There once was a time when you could exchange $200 worth of Chase Freedom rewards for a $250 check. This 25% bonus was a very nice perk, but it has long since disappeared.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that Chase has started offering bonuses when you redeem your rewards for select gift cards.
For example, you can redeem $20 (or $40 or $80) in rewards for a $25 (or $50 or $100) gift card at AMC theaters or Land’s End. That’s a 20% bonus, though your options are fairly limited.
Update: A reader named Andrew wrote in to point out that Land’s End is owned by Sears, and that the gift cards “should be” transferrable. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it’s worth checking out if you’re interested in a (possible) 20% discount at Sears.
Alternatively, you can redeem $22.50 (or $45 or $90) for a $25 (or $50 or $100) gift card at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath & Beyond, TGI Friday’s, TJ Maxx, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Starbucks, or Outback Steakhouse. That’s a 10% bonus.
Since we shop there so often, I view Amazon gift cards as being (more or less) the equivalent to cash, so this is a fairly attractive offer. No, 10% isn’t a huge deal, but it’s far better than nothing.
If you’d still prefer to get cash back, they’ve also rolled out some additional redemption options. In short, you’re no longer limited to getting a check — you can now request a statement credit or direct deposit.
Don’t forget the $100 bonus…
Also… If you don’t already have the Chase Freedom card, you can get a $100 cash bonus by applying for one, getting approved, and spending $500 in purchases with the card within the first three months. Technically, you’ll get 10,000 points, but you can easily redeem these for a $100 cash bonus (or for up to $110 or $120 in gift cards).
For what it’s worth, we’ve had this card for years and have never had any problems getting Chase to hold up their end of the bargain. You just login, request your check (or whatever), and it magically shows up.