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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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  • Our Rating 4.5/5 Read the review
  • APR19.24% - 27.99% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • 1.5% 1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

    Earn 1.5% bonus cash back (up to $20,000 in purchases) during your first year. Worth up to $300 in cash back.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card has been one of the top cash-back credit cards since it first came on the scene, with an easy 1.5x return on almost everything. It's especially useful since it earns versatile Ultimate Rewards points.

A Flexible Cash Back Card with an Excellent 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, especially because of its association with the versatile Ultimate Rewards program.

Originally, the Chase Freedom Unlimited earned a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. Now, cardholders will earn extra rewards every time they book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, shop at drugstores or eat at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services). Plus, the card still offers a solid sign-up bonus: 1.5% bonus cash back (up to $20,000 in purchases) during your first year.

Here’s a look at the card’s new details and whether or not it may be a good fit for you.

4.5/5 Rating How our ratings work

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is unique for a couple of important reasons. First, it comes with purchase protection and extended warranty protection you don’t see with some other no-fee cash-back cards. Second, 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 if you love to travel by transferring to partners. And that sign-up bonus? Adding extra value to everyday spending categories like dining and travel help elevate this card above its competitors. Add the fact that there’s a 0% introductory APR for 15 months then a 19.24% - 27.99% (Variable) variable APR, an extra 1.5% cash back bonus during the first year of account holding and no annual fee, and you’ll see why the Chase Freedom Unlimited is among our favorite flat-rate cards.

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

Sign-up Bonus

New cardholders can earn an extra 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 spent in the first year of card ownership. This bonus is valued at up to $300 in cash back, and increases all regular rewards rates as such:

  • 6.5% back: Travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 4.5% back: Drugstore purchases
  • 4.5% back: Restaurant spending (and eligible delivery services)
  • 3% back: All other purchases

Once you have held the Chase Freedom Unlimited card for 12 months (or spent $20,000), the standard rewards rates resume.

While this bonus effectively increases the value of your everyday spending, it is worth noting that Chase has previously offered cash sign-up bonuses for the Freedom Unlimited card. If you’re interested in a more immediate payout, you may want to research some other current credit card bonuses.

Annual Fee

The 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 activity.

Introductory 0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The 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 19.24% - 27.99% (Variable) APR applies.

Variable APR

Beyond the initial intro 0% APR, the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers a 19.24% - 27.99% (Variable) APR that will be determined based on your creditworthiness.

APR is the interest rate for a whole year, rather than just a monthly rate, as applied to whatever balance you carry from one statement period to the next. Chase will determine your APR during the approval process. However, APRs can fluctuate periodically as credit card issuers adjusts its rates to the market.

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.

Rewards Rate

The reason to sign up for any cash-back card is the rewards. The Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards include 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 3% back on drugstore and eligible dining-related purchases and 1.5% cash back on everything else. Most cards that offer bonus category rewards give you just 1% back as a base rewards rate, making this card stand out.

Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Freedom Unlimited Related Article

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

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Chase Freedom Unlimited Benefits

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has slightly above average benefits for a card with no annual fee, which is notable considering a lot of card issuers are slashing extra perks. It beats just about every no-annual-fee card from Citi, among other issuers. Here are some of the benefits to get excited about:

  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: If you take a trip that gets canceled or interrupted due to sickness, severe weather or another covered situation, you can get reimbursed for up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for prepaid, non-refundable passenger fares.
  • Rental car insurance: Decline the rental car company’s insurance coverage and use your card instead, and you’ll get protection against theft or damage. The coverage is secondary, though, 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.
  • Purchase protection: This benefit covers new purchases against damage or theft for 120 days after purchase. That includes cell phones and other electronics. There is a limit of $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended warranty: 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.

Like virtually all credit cards in the U.S., the Chase Freedom Unlimited features $0 fraud liability. If someone uses your card without your permission, just call Chase, and they’ll remove the transactions from your statement and investigate it.

How to Use Chase Freedom Unlimited Rewards for Travel

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is great for simple cash-back rewards, but it’s especially valuable for travel if you play your cards right. If you have one of the travel credit cards in the Ultimate Rewards program, you can transfer your points-earning rewards with the Freedom Unlimited to one of those cards to take advantage of their better redemption options.

Quick Tip

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

With the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you get 1.5 cents per point toward travel booked through Chase. Each of the travel cards in the program also allows you to transfer your points to one of several airline and hotel rewards programs, potentially giving you even more value.

I carry a four-card combo, including the Freedom Unlimited card, to maximize my travel rewards. With the Sapphire Reserve, the new-and-improved Chase Freedom Flex℠, Freedom Unlimited and Ink Cash cards, I get maximum rewards across all purchases. I get up to 5x points on some purchases thanks to the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited cards and a minimum of 1.5x points with Freedom Unlimited.

Ultimate Rewards travel credit cards generally require an annual fee, but if you travel frequently, you’ll likely get more value back than the cost. The sign-up bonuses alone cover years of annual fees and can give you enough points for a free roundtrip ticket to Europe and other international destinations.

Fees: Foreign Transaction Fees, Annual Fee and Other Costs

This card has no annual fee, so there’s no recurring cost to keep this card. Like all credit cards, if you pay it off in full by the due date, you won’t pay any interest.

Interest rates for this card are roughly in line with similar cash-back credit cards. There are fees for balance transfers, cash advances, late payments, returned payments and foreign transaction fees. New customers get 15 months with 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers which is a standard no-interest offer. After that, the 19.24% - 27.99% (Variable) APR applies.

Comparing Chase Cards

Between awarding one-time bonuses, no annual fees, balance transfers and accelerated cash-back rewards, Chase offers high-value credit cards with positive overall ratings. Below we compare several popular Chase cards including the Chase Freedom Unlimited, Chase Freedom Flex and the travel points-earning Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Reminder: The current intro rewards rate promotion increases the value of all rewards by 1.5% (up to $20,000 in purchases) during your first year. This means the intro rewards rate ranges from 3% all the way up to 6.5% cash back.

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

  • Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Applying for the Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Freedom Unlimited doesn’t offer the best base rewards rate, but the new additions to the card make it really difficult to pass up. That’s especially the case if you have one of the Sapphire credit cards or Ink Business Preferred card. Being able to combine points with one of those travel cards and get more value with travel redemptions. And if you also have the Freedom Flex, you can add the card’s rotating bonus categories to rack up even more rewards.

The Freedom Unlimited is popular because it has a wide range of great features for a very low cost. If that gets you excited, head over to Chase to apply today.

A No-Annual-Fee Gem

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Frequently Asked Questions (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. 

  • You normally can’t change or swap one credit card for another. However, you can have both credit cards, or ask for an upgrade for your Chase Freedom Unlimited card by contacting customer service. Chase rewards points are transferrable across certain cards. 

  • 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. 

ER

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.