Rewards Mall, not only offers amazing deals from hundreds of your favorite retailers, but you can also enjoy bonus points for most purchases—some may be up to 30 points per dollar spent!

Just as an example, if you spent $200 with a 30 points-per-dollar bonus, you would earn 6,000 points. When you consider that a standard rate is $35 for 1,000 miles, purchased through the airline, you are essentially getting 6,000 miles for $200—a significant savings—because you are not just buying the miles, you have $200 worth of merchandise to go along with it.

Bottom Line

Maximizing earning potential is a priority for any rewards credit card holder. After all, why have the credit card if you are not going to take advantage of the perks? Learn how you can get the highest earning rates, and how to spend in a way that gets you the most points or cash back.

In this case, you can see just how great the Chase offers are, especially if you want to redeem your points with the travel partners of United Airlines, British Airways, Marriott, InterContinental, Korean Air, Southwest Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton and more!

Read this post for ways to redeem your Ultimate Rewards.

Posted on

Singapore Airlines Added as Ultimate Rewards Partner

Chase Ultimate Rewards emerged as a steady competitor to the industry giant American Express Membership Rewards a few years ago, with its strong group of transfer partners.  Now, Chase has announced that Singapore Airlines is now a transfer partner of its Ultimate Rewards program, making the program that much stronger.  Let’s dig into the details, and check out some of the program features of Chase Ultimate Rewards, shall we?


New Transfer Partner

Singapore Airlines is now a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is great news for those of you with a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (or one of the business card products Ink Bold or Ink Plus).  This makes the 11th transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards, following United, Southwest, British Airways, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG Hotels, Ritz-Carlton, and Amtrak.

Singapore Airlines is interesting, as it is now the third airline, after British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, that is a transfer partner in all three ‘major’ programs- Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, and SPG.

Singapore flies from Housotn, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, to places like Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Moscow, Seoul, and Tokyo.


The Program

Chase Ultimate Rewards is an amazing transfer program.  With their partners, you can transfer one Chase Ultimate Reward point for every mile in the program you are transferring to.  Everything is 1:1!  The flexibility of the partners really makes things great, as well.  With at least one major carrier in each alliance, as well as major hotel and rail brands, makes all of your potential travel covered by the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program.

Their card product are equally as impressive.  The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers 40,000 miles for spending $3,000 in three months, is a powerhouse.  You receive double points on all travel and dining spend (and three times the points on the first Fridays of each month), as well as a 7% points dividend at the end of each year which is based on your spend each calendar year.  This is an awesome incentive to use this card as much as possible!

Furthermore, since the card is a Visa Signature card, you’ll receive awesome benefits like purchase protection and access to the Visa Signature Hotels collection, which you can couple with various statuses to really make your hotel stays exemplary!

Finally, you can double (or triple (or quadruple)) up on cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, combining them into one tidy account!  Your Ink Bold and Ink Plus business cards earn these points as well (and their sign up bonus equally as large), and if you have the Chase Freedom credit card you’ll see your cash back converted into Ultimate Rewards points if you’d like.



This is quite a nice move by Ultimate Rewards, adding so much to their already strong program.  More and more transfer partners only make things better for the customer, which is what a company like Chase should be doing.  Now, will we see an additional hotel partner in the future?  Only time will tell.  Does this make you want to apply for a Chase credit card more?  Let us know in the comments!

Posted on

Chase Ultimate Rewards vs. American Express Membership Rewards

There are several travel rewards programs out there attached to credit card products.  American Express Membership Rewards are perhaps the most famous- they certainly pioneered the ‘transfer partner.’  But now, there’s a new(-ish) kid in town: Chase Ultimate Rewards.  Let’s compare the two programs below!



Option to transfer points

One obvious similarity between the two programs is their option of transfer partners.  Many other credit cards, like a Southwest or a JetBlue credit card, are tied to one singular travel program.  The points you earn with those cards are only able to be used with those programs.  Not so with Chase and American Express’ programs.  They have transfer partners, a varied grouping of airlines and hotels that you can use your points towards.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to use each of the points in these programs toward booking travel directly, through either Chase’s or American Express’ dedicated flight booking engine.

Shopping portal

Each has their own shopping portals that you can earn a large swatch of bonus points by buying through that point of purchase.  You’ll use each one of the credit cards on these purchases just like any other online store.  You can also use the points for cash back or gift cards (but usually an awful deal).

Credit Card options

By far the best personal rewards card in either program is Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Both Chase’s Ultimate Rewards and American Express’ Membership Rewards have several different cards in each program, geared to both personal and business customers.

Cards in Chase’s arsenal are:

  • the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire cards
  • the Ink Bold and Ink Plus business credit cards, and
  • the Chase Freedom card (which can be used in the program only if you have one of the other cards).

