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Which Chase Freedom® Card is Best for the 2019 Holiday Shopping Season?

Which Chase Freedom® Card is Best for the 2019 Holiday Shopping Season?

As the holiday shopping season approaches, you may be wondering if you should pick up a rewards credit card this year. After all, most cash-back credit cards let you earn lucrative rewards for each dollar you spend while also gaining access to consumer benefits like purchase protection and extended warranties. If you’re considering a cash-back credit card without an annual fee, chances are good the Chase Freedom® cards have caught your eye. While both Chase Freedom® cards can be fruitful for this year’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and year-end shopping goals, the best card for you really depends on your shopping style and the type of stores you spend the most in.

Chase Freedom® vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

If you’re considering both the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you’ll want to start by comparing their earning structures and how they dole out cash back. The following chart can help:

Chase Freedom® Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Signup bonus Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Earning Structure Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Annual Fee None None
Introductory Offer 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months followed by a variable APR of 16.49% - 25.24% 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months followed by a variable APR of 16.49% - 25.24%
Redemption Options Redeem for statement credits, gift cards, travel, experiences, and more Redeem for statement credits, gift cards, travel, experiences, and more

As you can see, both Chase Freedom® cards are offering the same introductory welcome offer. If you sign up and spend $500 on your card within three months of account opening, you’ll earn $150 in cash rewards no matter which card you choose.

The big difference between these cards is how they dole out points. Where the Chase Freedom Unlimited® gives you 1.5% back for each dollar you spend regardless of the category, The Chase Freedom® gives you 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate each quarter. You’ll also get 1% back on all non-bonus spending.

The Chase Freedom® could be especially helpful with holiday spending this year based on the year-end 5% bonus category, which lasts from October through December 2019. Through the end of the year, you’ll get 5% back on up to $1,500 spent at department stores or for purchases made with Chase Pay or Paypal. You'll need to activate this offer no later than December 14th, 2019 to take advantage.

The stores included in the “department store” category are rather broad, including many favorites for holiday shopping in general.

  • Aliexpress
  • Beall’s of Florida
  • Belk
  • Bergdorf Goodman
  • Bergners
  • Bloomingdales
  • Boscov’s Department Store
  • Boston Store
  • Dillards
  • Goody’s
  • Gordmans
  • JC Penney
  • Kohls
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macys
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack
  • Peebles Dept Store
  • Saks Fifth Ave & Off Fifth
  • Sears
  • Stage Stores
  • Stein Mart
  • The Bon Ton
  • Von Maur
  • Younkers

Which Chase Freedom® card is right for you? That really depends.

The original Chase Freedom® is a great option if you plan to spend money at department stores or pay for purchases with Chase Pay or Paypal this holiday season. You’ll earn 5% back on up to $1,500 spent in those categories this quarter, which could let you earn an additional $75 in rewards if you max it out.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is also a good choice, and it could leave you better off if you plan to spend most of your holiday budget outside department stores or using payment methods other than Chase Pay and Paypal. After all, earning 1.5% back on everything you buy can help you rack up rewards in a hurry.

Also keep in mind that both cards offer the same introductory APR offer. You’ll get 15 months with 0% Intro APR on holiday purchases, meaning you can pay off your year-end spending over time without any interest. Just remember that your interest rate will reset to the higher ongoing rate (16.49% - 25.24% Variable) once the 15 months are up.

Consider Other Cash-Back Credit Cards

While both Chase Freedom® cards offer a lucrative value proposition this holiday season, there are other cash-back credit cards without an annual fee you can consider. The best ones available today let you earn a high rate of ongoing rewards, bonus points in specific categories, and a signup bonus within the first few months.

Here are a few other cards to consider as you gear up to start your holiday shopping this year:

  • Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card: The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card starts you off with a $150 cash bonus after you sign up and spend $500 within three months. You’ll also earn an unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on everything else you buy. There’s no annual fee, and you’ll qualify for 0% APR on purchases for 15 months followed by a variable APR of 15.74% to 25.74%.

  • Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card: The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card also gives you a $150 cash bonus when you sign up and spend $500 within three months. You’ll earn 1.5% back on all your spending without an annual fee. As an added bonus, you’ll qualify for 0% APR on purchases for 15 months followed by a variable APR of 15.74% to 25.74%.

Also remember that you don’t have to put all your holiday shopping on a single rewards card; you can sign up for two or more complementary cards that dole out bonus points on different kinds of purchases.

The Bottom Line

Holiday shopping season is almost here, but there’s still time to pick up a rewards or cash-back credit card that can help you maximize your spending. Take the time to compare cash-back credit cards and their earning structures before you sign up. Racking up a bundle of rewards for your holiday shopping will make this year’s holiday season that much sweeter.

Editorial Disclaimer: Information in these articles is brought to you by CreditSoup. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles. The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted; however, all credit card information is presented without warranty. Please check the issuer’s website for the most current information.




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