As I’m sure you already know, the Freedom gives anywhere from 1% to 5% cash back (1% on regular spending, 5% on categories). But what you might now know is that Chase checking account customers earn even more points.
The program is called Chase Freedom Exclusives and here’s how it works…
- 10% extra points per $1 spent (that means you’re earning at least 1.1 points per dollar spent)
- 10 bonus points on every purchase (this is in addition to the 10% extra points)
This works out to be insanely lucrative for smaller purchases. For example on a $10.00 purchase, here’s how the rewards work out:
10 points earned regularly
1 extra point (10% more)
10 points per transaction
Total: 21 points (that’s over 2% cash back for <$10 purchases!)
And the Freedom’s 10 and 10 program works even more in your favor for smaller transactions, because you’re still earning the 10 bonus points per transaction, regardless of how small the purchase is. Think about it… that means on purchase of a $1.00 or less, you are earning at least 11% cash back.
I use mine all the time for parking meters and other tiny purchases to rake up points faster. Sometimes if I really need to rake up some more points quicker for an airline ticket or something, I will swipe my card at the parking meter multiple times so there are multiple transactions.
And then there’s the so-called “Chase Trifecta” which is the unofficial name given for having a Chase checking + Freedom + Sapphire Preferred. The reason this is so lucrative is because you can transfer Ultimate Reward points among accounts. So you can transfer the points you earn on Freedom to your Sapphire Preferred account, which will let you convert them to frequent flyer miles on a 1:1 conversion. Ultimately this means the points you earn with your Freedom can be even more valuable.
All good things must come to an end?
Not surprisingly, rumor has it that Chase is putting the kibosh on the Freedom Exclusives 10 and 10. According to a source in the private client division, beginning on November 11th, 2012 new customers will no longer get this benefit. However it purportedly will be grandfathered in for existing customers.
Whether that’s true or not, I cannot say, because Chase has not made any formal public announcements on it. But given the fact that they haven’t really advertised the past few months is ample evidence that changes must be coming. The webpage they had up on it is now dead. All the evidence seems to point to the program being discontinued, cancelled, or changed (most likely for the worse).
By the way, a few months ago I opened a Chase checking and asked the banker there how I enroll my existing Freedom card in the 10 for 10 program. He said there’s no enrollment and that the system automatically will add it to my Freedom account in the coming weeks. Sure enough, about 6-8 weeks later I received a latter in the mail (pictured above) notifying me of my 10 for 10 enrollment. So if you apply for a Freedom, don’t worry about enrolling – it happens automatically.
If the program is ever cancelled/discontinued for grandfathered accounts, I will be sticking with a good ol’ 2% rewards card for most purchases.
Written or last updated Nov 2nd, 2012