American Express has:

  • the Platinum Card
  • the Premier Rewards Gold Card
  • the Gold Card
  • the Green Card, and
  • the Amex EveryDay Credit card.

Most of these products have business versions of the card.



Different Transfer Partners

Each program has different transfer partners.

Membership Rewards has: AeroMexico, Air Canada, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, British Airways, Delta, El Al Airlines, Emirates, Air France, Frontier, Hawaiian, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore, Virgin America, and Virgin Atlantic, as well as Best Western, Choice Privileges, Hilton and SPG. The option to transfer points to SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) is an added benefit, since it has many transfer partners of its own.

Chase Ultimate Rewards has: Southwest, United, British Airways, Korean Air, Amtrak, Marriott, IHG, Hyatt, Ritz Carlton, and Virgin Atlantic.

Redeeming points

With American Express, the points for each partner can vary (like 1:1.5 for Hilton).  Chase stays constant at 1:1.  Furthermore, you can use Membership Rewards right on  In addition, there seems to be more ‘bonus’ transfer point opportunities in the Membership Rewards program each year (currently a 30% bonus on points transferred to Virgin Atlantic).



I don’t think that there’s one ‘better program’ out there, but I do recommend having a card that earns points in each of these programs.  The power of having so many transfer partners at your disposal will make travel planning easier (or more complicated, if that’s the way you choose to look at it!).  So, which one do you feel is the best for you?  Let us know in the comments below, and tell us about your experiences with either the Ultimate Rewards or Membership Rewards programs!


Posted on

Chase Credit Card Comparison: Sapphire Preferred vs. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards card? If you’re wondering which one is better for your wallet, keep reading!

There are some really great travel credit cards out there.  And, there are some great ones that specialize in the airlines.  Not all carriers are created equal, however.  One that consistently stands out from the pack in America is Southwest Airlines.  Known for its low fares and no-frills in-cabin experience, Southwest is essential to any “Sky Warrior” business traveler or leisure traveler.

As a partner with Chase, Southwest has its own credit card.  But, it is also a transfer partner with Ultimate Rewards, the points currency of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.  So, which card is the better one to apply for?  Let’s explore the options below, category by category!

Hint: If you’re impatience the Chase Sapphire Preferred is hands down the better card. You can see more details or apply through the link below.

Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card



Annual Fee

Both cards carry an annual fee.  The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card comes with a $95 annual fee.  However, this annual fee is waived for the first year of card membership!  The Southwest product offering, however, comes with a $99 annual fee, which is not waived for the first year.  So, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card wins this round!


Sign-Up Bonus

Both credit cards used to have higher regular sign-up bonuses.  The Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns you 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points (which can be transferred into Southwest) when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months of card membership!  This amount is a high number, as Ultimate Rewards points are worth a great deal!  The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card now only earns you 25,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in the first three months, down from 50,000 miles a few months ago.  So, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card wins this round as well!


Bonus Points/Miles

This is important if you plan on using the cards regularly.  For the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, you earn two points per dollar on every purchase involving travel and dining.  Every other purchase earns one Ultimate Rewards point.  For the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card, you’ll earn two points for every Southwest and Airtran Purchase.  After that, you’ll earn one point for every other purchase.

Each card will get you anniversary miles or points on your cardmember anniversary.  You’ll earn 6,000 miles with the Southwest credit card each anniversary, compared with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which will earn you a 7% bonus on all the miles you earned in the past year with the card.   The winner here is Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, since you’ll earn more total points over the year, and all Southwest purchases would fall under that ‘travel’ category!



Sure, there are benefits to each card, but I believe that the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a better ‘all-around’ credit card.  Not only can use the Ultimate Rewards points for Southwest flights, you can transfer to a whole slew of other partners if you need to!  It’s truly the best of both worlds. And it has a higher sign-up bonus.

So, did I convince you that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card reigns supreme? Or, does the Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card rule in your book?  If you would like more detail or want to apply the link is below.

Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Posted on

US Bank SKYPASS Visa Signature Credit Card Review

The US Bank SKYPASS card is great for those who use Korean Air.

US Bank’s SKYPASS Visa Signature isn’t too impressive as far as airline cards go, but it’s well worth it if you happen to travel with Korean Air often, since the miles earned are good for reward travel and upgrades on that airline, as well as the other SkyTeam partners.

You get the standard earnings rate of 1 mile for every dollar charged on the card and double miles on Korean Air ticket purchases. The good news is that the spending requirement for the sign up bonus is low — all you have to do is make one purchase. The bad news is that the bonus is also low, at just 15,000 bonus miles. This is enough to grab you a domestic flight in Korea… and not much else. Still, it’s nice that they give you 2,000 bonus miles every year you renew to help off-set the $80 annual fee. That and having no foreign transaction fee are features we would love to see on all airline cards.

