Advertiser Disclosure: Travel Freedom has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel Freedom and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers if you apply and are approved for a card. All credit card names are registered trademarks of their issuer. Please check offers closely on the application page as they change frequently and our info can sometimes be out of date. Travel Freedom may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.
Chase is one of the primary companies that provide rewards credit cards for both individuals and businesses. They have many great offerings on the market for you to consider. If you are looking for a good rewards credit card to apply for, then there will be a few Chase options that you will want to consider. It is always a good idea to look into what a card has to offer before proceeding, though. Here, we’ll take a look at the Chase Freedom Unlimited .
Many people are currently using and loving the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card. This is a very traditional rewards credit card that manages to stand out in several important ways. It offers many good rewards and has the potential to be a very lucrative rewards credit card for you. Depending on what your rewards credit card expectations are, this may wind up being the perfect card for you to start out with.
Take your time to look at all of the available features of this credit card. If you are able to examine everything that the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card brings to the table, then it will be simple to determine whether or not it is for you. We will thoroughly examine every aspect of this card below so that you can make an informed choice. Take the time to read through the information and you just might find your new favorite credit card.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
You'll earn an additional 1.5% rewards on all purchases in the first year. (up to $20k purchases)
You'll earn 1.5% back on all purchases. (after year 1) No limit.
Points can be transferred to primary Chase cards for better redemptions.
Free credit score.
No annual fee
|TRAVEL FREEDOM THOUGHTS
This is one of the best "cash back" cards for earning rewards. You earn 1.5% per dollar (3% year 1) and those points can be transferred to a primary Chase card for better redemptions. It's a perfect card to pair with either of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business Preferred.
|LEARN HOW TO APPLY NOW >>|
Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited New?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card has been around since 2016. It was announced as Chase’s first Ultimate Rewards credit card that earns a fixed amount on all purchases. The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5 points on every purchase with no limit. Other than its earning format, it’s the exact same credit card as the original Chase Freedom card.
I mentioned that the Chase Freedom Unlimited is technically an Ultimate Rewards credit card, but is actually marketed as a cash back card. Every dollar spent will earn 1.5% “cash back” in the form of Ultimate Rewards. This feature makes the Freedom Unlimited much more valuable because of the ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards between Chase card accounts.
Chase Freedom Unlimited: It’s So Simple to Earn Rewards
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is made for the people who want simplicity when it comes to spending. They do not enjoy strategically getting the most points out of every dollar spent. That’s too much of a hassle for this type of person. But, they do still want to earn extra points on the things they buy.
By earning 1.5 points on every dollar spent, it makes earning extra points very easy. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you don’t have to worry about using a certain card for groceries, a different card for gas, and yet another card for your cell phone bill. This card is perfect for people who just want their points to be simple to earn. If this is the type of person you are, the Chase Freedom Unlimited should be in your wallet.
The features that you can enjoy when using the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card are actually really nice. Of course, this is a rewards credit card that makes it easy to earn cash back on your purchases. It is a flat rate rewards card that does not use any type of bonus categories. This will either be a very good thing or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.
People who love this credit card generally enjoy that it is simple to use. You will be able to expect a flat cashback rate on all of your purchases so that you will not have to worry about having to mess with bonus categories. It allows for a more streamlined experience in many ways. You will be earning a constant stream of rewards just by using your credit card as you see fit.
One of the reasons that this is referred to as the “freedom” card is that you are free to redeem rewards as you see fit. Most rewards credit cards force you to earn a certain amount of rewards before redeeming them. That is not the case with the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card. You can redeem rewards as often as you want, as there is no minimum redemption amount that is holding you back.
You will also be able to pair this credit card with other credit cards in the Chase family. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card might be something that you already use. You can pair the cards together to increase the redemption options for your rewards points. This has the potential to turn your rewards into ultimate rewards points, leading to an increased value of the rewards that you have been earning.
