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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work
  • APR20.49% - 29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Sign Up Bonus 1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

    Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

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 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.

A Flexible Cash Back Card with a Valuable Sign-Up Bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card has been one of the top cash-back credit cards since it first came on the scene. The no-annual-fee cash-back card earns high rewards rates in several popular spending categories like dining and drugstores, plus a flat 1.5% cash back on everything else. This is a great everyday cash-back card and an ideal choice for individuals whose monthly budgets include dining out, grocery and drugstore purchases, and travel.

As a special offer for new cardholders, you can earn an extra 1.5% on all purchases in your first year, which is valued at up to $300.

Pros

  • No category bonuses to remember; earn at least 1.5% back on everything
  • No annual fee
  • Generous travel and purchase protection benefits

Cons

  • Can't transfer Chase points unless paired with another annual-fee Chase product

Chase Freedom Unlimited Highlights

  • Sign-up bonus: Additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back
  • After the promotional period, earn 5% cash back on Chase travel, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
  • Complimentary membership benefits from partners like Lyft, DashPass and Instacart+
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, followed by a 20.49% - 29.24% (Variable) APR
  • Extended warranty and purchase protections
  • Travel protections such as trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver and emergency assistance services

Chase Freedom Unlimited is even more special because you earn cash back in the form of points (Chase Ultimate Rewards®), and paired with another annual-fee-earning Chase product, you can get even more value by transferring to partners.

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Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom Unlimited Make the Perfect Duo

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Sign-Up Bonus: Extra 1.5% Cash Back (Up to $300 Value)

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card features a unique offer for new cardholders. Instead of offering a set bonus amount with a minimum spending requirement, you can earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) during the first year you have the card.

This means that during the promotional period, you'll earn higher rates across every category:

  • 6.5% cash back on Chase travel
  • 4.5% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and delivery
  • 4.5% cash back Drugstores
  • 3% cash back on all other purchases

This bonus could potentially be worth up to $300 if you max out the $20,000 spending limit, which can compete with the best credit card bonus offers out there.

As usual, this offer is only available if you don't have this card and haven't received a sign-up bonus for this card in the past 24 months. 

Who Should Get the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

If you spend a lot in this card’s bonus rewards categories and want to get at least 1.5% back on everything else, this card is probably worth applying for. For many people, the popular spending categories—travel, dining and drugstores—are a good match and can make earning rewards a breeze. What's more, earning potential is unlimited with this card and there’s no annual fee to worry about.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited can also help you maximize the value of your points if you have another card that earns Ultimate Rewards points—like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Business Preferred®. You can transfer points from the Chase Freedom Unlimited to one of those cards and get 25% more value from your points when redeemed through Chase Travel.

Who Should Skip the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

This card isn’t the best fit for people who don’t want to deal with keeping track of spending categories or varying point values. If you’re looking for a super easy way to earn rewards without hassle, a flat-rate cash-back card is probably your best bet. Some of the best cash-back cards out there earn 2% back on all your spending, which is a pretty good deal, especially for those who don’t want to think about categories or points.

Likewise, if you’re in the market for top-notch travel perks, look for a travel rewards credit card that offers premium travel benefits and stronger earning power toward flights, hotels and other perks you can take advantage of.

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Earning Rewards

Chase Freedom Unlimited offers competitive reward rates in a few distinct categories. It also earns a decent 1.5% cash back on all other purchases, which is more than acceptable for a card with no annual fee.

Here's how rewards spending breaks down with Chase Freedom Unlimited: 

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% cash back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services)
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

The card's flat 1.5% rate on all other purchases makes it a solid card everyday card for non-bonus categories. If the 1.5% back rate isn't good enough for you though, you can consider pairing the Freedom Unlimited with a 2% back card for purchases that don't earn elevated rewards.

Redeeming Rewards

Rewards earned with the Chase Freedom Unlimited come in the form of points, which can be redeemed in several different ways: 

  • Cash via statement credit or direct deposit to a linked bank account
  • Gift cards
  • Pay with points through Amazon.com and other select merchants
  • Travel booked through Chase Travel

There is no minimum to redeem your points for cash back. Point values also vary depending on the redemption chosen. Points earned with Chase Freedom Unlimited never expire as long as your account is open and in good standing. 

