Chase Freedom Card – Confusion Over Points vs. Cash Back

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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!

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    • @perryplatypus – Yes, you are allowed to transfer points between spouses, but if it is other family members or friends, you risk getting your account shut down.

  1. Thanks, My wife has a chase freedom card that is about 6 or 7 years old that she really never uses. I activated the new cards that just came in the mail and setup her online account and she had about 9000 points sitting there from over the years! She watch really shocked that she even had any points in the account at all. I’m really glad the points don’t expire and will really try to work the quarterly bonus to our advantage.

  2. Question- my ink bold annual fee is coming due, can I transfer my UR points from INK to my Freedom to safe keep, and when I get a Sapphire card, then transfer from Freedom UR to Sapphire UR? Thanks.

  3. My husband had a Sapphire preferred that he downgraded to a freedom. He also has chase ink. I have the Sapphire and Ink cards so I don’t think that we need to pay the annual fee on all of these cards. If he cancel the chase ink will he be able to transfer his freedom points to my UR account since he will no longer have a Sapphire or Ink account. Thanks for your input.

    • @kathy – I agree, paying all those annual fees is crazy. You can transfer points from your husbands account to your account, but chase has stated to crack down. In the terms they do allow household transfers, so you shouldn’t have a problem. Do you have the same address and last name on your accounts?

  4. I pay an annual fee for sapphire preferred and amex starwood, but im starting to think its overkill. i signed up for freedom and was planning on canceling sapphire. now im starting to get wishy washy bc i like the Ur. (i have another amex no annual fee) thoughts?

  5. Hello,

    If my fiance has a sapphire preferred card (applied for under her name), and she added a card with my name on it. Will I be able to transfer my chase freedom points to this sapphire preferred account? We just want to consolidate our freedom pts to use for our honeymoon and I’d rather not open another CC account if I can transfer to her.

    Thanks in advance,

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