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Chase Freedom Unlimited® Review

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Credit card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Annual Fee:  $0

Bonus Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000) for your first year)

Bonus Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000) for your first year)

★ This card earns bonus points for spend in the following bonus categories:

Car Rentals5x
Expenses Not in Any Other Category1.5x

Best for:

Those seeking a 0% Intro APR and strong rewards on a card with no annual fee

Card Features and Benefits:

    Our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which is a no-fee card offering 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points on everything, except as noted in the bonus categories below.

    Chase Freedom Unlimited Rate:

    • 5X on travel when purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal*
    • 5X on Lyft until March 2025
    • 3X on dining (including takeout and delivery)
    • 3X at drugstores
    • 1.5X on everything else

    (* Keep in mind, booking via the portal for hotels means that you won’t, in most cases, earn any hotel points / stay credits nor have any hotel elite status honored. For airlines, the fares are generally the same or similar, however, it does mean that you have to deal with Chase for changes instead of the airline directly – and that can be a big hassle.)

    There's no annual fee.

    0% APR Intro Offer:

    0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.

    It's worth noting that very few great rewards credit cards both earn valuable points and also have a great 0% Intro APR offer.

    The current 0% Intro APR offer means that this card is currently offering the best of both worlds in that regard.

    Instacart Benefits

    • 3 free months of Instacart Express
    • Up to $10/quarter in Instacart statement credits

    Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Trifecta

    This card is excellent to have in conjunction with a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, both of which unlock transfers to airlines and hotels and an ability to combine your points between them. The Chase Ink Business Preferred accomplishes the same.

    Some people even hold the "trifecta" of a Sapphire Reserve or Preferred for travel and dining, a Chase Freedom (which earns 5x Ultimate Rewards on quarterly rotating bonus categories), and this card, the Freedom Unlimited, which earns a flat 1.5x Ultimate Rewards on all other purchases.

    Freedom Unlimited: Cash Back or Points?

    This card can be used as a standard cash back card (1 point = 1 cent) or as an Ultimate Rewards points card.

    In valuing your rewards, we assume you also have a Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred. You can then transfer points from this card to one of those to unlock the power of transfer partners.

    If you have this card without one of the above cards, your rewards value will be lower with each point worth exactly 1 cent. In that case, this is a 1.5% cash back card.

    Redeeming Points from the Chase Freedom Unlimited for Maximum Value

    Again, if you only hold this card and/or this card plus other no-annual fee Chase cards, the points you earn on the Freedom Unlimited are simply worth a penny each in cash back - giving you 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

    But if you also hold a Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred, the equation changes.

    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.

    There are ton of great ways to use Ultimate Rewards points, so pop over to our Ultimate Guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards for an exhaustive list.

    What credit score do you need for Chase Freedom Unlimited?

    This is not a starter card and Chase does want to approve people with Good to Excellent credit for the Freedom Unlimited. You should be safe with a 750 or better credit score, though you may have luck if you have 720 or better.

    What is the minimum credit limit for Chase Freedom Unlimited?

    While you won't be approved for a Visa Signature card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred unless their systems will approve you for a $5,000 or higher credit link, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has no such minimum and you can have a credit lie as low as $500.

    Our Review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

    While we love our premium Chase cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the flaw in those cards are that if you aren't spending in a bonus category, you are getting just 1 point per dollar. This card, then, is the perfect companion credit card, allowing you to earn 1.5X points (or cash back) on all other categories that don't earn a bonus multiplier.

    And now with 5X points on Lyft, a sweet deal got even sweeter.

    Which is better Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom?

    That's a great question, as many people are looking at both the Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Freedom and trying to decide which is better for them.

    While, as you know by now, the Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5% on everything (plus 5% on Lyft and Groceries for one year), the Freedom earns just 1% on everything but with a twist.

    The Freedom earns 5X points on a set of rotating bonus categories each quarter (activation required) up to $1,500 in total quarterly spend. Sometimes those categories are great and sometimes they aren't as great. While many therefore keep both of these cards in their wallet, the Freedom Unlimited is certainly the simpler credit card.

    More from MilesTalk:

    Chase Ultimate Rewards: How to Earn and Redeem with Transfer Partners

    Note: You will only be approved for a Chase card if you have applied for fewer than 5 personal credit cards within the last 24 months from any issuer. (Business cards do not count against the total, except for Capital One and Discover, but are subject to the policy). Learn more about the 5/24 rule here.

    Also note the name of this card - it's most definitely not called the "freedom unlimited chase" or "chase unlimited freedom" or "unlimited freedom chase" card. You'd be surprised what we hear!

    More information at MilesTalk:

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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000) for your first year)

Don’t Miss Out On Limited time Offers

Credit card companies regularly offer limited time increased signup bonus offers on their credit cards. They also sometimes change card benefits or otherwise change up their card lineups.
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