Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Credit Card Test
In June of 09 John and I decided to test out a credit card program (Chase Freedom) to see if the rewards were beneficial to our family. We had been credit card free for over a year and thought that we'd make the leap to running most of our expenses through our credit card in the hopes of making a little cash back. We picked the Chase Freedom card, thanks to my thrifty friend Bethany and her husband who told us about the Cash Reward program. John and I made a pact that if any month we didn't pay it off then we would close the account. So far we're sticking to our allotted budget and haven't had any temptations not to pay it off - in fact I try and pay the balance off every Friday just to keep things simple.
The rewards program works very simply, for every charge there is an allotted percentage (1%-3%) which you receive as "credit," the top three spending categories receive the 3% rebate and it drops from there. You can redeem the credits at any time for gift cards, cash, or a credit on your account. The great bonus is that once you reach 200.00 in rewards, Chase will give you an additional 50.00. So after 5 months of testing out this program, John and I are excited to receive our first 250.00 check in the mail. That is a great deal - we paid no interest to the company and receive approximately 500.00 a year (or approx 4% cash back) by using the card instead of our checking account to roll purchases through. Not bad! We roll almost all our expenses through the card - including utilities, groceries, gasoline and fast food. Our top three categories tend to be: Utilities, Groceries, & Gasoline, the rest of the categiries receive 1% cash back. I set the account up to automatically download to my financial program so I can see on any given day what the balance and transactions are. Its a great program, assuming you never carry a monthly balance. There are no annual fees their customer service seems to be very professional and helpful!
Here is an additional review which we found helpful.