I’ve been reviewing credit cards for a good number of years now. Through it all I’ve found it very difficult to pick the best all around card. The difficulty is that the best credit cards typically excel at one feature, like having a low interest rate, the longest 0% offer, or the best rewards. What might be the top card for one person may not be the right choice for somebody else.
But if I had to pick the best card, the Chase Freedom card (which I’ve used for several years) would make the short list. The reason I like the card as one of the best overall options is because it has good cash back rewards and a solid 0% introductory rate, a combination that is hard to find in a single card. And it has no annual fee and offers a cash bonus.
Let’s look at each of these card benefits.
0% Introductory Interest Rate
Until recently, the Chase Freedom offered a 0% rate on balance transfers for 12 months. Now the card has extended the introductory rate to 15 months. As with most balance transfer offers, there is a transfer fee of 3% of the amount transferred (minimum $5). The card offers a no fee balance transfer option.
The card also offers 0% on purchases for 15 months. This too is an improvement, as the card use to offer this introductory rate for just six months.
The card offers two different cash back rewards. First, every purchase earns at least 1% cash back. That’s the standard reward in the credit card industry.
Second, the Chase Freedom is one of a few 5% cash back credit cards. Here’s how it works. Every year, Chase puts together a calendar of categories in which consumers will earn 5% cash back. Each quarter the maximum cash back that can be earned with the 5% categories is $75 (5% of $1,500). Once you’ve exhausted this amount, additional purchase in these categories receive 1% cash back.
It’s important to remember that you must log into your account and signup for these quarterly categories to get the 5% cash back. It just takes a few seconds, but you don’t want to forget.
$150 and $25 Cash Bonus
Chase Freedom offers a $150 cash bonus (up from $100) after you spend $500 on the card in the first three months. Chase will also pay a $25 bonus when you add an authorized user and make your first purchase within the first three months of account opening.
Fees & Rates
There is no annual fee. As for the interest rates, they range based on the applicant’s creditworthiness.
The card requires excellent credit.
Get more details and apply online at CardRatings.com.