The biggest benefits that you will enjoy by using this credit card will be related to the rewards program. The rewards that you can receive through the use of this credit card are plentiful. Having the option to redeem rewards at any point in time is very nice, too. It puts the power in your hands to decide how you want to do things.
Aside from this, people will also be drawn in by the lucrative sign-up bonus that this credit card has to offer. Simply signing up for this card will allow you to earn some cash within the first three months. Taking advantage of the sign-up bonus offer is rather easy and it makes it even more appealing to apply. If you decide which cards to apply for based on their sign-up offers alone, then this one is likely to pique your interest.
One of the biggest benefits that is worth mentioning is how well this credit card pairs with the different Chase credit cards. If you have been using Chase credit cards for quite some time, then it might be sensible to add this one to the mix. It can work in tandem with other Chase credit cards to provide a superior rewards experience. If you have one of the higher tier Chase cards, then you can turn your rewards from this card into ultimate rewards points.
Simply having the option to make your cards work together is going to be great. It is even possible to use business credit cards from Chase along with this personal credit card. If you are a small business owner and you happen to use one of the Ink Business credit cards, then the rewards from that can pair with this too. Sometimes, it does make sense to stick with one credit card provider, as the loyalty incentives can be worthwhile.
The prices and fees of a credit card are among the most important pieces of information to look at. You want to make sure that the fees and any type of pricing structure are agreeable to you before proceeding. Luckily, the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is pretty good in this department.
Aside from this, the traditional fees that are associated with this card are very customer friendly. You will not be paying any type of annual fee to use this credit card. It really does make a difference to be able to avoid paying out yearly fees just to use your credit card. The fact that this is a rewards card that can earn you cashback rewards constantly makes it a very cost-effective option for you to consider.
The one negative fee that you will have to face while using this card is the foreign transaction fee. This is actually a bit of a high fee and it can become a nuisance for people who travel abroad regularly. If you go outside of the country on business or for recreation, then you can expect to pay a fee when you decide to use your card. An extra three percent fee is going to make some people wary about this card, but it does make up for this flaw in several ways.
Rewards Program Info
As you might expect, the appeal of this card is all about the rewards. You will be able to consistently earn rewards while using this credit card. This is a great option for people who want to be able to earn rewards without being forced to concern themselves with various bonus categories. This credit card offers a simpler experience that still gives you access to ample rewards through just using your credit card as you see fit.
Note that this credit card does not make use of bonus categories in any way. Instead, you will be getting a flat cashback rate on all of your purchases. The rate that you will be able to enjoy is set at 1.5% and it should help you to earn rewards very fast. The fact that you can redeem these rewards whenever you want to just makes things even more convenient.
This is set up in such a way that you can choose to redeem your rewards even when they are at low amounts. It is set up to offer you the most flexibility possible. The redemption options are also very robust. If you want to try to maximize the value of your rewards points, then you may want to take the time to tinker around with the system. You will be able to get more for your rewards if you have a complimentary primary Chase Ultimate Rewards card as well. It’s possible to transfer points between accounts to get more value for travel rewards.
If you want to book your travel through the Chase travel portal, it is going to be possible to use your points at a higher dollar value. It can make booking hotels or flights more cost effective for you. Likewise, you can choose to use your rewards points to convert them into airline miles or hotel points with the Chase transfer partners.
When you transfer your points to airlines and hotels, it can make booking a full travel experience a lot less expensive in points. You will be able to use your rewards points for extra value. You can pair cards together to use the rewards points in different ways or you can simply get your cashback options as you normally would. This is a flexible card that offers you many different rewards features when you are willing to look into your options.
- Simple rewards experience
- Flat cashback rate is good (better than common 1%)
- No minimum redemption amount on points
- No annual fee
The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is appealing in several different ways. It works out well due to being able to keep things simple for those that want a streamlined experience. If you desire an easy to understand credit card with a flat cashback rewards rate, then this will work well for you. It can also be more robust than that and will offer you many great redemption features when paired with other Chase cards and partner programs.
