Even though Chase markets Freedom as a cash back credit card, you're actually earning one "point" for every dollar you spend. Once you've got enough points to make it worthwhile, you can "pay yourself back" on Chase's website, applying 2,000 points toward $20 of your balance. You can even request cash back as a mailed check with the same exchange rate.
Door No. 2, anyone?
In a fashion that would make Monty Hall proud, you don't have to settle for the cash. You can actually swap some of your points for travel gift certificates or other rewards at a slightly better redemption rate than a penny per point.
However, like any rewards credit card, Chase Freedom carries a handful of restrictions:
- Bonus offers cap earnings after $1,500 in purchases. Chase lets cardholders enroll in seasonal bonus offers that can increase earnings to 5 percent of each purchase in qualifying categories. However, those bonus points stop accruing once you've reached $1,500 in spending in a featured category. Both the clock and the category list reset every three months.
- You can't "buy cash" with your Chase Freedom. Some savvy rewards credit card users discovered loopholes that let them earn points when buying cash from the U.S. Mint or purchasing certain kinds of gift cards. Not any more. Chase no longer counts those purchases toward your rewards balance.
- You need to activate your bonus each quarter to be eligible for the bonus categories.
Remember that the terms and conditions of any rewards credit card can change any time. It's in your best interest to redeem points from your Chase Freedom as soon as you reach your goal.