Chase Freedom (Credit Score Needed, 5/24 Rule & Other Requirements)

Chase Freedom

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Posted: August 25, 2016
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

During a recent conversation about the ever-evolving payments landscape, my friend posed a question that made me think: With so many other ways to pay for things now, what’s the best reason to use a credit card? It took me a few minutes to find an answer, and when I did, I wasn’t sure why it hadn’t been immediately obvious — the credit card rewards. Who doesn’t want what amounts to a discount on, well, everything?

One of the best cash back rewards cards on the market is the Chase Freedom credit card, which combines flat rate unlimited cash back, with bonus rewards that are available in a different category each quarter — including gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs. While not for those with poor credit, the Chase Freedom card is a solid rewards card choice if your credit report is in good condition. Use the menu to take your next step.

Possible Roadblocks | Current Offers | Denial Options | Reconsideration

3 Possible Roadblocks to Acceptance

There are many factors that go into determining your credit card eligibility. While most of these variables have some wiggle room, others are often treated as hard-and-fast rules. Here are the three main impediments to approval for Chase Freedom applicants.

1. Good Credit Score Required — At least 645, According to Reviews

While not the end-all-be-all of your application, your credit score is an important factor. Thankfully, it also happens to be one of the factors with the most leeway. The Chase Freedom card is mainly for those in the “Good” (700+) to “Excellent” (750+) credit ranges, but there are reports of people being accepted with credit scores as low as 645.

An important note for you credit score: it can vary depending on the source. Chase may pull from any one — or more — of the three leading agencies. Whether they pull your Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion credit report will depend mostly on your location, as it seems to vary by state.

2. Utilization: What You Use vs. What You Have

Your utilization rate is essentially the ratio of your total credit card balances — what you use — and your total available credit — what you have. So, if you have a total credit limit of $10,000 and you have a total balance of $2,500, your utilization is 25%.

Ideal Utilization Rate Graph

Your ideal utilization rate should be no greater than 30% — within the shaded blue area.

Ideally, your utilization rate will be below 30%. The higher your rate, the less likely you are to be approved. In some ways, your credit utilization may be one of the easiest denial factors to change — or at least the quickest. If you pay down your current balances, your utilization will decrease, increasing your likelihood of acceptance.

3. Account History & the “5/24 Rule”

When researching common rejection responses, it seems that account history is the most frequently reported cause for denial. Rejections seem to fall into one of two camps: too little overall history, or too much recent history.

If you’re new to building credit, you may not have a very significant credit history. In this case, you are essentially an unknown to the credit card companies — and unknowns are risky. Applicants with less than one year of verifiable credit history are often asked to reapply at a later time.

Additionally, if you have a previous black mark on your history like a defaulted loan or bankruptcy, Chase recommends that your credit history shows at least three squeaky-clean years.

On the other hand, if you have too many recent accounts, you may also be disqualified. Known as the “5/24 Rule,” there are many reports of otherwise ideal applicants being automatically denied when they have opened more than five new credit accounts within the past 24 months.

Current Freedom & Chase Freedom Unlimited Offers

If you think you fit all the criteria for a Chase Freedom card, then apply away! This quarter’s bonus categories won’t last forever.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★

5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
15 months
0%
15 months
14.24%-23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

Don’t forget to activate your quarterly rewards once you receive your card.

If you’d prefer a simpler way to earn cash back without worrying about rotating categories, try the new Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Instead of bonus rewards on certain purchases, Freedom Unlimited offers a higher flat-rate rewards percentage.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★

5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Redeem for cash — any amount, anytime
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
15 months
0%
15 months
14.24%-23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

Cash back rewards will stay good as long as your account is open; your points will never expire.

How to Deal with Denial

If you have been denied a Chase Freedom card because of your credit, you may need to take time to improve or repair your credit before applying again. Paying off existing debt, especially if your utilization is above the 30% limit, will be the best way to go. If you need to build — or rebuild — credit, try these three credit cards that typically approve applicants with “Fair” (630+) credit scores or below.

Emporium Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

  • Up to $5,000 Spending Limit in Less than 60 Seconds! Shop from over 100,000 brand name products such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, Gucci, Prada and much more with low easy payments.
  • Less than Perfect Credit Accepted. Approval is quick and easy. Must be 18 years or older, have a valid checking account and a verifiable source of income.
  • Up To 12 Months Same As Cash
  • 50% Early Payoff Discount
  • No Hidden Fees
  • Return at any Time
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See website for Details
N/A
Poor, Fair, Limited, or Damaged Credit

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It’s a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad Credit
Total Visa® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★

4.3

OVERALL RATING

3.5/5.0
  • Checking Account Required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine VISA card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • If approved, simply pay a Processing Fee to open your account and access your available credit
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Terms
See Terms
Fair, Bad Credit

If you are still facing credit card denials, or are feeling overcome by your debt, you may need a debt management program.  A reputable company can help you work with your lenders to design a payment plan and get out of debt.

Last-Ditch Effort: Call the Reconsideration Line

If you really have your heart set on the Chase Freedom card, or believe there was some sort of error in your application, there is one last step you can try — the reconsideration line. Called different things by different card companies, there is a “backdoor” phone number (read: skip the usual customer service representative) that will take you to someone with the power to re-evaluate your application — and make a decision one way or the other. To get in touch with a Chase “credit analyst” who can take a look at your application for a Freedom card, call this number:

888-245-0625

Chances are, you were initially denied because they considered you a credit risk; don’t encourage that opinion. Have a reasonable explanation for why you want the card, but don’t mention a signup bonus — credit card companies want to think you’re in it for the long haul. Also, make sure you know all of your information, including your latest credit scores and card balances. If you were turned down due to an error, now is the time to set the record straight.

One of the most important tools in your reconsideration belt, though, is simply you. Be polite, encourage a little friendly conversation, and show you understand that the person on the other end of the line is, in fact, a person. With the right attitude and a little luck, you can have your new Chase Freedom card in no time.