Quick Tip

If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card along with the Freedom Unlimited card, points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through Chase, (instead of the 1 cent per point the Freedom Unlimited offers).

Comparing the Chase Lineup A Closer Look at Some Top Chase Cards

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred®

  • United℠ Explorer Card

  • Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Card Benefits and Perks

Credit cards with no annual fee tend to come with fewer benefits than those with a fee. Luckily, Chase Freedom Unlimited isn't ordinary and provides several valuable benefits to get excited about:

  • Complimentary DashPass: Cardholders get three months of DashPass membership, which offers $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees. After that, you're automatically enrolled at 50% for the remainder of the year. Activation is required by December 31, 2024.
  • Complimentary Instacart+: The card also comes with a complimentary three months of Instacart+, which provides unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders. Once enrolled, you are also eligible for $10 quarterly statement credits on Instacart purchases. You must enroll by July 31, 2024.
  • 5% back on Lyft: Lyft rides earn 5% cash back with Chase Freedom Unlimited through March 31, 2025. 
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: If your trip is canceled or interrupted due to sickness, severe weather or another covered situation, you can get reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for prepaid, nonrefundable passenger fares.
  • Rental car insurance: Decline the rental car company’s insurance and use your card instead for protection against theft or damage. Coverage is secondary, so if you have a personal auto insurance policy, you’ll need to file a claim there first and your card’s coverage will cover the rest, including your deductible.
  • Travel and emergency assistance services: Cardholders have access to travel and emergency assistance for legal and medical referrals when traveling. 
  • Purchase protection: This covers new purchases against damage or theft for 120 days after purchase, including cellphones and other electronics (limit of $500 per claim and $50,000 per account).
  • Extended warranty protection: This benefit gives you an additional year of warranty coverage for eligible purchases. If you buy something with a warranty of three years or less, you’ll be happy to have this coverage as a backup plan.
  • Free credit score monitoring: Chase Credit Journey allows you to access your credit score at any time and get no-cost identity restoration services if needed.

Drawbacks

Like any credit card, Chase Freedom Unlimited has some drawbacks. Here are some things to be aware of before considering this card:

  • Foreign transaction fees: Chase charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on all purchases made outside of the United States, so avoid using this card when you're overseas.
  • Need eligible Chase card to transfer points: Unfortunately, you can't transfer points earned with the Freedom Unlimited card unless you pair it with select Chase credit cards.

In order to maximize the value of the points earned with the Freedom Unlimited and access Chase's many travel partners, you'll need to do some legwork and pair it with another premium Chase card. If this is a hassle to you, you may want to consider a more straightforward rewards credit card instead.

Annual Fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee, so it’s possible to use it with no costs at all as long as you pay off the balance in full by the due date and avoid certain fee-bearing activities.

0% Intro APR

Chase Freedom Unlimited allows new cardholders to save money with an introductory 0% interest rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months of account opening. After that, the 20.49% - 29.24% (Variable) APR applies based on your creditworthiness.

Balance transfers carry a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, the balance transfer fee is either $5 or 5% of the transferred amount, whichever is greater.

Recommended Credit Score

While the credit card issuer doesn’t publicly disclose the credit score needed to qualify for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, this card is designed for people with good to excellent credit scores (690-850). Your credit limit will vary based on your credit history and any existing relationship with Chase.

However, you may not need excellent credit to get the Chase Freedom Unlimited. In fact, many cardholders report getting approved with good credit.

How Chase Freedom Unlimited Compares

Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great option for cash-back rewards but may not be a good fit for everyone. Here's a look at how the popular cash-back card compares to other credit cards. 

Credit Card Intro Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Learn More

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

$0 1.5% - 5%Cashback More Info

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 unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

20,000Points More Info

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. Dollar Equivalent: $200 (20,000 Points * 0.01 base)

$0 1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases.

Citi Double Cash

Citi Double Cash® Card

$200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

$0 2%Cashback More Info

Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card both offer cash rewards on card spending with no annual fee. While Chase Freedom Unlimited earns unlimited 1.5% cash back plus bonus rates in specific categories, the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card features unlimited 3X points per dollar at restaurants, gas stations, on travel, transit expenses, and popular streaming service and phone plans.

