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I have a fairly ample number of points on my Chase Quicken Visa (I crossed out Quicken because Chase has discontinued their relationship with them). Now that I'm thinking about it, it's actually the blue Chase "Freedom" Visa, which was substituted for the silver Chase "Quicken" Visa sometime earlier this year. Anyway, up until about a year ago, you could get a discount for air travel, e.g., you could redeem 25,000 points for $400 of travel (as opposed to getting $250 in cash). However, Chase unceremoniously changed the redemption rules, and now 25,000 points only gets you $250 of travel (as well as the option to get $250 in cash). You have to buy the travel through their own agents, so I don't think there are any discounts or transferable points. My question is the obvious one: Is there any reason *not* to take cash? If the answer is "no," then why do these credit cards offer *so many* different types of rewards, when the customers aren't getting any discounts for selecting them? Long-term agreements which they must honor? From what I see, it makes absolutely no sense not to take the cash, so what reasons are there, if any? Thanks a bunch in advance.
Hey, so, my Chase Freedom Visa has a refer-a-friend feature, where both the referrER and the referrEE get rewards. I figure if you're going to join anyway (*), I may as well leech off you, and you can get $150 cash back (see item 2) - so just send me a PM with your first name and the email address you want to use, and we'll both reap the grim benefits. Yeah, this is pretty cheesy, but what the heck. Note: This is for the Chase *Freedom* Visa, which is their no-annual-fee, lowest-level card - I've used them for years, and Chase's online system is terrific - much improved in the last few months. This card also participates in the "Ultimate Rewards" program, and the reward points are transferable 1:1 to the Chase Sapphire cards (it works - I just did it yesterday), and if you have both cards, you *absolutely* want to transfer *all* your points to the Sapphire card (I suggest doing it now before they change their minds about allowing the transfers). If you don't transfer your points to Sapphire, then you're throwing money away - I know it sounds weird (and it *is* a very clumsy system), but the Ultimate Rewards points are worth more if they're under the Chase Sapphire account, rather than the Chase Freedom account - so make the transfer! Assuming Chase doesn't change the rules, and you aren't yet ready to take the Sapphire plunge, you can accumulate points with the no-fee Freedom Visa, and then several years from now, get the Sapphire Visa and make the transfer. Again, that's assuming that Chase doesn't change the rules, and quite honestly, I wouldn't bet the ranch on that happening. To all cardholders of the Chase Freedom Visa: I highly recommend that you put an auto-reminder into your calendars to ping you at the beginning of each quarter (Jan 1, Apr 1, Jul 1, and Oct 1), at which point you should sign in, click on each account, and enroll in their 5% bonus program. It changes each quarter, and you must re-enroll each quarter to get 5% cash back. Here is their 2016 program, which shows the categories that you'll get 5% cash back on. It costs nothing to activate, but you *must* click each account you have separately, for whatever reason (all Chase accounts will be under the same user id and password) - it takes just a few seconds to do. Note that in this quarter (which is quickly coming to an end), they're giving you *Five Percent* at restaurants - they obviously found out I was on a diet this summer. Seriously, this is a *great* feature if you have major purchases to make, and any $1,000+ purchases might want to be based around when you can get the 5% back - something to think about, for sure - this upcoming quarter includes Department Stores, so if you're going to drop $1,500 on a mattress at Bloomingdale's, that's $75 in your pocket if you wait until October. Note also: The Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa - which is the deluxe card we've all been salivating over - does not have this refer-a-friend feature. The 3%-back on dining and travel is awesome, but it's better to use Freedom's 5%, and then transfer the Freedom points over to Sapphire. You'll maximize the cash in your pocket by using both of these cards judiciously, and it pays to own both. (*) I emphasize: if you're going to join anyway. I only want you to consider this if you were going to sign up for Chase Freedom Visa anyway; I'm not trying to talk anyone into doing anything they weren't already going to do. The way this works is that I give Chase your first name (only) and email address that you wish to use, and then they send you an "invitation" to apply for the card via this program. You should be aware that whatever email address you use will probably be sold by Chase, used for marketing, etc., but that would happen anyway (unless you're still working with paper bills and the U.S. postal system). Invite your friends to Chase Freedom.to footnote2 Each friend can earn $150 bonus cash back after they are approved and spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. You can get $50 cash back for each friend, up to 10 friends, who gets and uses the card. That's up to $500 cash back!