Chase Freedom Unlimited‎ Credit Card Review

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited®‎ earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases, charges no annual fee, and is one of our key recommendations for folks building out a portfolio of Ultimate Rewards earning cards.

Even better, the card has a new offer for 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent (after, earn 1.5% on all purchases).

Outside of the initial welcome offer, the Freedom Unlimited‎ can appear a little underwhelming. Why earn just 1.5% cash back over the long term when there's a host of cards offering 2% or more back on everyday purchases? The answer lies in the Freedom Unlimited‎ belonging to the Ultimate Rewards family of credit cards.

Ultimate Rewards Hero Image

 

You can combine the Cash Back Rewards points earned on the Freedom Unlimited‎, with Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. Those points can then be redeemed for a higher fixed-value through the Chase Travel Portal, or transferred to airline and hotel partners for even higher returns.

Signup Bonus

Instead of a traditional up-front bonus, the Chase Freedom Unlimited®‎‎ earns  3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent (after, earn 1.5% on all purchases). That’s a total of $600 cash back (or 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points). After you reach the $20K spending threshold, the earning rate reverts to the standard 1.5x on every dollar spent.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Earning Potential

Cardmembers earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, delivered to your account as Ultimate Rewards points (1x point = $0.01). There are no bonus categories to track, just a flat earning rate for every dollar spent on all purchases. The Freedom Unlimited‎ works best as a companion card to Ultimate Rewards earning cards like the Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve, which receive just 1 point per dollar on non-bonus spending. As a companion card, you can place all non-bonus purchases on the Freedom Unlimited‎, and earn an excellent 1.5x points for every dollar you spend.

As an example of the value the Freedom Unlimited‎ offers, every dollar spent earns 1.5x points. If you transfer those points to the Sapphire Reserve, you can redeem them for 1.5¢ per point through the Chase Travel Portal, giving you a 2.25¢ (or 2.25%) return per dollar on all non-bonus spending. You can potentially get even higher returns transferring those points out to travel partners.

The Ultimate Rewards family of cards includes:

Feature Benefits

With no annual fee, the Freedom Unlimited doesn’t include the same long list of benefits as some of its Ultimate Rewards stablemates, but you still get an excellent package of features for a card you can hold for the long term without any out of pocket expense. Highlights include:

  • Ability to combine points with other cards in the Ultimate Rewards stable and redeem for higher value – See our post on building the ultimate travel rewards combo for more details
  • Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum required to redeem cash back and your Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is in good standing
  • 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and a 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for the first 15 months from account opening . After the intro period, a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%. Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. is the cost of a balance transfer.

Application Restrictions

Chase features some of the more limiting application restrictions of the major credit card providers. Limitations include:

  • 5/24 policy – If you’ve been approved for five or more new credit cards in the previous 24 months from any provider, it's highly unlikely you'll be approved for the Freedom Unlimited.
  • 90-day policy – You can only receive one personal and one business card from Chase every 90 days.

For more details, check out our post covering application restrictions for major credit card providers.

Final Thoughts

The Freedom Unlimited is not likely the first card you’ll apply for, especially if you’re looking to fill out Chase rewards cards under the 5/24 policy. But as a companion card to other Ultimate Rewards earning cards like the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Preferred, the Freedom Unlimited provides a fantastic return on non-bonus spend, allowing you to maximize the points earned on purchases that don’t fall under bonus categories on other cards.

In addition to a 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent (after, earn 1.5% on all purchases), the card features an excellent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, and you’ll never have to pay an annual fee as long as you hold the card. Keep in mind; the Freedom Unlimited is subject to Chase’s 5/24 policy, so you’re better off applying for Chase’s premium Ultimate Rewards cards before using a valuable 5/24 slot for this card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited‎ Credit Card Review
4.9 (97.65%) 17 votes
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Comments

  • This is probably the next card I’ll get. (Once I get under 5/24). Right now I use my Blue for Business card for non category spend but sometimes a merchant doesn’t take Amex, so this would be perfect. It’s nice to think that I’m always earning more than one point per dollar on everything. However, this card does have foreign transaction fees, correct?

  • I thought Freedom meant it participates in rotating 5% discounts as well. I guess this is no longer the case with Freedom Unlimited.

  • As noted, the key is it is a great companion card.

  • Thanks for posting this. Seems like you get in the habit of using the same cards without an occasional review. Definitely need to look at this one!

  • I have the CSR and Chase Freedom. Would you apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited too?

    • Personally, I think the Freedom Unlimited is mandatory for any Ultimate Rewards earning strategy. It is the only card that guarantees 1.5 Ultimate Rewards/dollar, when all other cards may only earn 1/dollar on non-bonused transactions.

