Yesterday I posted that the bonus categories for the Chase Freedom card have changed since it is the start of a new quarter. Throughout the post I referred to the bonus points as 5x points. A reader commented on this as it is always referred to as 5% cash back, not in points. This is actually a great question and causes some confusion for many, so I figured I’d address this for all.
There are many Chase Ultimate Reward earning cards – for example, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, Chase Sapphire, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Cash, Chase Ink Classic. For all the cards you earn Ultimate Reward points, however, the type of account it is determined how you can actually redeem those points. The Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Sapphire Preferred are the only three cards that actually allow to you transfer your points to loyalty partners (hotel/airlines/train).
So when you have the Chase Freedom card, you earn Ultimate Reward points where you CANNOT transfer your points directly to loyalty programs. Most people redeem those points by requesting cash back. For every point you will get 1 cent cash back. So 5x points is the same thing as 5% cash back. The cash back does not just automatically get sent to you each month (although there might be a way to set that up, I am not sure) and you actually need to request the points to be redeemed for cash back.
Instead of redeeming for cash back, you can instead transfer those points from your Chase Freedom account into your Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Sapphire Preferred account (if you have one of those three credit card accounts). This will then allow you to transfer your Chase Freedom points to a loyalty partner, potentially getting you a better redemption for your points than cash. You used to be able to transfer your points to a friends account and then have them transfer them to your loyalty program account, but Chase has started to crack down on this and close accounts, so be warned. If you do not currently have a Chase Ink Plus, Bold, or Sapphire Preferred account you can save your Chase Freedom points for awhile and once you get one of those accounts (if that is how you want to redeem your points) you can then transfer your points between accounts. The Chase Freedom points will not expire so you do not need to redeem them monthly.
Hope this helps the 5x points vs. 5% cash back confusion that many have. I know many have their own way of thinking about it, but this is my thinking process!