Chase Freedom Unlimited® review: well-rounded rewards card with no annual fee

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Our take: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is a well-rounded rewards card, offering generous cash-back earnings in a variety of categories. The $0 annual fee and an introductory 15-month 0% APR make this card particularly attractive to budget-conscious cardholders.

Pros

  • 0% intro purchase APR for 15 months from account opening (after that, the variable APR will be 20.49%–29.24%)
  • Up to 5% cash back
  • $0 annual fee

Cons

  • Other flat-rate cards have a higher base earnings rate
  • Foreign transaction fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited Highlights

Card type: Cash back, 0% APR, Balance transfer

  • Welcome bonus: $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards:
    • 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
    • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • 3% cash back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery service)
    • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
    • 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases

Overview

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is a versatile credit card that offers a comprehensive rewards program for everyday purchases. This card stands out for its ability to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases. The rewards program also extends to specific categories such as travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, dining at restaurants, and drugstore purchases. The card features $0 annual fee, adding to its appeal for budget-conscious consumers. To incentivize new cardholders, the Freedom Unlimited offers an additional $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

Moreover, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card includes benefits that go beyond its cash back rewards program. That includes an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months after card approval, which applies to both purchases and balance transfers (after that, the APR will be 20.49%–29.24% Variable). The card also comes with additional perks, including purchase protection, extended warranty benefits, complimentary three-month DashPass and Instacart+ membership, and 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025).

Who is the Chase Freedom Unlimited good for?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited could be right for someone who doesn’t want to deal with registering for bonus categories every quarter but who still wants more rewards on dining, drugstores and travel booked through Chase’s portal.

Who shouldn’t get the Chase Freedom Unlimited?

If you are looking for a single travel rewards card, you will likely do better with a card like the Sapphire Preferred. Ultimate Rewards earned from the Freedom Unlimited will not transfer to travel partners unless you also have a companion Chase card that offers transferable points.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Rewards

As a welcome offer, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers new cardholders an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). The Freedom Unlimited also offers the following rewards to cardholders:

  • 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery service)
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases

How to redeem Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards points

Chase offers several ways to use your Freedom Unlimited Ultimate Rewards points. 

Cash back

The simplest redemption method is cash back. You can redeem points at one cent each for a direct deposit or statement credit.

Combine points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal

If you’re looking to get the most value out of your rewards, booking travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal is one of your best options. Normally, each reward point is worth one cent when redeemed for cash, but if you transfer points earned via your Chase Ultimate rewards card to one of your premium cards, you can boost their value when redeemed for travel in this way. For example, transferring points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve® card will boost their value to 1.5 cents per point.

Combine points to transfer points to travel partners

The Freedom Unlimited card also allows you to transfer your points to Chase’s travel partners at a full 1:1 value ratio, which includes several airline and hotel loyalty programs, provided you have a companion card that offers that feature. 

Redeem for gift cards

You can use rewards points to buy gift cards from over 175 popular retailers and restaurants. Keep in mind that point values may vary depending on the specific gift card. In general, however, one point is worth one cent when redeemed this way.

Other redemption methods include pay for points, but you’ll most likely get less than one cent per point when using this feature at sites like Amazon. In that case you’re better off redeeming points for cash back, then making your purchase.

Rates and Fees

  • Intro APR: 0% intro purchase APR for 15 months from account opening (after that, the variable APR will be 20.49%–29.24%)
  • Purchase APR: 20.49%–29.24% Variable
  • Balance transfer offer: 0% intro balance transfer APR for 15 months (intro balance transfer fee: $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Additional benefits

  • Zero liability protection: You won’t be liable for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Purchase protection: Get covered against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account on new purchases for 120 days.
  • Extended warranty protection: The U.S. manufacturer’s warranty is extended by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: If your trip gets canceled or cut short due to sickness, severe weather, or other covered situations, you can get reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable passenger fares.
  • 24/7 fraud monitoring: Chase will monitor your card for fraud 24/7 and can text, email or call you if there are any unusual purchases.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Receive secondary coverage for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad. You must first decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. 
  • Travel and emergency assistance services: Call the Benefit Administrator for legal and medical referrals or other travel and emergency assistance while you’re away. (You will be responsible for the cost of any goods or services obtained.)
  • DashPass: Get three months of DashPass for free, after which you’re automatically enrolled in DashPass at 50% off for the next nine months. You must activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Lyft: Get 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025 (3.5% cash back in addition to the 1.5% cash back you already earn).
  • Instacart: Receive free membership to Instacart+ for three months. You must enroll by July 31, 2024. 

Credit cards similar to Chase Freedom Unlimited

There are several cash back credit cards on the market that work similarly to the Chase Freedom Unlimited. So before applying for this card, see how it compares to a couple of other options.

Discover it® Cash Back vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® card

A similar card to the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the Discover it® Cash Back card. Much like the Freedom card, you also have the opportunity to earn up to 5% cash back. However, the Discover it® Cash Back card rotates its top earning category quarterly, and rewards are capped at $1,500 in qualifying purchases per quarter. The base cash back rate is also slightly lower than the Chase Freedom Unlimited at 1%. 

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is another rewards card that allows you to earn up to 5% back, has no annual fee, and comes with a $200 sign-up bonus. The main difference between this card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited is that the Cash+ card requires you to select two rotating bonus categories each quarter in order to earn 5% back. If you fail to select categories, you’ll earn a default 1% cash back rate on all purchases. The 5% rewards bonus is also capped at $2,000 in spending per quarter.

Is Chase Freedom Unlimited right for you?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a solid rewards credit card that offers competitive cash back rates on a number of categories, especially travel. If you’re looking for a card with a straightforward rewards structure that doesn’t require you to keep track of rotating categories, the Freedom Unlimited could be a good choice for you.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between Chase Freedom FlexSM and Freedom Unlimited®?

The main difference between these two cards is that the Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns the most cash back in certain rotating categories, while the Freedom Unlimited earns consistent rewards in the same specific categories.

What is the 5/24 rule?

This is a policy that Chase has regarding its credit cards. According to this rule, you will likely not qualify for a new Chase credit card if you’ve opened five or more cards from any bank in the past 24 months.

What credit score is needed to get a Chase Freedom Unlimited card?

In general, credit card applicants need good credit to qualify for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, which is defined as a FICO credit score of 670 or higher. However, you may need a higher score to qualify, depending on your overall credit and financial profile.

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying.

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