  • Nice catch. I never thought the lower level Chase cards had any purpose. I’ll get it soon!

  • In my wallet I have several Chase cc’s and my Freedom one always delivers. If a person doesn’t already have a Freedom cc, IMHO they are missing out on a good thing.

  • deerseason says:

    I hardly ever use my Freedom Unlimited even though we have a Sapphire Reserve. I know it comes out to at least 2.25% cash back in value but we earn enough UR through our other cards (especially the regular Freedom) than we can usually use at once, so I’m sticking with our DoubleCash for an easy 2% cash back, except of course when we’re trying to meet minimum spend on another card, at which point everything goes to that.

  • Got this great card and I use it when there isn’t a 5% bonus available on the regular freedom and when my 2pts MR card isn’t accepted.
    The sign up bonus is just gravy!

  • the sign up bonus is absurd

  • What is the best UR card??? I’m thru my 5/24 for some previous sign ups.. and I’ve heard good things so I want to look at a new card…

  • Thanks. I noticed this card when they introduced it. Since I have multiple Freedom cards, I guess I’ll call and ask if I can convert one to a Freedom Unlimited

  • Sorry if I’m asking a silly question, but i don’t quite get what it means to combine the rewards from this card to UR points. Does it mean converting the cash back dollars to points?

    • The Freedom Unlimited doesn’t actually earn “cash back dollars”. It earns Ultimate Rewards, however, the Freedom Unlimited only allows redemption for cash. So while it is marketed as a cash back, and that is all you can do with that card alone, if you have a Sapphire Reserve/Preferred or Ink Preferred, you can combine the points and transfer as you would with those cards. Make sense?

  • Sounds good as an add on with the right pairing.

  • I just got this card! I am very excited to use it and transfer the points to the CSR. Thanks for the great outline to use as reference.

  • I just use my Fidelity Rewards 2% for non-bonus spend but I could see given the value of UR it can worth more. But I would much rather just use my 5/24 for higher value bonuses

  • I use this card only when I can’t get 3X or 5X with my other ulimate rewards Chase cards or my 2X Amex Business Blue card. Better than 1 point per dollar.

  • Nice to have such a reasonable sign-up bonus. I can do $500 charges in three months without thinking about it!

  • I prefer my Reserve Card along with Freedom Card. Although this is an interesting alternative for some people.

  • It would be great if Chase Unlimited also offer bonus category as Freedom that will make it more usable.

  • CFU is clearly a key tool for any UR afficionado. Looking forward to getting it soon myself!

  • If someday I bypass 5/24 rules, I will apply immediately.

  • Thanks Howie! Yes that makes sense now.

  • deerseason says:

    This card is meant to be used in conjunction with the Freedom card. These are for all the other purchases that DON’T earn a bonus.

  • I have the Freedom Unlimited, Freedom and Sapphire Preferred. I love them all and I agree the Unlimited is awesome paired with them. I am trying to really beef up my UR points and this card is helping tons. So far I have really benefited from Chase and their UR points. I am thinking some of these trips my family wants to do can actually be in our future.

  • At some point I will prob downgrade a card to this. I use my AMEX blue for all my non bonus spend currently though at 2x MR.

  • Great card to have in the portfolio. I use this for basically all my ”un-bonused” spend. And it’s even more powerful when combined with the CSP/CDR/Ink Preferred.

  • Thank you for clearing up the difference between the Freedom and the Freedom Unlimited cards.

  • @Susan P says: “Sounds good as an add on with the right pairing.”

    Who knew discussions of credit cards and wine could sound so similar.

  • one of my favorite Chase UR cards since i am over 5/24 and can’t get the CSR

  • Didn’t realize the Ultimate Rewards program allowed you to transfer points to 13 different programs. Would think I would only do airlines but a nice alternative if I’m short just a few hotel points.

  • This is a no brainier, how exciting! This will help a lot since I always max out my AMEX everyday grocery spend, can’t wait for my card to come in the mail!

  • I generally use my amex EDP for day to day purchases to get the same non bonus category spend, but I use the freedom unlimited for larger individual purchases or when I want the price protection.

    Solid no fee card.

  • Love the Freedom Unlimited! I have CSR, Chase Freedom, and Amex Blue Cash Preferred so the Freedom Unlimited is my go to for non category spend. I’d love to try to get the Ink Cash no fee card but hesitant about signing up for a business card but love the opportunity for 5x on office and cable, phone and internet. Any sign up tips for the Ink Cash?

  • Solid 1.5x card.

  • I just got this card via downgrading from CSR. The unfortunate thing is that it has a forex fee. Otherwise I’d likely use it.

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