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
- 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|
|Avoid Monthly Fee||$500+ direct deposit
$1,500 minimum daily balance
$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.