Chase Freedom + Chase Checking = Even Better Rewards - NerdWallet
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Chase Freedom + Chase Checking = Even Better Rewards

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Chase Freedom + Chase Checking = Even Better Rewards

Aw nerds! Looks like this page may be out of date. Please visit NerdWallet’s Chase Freedom® page or NerdWallet’s Chase Bank review  for updated info.

The  Chase Freedom® is one of the best no-fee credit cards, offering a full 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories and 1% everywhere else. But it gets even better: right now they’re offering a bonus for Chase checking account customers that could net you an impressive 11% rewards on a $1 purchase, and at least a 1.1% rewards rate elsewhere. They also have a great signup bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. How? Chase is pushing its “relationship banking,” so if you have both a Chase checking account and the Chase Freedom®, you’ll get:

Features of the Chase Freedom®:

  • 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories, up to $1,500 spent per quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back elsewhere
  • Access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall, which earns up to 20% cash back on select merchants

Additional goodies:

  • 10 bonus points per purchase
  • Extra 0.1% cash back on all purchases (regular purchases get 1.1% back, bonus purchases 5.1%)

How do Chase’s checking accounts compare?

Chase, like most big banks, offers conditionally free checking. There are three accounts that qualify:

Total Checking Premier Plus Checking Premier Platinum Checking
Minimum Deposit $25 $25 $100
Monthly Fee $10 $25 $25
Avoid Monthly Fee $500+ direct deposit
OR
$1,500 minimum daily balance
OR

$5,000+ average daily balance in linked deposits or investments
$15,000+ average daily balance in linked deposits or investments $75,000+ average daily balance in linked deposits or investments

Update: An astute reader pointed out that the student checking account does not qualify. Sorry, college kids, no free lunch.

Obviously, if you can’t make the minimum balance requirements and would have to pay a monthly fee, it’s not worth it to get a checking account. If you have a Chase checking account, you’ll also get discounts or perks on CDs, auto loans, HELOCs, mortgages and investments.

Get the most out of your Chase Freedom

One last rewards-maximizer for the Chase Freedom®: the Ultimate Rewards discounts mall. If you go to the mall’s site and click through to any of the featured merchants’ websites, you’ll earn anywhere from 2% to 20% cash back on top of your usual earnings. To see where you can earn extra rewards, check out the NerdWallet discount tool’s summary of the Ultimate Rewards mall.

For an in-depth look at the Chase Freedom®, check out our review.

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  • http://twitter.com/sunkcosts slug

    Pardon for pointing out the obvious, but it looks like unless you’re spending more than $1500/mth on the card, then it would be better to not go the checking account path as long as your checking account pays you .1% or better. Mine pays .25%.

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Good point, Slug. However, if you make a lot of small purchases on the card, your rewards rate skyrockets. A $1 purchase earns 11% rewards, a $2 purchase earns 6% rewards and a $10 purchase earns 2% rewards. So I think it’s highly dependent on how much money you have in the checking account, what sorts of purchases you make and how much interest you earn.

      A lot of high-yield checking accounts top out after a certain amount. For example, I bank at Lake Michigan Credit Union. You earn 3% APY on balances up to $15,000, but nothing after that, so if you’re lucky enough to make that $15,000 threshold with $1,500 to spare, you can put that excess money to work.

    • fredfnord

      Not quite right. It would be ‘as long as your checking account pays you 0.1% PER MONTH or better. Which would be 1.2% per year (actually 1.199-ish), which is not impossible to find at the moment but definitely way above average. Or, to look at it another way, if your account pays 0.25%, and you had $1500 in it, you would need to spend $3750 PER YEAR (again, not exactly correct if it’s compounded monthly, but close enough), not per month, to better it.

      Plus, it is generally easy enough to find a $150 or $200 bonus for opening a Chase checking account and keeping it open for six months. That’s an APY that I challenge you to find anywhere else.

      Finally, NerdWallet is definitely right that the extra ten points per transaction can add up, although to me (since I have an account that requires that I run ten low-dollar-amount debit card transactions per month in order to get me almost 2.5% APY on) it’s the least compelling argument.

  • http://sunkcostsareirrelevant.com/ Slug @ SunkCostsAreIrrelevant

    Pardon for pointing out the obvious, but it looks like unless you’re spending more than $1500/mth on the card, then it would be better to not go the checking account path as long as your checking account pays you .1% or better. Mine pays .25%.

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Good point, Slug. However, if you make a lot of small purchases on the card, your rewards rate skyrockets. A $1 purchase earns 11% rewards, a $2 purchase earns 6% rewards and a $10 purchase earns 2% rewards. So I think it’s highly dependent on how much money you have in the checking account, what sorts of purchases you make and how much interest you earn.

      A lot of high-yield checking accounts top out after a certain amount. For example, I bank at Lake Michigan Credit Union. You earn 3% APY on balances up to $15,000, but nothing after that, so if you’re lucky enough to make that $15,000 threshold with $1,500 to spare, you can put that excess money to work.

