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VS

Compare the Features and Benefits of IHG One Rewards Traveler Credit Card and
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Detailed Comparison Overview

Key Facts
Annual Fee
Avg. Min. Credit Score
APR on purchases
APR on balance transfers
Ongoing APR
Balance transfers fees
Best Multiplier
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
Bonus Offer
Rating
Review
Key features
Unique Card Benefits
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Protections
Free Access to Credit Score
Grants Hotel Status
No Foreign Transaction Fees
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
No Fees for Authorized Users
0% Intro APR on Purchases
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers
Annual Fee
$0
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
APR on purchases
-
APR on balance transfers
-
Ongoing APR
21.49%-28.49% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
5x Hotels

At IHG brand hotels and resorts booked directly; otherwise earn 2X.

3x Cable / Internet / VOIP Phone
3x Gas Stations
3x Cellular Phone Service
3x Dining Out / Food Delivery
3x Streaming Services
2x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.004
Bonus Offer
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(3.95) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

The IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card is IHG’s no-annual-fee credit card. As such, it doesn’t offer the excellent perks that come with the IHG Premier Credit Card — like a free night each account anniversary, automatic Platinum Elite status, and other travel perks.

However, the IHG Traveler Card still offers surprisingly good benefits for a no-annual-fee card. You’ll get IHG Rewards’ intro level Silver Elite status, fourth night free on rewards stays, and a 20% discount on purchases of IHG Rewards points.

Screenshot showing IHG card benefit of 20% discount on purchases of IHG Rewards points.

Silver Elite status doesn’t offer too many perks — 20% bonus points at IHG hotels and resorts, a shot at late checkout, and not having to worry about point expiration. Cardholders can spend $20,000 in a calendar year to upgrade to Gold Elite status. Gold Elite status includes 40% bonus points at IHG hotels and resorts.

In addition to the sign-up bonus, IHG Rewards Traveler Credit Card cardholders will earn bonus points on IHG hotel stays, dining, gas stations, select streaming services, and utility monthly bills. Cardholders earn 2 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Considering the IHG Rewards point value is only around 0.4 cents per point, that’s not the best possible return on your other purchases.

So, you might just want to limit using your IHG Traveler Card to IHG hotels and resorts. By charging IHG hotel stays to their IHG Traveler Card, cardholders will earn a total of at least 17 points per dollar spent:

  • 5 points per dollar spent by charging the IHG hotel stay to their IHG Traveler Card
  • 10 points per dollar spent as an IHG Rewards member.
  • 2 bonus points per dollar spent at as Silver Elite (or more if you have a higher tier of IHG Rewards elite status)

For those unfamiliar, the IHG Rewards loyalty program includes a wide range of hotel brands. On the luxury side, you can earn and redeem IHG points at InterContinental Hotels, Kimpton, Hotel Indigo, Six Senses, and Regent Hotels. On the flip side, you can earn and redeem IHG points for stays at Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Candlewood Suites, and Staybridge Suites. That range of earning and redemption options is truly impressive.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Grants Hotel Status
yes
No Foreign Transaction Fees
yes
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
yes
No Fees for Authorized Users
yes
0% Intro APR on Purchases
no
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers
no
Annual Fee
$0
Avg. Min. Credit Score
670-850 *
APR on purchases
0% Intro APR (on purchases for 15 months, 20.49%-29.24% thereafter)
APR on balance transfers
0% Intro APR (on balance transfers for 15 months, 20.49%-29.24% thereafter)
Ongoing APR
20.49%-29.24% (Variable)
Balance transfers fees
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Best Multiplier
5x Airfare

Earn this multiplier when you purchase via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. If you purchase any other way, you will earn 1.5X points.

5x Car Rentals

Earn this multiplier when you purchase via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. If you purchase any other way, you will earn 1.5X points.

5x Hotels

Earn this multiplier when you purchase via the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. If you purchase any other way, you will earn 1.5X points.

5x Lyft
3x Dining Out / Food Delivery
3x Drugstores
1.5x Everything Else
Avg. Point Value
(Learn More)
$0.01 - $0.0175
Bonus Offer
INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
Rating
YBCC Card Rate Stars Filled
YBCC Card Rate Stars Empty
(4.25) Our Review

Our ratings are determined by the authors and editors on our team. Each individual card feature is compared against all other cards we offer and the total score is an average of those 4 ratings.

Review

This is a staple card in the Chase Trifecta, which includes a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, a Chase Freedom Flex, and this card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

The primary benefit of this card, from a bonus category perspective, is the ability to earn 1.5% on all purchases that don’t have a bonus category. So while you earn 3% on dining and drugstore purchases with the Freedom Unlimited, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on anything else, like insurance or utilities.

drugstores-chase-freedom-unlimited

But since the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a pure cash back credit card unless you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® with which to combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, it’s ideally used as a combo.

When you hold one of these premium Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards, you can transfer points earned on the Freedom Unlimited to the premium card. Once you’ve moved the Ultimate Rewards over to the premium credit card, you can take advantage of points transfers to 12 Chase airline and hotel partners or book travel through the travel portal.

If you book through the travel portal and have a Sapphire Reserve, your points redeem for 1.5 cents each, meaning that you earn 1.5X points or cash back per dollar and redeem them for 1.5X, giving you an effective 2.25% return on your spend.

If you book through the travel portal and have a Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred, your points redeem for 1.25 cents each, meaning that you earn 1.5X per dollar and redeem for 1.5X, giving you an effective 1.875% return on your spend.

But our absolute favorite way to redeem is always via airline and hotel transfer partners. The easiest high-value redemption is usually Hyatt. We often get better than 2 cents per World of Hyatt point. Keep in mind that Hyatt doesn’t charge any resort fees when you stay on a free night award. So let’s say you are looking at a hotel with a cash price of $259 and a $25 a night resort fee and 8% tax. That would come to $307 a night. But if that same room costs 8,000 or 12,000 Hyatt points, you could be using your points (which transfer at an even 1:1 ratio to all airline and hotel partners) with a rate of return of 3 – 4 cents.

That said, even without a card combo, it’s still a solid card to earn 1.5% cash back (plus 3% on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and drugstores) since it has no annual fee. Best of all, you can accrue cash back on this card and decide to add a Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® later on – if you suddenly decide that you’d like to delve into the world of credit card rewards that transfer to frequent flyer and hotel programs to book free award flights and hotel nights.

It comes with a solid range of benefits for a card with no annual fee, too. You’ll get Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty on the shopping side and you’ll be taken care of on canceled or shortened pre-paid trips if a covered reason arises. with the included Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance.

Read more
Unique Card Benefits
yes
Secondary Car Rental CDW Waiver
yes
Extended Warranty
yes
Purchase Protection
yes
Trip Protections
yes
Free Access to Credit Score
yes
Grants Hotel Status
no
No Foreign Transaction Fees
no
Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
no
No Fees for Authorized Users
no
0% Intro APR on Purchases
yes
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers
yes

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