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Apply online for Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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Excellent/Good

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Review

Pros & Cons

  • With no rotating categories and a relatively high flat reward rate of 1.5 percent on all purchases, Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a no-brainer for people who appreciate simplicity in their spending.
  • There's no cap on the amount of rewards you can earn and the points don't expire.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® is offering a 15-month introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
  • There isn't an annual fee, but there is a fairly high balance transfer fee (5 percent) and you'll be on the hook for foreign transaction fees if you use Chase Freedom Unlimited® while abroad.

Top Features

Cash Back on Gas
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Cash Back on groceries
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Cash Back on other
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Annual Fee
$0

Full Review

Brooklyn Lowery Site Editor

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Essentials

A new credit card has moved into the flat-rate cash-back rewards sphere and it’s bringing with it a number of features and perks that definitely got our attention.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card arrived in spring 2016 with a lot of the features you’ve come to appreciate in the Chase Freedom® card, like a $0 annual fee and a sweet offer of 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then 15.99%-24.74% Variable after that.

But Chase Freedom Unlimited® also carries with it a few notable (and enticing) differences: Namely, no rotating categories, no quarterly enrollments, no cap on what you can earn. Instead, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers users the chance to earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase – it's automatic. No hoops, no hassles, no questions asked.

For those of you who aren't convinced that new and different is always good, don't fret. Chase Freedom Unlimited® isn't replacing Chase Freedom®; you can still earn that 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate that the Chase Freedom® credit card offers if rotating categories are something you’re willing to keep up with. In fact, it’s possible the Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards could work well together in your wallet (we'll explain below).

So, if you're looking to embrace a change, here are a couple of other key points about Chase Freedom Unlimited®:

  • $0 annual fee.
  • You can redeem for cash – any amount, any time.
  • Earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
  • 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.

What Our Editors Like Most about Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The simplicity of racking up rewards with this card is perhaps its most appealing feature, but it’s far from the only reason the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card could be a welcome addition to your wallet. Flat-rate cash-back credit cards aren’t a new idea, but there are some aspects of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card that make us sit up and take notice.

To start, the unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase is a fairly high return. For comparison, the Chase Freedom® card offers unlimited 1 percent cash back on all other purchases outside the bonus categories. Plus, once you spend $1,500 each quarter in the featured 5 percent categories, your cash back rewards revert to that 1 percent level.

With Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you start at 1.5 percent and you’ll never cap out.

And then there are the redemption options.

One hundred points equals $1 and at 1.5 points earned per dollar spent, you'll accumulate 100 points after you spend $67. Many cash-back reward cards restrict when you can cash in your points – as in, you need to accumulate enough points to redeem them in $25 increments or something similar. With Chase Freedom Unlimited®, there are no thresholds to meet in order to redeem your points for cash. Those redeemed points can equal cash deposited directly into an eligible checking or savings account or, since they are Chase Ultimate Rewards points, they can be used to purchase travel, gift cards, products or services.

While we like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card on its own, it's even better if you pair it with Chase Freedom® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Here’s why:

  • When paired with Chase Freedom®, you can earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Then use your Chase Freedom Unlimited® for purchases in all other categories to cash in at the 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase outside those bonus categories.
  • When paired with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points between the two cards. Since Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholders receive 20 percent off the redemption cost when they redeem Ultimate Rewards points for travel, the points you earn with your Chase Freedom Unlimited® card are worth more.

Potential Downsides of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

There's a lot of value to be found with Chase Freedom Unlimited®, particularly for cardholders who prefer their rewards earning to be a simple, non-rotating process. That said, if you are a big spender in particular categories, such as gas or groceries, you could likely earn more with a card tailored to your particular spending habits. Even a card like the Chase Freedom®, which offers that 5 percent cash back in quarterly rotating categories, could really benefit you.

The other drawback, and this is a big one for the jet-setting crowd, is the 3 percent fee per foreign transaction. If you’re someone who travels internationally, you'd certainly benefit from a card that doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.

How Chase Freedom Unlimited® Compares to Other Cash Back Cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited® vs. Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Neither card has an annual fee and neither requires you to keep up with rotating reward categories. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card, however, does offer tiered reward categories. With the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you earn 3 percent back on gas and 2 percent on groceries and wholesale club purchases for the first $2,500 in combined purchases in those categories each quarter. All other purchases, as well as gas and groceries once you hit the quarterly cap, earn 1 percent cash back.

What all this means is that individuals who do a lot of their spending at gas stations and grocery stores might be better off with the higher earning categories of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® vs. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

You will have to pay a $95 annual fee for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express card, but you also have the opportunity to earn 6 percent cash back on up to $6,000 in U.S. supermarket purchases annually (then 1 percent after reaching the cap), 3 percent at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1 percent on all other purchases. Once again, if you’re a big supermarket spender (but not so big you spend well above the $6,000 cap), you could stand to earn substantially more with the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express Card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® vs. Discover it® - Cashback Match™

The first thing you’ll notice is that the Discover it® - Cashback Match™ card is one with rotating cash-back categories each quarter you activate, so once again you can stand to earn substantially more if you actually shop in those 5 percent bonus categories each quarter. The drawback, of course, is that you do have to remember to sign up for those categories and then actually use your card.

The Discover it® - Cashback Match™ card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees so if you like to travel internationally, this card is likely a better fit than the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Who Should Get Chase Freedom Unlimited?

This card is designed for people who aren't willing to keep up with rotating cashback categories, but who do spread their spending out among multiple categories and like the flexibility of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to be redeemed as cash or for various products and services.

It's likely not the best choice for people who use their card for international travel or who relish the opportunity to strategically use their credit cards to rack up maximum rewards in categories that change quarterly.

This page was last updated on September 21, 2017

This card compared to other cash back cards

Cash Back on Gas
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
1-5%
2% at U.S. gas stations
Cash Back on Groceries
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
1-5%
3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
Cash Back on other
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
1% back on other purchases. Terms apply.
Purchase Intro
APR:
0% Intro APR on Purchases
Period:
for 15 months
APR:
0%
Period:
14 months
APR:
0% on Purchases
Period:
for 15 months
Purchase APR
15.99%-24.74% Variable
11.99% - 23.99% Variable 
13.99%-24.99% Variable 
Rates and Fees
CardRatings.com Editorial Staff

Chase Freedom Unlimited® details

Cash Back on Gas
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Cash Back on groceries
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Cash Back on other
Unlimited 1.5% cash back
Purchase Intro
APR:
0% Intro APR on Purchases
Period:
for 15 months
Purchase APR
15.99%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0

What Chase says about this card

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Credit Card Consumer Average Ratings:

Overall Ratings
Reward Program
Card Benefit
Customer Service

Credit Card Consumer Reviews:

  1. Overall Ratings:
    Reward Program:
    Card Benefit:
    Customer Service:
    Domenico ( Aug 1, 2016 at 1:54 pm)

    Chase is a great card, but don't apply you will not get approved. My wife and I have good credit not excellent we keep getting offers from Chase and never get approved. We have been a Chase customer for over 15 years you think this would be easier to get this card . NOT. So why keep sending us offers if your not going to approve customers with good credit. Just send these offers to people with excellent credit . Chase stinks!


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Featured offers
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After you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
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Apply online for Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • New! Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good
Apply online for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 24.99%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.
Terms and Limitations Apply
Credit Needed:
Excellent, Good