    • fredfnord

      Not quite right. It would be ‘as long as your checking account pays you 0.1% PER MONTH or better. Which would be 1.2% per year (actually 1.199-ish), which is not impossible to find at the moment but definitely way above average. Or, to look at it another way, if your account pays 0.25%, and you had $1500 in it, you would need to spend $3750 PER YEAR (again, not exactly correct if it’s compounded monthly, but close enough), not per month, to better it.

      Plus, it is generally easy enough to find a $150 or $200 bonus for opening a Chase checking account and keeping it open for six months. That’s an APY that I challenge you to find anywhere else.

      Finally, NerdWallet is definitely right that the extra ten points per transaction can add up, although to me (since I have an account that requires that I run ten low-dollar-amount debit card transactions per month in order to get me almost 2.5% APY on) it’s the least compelling argument.

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  • http://twitter.com/patz2009 Patrick Connor

    The Chase Student Checking account doesn’t qualify for the Chase Exclusives program (which was confirmed to me via a secure message with a Chase representative). I’d avoid listing it, just to avoid confusion.

    Also, if you’re looking to maximize more Chase Freedom rewards, they’re currently running one of their gift card sales.

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi Patrick,

      Thank you so much for letting us know! We’ll be sure to update.

  • Patrick Connor

    The Chase Student Checking account doesn’t qualify for the Chase Exclusives program (which was confirmed to me via a secure message with a Chase representative). I’d avoid listing it, just to avoid confusion.

    Also, if you’re looking to maximize more Chase Freedom rewards, they’re currently running one of their gift card sales.

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi Patrick,

      Thank you so much for letting us know! We’ll be sure to update.

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  • http://twitter.com/wowotoe Eric Yang

    I just recently got my new USBank Cash+ Visa Signature, which let you select your own categories for 5% & 2%. I think depends on how you use it, it will probably become the new #1 cashback reward card and leave Chase Freedom in the dust. Unfortunately there is no USBank Cash+ review on NerdWallet yet.

  • http://twitter.com/wowotoe Eric Yang

    I just recently got my new USBank Cash+ Visa Signature, which let you select your own categories for 5% & 2%. I think depends on how you use it, it will probably become the new #1 cashback reward card and leave Chase Freedom in the dust. Unfortunately there is no USBank Cash+ review on NerdWallet yet.

  • CashBackIsTheBest

    Correct me if I’m wrong but if that $1 purchase was also on the 5% list you could actually be making a better return that 11%. 16% right? Also, I have been using this card and to ‘beat the system’ I choose to do the direct deposit and then immediately transfer the fund to another account. No funds tied up in checking and no monthly fee.

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      I think you’d be looking at 15% cash back – $0.10 + $0.05 in bonus rewards + $0.001 for the bonus – you earn an extra 0.1% cash back even if the purchase is in the bonus category. But otherwise it’s spot on, and nice checking hack!

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      I think you’d be looking at 15% cash back – $0.10 + $0.05 in bonus rewards + $0.001 for the bonus – you earn an extra 0.1% cash back even if the purchase is in the bonus category. But otherwise it’s spot on, and nice checking hack!

  • CashBackIsTheBest

    Correct me if I’m wrong but if that $1 purchase was also on the 5% list you could actually be making a better return that 11%. 16% right? Also, I have been using this card and to ‘beat the system’ I choose to do the direct deposit and then immediately transfer the fund to another account. No funds tied up in checking and no monthly fee.

  • CashBackIsTheBest

    Correct me if I’m wrong but if that $1 purchase was also on the 5% list you could actually be making a better return that 11%. 16% right? Also, I have been using this card and to ‘beat the system’ I choose to do the direct deposit and then immediately transfer the fund to another account. No funds tied up in checking and no monthly fee.

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      I think you’d be looking at 15% cash back – $0.10 + $0.05 in bonus rewards + $0.001 for the bonus – you earn an extra 0.1% cash back even if the purchase is in the bonus category. But otherwise it’s spot on, and nice checking hack!

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  • Dimitri

    I can confirm that Chase Student Checking *does* qualify for the Chase Exclusives program; I’ve been receiving the extra 10 points per purchase and extra 0.1% on purchases since I opened one and linked it to my Freedom.

  • Dimitri

    I can confirm that Chase Student Checking *does* qualify for the Chase Exclusives program; I’ve been receiving the extra 10 points per purchase and extra 0.1% on purchases since I opened one and linked it to my Freedom.

  • Dimitri

    I can confirm that Chase Student Checking *does* qualify for the Chase Exclusives program; I’ve been receiving the extra 10 points per purchase and extra 0.1% on purchases since I opened one and linked it to my Freedom.

