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Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic! per dollar on all purchases, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® forms the backbone of any well thought out combo of Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. The card charges no annual fee, features no revolving bonus categories, just a simple 1.5 points per dollar all day, every day.
The Freedom Unlimited is the perfect companion card to the Chase Freedom® which offers 5% cash back on bonus categories (awarded as 5 points, transferable if you hold other Ultimate Rewards earning cards) on up to $1,500 each quarter on rotating categories and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Folks new to the points and miles scene are often confused by the Freedom series of credit cards, which are advertised as cash back cards, but actually, earn points. These points can be redeemed for 1¢ per point if you only hold a Freedom card, or you can combine those points with Ultimate Rewards points from any of Chase's UR earning cards that charge an annual fee, and redeem them for a higher fixed-value through the Chase Travel Portal or transfer them to travel partners for even higher returns.
Chase Expands the Options With More Cards
Thankfully, Chase seems to understand that cards with rotating bonus categories are not for everyone. Some customers simply want to earn as many points as possible on every purchase, including those that don't qualify for any bonus. The Freedom Unlimited, earning a simple 1.5 points on every dollar spent, was introduced to compliment, rather than replace the standard Freedom Card. There are no limits to how many points you can earn with the Freedom Unlimited, and the points don't expire as long as you have the card.
New applicants receive $150 cash backafter spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening..
Why the Freedom Unlimited Should Appeal to Award Travelers
So what does a cash back card, albeit a good one, have to do with travel? Certainly, Chase offers all Freedom Card and Freedom Unlimited cardholders the ability to redeem their cash back rewards towards travel reservations using the Ultimate Rewards travel center, but you receive no greater value than you would from redeeming your rewards towards cash back.
The Freedom cards offer a feature that provides unique value to rewards travelers. Both the Freedom Card and Freedom Unlimited offer cash back in the form of points in Chase's Ultimate Rewards program.
The Ultimate Rewards family of cards includes:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Freedom Card
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card
- Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
- Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
These are the same points offered by other cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. But when points are redeemed from your Sapphire Preferred or Ink Preferred account, you have two options not available to those who hold just the Freedom Card and Freedom Unlimited.
First, Sapphire Preferred and Ink Preferred cardholders can redeem their points for 1.25¢ towards travel reservations booked through Chase's Ultimate Rewards travel center, which is 25% more than the standard one cent per point. This travel center works much like other online travel agencies, and the cardholder can use it to book air travel, hotels, car rentals, cruises, tours, airport transfers and other activities. And even better, Sapphire Reserve cardholders can redeem UR points at 1.5¢ per point through the travel portal.
But most importantly, Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve and Ink Preferred cardholders can transfer their points to travel providers. This includes transfers of points to frequent flyer miles with United, Southwest, Singapore, JetBlue, British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, and Virgin Atlantic.
You can also transfer points to hotel partners including Hyatt, Marriott, and IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group which includes Holiday Inn, Crown Plaza, and other brands).
Once you've transferred your points to airline miles, you can receive fantastic value from them when used for premium class international flights or expensive reservations with little advance notice. Likewise, it's possible to realize several cents in value per point when redeeming hotel points for accommodations, especially during peak travel times when rooms are expensive.
The Key to Freedom Unlimited
When you hold both the Freedom Unlimited and either the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Preferred cards, you can transfer your points from your Freedom Unlimited to these accounts, and receive additional value towards travel reservations or transfer the points to travel partners.
And since the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, and Ink Preferred only offer one point per dollar spent on non-bonus spending, you will actually earn 50% more rewards when you use your Freedom Unlimited for charges that are never eligible for a bonus. Charges that we've never seen qualify for a bonus include insurance premiums, health care bills and home repairs.
By having a Freedom Unlimited card to compliment your Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Preferred, you can earn far more points from your spending, and transfer your rewards to points and miles.
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