The best Chase credit card for cash back is Chase Freedom Unlimited® because it offers 1.5 - 5% cash back on purchases and gives new cardholders an extra 1.5% cash back on everything you buy, up to $20,000 spent in the first year. The Chase Freedom Unlimited card also has a $0 annual fee.
It’s important to note that, technically, Chase does not offer any cash back credit cards. Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Freedom Flex, and the rest cards actually reward cardholders with points for every purchase. But Chase points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for statement credit. So, when Chase says 5% cash back, for example, they really mean 5 points per $1 that are worth 5% cash back.
The easiest way you can redeem Chase rewards is online, but you can also do that over the phone at (800) 432-3117. You can redeem Chase rewards for gift cards, travel, statement credits and cash. Chase points are generally worth 1 cent each, regardless of what they’re redeemed for. If you’re redeeming for cash, you can also go to a … read full answerChase branch. You’ll get your money as a statement credit or as an electronic deposit to the bank account of your choice.
Here’s how to redeem Chase rewards:
Online: For online redemption, log in to your Chase account and go to the Chase rewards portal. From there, you’ll be able to book trips, buy gift cards, request statement credits, etc.
By phone: To redeem by phone, call Chase customer service at (800) 432-3117. Enter your account number to connect to a customer service representative. State that you want to redeem rewards.
At a Chase branch: You can request a statement credit or bank account deposit in exchange for your Chase rewards at any Chase branch. You just need your account number and a picture ID. But you won’t actually get cold hard cash on the spot.
Different Chase cards have different rewards programs. One card might give you the most rewards for travel, another for everyday purchases. So, you’ll want to pick a card with a reward structure that matches your lifestyle.
For all Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards program, except Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you can also transfer Chase points to 14 airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio. Whether or not that’s a good deal depends on the value of the loyalty program’s miles. Chase travel partners include United, British Airways, Southwest, IHG, Marriott and others.
Cash back is a benefit that gets you a discount for certain purchases. In the context of credit cards, cash back is a type of credit card rewards. You can earn cash back through signup bonuses for meeting certain spending requirements, or through ongoing rewards, as a percentage of the amount spent on qualifying purchases. Some credit cards also offer cash back anniversary bonuses in the form of statement credit for qualifying purchases.… read full answer
Cash back credit cards make for a great addition to anyone’s wallet because they provide a straightforward earning and redemption mechanism in a currency that cannot be devalued by a credit card company. The best cash back credit cards tend to be those that keep things simple by providing attractive flat earning rates across all purchases, or those that offer higher rates in your biggest spending categories. Cash back credit card rewards can usually be redeemed for statement credits, bank account deposits or paper checks, depending on the credit card company.
Other types of cash back
Some also think of getting cash from a credit card's credit line, like withdrawing cash from an ATM, as cash back. This type of transaction is considered a cash advance and should be avoided. Cash advances are extremely expensive transactions that are subject to fees and a cash advance APR that applies immediately, with no grace period.
Aside from credit card rewards and cash advances, cash back could also refer to money that you get at a store register when you’re checking out. But you can pretty much only do this when using a debit card to pay. The money is added to your purchase amount and debited from your bank account. Some stores have a limit on the amount too and not every store will let you do it.
Some car dealerships offer “cash back” when you’re buying a car, too. It’s basically just a rebate on the car. You can usually get it as a check or as a discount on your down payment.
The difference between cash back and points is that the former is the most versatile type of credit card rewards, as it can be redeemed for anything, and there’s never any doubt about how much it’s worth. Points, on the other hand, have a value set by the credit card company and tend to be worth the most when redeemed for travel. Credit card companies won’t always clearly disclose points values, and those values can change over time. It’s possible that points could be worth 1 cent apiece one day and 0.8 cents each the next.… read full answer
You can spend points for many different things. Usually, you can trade them for travel, gift cards, unique experiences, charitable donations or even cash. There are no restrictions on what you can use cash for. You can typically redeem cash back for a statement credit, paper check, or direct deposit to a bank account. One thing credit card shoppers should watch out for are cards advertised as offering cash back that really provide points. For example, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers “5% cash back” in certain bonus categories. But what it actually gives is 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1, which cardholders can then trade for cash back at a rate of 1 cent each.
Earning rate: Usually at least 1% cash back or 1 point per $1 spent.
Devaluation: Points can be devalued by the issuer, while cash back can’t.
Redemption options: Statement credit, check or deposit for cash. Travel, merchandise, gift cards, cash and more for points.
When it’s the best choice: Points for frequent travelers. Cash back for everyone else.
Let’s take a look at two high-profile cards in a battle of cash back vs. points.
Citi Double Cash Card tops the cash back offerings with 2% cash back on all purchases and an introductory APR of 0% for 18 months on balance transfers, with a balance transfer fee of 3% intro fee ($5 min) for each transfer in first 4 months, after that 5% ($5 min) for each transfer. It also chases a $0 annual fee and requires good credit to get.
But if you’re a frequent traveler, Chase Sapphire Preferred is a more attractive option. It gives 5 points per $1 spent on travel purchased through Chase, 2 points per $1 on all other travel purchases, 3 points per $1 on dining and online grocery purchases, 3 points per $1 on select streaming services, and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. It has an initial bonus of 60,000 points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This card’s points are worth 1 cent each toward cash back or gift cards or 1.25 cents each toward travel. There’s a $95 annual fee and the card requires good credit.
For both cash back and points cards, you can expect to lose your rewards if your account closes for any reason. Most cards don’t let your rewards expire over time. But Citi Double Cash Card’s cash back expires if you don’t use your card for 12 months. And on points cards alone, your points can be devalued if the issuer decides to charge more points for its rewards. So, frequent redemption is essential.
So, the bottom line is that frequent travelers should check out points cards. Otherwise, cash is king.
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