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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.
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.
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:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Chase Freedom®
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
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.
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.
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.
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