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Chase Freedom Unlimited?: Impressive Rewards for No Annual Fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited? review
KEY TAKEAWAYS
  • What we think: Chase Freedom Unlimited?’s generous reward rate and lack of an annual fee make it one of our favorite cash-back cards ever. Especially with the current welcome offer of a 1.5% bump on everything, you can earn serious rewards with this card.
  • This credit card offers generous cash rewards and an impressive welcome bonus, all for a $0 annual fee.
  • This card is best for people who travel, dine out, and make purchases at drugstores, as these are Freedom Unlimited’s main reward categories.
  • Freedom Unlimited rewards are unlimited, never expire and can be redeemed in multiple ways.
  • Pair the Freedom Unlimited card with a higher-tier Chase rewards card, and you can pool points to get a higher value.
  • You’ll need at least good credit to be approved for this card.
SUMMARY

If you’re considering a cash rewards card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited? credit card stands out as a solid choice. Boasting valuable rewards, a generous welcome offer, and flexible redemption options, it offers plenty of appeal without the burden of an annual fee.

So, is the Chase Freedom Unlimited the right credit card for you? Let’s delve into its main features and terms to help you decide.

PROS & CONS

Pros

  • High cashback rate in various categories
  • Earn the welcome offer as you go
  • Comes with various consumer protections and perks
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Spending categories may not be beneficial for some
  • 1.5% rate on non-bonus spending isn’t spectacular
  • High regular APR
Chase Freedom Unlimited?
LEARN MORE
Key Information
Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. $0 annual fee.

Chase Freedom Unlimited?: Review

Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited card worth it?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited? card is a solid choice if you’re looking for a flexible cash-back rewards card with no annual fee. It offers a great reward-earning structure, with a fallback rate of 1.5%— half of a percentage higher than many cards in the same bracket. On top of that, it earns generously on travel purchases through Chase Travel, drugstore purchases, and dining purchases.

Plus, this Chase credit card comes with a solid welcome offer: a one-year, 1.5% bump on earning rates, so you can accumulate rewards quickly (Note: this offer is available through LA Times Compare but may not be available through another site). It’s especially appealing for travelers, thanks to higher earning rates on restaurants and bookings through Chase’s travel portal.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: Highlights

Who is the Freedom Unlimited best for?

Chase Freedom Unlimited is best for those who prefer a simple, yet flexible rewards program. It’s perfect for people who want to earn cash back on everyday purchases without the need to track rotating categories or activate bonus rewards. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card for restaurants as you can earn 3% cash back every time you dine out. This card would be ideal for individuals who can pair it with other Chase cards to maximize the value of their points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

Chase Freedom Unlimited?: Rewards

Earning rewards

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you’ll earn:

In your first year, you can also earn an extra 1.5% back on your first $20,000 of charges, so you’d earn:

Redeeming rewards?

There are several ways to redeem the rewards you earn with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. The easiest is to redeem them for cash — with this option, each point is worth 1 cent. If you accumulate 50,000 points, you’ll get $500 in cash back.

Frequent travelers can maximize point value by pairing the Freedom Unlimited card with another premium Chase credit card offering, such as Chase Sapphire Reserve?, Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card, or Ink Business cards. Then, you can pool your points and redeem them for a higher value on bookings in the Chase Travel portal. With Sapphire Preferred and some of the Ink cards, you’ll get 1.25 cents per point; with the Sapphire Reserve card, points are worth 1.5 cents each.

There are plenty of ways to redeem your rewards:

Welcome offer?

In your first year, you can get an extra 1.5% back on your first $20,000 of charges. That’s a significant bump, especially if you plan to book travel — all your purchases in the Chase Travel portal will earn 6.5%. For example, if you book a qualifying $2,000 vacation, you’ll get $130 in cash back.?

Note: this offer is available through our site but may not be available if you apply through the Chase site or another website.

Chase Freedom Unlimited?: The fine print

Fees

Interest rates

Credit limit

If you’re approved for the Visa Platinum version of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you’ll have a minimum credit limit of $500. The Visa Signature comes with a minimum limit of $5,000. Your actual credit limit may be higher, depending on your qualifications.

Chase Freedom Unlimited?: Benefits

Travel benefits

Shopping benefits

Card services

Chase Freedom Unlimited?: Drawbacks

Foreign transaction fees

If you enjoy traveling internationally, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is not an ideal card to bring with you. It has a 3% foreign transaction fee, which may not seem like much but can add up quickly. If you spend $200 with this card while overseas, you’ll be charged $6, meaning you essentially have to pay $206 on that transaction. If you like to spend a lot of money when traveling, you probably don’t want to pay additional expenses on your purchases.

??? See our picks for: The best credit cards with no foreign transaction fees

Limited reward categories

While the Freedom Unlimited card has some generous bonus categories, they may not be useful for everyone. For example, if you spend a lot of money on groceries, you’ll only be earning 1.5% back on those purchases. Other cards offer up to 6% back on grocery purchases, so they may be a better option for you. If you don’t travel much, the 5% back on travel through Chase Travel may not be appealing. If you don’t go out to eat, the 3% back at restaurants won’t do much for you. Make sure you choose a credit card with bonus categories that align with your spending habits.