  • help fast

    im looking to open a new checking account i have been approved for a loan and it has to b deposited into a checking account in my name i currently do not have a bank chase sounds really good however the reason i applied for the loan is because i need to catch up on some bills asap or things are going to start being disconnected what i need to know is does chase offer rush delivery on there atm or debit cards ill pay the extra fees to have it overnighted how do i find out if this is possiable

    • HELP YOURSELF

      You about a smart as a box of rocks. I bet you have horrible credit. “I’ll PAY EXTRA FEES” sounds like you spend money like water.

      • Michael Serna

        LOL

  • help fast

    im looking to open a new checking account i have been approved for a loan and it has to b deposited into a checking account in my name i currently do not have a bank chase sounds really good however the reason i applied for the loan is because i need to catch up on some bills asap or things are going to start being disconnected what i need to know is does chase offer rush delivery on there atm or debit cards ill pay the extra fees to have it overnighted how do i find out if this is possiable

  • help fast

    im looking to open a new checking account i have been approved for a loan and it has to b deposited into a checking account in my name i currently do not have a bank chase sounds really good however the reason i applied for the loan is because i need to catch up on some bills asap or things are going to start being disconnected what i need to know is does chase offer rush delivery on there atm or debit cards ill pay the extra fees to have it overnighted how do i find out if this is possiable

    • HELP YOURSELF

      You about a smart as a box of rocks. I bet you have horrible credit. “I’ll PAY EXTRA FEES” sounds like you spend money like water.

      • Michael Serna

        LOL

  • alice

    how does this compare to capital one’s cash credit card which gives 1.5% cb? is freedom still the one to use for regular 1% purchases?

  • alice

    how does this compare to capital one’s cash credit card which gives 1.5% cb? is freedom still the one to use for regular 1% purchases?

  • alice

    how does this compare to capital one’s cash credit card which gives 1.5% cb? is freedom still the one to use for regular 1% purchases?

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.nichols89 Thomas Nichols

    I just want to point something out that is often left out in these banking and credit card reviews. Simplicity. We can easily determine the best account/credit card mix for certain users to generate the best interest/rewards. That’s only a part of the story. When comparing banks, simplicity (in my opinion) far outweighs the measly interest rate. As stated below, the interest in your checking account is far outweighed by your credit card rewards. Chase is the real winner with simplicity and usability. The best mobile app, the simplest way to pay family and friends. And always up to date account activity. Pair that with a great Credit card and the added benefits of a linked checking account and you have a real winner here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.nichols89 Thomas Nichols

    I just want to point something out that is often left out in these banking and credit card reviews. Simplicity. We can easily determine the best account/credit card mix for certain users to generate the best interest/rewards. That’s only a part of the story. When comparing banks, simplicity (in my opinion) far outweighs the measly interest rate. As stated below, the interest in your checking account is far outweighed by your credit card rewards. Chase is the real winner with simplicity and usability. The best mobile app, the simplest way to pay family and friends. And always up to date account activity. Pair that with a great Credit card and the added benefits of a linked checking account and you have a real winner here.

  • Thomas Nichols

    I just want to point something out that is often left out in these banking and credit card reviews. Simplicity. We can easily determine the best account/credit card mix for certain users to generate the best interest/rewards. That’s only a part of the story. When comparing banks, simplicity (in my opinion) far outweighs the measly interest rate. As stated below, the interest in your checking account is far outweighed by your credit card rewards. Chase is the real winner with simplicity and usability. The best mobile app, the simplest way to pay family and friends. And always up to date account activity. Pair that with a great Credit card and the added benefits of a linked checking account and you have a real winner here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/MichaelMYLu Michael Ming-Yuan Lu

    To Alice: I think if your purchase is in the 1% category, above $25 it’s better to use capital one’s 1.5% cb. Below, chase freedom.

    Also, from what I received from Chase, the 10% bonus is “10% extra points”. Does this mean if my purchase is in the 5% category, I spend, say, $100, I get 500 pts, and I also get extra 10 pts? Or is it 500*10%=50 pts?

  • http://www.facebook.com/MichaelMYLu Michael Ming-Yuan Lu

    To Alice: I think if your purchase is in the 1% category, above $25 it’s better to use capital one’s 1.5% cb. Below, chase freedom.

    Also, from what I received from Chase, the 10% bonus is “10% extra points”. Does this mean if my purchase is in the 5% category, I spend, say, $100, I get 500 pts, and I also get extra 10 pts? Or is it 500*10%=50 pts?

  • http://www.facebook.com/MichaelMYLu Michael Ming-Yuan Lu

    To Alice: I think if your purchase is in the 1% category, above $25 it’s better to use capital one’s 1.5% cb. Below, chase freedom.

    Also, from what I received from Chase, the 10% bonus is “10% extra points”. Does this mean if my purchase is in the 5% category, I spend, say, $100, I get 500 pts, and I also get extra 10 pts? Or is it 500*10%=50 pts?

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