Both cards have 0% intro APR offers: The Freedom Unlimited has 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, followed by a 20.49% - 29.24% (Variable) APR, while the Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card has 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases, followed by 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% (Variable) APR. So if you're looking for extra time to pay off purchases interest free, the Freedom Unlimited could be a better option.

The biggest difference between the two cards is probably the 5% back on travel purchases you get with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, but with few other differences between the two cards, the best option depends on which rewards structure best aligns with your spending habits.

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Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Citi Double Cash® Card

The Citi Double Cash® Card, from our partner Citi, is another cash-back card to consider, especially if you're looking for no-frills rewards that don't require tracking spending categories. The card earns 2% cash back on purchases—1% when you shop and 1% when you pay your bill. There are no caps or categories to keep track of, making this a good everyday card for most people’s wallets.

And if you’re a fan of the Citi® ThankYou Rewards program, you can easily redeem cash-back rewards earned with the Citi Double Cash® Card for ThankYou Points. However, both cards do come with a foreign transaction fee, so if you plan to shop internationally, you might be better off adding one of the best travel rewards credit cards to your wallet.

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First Year vs. Ongoing Value

With its unique welcome offer, Chase Freedom Unlimited will undoubtedly provide more value in the first year of card ownership.

Even so, this card is still a powerful earner beyond the first year, especially since it doesn't carry an annual fee. With elevated rewards rates for dining, drugstore and travel purchases, you likely will continue to shop its top cash back categories well into the future. Plus, Chase Ultimate Rewards points' flexible redemption options make this card pair excellently with Chase's more premium cards.

Check out the hypothetical spending scenario below to see the difference in value you could see between the first year and subsequent years with Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Spend 1st-Year Cashback Ongoing Cashback

$1,500
Travel via Chase

$97.50
(6.5% rewards rate)

$75
(5% rewards rate)

$2,000
on Dining

$90
(4.5% rewards rate)

$60
(3% rewards rate)

$500
on Drugstore purchases

$22.50
(4.5% rewards rate)

$15
(3% rewards rate)

$10,000
Other Purchases

$300
(3% rewards rate)

$150
(1.5% rewards rate)

Total Cashback

$510

$300

Bottom Line

Chase Freedom Unlimited is a good option for people who want to earn cash back in popular spending categories like dining and travel without paying a fee each year. If you already have a Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card or plan to get one, you can maximize your points even more.

The card also comes with a decent intro APR offer, making it a good choice for people who want to finance large purchases or pay down credit card debt without costly interest charges. With expensive foreign transaction fees, though, it's probably best for those who travel mostly in the U.S. If you travel internationally a lot, you're likely better off with a travel credit card instead.

A No-Annual-Fee Gem

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FAQs

  • Currently, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card doesn't offer a quarterly bonus. However, the Chase Freedom Flex card does have bonus categories, which change each quarter. For each quarter you activate, you can earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories, up to $1,500. These categories can include gas stations, groceries, and featured online retailers. 

  • Yes, you can request a card upgrade from the Chase Freedom Unlimited to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. You will need to contact customer service and make sure that you qualify for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which may have a higher credit score and income requirement.

  • Yes, as long as you're eligible you can have both the Chase Freedom Flex and the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit cards. Both cards work with the same programs and travel portals, such as Chase Ultimate Rewards. 

  • Chase doesn't publicly disclose credit score requirements. Chase Freedom Unlimited is geared toward individuals with a good to excellent credit score, which is a FICO score of 690 or higher.

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited earns bonus rewards for travel purchased through Chase Travel, its loyalty rewards program. Cardholders can book flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and other travel experiences through Chase Travel.

  • Points earned with Chase Freedom Unlimited are not transferable to Chase transfer partners. The only way to transfer points earned with the card is by pairing it with select Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards with an annual fee.

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Eric Rosenberg

Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel, and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full-time. He has in depth experience writing about banking, credit cards, investing, business, and other financial topics. When away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world and spending time with his wife and little girls. You can connect with him at Personal Profitability or EricRosenberg.com.