Chase Freedom + Chase Checking + The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card = The Perfect Combo!

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Last week I wrote about the great dynamic points earning duo that the Chase Freedom Visa and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (or Chase Ink Bold) cards make.  There were several comments on that post about the way that a Chase checking account can make that deal even sweeter, so I promised to do a more detailed post on the subject, so here it is!  I have known about the way in which having a Chase checking account can transform that dynamic duo of Freedom and Sapphire Preferred cards into a perfect trio of points perfection, but I hadn’t looked into it too deeply because I didn’t yet have a Freedom card, and I didn’t want another checking account.  I mean having 80 billion credit cards is one thing, but having more than one checking account is clearly something reserved for “crazy” people.  😉

If you don’t already have a good grasp of how having both the Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire Preferred cards can work to maximize the benefits of both card, start by reading this post, because I am going to write this post assuming that you already have a basic grasp of that info.

If you have a Chase checking account and a Chase Freedom credit card then you get:

  • A 10% bonus on all base points earned on your Chase Freedom (ie not on bonus points).  In other words, you will earn 1 point for each $1 of net purchases made on your Freedom card.  As a Chase checking customer, you will also earn 1 bonus point for each $10 of net purchases (which equates to 10% of base points earned).
  • You also get 10 points for each transaction you have on your Chase Freedom (this benefit is no longer available to new Exclusives Customers as of 11/12).  This is awesome if you are like me and have a lot of little transactions throughout the day.  For example: morning coffee, fill-up on gas, mail package at post office, buy lunch, pick-up dry cleaning, go to grocery store, go back to grocery store because we forgot OJ, and finally end the day buying wrapping paper to start on that mound of Christmas presents.  That is a pretty normal day around here, and with the extra 10 points per transaction, we would have just picked up an extra 80 points for our efforts.  Multiply that out throughout the year and you have over 25,000 extra points at that daily transaction rate.
  • 5x points in certain rotating bonus categories quarterly, up to $1500 per quarter.  This was discussed in more depth in my previous post since this benefit does not require a checking account, but it is worth a reminder since it is such an awesome feature of the Chase Freedom card.  For example, one of the bonus categories for the first quarter of 2013 is gas stations.  I can guarantee that we spend very close to $1,500 per quarter in gas, so that would be 7,500 points on just gas in three months.  Crazy!  Of course, even if you don’t spend that much on gas, many gas stations sell gift cards you could purchase and use at other establishments.
  • If you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold Business cards, you can then transfer the tons of points you have now earned on your Freedom card to airline and hotel transfer partners.  Hyatt and United/Continental are the two transfer partners I like the most right now, but I am excited to learn that Southwest will be a transfer partner starting in January.  Woohoo!

If you are just now starting to open these accounts, here is the order I would recommend:

1.  Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred that comes with 40,000 bonus Ultimate Reward points after spending $3,000 in three months or the Ink Bold℠ with Ultimate Rewards that comes with 25,000 bonus Ultimate Reward points after the first purchase and an additional 25,000 points after spending $10,000 on the card in three months.  Having one of these card is required in order to transfer the points you earn from your checking/Freedom card to hotel and airline partners.

2.  Open a Chase checking account.  It seems if you have the checking account open first, the Freedom card and the 10 points/10% bonuses will start happening immediately and automatically.  If you do it in the reverse order it will still work, but there may be a 6-8 week delay.  Reportedly, the process of linking the accounts is all based on SSN and should happen automatically in either case.  When you open your account, I would try to make sure you are avoiding any fees to have the checking account.  A $500 minimum direct deposit into the account should work to have you avoid the month fees.  You can always transfer that money right back out of the account after the direct deposit goes through.

I actually just got something in the mail yesterday that will give me a $200 gift card for opening a Chase checking account, so look for incentives when you open your checking account.

3.  Get the Chase Freedom card that comes with 10,000 bonus points after spending $500 in the first three months.  Personally I like to wait a few months between my credit card applications, especially my Chase applications, but people do get approved just by waiting 30 days between applications.

I am actually considering “upgrading” my oldest Chase rewards credit card to a Freedom.  I won’t get the bonus sign-up points, but I also won’t have a credit inquiry and can keep my oldest account number and information.  They have offered this once before, so I may try to take them up on their offer in the near future.  I hate forgoing a sign-up bonus, but it may be the best course of action in my case.

You can get more information about the 10% Freedom/checking bonus here (but don’t apply using that link, because it only comes with 1,000 bonus points!).  You can also read more about this deal on  Flyertalk.

