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The Chase Freedom Visa card is one of the best deals out there. It's a widely accepted credit card with no annual fee. You receive a $100 bonus when you spend $500 in your first three months, up to 5 percent cash back in bonus categories -- up to a max of $1,500 spent each quarter -- and 1 percent cash back on every purchase that you make with your card. Additionally, you can earn up to 10 percent cash back when you shop online through Chase. You can opt to receive your cash back rewards as cash, gift cards, merchandise, travel or experiences, such as sports, excursions, shopping or dining packages.
Ehow asked Jodi Furman of the award-winning blog, LiveFabuLESS.com (Link below) to provide readers with the best ways to redeem Chase Freedom Rewards.
Furman has taught millions of readers a modern and doable way to live an upscale life without the price through her blog and TV appearances. She has an MBA from Columbia Business School and is a married mom with three young kids plus two dogs and two cats.
Create Account or Log-in
Redeeming your points is simple. Log in to the Chase website using your user ID and password.
If you don't yet have an account, create an account by clicking "Set Up Online Access." Provide your credit card number and your Social Security number to verify your identity.
Next, create a user ID and receive a system-generated identification code, which you may choose to receive via phone or text. Once you've received your code and entered it, you will then be prompted to create a password. When you've confirmed your contact information and agreed to the terms of service, you'll be granted access to your accounts.
Click Appropriate Link
Once you've logged on, you'll be directed to a screen that displays the pertinent details about your account: your outstanding balance, payment due date, minimum payment due, last statement balance, available credit and total credit limit. Immediately below that, you'll see the two options for Ultimate Rewards: "Show Rewards Balance" and "Go to Ultimate Rewards."
Click on "Show Rewards Balance" to view your current balance or click on "Go to Ultimate Rewards" to see your current balance and view your redemption options.
Explore Reward Options
Once you've accessed the Ultimate Rewards homepage, you'll see a menu on the left side where you can explore options available: cash, gift card, merchandise, travel or experiences.
Cash is available as a statement credit or a check. Rewards start at $20 or 2,000 points; for all cash or cash equivalents, 100 reward points convert to $1. There are often gift card promotions; click on "Gift Cards," then "Sale Items" to locate deals. The sale items are a great way to get more value for fewer points. Rather than receiving a $25 value for 2,500 points, you may receive $25 worth of gift cards for 2,250 points, a 10 percent savings.
Merchandise is priced in points only, includes free standard shipping and is roughly equivalent to
$1 per 100 points, but check the current price of your desired item at the Best Buy website. Best Buy supplies the merchandise. You can book a trip, including airfare, hotel and rental car, with a combination of points and cash, if you don't have enough points to cover the entire cost of your trip. One hundred points converts to $1 for travel. Experiences include sports and leisure, culinary and wine, health and wellness, arts and entertainment and shopping.
Select Rewards and Check Out
Select your reward and check out, much as you would at any other online retailer. Your rewards should be received within seven to 10 days and shipping is free. Rush shipping -- three to five business days -- is available for an additional $10.
Make Your Points Go Farther
There are a few tips to help you earn Chase Rewards Points faster and make your points go farther.
Activate bonus cash back for each quarter. Each quarter, Chase offers 5 percent cash back -- up to $1,500 spent each quarter -- in two to three selected categories or stores. Enrollment is not automatic.
You can activate cash back up to 15 days before the beginning of the quarter and you can do so via text, phone, email, online, in person at a Chase branch or on Facebook. Additionally, you can sign up as late as the 14th day of the third month of the quarter and earn cash back retroactively to the beginning of the quarter. Sign up for text, email or Facebook reminders at the Chase Freedom website so you don't forget to activate. Cash back is earned as long as your account is active and not in default.
Additional Ways to Earn Cash Back
In addition to the 5 percent cash-back categories, consumers earn 1 percent cash back for all spending with no limits and no minimum spending requirement. If you shop online through the Chase website, you can earn up to 10 percent cash back at selected merchants. Search by merchant or category on the Ultimate Rewards website to view current offers.
Make the most of your points. Cash might be king, but when you can get gift cards for stores that you frequent at a discount, the gift cards are a better option, provided you actually use them.
Cash back is a bonus, especially on a card that doesn't charge an annual fee. However, don't buy more than you need, or something you don't need at all, just to get the cash back bonus. If you're carrying a balance on your Chase Freedom card, the interest charges will more than negate your cash back rewards. If you are carrying a balance, consider cashing in your points as a statement credit to help defray interest charges and lower your outstanding balance.
fabuLESS tip: To remember which categories qualify for 5 percent cash back each quarter, attach a sticky note to your card or use a dry-erase marker or crayon to write the qualifying categories directly on the front of your Chase Freedom card.