The SKYPASS card also gets you two Korean Air VIP Lounge coupons every year. You do have to be flying with Korean Air to use these, but they work in lounges across North America and South America as well as Seoul, Korea. Each coupon is good for one person, so you can either use them for two lounge visits for yourself, or for one lounge visit where you bring a friend.

The miles you earn from making purchases on the SKYPASS card count towards Morning Calm Club membership. That is a pretty rare feature for an airline card and a pretty nice name for elite status. Morning Calm Club membership gets you exclusive check-in services, lounge access, priority baggage handling, and SkyTeam Elite member status. To qualify, you need to accumulate 50,000 miles, but sadly only 20,000 can be gotten from the SKYPASS card. Still, it puts you almost half way there.

Again, this card makes sense primarily for those who already travel with Korean Air a good bit. Also note that you can always top off your Korean Air account with Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire Preferred — which is arguably a better card in basically every way.

Other perks include bilingual customer service and a free credit score every month. Plus, since this is a Visa Signature card, it has all of those benefits, as well. Visa Signature benefits are largely aimed towards travelers; the list includes stuff like travel insurance, rental car insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, concierge customer service, and more.


Posted on

Chase Freedom: rewards like carnivals

The Chase Freedom® is hands down one of the best personal rewards credit cards out there.

Link: Chase Freedom®

Our readers are bargain hounds, often wondering which rewards program is the very tastiest. Here, the Chase Freedom credit card poses an interesting conundrum: sure, 5% cash back is just about the highest rewards rate out there, but it’s only offered on a couple categories that change every quarter, with all other purchases receiving 1%. By the way, the Discover it® card also offers 5% cash back on rotating categories.

Some argue that this means the card can be looked at as having a 2% cash back rate on those categories and 1% on everything else, since that’s what it averages out to over the course of the year. So, for the person looking for travel rewards, they might opt for the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®, which earns 2 points per dollar on every purchase.

But there’s two problems with that logic. First, the categories are usually appropriate to the season — for example, a past category is theme parks. This bumps up the value, since it’s stuff you’re going to be paying for anyway at that time of year. Second, the fact that this card has no annual fee means you don’t have to worry about meeting a minimum spend to make up for it. In other words, you can enjoy cashing out at a chunky 5% on bonus categories only when they’re up, and allocating your spending the rest of the year on more generous rewards programs. Music to the ears? Here’s the nitty-gritty.


The Basics

Not only is there no annual fee for this credit card, but the Chase Freedom® card also offers an introductory 0% APR on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. That’s over a year that you don’t have to worry about interest. (Balance transfers do still get charged a 3% fee, which is fairly standard.) Plus, this card is relatively easy to qualify for, compared to the rewards it offers. Jump on it!

Or, maybe you won’t stop worrying about interest, because you are a credit control freak, like most of us at CWD. Well, this card comes with a shiny toy just for you. The Blueprint tool is a handy way to manage your purchases on the card. You can design plans to pay off big purchases — it shows you the monthly amount for your desired time frame, then sets it apart on your statements. Or you can designate certain categories to be paid off in full each month — also set apart. The spending trends feature shows you your monthly spending, split up into easy-to-understand categories. And if you don’t like what you see, you can set a monthly budget for those categories that you’ve got a weakness for. Your color-coded highlighters can finally take a break.


The Rewards Program

Again, the Chase Freedom credit card offers 5% cash back on rotating categories and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Up for the rest of 2013: theme parks, Kohl’s,, some department stores, and gas stations. Refreshingly, it looks like the card doesn’t put the usual limitations on gas stations such as excluding warehouse clubs: a vendor just needs to sell automotive gasoline. You do have to activate your rewards before the end of the quarter in order for the 5% bonus to take effect, but luckily if you wait until the end everything still gets applied retroactively. The activation process is a breeze, you can simply reply to their text or click a link in their email, whatever you choose. Though, why they make you activate at all is beyond us — who is going to say no to this? “I hate getting free money. It sucks.”

Get even more cash back when you shop through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site, which links to online retailers with increased points bonuses sometimes reaching 8x! (Not to mention occasionally scoring perks such as free shipping.) As far as redeeming, rest assured there are no limits and no expiration dates on your points. If you want cash (in at least $20 increments), you can opt for a statement credit, direct deposit, or paper check. Other redemption options include gift cards, travel, merchandise, or exclusive cool experiences. Oh, and don’t forget you can always transfer Ultimate Rewards points to your Chase Sapphire Preferred card for amazing flexibility and value in travel options.


Final Verdict

With no annual fee, there is no reason not to get this card. 5% cash back is tough to beat — well, unless you’re getting even more through the Ultimate Rewards mall. Talk about a win-win. Don’t let the rotating categories spook you. Carnivals come and go too, but we still enjoy them.

Apply Now: Chase Freedom®