Finally, here is a screen shot that a reader was nice enough to share (thanks!).  She has the Freedom card, Chase checking, and the Sapphire Preferred card.

You can see that in this month’s statement she spent a total of $2,876  on her Freedom card.  That earned her a 10% bonus of 288 points (they round-up).  She made 114 transactions with her card, so she earned 10 points per transaction for those points for a total of 1,140 points.  She spent $410 in the quarterly bonus categories for a total of 1,640 points (I believe it is 4x bonus and 1x as a base point for a total of 5x).  There was also a special category of 5x points at Kohl’s, so she earned an extra 357 points for those purchases.  Finally, she had made several of her purchases through the Ultimate Rewards mall, so she earned 1,190 bonus points for those purchases.  All in all, in one month she spent $2,876 on her card and received 7,491 points for those purchases.  With the Sapphire Preferred she can now transfer those points into the airline or hotel transfer partner of her choice.  That makes the Chase Freedom + Chase Checking + Chase Sapphire Preferred (or Ink Bold) the perfect points combo.

What do you think?  Do you have all three?  Are you now in the market to get all three?  Let me know if you have any other tips or if I missed something.  Since I don’t yet have all three, I am depending on those of you that do to let me know if I missed anything major.  😉

 

 Disclosure: I will receive a commission if you are approved for the cards using my links.  As always, your support is appreciated.

 

Pingbacks

  1. […] Originally Posted by Jlove Anyone know if you can upgrade a chase freedom to a sapphire? or do you have to apply specifically for a sapphire? also, i was going to apply for another chase freedom for the $300 credit (no $3k spending required), but it looks like it's dead. anyone know different? update – the $300 bonus for freedom card is now dead. It's now $200 with $500 spend in 3 mo. Still a nice bonus with a lower spending requirement than sapphire preferred. I think a lot of people are going to tell you to keep your Freedom card and try to add a Sapphire Preferred card (if you can make the required spend for the Sapphire Preferred bonus). And, if you have a Chase checking account (or add one), you can then take advantage of the Chase Exclusives program with your Freedom card. You can read this Mommy Points blog post for some ideas: http://boardingarea.com/mommyp…perfect-combo/ […]

  2. […] As you may or may not know, the Ultimate Rewards Shopping Portal updates their bonus points offers monthly (though some offers are even more  “limited time” than that).  So, on May 1st I bee-lined it to their website to see what specials had appeared for May that might be useful for my family.  There are different specials depending on how you access the online shopping portal, so if I log-in with my Sapphire Preferred account I will see one set of points earnings, and if I log in with my New Ink Bold card I see an entirely different set of points earnings.  No one card is consistently better than the others with the points earnings, but each card seems to have it’s own strengths each month (another reason why I am glad I have the Ultimate Rewards Trifecta). […]

  3. […] Today I wanted to share not only a reminder about the current 5x categories for the Chase Freedom, but also a look ahead to the last quarter of the year and the new 5x bonus categories that will come along with it.  Of course, many who have the Chase Freedom know that the card is just the tip of the Ultimate Rewards iceberg, and the card can’t be truly maximized without the Chase Sapphire Preferred , Ink Bold, or Ink Plus card.  Having a Chase checking account is necessary to round out the all important “Ultimate Rewards Trifecta”. […]

Comments

  1. I have the combo and it’s worked great for the past 2 months. My mother also has just the Freedom + Chase Checking account, but she can transfer her Ultimate Rewards Points to me. Once I have them, I can transfer them to her United Airlines account, so she doesn’t need to pay the annual fee for the Ink Bold or Sapphire Preferred.

    Just in case Chase changes their minds on this, I transfer the points from her account to mine the second they post on her statement :D.

  2. I have so many CHASE cards I could paper my walls. And the checking. And even credit card processing for my other business. ( they did not care for the us mint but that is over so all is good! ) – DGF

  3. The link you have describing the 10% Freedom/checking bonus also mentions the 10 bonus points on every purchase.

    More about Chase “Exclusives” here: https://www.chase.com/ccp/index.jsp?pg_name=ccpmapp/shared/marketing/page/chase_exclusives_offer There’s also Chase Exclusives for Business accounts too.

    With Chase checking accounts, sometimes it will say “With an average daily balance of $X.00 or more in linked deposits/investments.” What they don’t explicitly mention is that if you have your mortgage with Chase, the mortgage balance will count towards that average daily balance too! At least that’s what happened for us last year in NY state. The mortgage account is linked up with the rest of your Chase accounts (checking, credit cards, etc).

