Offering five percent cash back, the Chase Freedom® Card is pretty great. But is it the best? Other five-percent cards might suit you better or at least as well as this one. Here’s what you need to know about the Chase Freedom® Card before making it your cash-back card of choice.
How Chase Freedom® Works
The Chase Freedom® Card always pays one percent back on purchases in the form of points, with each point counting as one cent. Once you acquire at least 2,000 points under the ultimate rewards program, you can cash them in for cash back. The card includes a revolving calendar of bonus categories that include common expenses like groceries, gas or Starbucks. When you buy goods that fall under these categories, you earn five times the points on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter (7,500 points).
Other bonuses, like the $100 sign-on bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months of holding the card make the offer even more appealing. You also get interest free credit on purchases for the first 15 months. With no annual fee, Chase Freedom® is a good deal… but it’s not the only game in town.
The Challenger: U.S. Bank Cash+™
If you need a little more flexibility in bonus categories, you could consider the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card instead. This one offers five percent back on two categories among twelve offered. These categories change every quarter. Like the Chase Freedom® Card, you must activate the categories, but the limit is higher, giving you cash back on up to $2,000 worth of purchases per quarter.
U.S. Bank Cash+™ also provides one percent back on all purchases. But the bonus structure is a little different. Besides the five percent back in bonus categories, users earn two percent back on one “everyday” category they choose, such as fuel or groceries. The interest free introductory period is nine months.
The Most Important Difference between the Two
Either program might work well for you, but before you decide on either card, know that Chase Freedom® includes fraud protection, while U.S. Bank Cash+™ does not. Given the nature of credit card security in the past few years, this could be the deciding factor for many.