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Deal of the Month: Cash boost and sign-up bonus from Chase Freedom

By , CardRatings contributor
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The typical American plans to spend more than $800 on holiday shopping this year, according to data collected by the National Retail Federation. More than half that amount will go toward gifts, NRF researchers say, and about half of that gift-buying budget will get spent online. That's a big reason for Chase Freedom status as the Deal of the Month for November.

Like other cash-back credit cards, Chase Freedom offers bonus rebates of up to 5 percent for up to $1,500 in combined purchases in a series of featured spending categories that update every three months. For the promotional period leading up to peak shopping season, October 1 - December 31, 2014, Chase has bundled purchases at select department stores with those made at either Amazon.com or Zappos.com.

This year, Chase adds a 5 percent "Cash Back Boost" for Freedom cardholders who shop online with some traditional department store brands, including:

  • Macy's

  • Nordstrom

  • JCPenney

  • Sears

Qualifying purchases at those stores made through Dec. 31, 2014 can earn up to 10 percent cash back, instead of the usual bonus. Specialty retailers offer even larger "Cash Back Boost" amounts, as high as the 10 percent rebates offered for orders from Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

This card's quarterly bonus spending cap of $1,500 in combined purchases gives typical shoppers plenty of headroom, at least according to NRF's research. However, shoppers who feel a little more generous can take advantage of other opportunities to save cash with Chase Freedom:

  • New cardholders can qualify for up to $125 in bonus rewards, which includes a $100 sign-up bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first three month from account opening, and $25 for adding your first authorized user and making at least one purchase within this same three-month period.

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards online shopping offers bonus cash rebates for online purchases through partner websites, ranging from a 2 percent bonus at the Apple Store to a 15 percent bonus with ProFlowers.

  • Unlimited 1 percent cash back on all purchases.

Although many Americans like to spread out their holiday spending, this no-annual-fee card also offers zero-percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After that promotional period expires, a variable APR of 13.99-22.99 percent applies, based on your creditworthiness. Whether you're looking for a solid cash-back card to help you even out your year-end cash flow, or you want to maximize your cash-back rebates, Chase Freedom has a lot to offer this holiday season.

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