When it comes to miles and points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most valuable options, and any time you can earn more than 1 Ultimate Rewards point per dollar of spending, you are doing well.
In the past, this increased earning could only be done in specific bonus categories, which differed depending on the card you were using.
Not too long ago though, the introduction of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card changed the game, and it became a powerhouse in the points-earning world.
Here are the top 5 reasons we think it should be in your wallet.
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1) 1.5% Cash-back on ALL Purchases
Every eligible purchase. No categories to remember. No special portal to go through to buy things.
Every time you swipe your card, you will earn 1.5% cash back — it’s as easy as that!
Your cash-back never expires as long as you hold the card, so you can keep on earning until you are ready to redeem.
The cash-back that you earn is stored as points, with each point being equivalent to a penny. To make it easier to understand these points, we can also say this card has a 1.5x point earning structure, or earns 1.5 points per dollar spent.
Read on to find out how you can upgrade your 1.5% cash-back and turn it into a 2%, 5% or even 10% return toward your travel!
Obviously, there are a few normal exclusions to this cash-back. These include cash advances, gift cards and cash-like transactions, wagers, and a few more. Details of the exclusions can be found in your card terms and conditions.
2) No Annual Fee
There’s not too much to say here: the annual fee for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card is $0. There isn’t one.
That’s not just an introductory offer for the first year, either. There is no annual fee for this card ever — as long as you hold the card, you won’t have to pay an annual fee.
You can’t do much better than a points-earning card with no annual fee!
3) Upgrade Your Cash-back
Because the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card doesn’t have an annual fee, the Ultimate Rewards points that it earns (as cash-back) are a bit restricted. Chase isn’t going to give away everything for free.
The main way these points are limited is that they cannot be transferred directly to airline or hotel programs. Transferring your points is by far the best way to get the most value out of them, so this is a big hit to your earned points.
Luckily, Chase provides a way to turn the restricted Ultimate Rewards points that you earn with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card into full-fledged, unrestricted Ultimate Rewards points. All you need to do is also have one of their premium Ultimate Rewards Cards.
These premium card options include the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card. As long as you have at least 1 of these cards along with your Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card, you can transfer your points between accounts.
That means you can send your restricted Ultimate Rewards points over to one of your unrestricted Ultimate Rewards accounts, and the points automatically become more valuable.
Maximize Your Airline & Hotel Transfers
Now that the points you earned with your 1.5% back are unrestricted, you can redeem them by transferring to airlines and hotels. This is where the high-value (and really fun) redemptions come into play.
By transferring your points to airline and hotel programs, you can easily find redemption opportunities where your points are worth 5, 8, or even 10 cents each (or higher). If you earned those points at 1.5x, the return on your spending is even higher.
Earning with a higher multiplier (1.5) and redeeming for higher value (10 cents per points) means you are getting the absolute most out of your spending and your points. This can only be done with the combination of a premium Ultimate Rewards card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card.
4) $150 Sign-up Bonus
The current sign-up offer for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card is a bonus of $150 after you spend $500 during the first 3 months you have the card.
You can also earn another $25 by adding an authorized user and making a purchase with their card during this timeframe.
That $175 bonus will be stored as Ultimate Rewards points, so your sign-up bonus is equivalent to 17,500 Ultimate Rewards points. These are worth a penny per point when you redeem them, unless you upgrade them for maximum value like we talked about above. Then they can be worth a whole lot more than just $175.
This isn’t the highest sign-up bonus out there…but it’s pretty good for a card with no annual fee. Especially when you can make it worth more than what is offered!
5) Purchase Benefits
There’s a certain comfort that comes with knowing that your credit card will help you if there’s an issue with a purchase you make.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card provides that level of comfort, making it a great option and allowing you to earn 1.5x on your important purchases.
Items purchased with your Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card will be protected from damage or theft for 120 days after your purchase.
Coverage is limited to $500 per claim and $50,000 total per account. For those small electronics that might get snatched from your pocket unexpectedly, this will definitely help.
Why purchase an extended warranty from the store when you can get it for free from your credit card?
Just put the entire purchase on your Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card, and you will get an automatic 1-year extension of the manufacturer’s warranty for the item you’re buying.
To qualify, the item must have a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty, and the original term of the warranty must be 3 years or less.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card is one of the best everyday points-earning cards on the market. With no annual fee, it’s tough to argue why you wouldn’t have it in your wallet! It will literally cost you nothing to earn 1.5x on all of your regular spending.
Sadly though, there may be one big reason why you don’t (or can’t) have it: the 5/24 Rule applies to the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card. That means you have to have fewer than 5 new credit card accounts within the last 24 months to be eligible to be approved for the card.
As long as you meet that criteria though—and if somehow you don’t already have a Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card—adding it to your credit card portfolio is a great idea.
Combining it with one of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards is even better! That will unlock huge redemption values for the 1.5x points you are earning.
It’s such a good idea, in fact, that many people believe this combo of Ultimate Rewards cards is the best points-earning and redemption pairing available.
If you already have one of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards, it makes perfect sense to add the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card today. Then you can increase your earnings, redeem points for maximum value, and see the full potential of where your points can take you!