  4. Hey, got a question!

    I’m one of those crazies who does actually have more than one checking account. 😉 Only 2 currently, but I’ve had 4 throughout this year. I qualify for a no fee checking account with Chase as a college student…soooo could I be eligible for this with just that account?

  5. This quarter I did all my spending at Kohl’s with my Freedom. This translated to 15k points instead of 7500. Got my new home furnishing and some xmas shopping done there! Not to mention, at one point, they were giving you $15 in Kohl’s cash for every $50 spent so it was MAJOR cashback.

  6. I have seen offers up to $150 for new chase checking account but I believe there have been offers up to $250, once upon a time. I am desperately waiting for one such offer.

  7. I live in Chicgao and I have been using the freedom card ever since it first came out. I actually have two freedom cards. One is original and the second one is converted from the old Chase Perfect. Well, chase is has the most branches in Chicago so many Chicagoans have a chase checking. It really work out for us when the Sapphire and the Ink bold card came out. The value from the combo is hard to beat. Currently, I mainly use the card for small purchases and 5% categories. The best use of the card in chicago is for electronic parking meters. I often have jump in and out of stores for errands. So I charge the card 25 cents on the meter and get 11 points. 11 points is worth 22 cents so my short parking is almost always free.

  8. I did the same thing by upgrading my old Slate card to the Freedom to avoid an inquiry. Try secure messaging Chase after you get the card to see if they’ll budge on giving you some freebie points as a valued Chase customer. It worked for me.

  9. Is there any restriction on the 10 pts per transaction? If not, wouldn’t it make sense to never buy multiple items in one transaction? Although I suppose it’d drive grocery cashiers crazy lol

  10. Chase checking accounts typically comes with a fee unless you have a direct deposit of $500 or more every month or make at least five transactions on your debit card. I simply move $501 back a forth between my account a paypal. That satisfies the direct deposit criteria.

  11. I think I am going to try this out. I just got a $150 cert in the mail and I have yet to receive something different so I will move forward. My only worry is that I have only had my Sapphire preferred for 3 months…and I had to close my Continental and United to get it! I also have a Southwest and Hyatt card but I see no reason to keep the Southwest with the new transfer options available. I am worried that they won’t approve me for the Freedom once I am up and running on the checking account!! I thought about opening it up under my husband’s name, but I am waiting till February for him to appply for the Hyatt card! I really like the 5% bonus categories…especially Amazon!! So I am keeping my fingers crossed this will work out!

  12. I absolutely love the Freedom + Preferred combination. (I only wish Chase had any presence in my state, so that I could open a checking account too!).
    On an average (especially with the bonus categories this quarter), I manage to get 4 points per $ spent on my Freedom card!

  13. Is there a limit to the number of transactions you can make? I mean, this could get really crazy. Vending machines now take credit cards and I buy a bottle of soda everyday. What is to stop me from paying an electric bill $1 at a time? Summertime in Texas leads to a very large electric bill for 3 straight months 🙂

  14. I heard it was possible to open a Chase checking account even if they didn’t have a presence in your state..can seem to recall where I thought I saw that info..can someone comment/investigate? We’d love to take advantage of this in NC

  15. Chase checking acct is 2 years old. Sapphire card is months old. If I get Freedom card…will this work or does the checking account need to be opened AFTER the Freedom card? I have been holding back on Chase cards for obvious reasons…so I think by the time I go for it this VERY generous arrangements (10%, $10, 7% end of year bonus on Sapphire, UR mall mega offers, etc…) the program would be “enhanced”:-)

  16. I tell my friends to do this all the time, but they never listen to me! Having a Chase checking account with a Chase Freedom is a no-brainer. There is always an incentive (minimum $100, usually more) for opening a checking account too. Never open a Chase checking account without the bonus!

  17. @AK, that is awesome! I hope that little trick stays around. We may have to use it in my family as well. 😉

    @DGF, Chase does have rock star offers. If I have time today, I am going to open a Chase checking account so I can start the process of having this triple threat combo.

    @Ted, ha ha. Wow, that just shows how blurry and tired my eyes were when I wrote this last night. It was right their in front of me. Update the post accordingly, thanks. Also thanks for the checking fee info. I figured they would have other ways around the monthly fee. 😉

    @Jared, crazy is an endearing term when used in this context, so wear it with pride! I didn’t see a restriction for student accounts, so I don’t see why not.

