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The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a great choice for consumers who want to keep their points and miles earning game simple with a single credit card in their wallet. This no-annual-fee card comes with generous bonus categories that are practical for anyone while offering benefits that beat many higher-tier credit cards without having to pay an annual fee. Here’s why we think the Freedom Unlimited deserves a slot in everyone’s wallet.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Secure application on issuer’s website
- Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
- APR20.49% - 29.24% (Variable)
- Annual Fee$0
1.5%Extra Cash Back
Earn 1.5% bonus cash back (up to $20,000 in purchases) during your first year. Worth up to $300 in cash back.
We like that the card offers a high flat rewards rate but also provides accelerated rewards on some common everyday spending categories. You’ll also get access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel portal, which allows you to use your cash-back earnings for travel rewards, gift cards and more. If you make this your primary card for most purchases you can quickly rack up a lot of rewards.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is unique for a couple of reasons. First, it comes with purchase protection and extended warranty protection you don’t see with some other cash-back cards. Second, you earn cash back in the form of points (Chase Ultimate Rewards) and when paired with another annual-fee earning Chase product, you can get even more value if you love to travel by transferring to partners.
That’s because while the Freedom cards are marketed as cash-back credit cards, they actually offer points. You can use those points to book travel through Chase at a rate of 1 cent per point. But if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll get 25% and 50% more value on those travel redemptions, respectively. (Plus, the ability to transfer your points, too.)
- No category bonuses to remember; earn at least 1.5% back on everything
- No annual fee
- Generous travel and purchase protection benefits
- Can't transfer Chase points unless paired with another annual-fee Chase product
Chase Freedom Unlimited: At a Glance
0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers,
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases,
First-Year Reward Rate
Regular Reward Rates
If your curiosity has been piqued, read our Chase Freedom Unlimited review to learn more about whether this card is right for you.
Why the Freedom Unlimited Is the Best Daily Credit Card
If you want to earn travel rewards from a single credit card with no annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is the one for you. These are our top considerations for this claim:
1. Generous Flat-Rate Rewards on Every Dollar With Practical Bonus Categories
If you have a big bill coming up, consider putting tuition, property taxes or similar large expenses on this card, especially during your first year as a cardholder. During your first year, you'll earn an extra 1.5% cash back across all purchases up to $20,000, which brings your first-year rewards rate to a minimum of 3% back on non-category spending.
Here's how your first-year rewards rate stacks up, which is generous for a card with no annual fee:
- 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 4.5% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases
- 3% cash back on all other purchases
After your first year, you'll still enjoy strong flat-rate rewards:
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
- 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
Looking at the rewards categories, all of these are practical, everyday expenses that you don't have to go out of your way to spend. If you dine out weekly or make drugstore purchases frequently, you'll get a lot of value out of the Freedom Unlimited card.
Slickdeals values Ultimate Rewards points at 2.3 cents apiece, which means that each dollar you spend will earn you at least 3.3 cents’ worth of value, up to 11 cents per point if used to book travel through the Chase travel portal. And if you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can transfer your points to redeem through those cards for even more value.
Chase Travel Rewards: Guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards
2. Purchase FSA-Eligible Items for 3x Points at Drugstores
The Freedom Unlimited stands out among other Chase Freedom credit cards because it offers a flat 3x points per dollar spent on drugstore purchases. Keeping this card in your wallet means you’ll maximize your rewards on all those cough drops, Band-aid products, COVID tests, prescriptions and allergy medications.
This card even helps you maximize your Slickdeals habit: If you find a good deal at CVS or Walgreens, make sure to pay with your Freedom Unlimited. Bonus savings and extra rewards—who doesn’t love that?
Pay with your Freedom Unlimited card, then reimburse yourself through your FSA account. That way, you’ll earn the cash back but also benefit from the tax savings from your FSA funds.
To play the points and miles game on expert mode, you may even be able to pay for flexible savings account (FSA)-eligible purchases with your Freedom Unlimited for 3x points per dollar, then pay yourself back from your FSA account funds.
As of 2023, the IRS allows an annual FSA contribution of $3,050 per employee. If you max out your FSA contribution and spend the full limit on eligible purchases at drugstores using the Freedom Unlimited, you could earn 9,150 Ultimate Rewards points every year—or 13,725 points your first year with the 1.5x boost.
Just remember to submit all of your FSA-eligible purchase receipts to your FSA account administrator for reimbursement.
3. Enjoy Premium Credit Card Benefits Without an Annual Fee
The Freedom Unlimited is designed to help you maximize the money you spend. You’ll get premium credit card perks without having to pay an annual fee:
- 3 months of complimentary premium memberships for DashPass (from DoorDash) and Instacart+, both of which waive delivery fees for purchases you make within that time frame.
- Earn 5x points per dollar spent on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025, as long as you pay the fare using the Freedom Unlimited.
- Access to Chase’s famous purchase protection, extended warranty protection, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and rental car benefits.
The “little credit card that could” does have a couple of drawbacks. You’ll incur a 3% foreign transaction fee for any purchase outside of the U.S., so don’t use this card for overseas travel.
And while this card earns Ultimate Rewards points, you cannot transfer those points to airlines and hotels to book directly. Instead, you’ll have to hold a Chase travel credit card and transfer your Freedom Unlimited points to that card to transfer those points in turn to the travel partner of your choice.
Tip: Level Up to the Chase “Duo” or “Trifecta”
The Freedom Unlimited is a strong contender for consumers who only want a single credit card with no fees or fuss. But if you’re interested in leveling up your game, consider pairing this card with one of the strongest travel cards in the market: the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which has a $95 annual fee.
Slickdeals calls this combo the “perfect duo” because the Freedom Unlimited helps you earn bonus points on everyday expenses, which can be transferred to the Sapphire Preferred for a 25% value boost if booking travel through the Chase portal.
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Secure application on issuer’s website
- Our Rating 5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
- APR21.49% - 28.49% (Variable)
- Annual Fee$95
60,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Dollar Equivalent: $1,380 (60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the gold standards for earning travel rewards. It has a generous sign-up bonus and you can earn points on travel and dining expenses. The card does have an annual fee, but you can continue earning points through bonus categories and an anniversary points boost.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is pretty flexible as it lets you transfer rewards points into miles or points several airlines and hotel programs. You can take advantage of strong transfer partners such as United, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. Similarly, you can book any reservation you want through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. Although the card might not be ideal for the most frequent travelers, it has a built-in upgrade path, so when it’s time to level up your travel rewards game, you won’t have to start from scratch.
- Points are easily transferable to airlines and hotel partners
- Accelerated earnings on dining, travel & household purchases
- Excellent travel and purchase protections
- No foreign transaction fees
- Not ideal for the highest spenders
- $95 annual fee
And if you’re shooting for the stars on maximizing your rewards, consider the “Chase Trifecta”. This triple threat—which usually includes the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve, the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Ink Business Preferred credit cards (though the combo may vary)—links three of the most powerful cards in the Chase portfolio to maximize every single dollar you spend.
You’ll also get airport lounge access, cellphone insurance and many other premium benefits by adding these two cards to your wallet. They do come with annual fees: $550 for the Sapphire Reserve and $95 for the Ink Business Preferred.
Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited Worth It?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a clear win for consumers who value Chase Ultimate Rewards points, and is one of the best cash-back credit cards out there. This no-annual-fee card earns a minimum return of 1.5% on every dollar spent, with higher rewards for everyday spending categories, including dining and takeout, drugstore purchases and travel. It also pairs well with other premium Chase credit cards, allowing you to level up your travel rewards game with every dollar spent.