Chase Freedom Cards Are Offering 5% Cashback (Or 5 Points/Dollar) On Hotel Bookings

JW Marriott Singapore

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We’re starting to see credit card issuers ramping up the number of special deals they’re offering to holders of select credit cards and Chase is the latest to get in on the act with an offer for anyone with a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited card in their wallet.

The keen-eyed Doctor of Credit (and his friend Micah) has noticed that Chase has brought back a good offer that we’ve seen a few times before (although it’s not as generous as it has been in the past) – Chase Freedom & Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card holders can earn 5% cashback (or 5 points/dollar if they also hold a Sapphire card) on hotel bookings made through the Chase travel portal.

Key Terms

  • 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 Chase Freedom Unlimited card*
  • Hotel bookings can be for any date in the bookable calendar (i.e into 2021)

*Note: I’m only seeing terms and conditions for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card but as I logged in using a Chase Freedom Card and can see this offer (and don’t have a Freedom Unlimited card) this should work with that card too.

Full terms and conditions have been reproduced at the bottom of this post.

Thoughts

Let’s get the main downside to this promotion out of the way first – if you book a hotel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal you will find that the hotel will not recognize your elite status and you will not earn any points or elite credits in that hotel’s loyalty program.

If you’re making bookings at hotels where you hold no status or if you simply don’t care about earning hotel loyalty points then this can be a nice deal to use. If, on the other hand, you have valuable hotel status which offers meaningful benefits then the bonus you earn from this promotion may not offset the benefits you’ll miss out on when your status is not recognized.

This offer is most valuable if you also hold one of the Chase Sapphire cards (which I think most points and miles fans should hold) because they will allow the 5% cashback offered by the Freedom cards in this promotion to be converted to valuable Ultimate Rewards points (1% cashback = 1 UR Point).

My personal valuation of an Ultimate Rewards Point is 1.5 cents so, as I hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, I can earn 5 points/dollar in this promotion (up to $2,500 of spending) for an effective rebate of 7.5%…and that’s not bad at all.

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 Marriott Titanium, InterContinantal Ambassador or Hilton Gold benefits (and associated points earnings) in exchange for this deal.

Note: With the spending cap set at $2,500 the maximum earnings on offer here are $125 cashback or 12,500 Ultimate Rewards Points which I value at $187.50.

A Quick Credit Card Recap

The Chase Freedom Card

  • Current welcome bonus: $150 after $500 of spending in the first 3 months of holding the card.
  • Earnings:
  • Cashback can be converted to Ultimate Rewards Points if you also hold a Chase Sapphire credit card

Link to more details on the Chase Freedom Card

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

  • Current welcome bonus: $150 after $500 of spending in the first 3 months of holding the card.
  • Earnings: 1.5% cashback on all spending (no cap)
  • Cashback can be converted to Ultimate Rewards Points if you also hold a Chase Sapphire credit card

Link to more details on the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

Bottom Line

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.


Full Terms & Conditions Per Chase

During the promotional period of March 1 to March 31, 2020 11:59 p.m. E.T., earn an extra 3.5% cash back on up to $2,500 in hotel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards® using your Chase Freedom Unlimited card. The bonus cash back earned is in addition to the 1.5% cash back you earn on all purchases for a total of 5% cash back, which means you can earn up to $125 total cash back ($37.50 cash back plus your $87.50 bonus cash back). Bonus cash back will post to your account within a week of the transaction posting, and will appear on your monthly credit card billing statement and be available for use within 1-2 billing cycles. To qualify for this promotional offer, account must be open and not in default at the time of fulfillment. This promotional offer is non-transferable. For more information about your rewards program, see your Rewards Program Agreement.

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