The Chase Freedom Card is one of the best travel credit cards for beginners. That’s because it comes with no annual fee, great 5X earning categories, and allows many newcomers to establish a relationship with Chase so that they can pursue more lucrative Chase cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred later on down the line. It’s also one of the easier cards to get approved for even when your credit score is below 700.
The new Q3 categories
The Chase Freedom earns 5X on different categories that change each quarter. You can earn 5X on all purchases within that category up to $1,500. You’ve got to remember to “activate” your 5X earning potential, since that doesn’t automatically come into effect (a fact I take issue with).
This quarter (June through August), the bonus categories for the Chase Freedom card are:
These categories probably are not as easy to max out as the current category of grocery stores. However, keep in mind that you can always purchase gift cards from restaurants to preserve your 5X earning and that could be worth it assuming you can pay off that balance.
Earning 5X Ultimate Rewards at restaurants is great because even the Sapphire Reserve only offers 3X. 5X at 2 cents per point is like getting 10% back on all dining for the summer (up to $1,500) so this is a great earning option if you have a Sapphire card that will allow you to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners.
If you’re interested in earning 5% cash back on rotating categories you should also consider the Discover it card, which offers the same type of 5% earning potential but it even doubles your earnings in the first year so that you end up earning 10% back!