Chase Freedom Cards Are Offering 5% Cashback (Or 5x) On Hotel Bookings

Recently, we’ve been seeing credit card issuers ramping up the number of deals they’re offering to holders of select credit cards and Chase is the latest issuer to join the party for anyone with a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited card in their wallet.

THE DEAL

As I signed into my Chase account this morning I noticed that Chase has returned with a good offer that we’ve seen a few times before, the opportunity for individuals with the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited cards to earn 5% cashback (or 5 points per dollar if you also hold one of the Sapphire cards) on hotel bookings made through the Chase travel portal.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Below are the terms and conditions:

  • Book between 1 March and 31 March 2020
  • Earn a total of 5% cashback on up to $2,500 in hotel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel portal
  • Hotel bookings must be made with a Chase Freedom or the Chase Freedom Unlimited card*
  • Hotel bookings can be for any date in the bookable calendar (in other words, all the way into 2021)

IS THIS A GOOD DEAL?

First, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – if you book a hotel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal you will find that hotels will not recognize your elite status and you will not earn any points or elite credits in that hotel’s loyalty program. In other words, booking through the Chase portal is the same as booking through any 3rd party (e.g. Orbitz, Expedia, etc.).

This can be a bit more more complicated for those that have status with meaningful benefits as status generally offers perks like additional points, free breakfast and room upgrades.

However, if you’re making a booking at a hotel where you do not hold any status (or simply don’t care about earning hotel loyalty points) then this could be a good deal.

This offer is most valuable if you also hold one of the Chase Sapphire cards because, as I said in THIS POST, you have the ability to pool your points. In other words, you can transfer your 5% cashback offered by the Freedom cards in this promotion to be converted to valuable Ultimate Rewards points (1% cashback = 1 UR Point).

If I was booking a boutique property or a property with a chain that I don’t frequent very often (like Radisson, Choice, Best Western, etc.) I’d probably use my Chase Freedom Card to make the booking. I love Ultimate Rewards points but I wouldn’t give up my status (i.e. Marriott Platinum, Hyatt Globalist, or Hilton Gold benefits & associated points earnings) in exchange for this deal.

FREEDOM CARD OVERVIEW

I haven’t spoken about the Freedom cards too much on this blog but you’ve probably seen the various commercials where Kevin Hart is promoting these cards.

Personally, they are a very important part of the equation in racking up Chase Ultimate Reward points (particularly because they are no annual fee cards) so, let’s take a quick overview of these cards:

Chase Freedom

  • Current welcome bonus: $150 after $500 of spending in the first 3 months of holding the card.
  • Earnings:
    • 1% cashback on all other spending (unlimited)
  • Note: Cashback can be converted to Ultimate Rewards Points if you also hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve credit card

Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • Current welcome bonus: $150 after $500 of spending in the first 3 months of holding the card.
  • Earnings: 1.5% cashback on all spending (unlimited)
  • Note: Cashback can be converted to Ultimate Rewards Points if you also hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve credit card

You’ll find that you’re able to accumulate points faster when you have several cards by the same issuing bank (e.g. Chase) that have bonus categories and are able to pool the points. For example:

Chase Bi-fecta: Sapphire Preferred + Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Tri-fecta: If you add a no annual fee card like Ink Cash into the equation (thus Sapphire Preferred + Chase Freedom Unlimited + Ink Cash ), your total effective annual fee will still be just $95 and both of those cards give options to earn an amazing 5 points per dollar in various categories.

With a bit of creativity (and a bifecta, trifecta, quadfecta, etc.), it’s not difficult to bolster your points balance.

FINAL STAMP

If you have to give up significant earnings or hotel benefits in order to make the most of this promotion then it’s almost certainly not worth it. If you don’t have elite status or are staying somewhere where your elite status is meaningless then it’s worth considering paying with one of the Chase Freedom personal cards…especially if you hold a Sapphire Card too.

Is anyone else seeing these offers on their Freedom cards? Do you plan to take advantage of this offer?

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