??? See our picks for: The best credit cards for groceries

How the Chase Freedom Unlimited card compares

Chase Freedom Unlimited? vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card

Both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. While the Freedom Unlimited card has no annual fee and a welcome bonus of 20,000 points after spending $500 in three months, the Sapphire Preferred charges $95 per year and offers 60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in three months. The Sapphire Preferred is the clear winner when it comes to travel cards — rewards are worth 25% more when you book through the Chase Travel portal.

??? Read more: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card review

Chase Freedom Unlimited? vs. Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express

When comparing the Chase Freedom Unlimited? card and the Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express, both cards offer great cash back rewards but appeal to different spending habits and preferences. Both of these cards have no annual fee (see Amex rates and fees), but the Freedom Unlimited offers more rewards on dining, drugstore purchases, and travel. On the other hand, the Blue Cash Everyday offers more substantial rewards on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retailers. Neither is objectively better, as they’re both spectacular cards, but the best one for you depends on how you tend to spend your money.

??? Read more: Blue Cash Everyday review

Chase Freedom Unlimited? vs. Chase Freedom Flex? card

Competition is tight when you compare Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Freedom Flex. Both cards have a $0 annual fee, similar APRs (including intro offers) and a decent welcome offer.

The Flex, which is another Chase Freedom credit card, has a less attractive rewards package. Where Freedom Unlimited offers a 1.5% bonus on all purchases for the first year, Flex offers an extra 5% per quarter on $1,500 worth of purchases in gas stations and grocery stores. Travel, restaurants and drugstores earn the same rewards rate on both cards. For other purchases, the Flex earning rate is just 1%, compared to Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% rate.

Note: The information for the Chase Freedom Flex? has been collected independently by LA Times Compare. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Freedom Unlimited?

Chase Freedom Unlimited?
LEARN MORE on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. $0 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card
LEARN MORE on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 5X points on Chase Travel purchases, 3X points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services, and 1X points on other purchases. $95 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday? Card from American Express
LEARN MORE Rates & Fees / Terms Apply on Bankrate's secure site
Key Information
Earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000/year spent at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year at U.S. gas stations (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year on online retail purchases (then 1%), and 1% back on all other eligible purchases. $0 annual fee.
Show More Show Less

Should you get Chase Freedom Unlimited??

If you’re in the market for a cash-back card with no annual fee, solid rewards on dining, travel, and drugstores, and you have a good credit score, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card could make a great addition to your repertoire. However, if you’re a serious traveler or your spending doesn’t align with Freedom Unlimited’s bonus categories, other cards may be a better fit.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card requires at least a good credit score for approval, so your chances are better if your FICO score is 670 or higher. If you have already established a good credit score, this would make a great beginner cash-back credit card and it’s one of our favorite credit cards for young adults.

FAQ: Chase Freedom Unlimited?

Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited card a good credit card?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a good credit card. It has no annual fee, generous welcome offers and an easy-to-understand rewards program with flexible redemption options.

Who should get the Chase Freedom Unlimited? card?

You might decide to choose this credit card if you want a straightforward way to earn cash-back rewards. It’s also good if you plan to book travel through Chase Travel. You can use your rewards to pay for bookings, and you’ll earn a higher rate on every portal purchase.

Is it hard to get approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited? card?

Overall, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is not an easy credit card to get, as it requires good to excellent credit. A higher credit score and a stronger credit profile can help you earn a higher credit limit and better card benefits.

What is the credit limit for the Chase Freedom Unlimited? card?

Credit limits vary by applicant. If you’re approved for the Visa Platinum Freedom Unlimited card, your limit will be $500 or higher. Qualify for the Visa Signature version, and you’ll have a limit of at least $5,000.

What credit score do you need for the Chase Freedom Unlimited? card?

Chase doesn’t give specific requirements for the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit score, but you may be more likely to be approved with a FICO score of at least 670.

Does the Chase Freedom Unlimited? have foreign transaction fees?

Unfortunately, yes. The Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 3% foreign transaction fee, so it may not be the best card for traveling overseas.

Does Chase Freedom Unlimited? earn points?

Technically, yes. Although Freedom Unlimited is marketed as a cash-back card, it earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points you can choose to redeem for cash back or transfer to various partners.

How do you get the Chase Freedom Unlimited card?

You can learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited card602) and apply online. It’s a quick process that requires contact information, basic financial details and employment data.?

Your odds of approval are based on factors such as your debt, credit history, credit score and ability to pay. There is no Chase Freedom Unlimited credit score requirement, but you may have an easier time getting approved if your score falls between 670 and 850. If you do get approved, you should be able to link it to your digital wallet through the Chase mobile app for instant use of your new credit card.

About the Author

Sarah Stasik
Sarah Stasik Personal Finance

Sarah Stasik is well versed in personal finance thanks to her previous role as a Revenue Cycle Manager for a Fortune 500 healthcare company. Using her inside knowledge and expertise, Sarah often covers topics ranging from insurance and the economics of private healthcare to personal finance and small business management.

With more than a dozen years of writing experience, Sarah has tackled niches that range from technical advances in fintech to personal budgeting challenges. She has covered topics such as insurance and the economics of private healthcare, small business management and accounting, and credit and savings. Her writing focuses on making complex or seemingly daunting financial topics more accessible and providing helpful and relevant resources for readers.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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