    @infamousdx, way to rock the bonus!

    @caveman, $250 would be awesome. I am going to take my $200 mailer I got in and be happy with that. I actually got a $150 offer mailed with my Continental card statement today.

    @AK, very good reminder for those with a Freedom card!

    @Peter S, that is awesome little parking charges!

    @goheerow, I totally intend to ask for the sign-up bonus points. Hopefully I will have some luck, I am just keeping expectations low. Thanks for sharing!

    @Dbest, “There is no maximum number of points that you can accumulate in the program, including points earned for having a Chase checking account. Bonus/Promotional offers may have a maximum accumulation.” I wouldn’t want to drive people crazy by doing tons of small transactions, but I’m sure you wouldn’t be the first to do it. Ha ha.

    @cvarming, wow, I didn’t know that PayPal would count as direct deposit. May have to give that a try. Thanks!

    @Kelly S, the Southwest may be a good trade to get in on this deal. If it has been three months I would say go for it!

    @Chirag, four points per dollar is great. Good job!

    @Ryan, I personally am not one to go crazy with things like this. It does say that There is no maximum number of points that you can accumulate in the program, including points earned for having a Chase checking account. Bonus/Promotional offers may have a maximum accumulation. So, there is a little loop-hole left I guess if people get really crazy.

    @MPer, I am not sure, but I will keep my eyes/ears open and see what I can find.

    @gpapadop, it is actually best if you have the checking account first (seems to be easier/quicker processing), so you are all set! It can work fine in either direction though.

    @Daryn, agree on all fronts! It does seem to be a no-brainer. Heck, my post even converted me. Ha ha.

    @John, the Freedom does work as primarily a cash-back card by itself, hence the way the offer is worded. That is why you have to have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold card as well. That way you can use the 30,000 points as UR points that transfer to airlines sand hotels and not just have them to use as $300 cash back.

  18. There’s also this ebay listing for a $200 “gift card” offer (although it says gift card, under Important Information it says “we’ll deposit the bonus in your new account within 10 days” so not certain of what you get exactly). With this one can avoid a service with a min. $1500 deposit OR $500 direct deposit. It’s $9 w/ free shipping so you net $191. It expires 1/7/12:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250953463512#ht_500wt_949

  19. Great post! Does anyone know if opening a Chase checking account will result in a hard credit check? I assume this would be the case. If so, would applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card on the same day result in 1 pull? I’ve applied for 2 Citibank credit cards on the same day and got only credit check. Thanks.

  20. Chase Freedom + Chase Exclusives + 5% cashback on Amazon in Q1 + Amazon Prime = never ordering more than one item per transaction.:D

  21. @Arjun Thanks for the link. I just tried to get a coupon emailed to me but when I put in my email and hit submit it goes to a blank screen that says: “Your request can not be processed at this time. Please try again later.”

    Anyone have success using Arjun’s link?

  22. What about stacking grocery bonus at Kroger/Safeway/Tom Thumb with their gas discount?

    Buy a $500 AmEx gift card (cost $5.95) to earn 1000 Kroger points, use 1000 Kroger points for $1/gal off gas. Fill up to 35 gallons. Maximum saving of $29 per fill up ($35 minus $5.95 for the cost of the AmEx giftcard).

  23. Apparently my zip-code is outside of their checking account service area. Does anybody know any way around that to open a checking account?

  24. I’ve been hoping for the $200 coupon to come in the mail. Chase used to let you fund a new checking account with a credit card but it looks like that has been discontinued and you can use an ATM card (perhaps decent if you have a US Airways ATM).
    Also, freedom’s giving 5% cashback on Amazon.com starting January 1st which specifically includes gift cards. Easy way to max out the UR Freedom category even after you get gas.

  25. I have all three with the Sapphire Preferred as my most recent addition. I am still finishing up my last $200 or so minimum spend on the Sapphire Preferred (too bad this wasn’t completed by my December statement :/). Once I am done with that, I will go back to using my Freedom more except for Dining and Travel transactions > $10.31.

  26. My husband has a Freedom card and I was just approved for the CSP (haven’t received it yet). Does anyone know if I can link his Freedom to my Sapphire Pref to get the bonus points in the Freedom categories? If I was an AU on his Freedom card would that make it easier?

    • @Twinniemums, I can’t speak from personal experience yet, but I have heard some reports that you can transfer the points from his Freedom to your Sapphire Preferred. Again, I can’t promise anything, but some have said it was possible.

