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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Our Two Cents: Chase Freedom Unlimited®  Review

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a must have for point chasers. The card is marketed by Chase as a no annual fee product that earns unlimited 1.5% cash back card. As a bonus, during your first year of card membership, you'll earn 3% back on your first $20,000 spent. On its face that doesn't make this card stand out too much in the market. Competitors like Fidelity and Citi Double Cash offer 2% cash back on everyday purchases with no annual fee. 

The Unlimited does offer additional perks, like a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. There's a $5 or 5% fee for transferring balances. If you're looking for a balance transfer product, check out the AmEx Everyday. That'll earn you Membership Rewards points and offers 0% for 15 months on balance transfers - but the balance transfer fee is waived. 

The ongoing APR as of 5/15/19 is 17.24% - 25.99% Variable. The APR you receive will be determined by your credit profile. You should have good credit if you plan to apply for this card, which typically means a score above 680. Chase will also decline you if you have opened more than 5 credit cards in the last 24 months, so be mindful of that.

What really makes the Freedom Unlimited a must have is pairing it with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The trick here is that the Freedom Unlimited earns Ultimate Rewards points. While it's true that they can be used at a rate of 1 cent per point for cash back, it's not their best use. If you pair your Freedom Unlimited with the Reserve, those points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for travel. That means if you are redeeming for travel, you are earning 2.25 cents per dollar on your everyday spending. Take that Blispay and Double Cash.

For those of you not ready to commit to the $450 annual fee that the Reserve carries, the Sapphire Preferred will also unlock a redemption rate of 1.25 cents when you redeem for travel. The card carries a lower $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first year. 

Moving points between your Freedom Unlimited and Sapphire Preferred/Reserve accounts is super easy. It takes minutes and can all be done online. Ultimate Rewards can also be transferred to dozens of transfer partners. This means the savvy traveler can score complimentary flights with airlines like Southwest and United, or complimentary hotels nights at Marriott or Hyatt.

Counting Your Pennies - How To Earn Cash Back with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Use.That.Plastic. It's that simple. Unlimited earns an unlimited flat 1.5% cash back rate on your everyday purchases. If you're into cash back you can leave it at that. Like we said - the real value here is through pairing this with the Sapphire Reserve to boost your redemption power to 2.25 cents per dollar spent, or to maximize the points you are able to transfer to your qualifying partner of choice. This can get quite complicated, so if you are looking for simple cash back wander over to the best cash back page to look for a better option.

Who Should Get It?

As a no annual fee card, this is a great supplemental product for someone with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Keep in mind that Chase will decline you if you have 5 new accounts opened in the last 24 months, so it may be difficult to get both. Power couples don't happen overnight though. 

Freedom Unlimited is also a great way to start a relationship with Chase if you're new to the credit card game. If you want to start to test the waters with Chase, and see how you feel about points in general, this is a good card to use. When you're ready, add a Preferred or Reserve to your arsenal and unleash your points for the travel experience of a lifetime.

Who Shouldn’t Get it?

Cash back lovers. 1.5% cash back is just not market competitive at this point. If you're looking for simple straight forward cashback without any fuss, we're going to point you to the Fidelity Visa.

Final Thoughts

Freedom Unlimited is a solid choice for beginners looking to start their cash back journey and turn it into a point journey. If you start building a block of points with the Freedom Unlimited, you can easily tack on a Sapphire Preferred or a Sapphire Reserve as you get more comfortable on your credit journey.  It's also great for the seasoned traveler that holds a card in the Sapphire family. It's not the best for someone that applies for a lot of credit cards or if you have a higher end travel card with another bank.

Start Earning 1.5% Cash Back Today

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24% - 25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Terms Apply
  • Apply Online

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