Your ability to redeem points at any time is another positive feature that puts you in control. You get to decide when you want to redeem your rewards and there is no minimum redemption requirement to worry about. As long as you have the rewards to redeem, they will be available to you at any time. This is one of the few cashback cards that offers a convenient feature such as this.
The lack of an annual fee is something that keeps Chase customers happy as well, so it is worth noting that this is a very customer friendly credit card.
- Foreign transaction fees
- Lack of bonus categories
- 1.5% is not great (but it’s simple)
The most notable flaw of this credit card is that it has foreign transaction fees. If you like to travel outside of the country, then you will be paying a fee if you decide to use your card while traveling. The three percent fee can really put a damper on your experience and you may wish to avoid using this card outside of the country because of it. This is one of the few areas where this card stumbles, so it probably isn’t enough to deter you from being interested.
Some people will lament the lack of bonus categories, too. If you like being able to earn more points by using your credit card to purchase items in specific categories, then this card won’t be for you. This is a cashback card with a flat rate and no bonus categories. It is meant to be easier to use and this is not going to be a bad thing as far as many people are concerned. It really comes down to what you want out of a rewards credit card.
Also, there are some credit cards on the market that offer a higher rewards rate. For instance, you might be able to find a rewards credit card that offers you two percent cashback on every purchase. The Chase Freedom Unlimited still manages to stand out from these cards in several positive ways, but you may want to go with the higher cashback reward percentage anyway. It will all depend on what you want to get out of your rewards credit card experience.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Signup Bonus
The Chase Freedom Unlimited signup bonus is not one of the highest in the market, but it’s good for a no-fee card. 15,000 Ultimate Rewards is worth $150 when redeemed for cash back or to purchase gift cards or products on Amazon. A Chase Freedom Unlimited $150 bonus is how they advertise it, but it can be worth more than that. The signup bonus gets really good is when you double the value of your points and are able to redeem for 2 cents per point instead of 1. Who wouldn’t rather redeem points for double what they’re marketed as? Let’s see how it’s possible.
How to Transfer Chase Freedom Unlimited Rewards to Multiply their Value
Here’s the secret that will potentially turn 1.5% back into 3% or more on all your purchases. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is advertised as a card that earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase, but it’s more than just that. Because Chase Ultimate Rewards can be transferred between card accounts, it makes sense to pair one of the three premium Ultimate Rewards cards with the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
When you redeem Ultimate Rewards directly with the Freedom Unlimited you redeem at a value of one cent per point. But, when you redeem them from one of the premium card accounts they are redeemed for at least 1.25-1.5 cents per point using the Chase travel portal. This gives you 25-50% more value for your Ultimate Reward points. Even better, with any of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards, you can transfer points to airline and hotel travel partners which makes your points redeemable at well over 2 cents per point! Which Ultimate Rewards cards are “premium cards”? Let’s take a look.
The 3 Primary Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards
|Sapphire Preferred||Sapphire Reserve||Ink Business Preferred
|Bonus Spending Categories||2X on travel and 3X on dining||3X on travel and dining, 10X on Lyft rides||3X on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and online ads|
|Extra Perks||Baggage insurance|
Rental car insurance
|$300 annual travel credit|
or Global Entry
Priority Pass Select
|Cell phone protection
Primary Car Rental Insurance
|Best for People Who...||Want a large introductory bonus|
Like to Travel
|Want a large introductory bonus|
Want luxury travel benefits
|Want a huge introductory bonus
Spend money advertising online
Want cell phone accident coverage
|Learn More >>||Learn More >>||Learn More >>|
Since all three of these credit cards come with the ability to use Chase’s travel transfer partners, you can essentially double your points if you have one of them. If you’re able to combine one of these premium Chase credit cards to partner with your Freedom Unlimited, it always makes sense to transfer points before redeeming.
Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Freedom (There’s Only 1 Difference)
Every feature of the Chase Freedom Unlimited is identical to the original Chase Freedom card, besides one thing. How points are earned through purchases. We thought about making a comparison chart of the two cards side by side, but this is the one and only difference. The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase. The Chase Freedom earns 5 points per dollar on quarterly rotating categories (things like groceries, gas, movies, and Chase Pay), and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
Which card is better for you depends on if you want the potential to earn extra points or want simplicity. Below are the features that both Freedom cards offer.
- Earn 3% on all purchases in the first year (up to $20,000 spend)
- $25 for adding Authorized User (2500 Ultimate Rewards)
- No annual fee
The Chase Freedom card might wind up working out better for you. Depending on what you want to do, it is possible that the Chase Freedom card may fit your needs slightly better. It has a different signup bonus and offers rotating rewards categories. This will not be a better option for those who want to keep things simple, but it is another good credit card from Chase to look into. For more information on the comparison, check out our Chase Freedom Vs Freedom Unlimited article.
Chase Freedom Unlimited: Credit Score Needed for Approval
Now that you understand the value that the Chase Freedom Unlimited comes with, let’s find out what credit score is needed for approval. Although it is a No annual fee credit card, you still must have good to excellent credit to be approved. This means your score needs to be 670 or above to have a very good shot at being approved.
If your score is under this level, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be approved, but your odds go down. I’ve seen online reviews that mention people being approved with credit scores in the mid 600’s.
Chase regularly approves people for this credit card who have scores that fall in the good range, but having excellent credit will make things even easier. If you want to apply for this card, it will be smart to check your credit score ahead of time to be safe.
If you don’t know what your credit score is, you can find out for free. It’s simple. Just go to Credit Sesame and make a 100% free account and it will give you a monthly estimate of your TransUnion credit score. Their estimations are very accurate. A free Credit Sesame account is also a good tool for keeping an eye on your credit to make sure nothing bad ever happens to it.
Know the Chase 5/24 Rule Before Applying
You should also know that Chase has a rule that they refer to as the 5/24 rule. This means that if you have opened five credit card accounts or more in the last 24 months, then your application will be turned down. If you have been signing up for new credit cards a lot lately, then you may need to wait to be able to qualify for this one. It is a safety feature to prevent people from gaining access to credit without restraint.
Who Is This Credit Card for?
This is a perfect credit card for people who are just getting into the idea of rewards credit card programs. If you are a person who is looking for a reliable credit card to use for everyday purposes, then this will work out well. You will be earning cash back on your purchases every single time. It does not take a lot of micromanagement to use this credit card effectively and the rewards will be there for you whenever you need to use them.
People who have been using Chase credit cards for years may also benefit from signing up for this card. It is going to be able to work together with other Chase cards in effective ways. If you are a regular Chase customer, then using this credit card will be even easier than it would otherwise be. You can earn some very lucrative rewards and it can really give you a fantastic experience.
Anyone who just likes using a credit card with a simple structure will find this card appealing as well. It’s less complex than many of the rewards credit cards on the market. The Chase Freedom Unlimited makes it simpler for those who are just starting out with rewards points, but you will be able to use this card in complex ways if you so choose. It is a very flexible credit card to have in your wallet.
Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited for You?
With all the details in order, I’m sure you know whether the Chase Freedom Unlimited is for you or not. If you’re all about simplicity, then the straightforward 1.5 points per dollar spending is probably a great fit for you. Also, if you want to get a premium Ultimate Rewards card to partner with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, it’s also a good option. Instead of earning 1 point per dollar on “everything else”, you can earn 1.5 points.
If you’re purely looking for a cash back credit card you may be better off with a different card. There are a few options that earn 1.5-2% cash back and some even have bonus categories. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is more about earning Ultimate Rewards than it is cash back.
Either way, the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is something that deserves a place in your wallet. This versatile credit card will give you the convenient cash back options that you are looking for. Being able to use this card to its full potential is not overly difficult and it pairs well with other Chase credit cards. Apply for this card today if you are in need of a credit card that is simple to use while still offering many great options.