  27. I have had the Chase Sapphire for only a short time and have made a few purchases in the last week. How long does it take for the points to go from “rewards activity” to the “rewards balance”? Is it transferred at the end of the billing cycle? Also, I applied for the Ink Bold today, hope to get approval on this soon. Will I be able to link these two cards together on the same login (personal and business). Thanks for the input. I am a newbie to Chase.

    • @Kathy, they are transferred at the close of the billing cycle. There is a way to have your personal and business accounts both display with one login. I didn’t do that with mine, but I believe you have to do it from the Ink Bold side of things. Good luck on the Ink Bold application. If you are curious, you can read about my experience with that application process here. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  28. I was all pumped up about this and I tried opening a checking account with Chase, only to be told I can’t do so unless there is a branch in my state (Massachusetts). There isn’t, so I am out of luck. In fact, the only branch in all of New England is a branch in Connecticut!

  29. Got my Ink Bold in the mail today and very excited to get everything over to it so I can meet the minimum spend. Thanks for all the pointers. Now on to merging the points, etc. 🙂

  30. I click on the Chase Freedom link on your ‘Top 5 Family Credit Card’ page for the 25,000 points bonus but it doesn’t show the 25,000 bonus on the landing page. I hope it still works. 🙂

    • @MichaelP, hmmm it just showed the 25,000 point offer for me. Hope that it worked for you – good luck! Also, thanks so much for using my links the AA ones aren’t my affiliate links (because mine are for inferior offers for that card), but I am most appreciative of the thought! Enjoy your miles!

  31. @MP Just opened a Chase Checking (Got $200 Bonus coupon from Ebay for $10 so $190 total) and all went well. Hoping to link to my Freedom instantly and not take 6-8 weeks. I have a couple trips planned in the next 4-5 weeks and would hate to miss out on all those bonus points.

    Thanks for your post, it was the catalyst for me opening the account!

    • @SB, it is supposed to go quickly if you have the checking account first. Fingers crossed for you! I actually just got my Freedom yesterday so I now have all three as well. Let the bonus point earning begin!

  32. How do you know that you have earned 10 points for each transaction you have on your Chase Freedom. I got my first statement and am not yet sure if I got the 10 points credit for each transaction

    • @caveman, I can’t speak from personal experience, but I do now have all three myself, so I will be paying attention to my statements when I get them.

  33. @Peter S – In my setup, 11 points are worth $0.11 if redeemed for cash or $0.13 if redeemed through UR for travel. I would love to know how you squeeze $0.22 out of 11 points!

  34. Caveman – I’m wondering also. I spent over $600 in gas and amazon purchases, but only received 700 points. Plus I had over 15 purchases. Maybe it doesn’t post until the next billing cycle. I plan on calling and will let you know what they say.

  35. I contacted CHase and they said 10 points per purchase will be posted in a few weeks. I believe he said 6 to 8 weeks. I also had some AMazon purchases that didn’t reflect 5% bonus because of the cutoff date. Really need to stay on top.

  36. I had the freedom + checking option for a while but I wasn’t aware of the full earning potential until I started reading boarding area. I recently got the Sapphire and the trio is my credit card strategy. The freedom card is a better points earning card than the sapphire but the for the transfer benefits you have to pay the hefty annual fee of Sapphire preferred. $95 fee is a lot!

  37. Great, great article!

    I’ve also read that when Freedom points are transferred to Sapphire, those points are eligible for the Annual 7% Sapphire bonus.

    Assuming the 5% Amazon bonus (using Freedom this quarter) is eligible with Amazon gift card purchases, you could conceivable purchase a large amount of small denomination gift cards. With the 10/10 and 10% bonus, seems insanely lucrative. Has anyone tried this?

  38. @Patty I have been seeing the same inconsistency. Does writing a secure message solve this problem? I really need to look into the categories. Chase Blueprint can do this for you.

    @mommypoints, For me, the $95 per year is definitely worth paying. My wife is most happy about the fact that you instantly reach a human being when you call.

    @Tom L, I tried the small denomination grocery store gift cards. It’s too much work to keep track of balances and the sheer physical volume. I have switched to buying $500 cards now.

  39. I currently have both the Chase Freedom and Sapphire. I am going to open a checking account today or tomorrow but can you tell me if I need to do somthing to link it to the Freedom card of will that happen automatically?

    • @tracey, they should auto link. If they haven’t after a billing cycle or two I would call. Mine linked without any intervention after about a month or so.

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