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New Chase Freedom Mobile App Promises Greater Flexibility

Sept. 10, 2015
Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards
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Earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards just got easier with the launch of a new Chase Freedom® mobile app, announced this week. The app makes it much more convenient to redeem rewards for in-store purchases, as well as to opt in to the card’s rotating bonus categories.

In-store rewards redemption

Typically, rewards credit cards require you to redeem your rewards on their websites. If you can use rewards to shop at a specific store or online retailer, you’re usually given a coupon code. This takes a certain amount of forethought, because you have to remember to redeem your rewards before you go to the store.

The new mobile app from Chase Freedom® allows you to redeem your rewards right there in the store.

Here’s an example. You’ve got a cart full of groceries and household goods at Target, and you realize you could use Chase Ultimate Rewards to pay for part of your purchase rather than putting the whole thing on your credit card. Using the Chase Freedom® app, you can redeem some or all of your points for a Target gift card, which shows up on your phone. You then present the phone at check-out to use the gift card — a big improvement over a print-at-home coupon or a code that could only be used online.

Bonus category activation

One of the biggest advantages of the Chase Freedom® is its rotating quarterly bonus categories. You can earn 5% in rewards on up to $1,500 in combined spending per quarter in categories that have historically included gas stations, grocery stores, purchases or restaurants.

But the onus is on you to remember to activate your bonus categories each quarter, and it was all too easy to forget to do it in the past. Now, though, you can activate your bonus categories with your phone — another new feature of the mobile app.

A strong technology play from Chase

Chase was one of the first large banks to expand its mobile banking offerings to include an AppleWatch app, and it has generally offered more robust mobile budgeting tools than its competitors. The new Chase Freedom® app, separate from the main Chase banking app, is more evidence that Chase is willing to invest in technology.

Virginia C. McGuire is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: Twitter: @vcmcguire.

Image via iStock.