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While the Chase Freedom card isn’t a travel card per se, a new offer announced this month might make you think differently.
Through the end of the day on March 31, 2017, you’ll get 10% cash back on your first $2,500 spent in combined hotel stays and rental cars with your Chase Freedom card.
— Offer valid on purchases made March 1 - March 31, 2017, at 11:59 PM ET
— Applies to hotels and car rentals booked through ChaseUltimateRewards.com
— Available to both Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited customers
— Choose from over 180,000 hotels worldwide, with prices comparable to popular travel booking sites
— Shop our competitive rates from all your favorite car rental companies.
If you have a version of the Chase Freedom card already and have some travel plans in the works, this can be a stellar deal. Still, you’ll want to crunch some numbers on this offer before you book.
Making the Most of the Chase Freedom 10% Offer
In other words, don’t let the allure of 10% back prevent you from shopping around. The big “gotcha” here is the fact you must book your travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to get the bonus points.
While Chase travel portal prices can be similar to those on discount travel sites like Expedia and Priceline, they can also be notably higher. Occasionally, prices through Chase can be twice as much for the same car rental or hotel.
Before you bank on getting value out of the extra points, make sure to shop around with other travel portals first.
If a hotel or rental car is more than 10% cheaper elsewhere, that extra 10% cash back you’re earning with Chase may not be worth it.
Pooling Points with Another Chase Card
Of course, there is at least one big “what if” that could throw your calculations completely out of whack. If you have a Chase Freedom card and no other Chase cards, 10% cash back is exactly that: 10% back.
But if you have a premier travel credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Business Preferred, you already know your points are worth so much more.
When you have a premier Chase card along with the Chase Freedom, you can pool all your points in one account. If you want to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to travel, you’ll pool them in your Preferred or Reserve accounts.
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, for example, you get 50% more value when you use your points to book travel through the Chase portal. So, if you earned 10X points for hotels and car rentals paid with your Freedom card, you could feasibly extract a lot more value on the backend.
Let’s not forget that Chase Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred transfer to popular travel partners like Southwest, Hyatt, Ritz Carlton and Korean Air at a 1:1 ratio.
With a valuable transfer, you could use this 10X points offer to get outsized value.
READ MORE 5 Easy Ways to Meet Your Credit Card’s Minimum Spending Requirement
If you have a Chase Freedom card, it’s worth comparing prices via the Chase travel portal through the end of March. If the price is right, you could save money and score 10% cash back in one fell swoop.
And if you have a premier Chase card, you could wind up further ahead than that. Just make sure to run the numbers before you pull the trigger.