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Freedom Rise Card vs. Freedom Unlimited [Detailed Comparison]

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Christine Krzyszton

Senior Finance Contributor

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Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, deta...
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Starting on your own usually means you’ll be responsible for most, if not all, of your finances. Managing your finances can include applying for a credit card — hopefully, one that earns rewards.

The Chase Freedom Rise℠ Credit Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® are 2 cards that provide an opportunity to manage your credit, build a relationship with a valued financial institution, and earn rewards.

While the Freedom Rise card is designed for those just starting, the card has a surprising number of valuable features and benefits.

For this reason, we’re comparing the card to the popular Freedom Unlimited card, another starter card that can be a step up from the Freedom Rise card.

Here’s how the cards compare.

Freedom Rise Card vs. Freedom Unlimited Card — Overview

Next, we will cover all the key features and benefits of the Freedom Rise card and Freedom Unlimited card.

But before we do, here’s a quick summary of how the cards stack up side-by-side.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Feature or BenefitChase Freedom Rise℠ Credit CardChase Freedom Unlimited®
Welcome OfferN/AEarn 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.
Earning 
  • 1.5% cash-back on all purchases
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • $25 statement credit for signing up for automatic payments within the first 3 months of account opening
  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased via the Chase travel portal
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 3% cash-back on dining and at drugstores
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases
Top Redemption Options
  • Redeem for travel via the Chase travel portal
  • Transfer points to premium Chase cards to then transfer to airline and hotel partners for potentially greater value
Top Travel Protections and Benefits
  • Trip cancellation, trip interruption insurance
  • Car rental insurance
  • Baggage insurance
Top Shopping Protections and Benefits
  • Benefits and/or credits with DoorDash DashPass (activate by December 31, 2024), and Instacart+ (enroll by July 31, 2024)
  • Chase Offers and Shop through Chase
Annual Fees and Authorized Users
  • $0 annual fee
  • No charge to add authorized users
  • $0 annual fee
  • No charge to add authorized users
Credit Building and Management Tools
  • Chase Credit Journey
  • My Chase Plan
  • Chase Credit Journey
  • My Chase Plan
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.

The Value of a Welcome Offer

A welcome offer allows you to earn bonus rewards for meeting specific spending thresholds after card approval.

The Freedom Rise card does not have a welcome offer, but it could in the future. Be sure to check before applying.

The Freedom Unlimited card comes with a welcome offer potentially worth hundreds of dollars, but, once again, offers can vary, so check upfront for the most recent promotion.

Here’s a snapshot of both cards, including the most recent welcome offer for the Freedom Unlimited card.

Chase Freedom Rise℠
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The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Chase Freedom Rise card is the perfect option for those starting their credit journey that also want to earn cash-back rewards.

The Chase Freedom Rise card is the perfect option for those starting their credit journey that also want to earn cash-back rewards.
$0
26.99% Variable
Pros
  • 1.5% cash-back on all purchases
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides (through March 2025)
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • High APR
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • Increase your approval chances - Having a Chase checking or savings account with a balance of at least $250 will increase your chances of getting approved for Chase Freedom Rise℠
  • Earn Cash Back - With Chase Freedom Rise℠, you can start building credit while earning 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Earn a $25 statement credit after signing up for automatic payments within the first three months of opening your account. With automatic payments, just pick a date and dollar amount to make sure your Credit Card gets paid on time.
  • Credit Limit Increase - As a Chase cardmember, you'll be evaluated for a credit line increase in as soon as 6 months. Your credit line is the maximum amount of money you can spend on your Freedom Rise℠ Card
  • Free Credit Score - Track your credit score and learn how to build it with Chase Credit Journey.
  • No Annual Fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Rise℠ card.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 26.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
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.
Up to $300 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an 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!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, 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.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Bottom Line:

The Freedom Unlimited card can come with a welcome offer potentially worth a few hundred dollars. The Freedom Rise card does not currently come with a welcome offer, but it could in the future.

Earning Potential

Friends Eating at Restaurant
Every purchase made on either of our featured cards earns rewards, and some purchases receive bonus earnings. Image Credit Denys Gromov via Pexels

You earn rewards on every purchase you make with either the Freedom Rise card or Freedom Unlimited card. Rewards are earned as points that can be redeemed for cash-back, travel or other options.

We’ll review your options for redeeming those points, but first, let’s look at all the ways you can earn rewards on each of our featured cards.

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Earning Category Freedom Rise CardFreedom Unlimited Card
Travel
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other travel
  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased via the Chase travel portal
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other travel
Dining and Drugstores1.5% cash-back3% cash-back
All Other Purchases1.5% cash-back

You’ll notice that the Freedom Unlimited card is the better card for earning on travel purchased via the Chase travel portal, on dining, and on drugstore purchases. Both cards earn a respectable 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases and 5% cash-back on Lyft rides.

The Freedom Rise card does earn an additional $25 statement credit for signing up for automatic payments within the first 3 months after card approval.

Bottom Line:

The Freedom Unlimited card is a better earning card than the Freedom Rise card. The card has bonus earnings on purchases via the Chase travel portal, on dining, and drugstore purchases. Both cards earn 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases and 5% back on Lyft rides. Additionally, the Freedom Rise card earns a $25 statement credit when you sign up for automatic payments.

Redemption Options

Friends Traveling
You can redeem your points for travel, cash, gift cards, and more. Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Although the Freedom Rise card and Freedom Unlimited card earn cash-back, you have additional options at redemption time, creating greater potential value for your points.

Here are your choices when it’s time to redeem the points earned on either card.

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Redemption Option Freedom Rise CardFreedom Unlimited Card
Travel
  • Redeem points for 1 cent each for travel via the Chase travel portal.
  • Redeem points for 1 cent each for a statement credit for previous travel purchases.
  • Transfer points to premium Chase cards and redeem them for up to 1.5 cents each for travel via the Chase travel portal.
  • Transfer points to premium Chase cards and then transfer to airline and hotel partners for greater potential value.
Additional Redemption Options
  • Cash, a statement credit, gift cards
  • Pay with Points at Amazon and Apple checkout at PayPal

If you’re starting your credit card journey with Chase, chances are you don’t hold any premium Ultimate Rewards-earning Chase cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Securing one of these premium cards allows you to receive much greater value for your rewards. Transferring points earned on the Freedom Rise card or Freedom Unlimited card to premium cards allows you to redeem for travel via the Chase travel portal for up to 1.5 cents each.

Additionally, once points are transferred, you can then transfer points to Chase airline and hotel partners and unlock the potential for even greater value when redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points for award flights and free hotel nights.

Bottom Line:

Points earned on the Freedom Rise card and the Freedom Unlimited card can typically be redeemed for at least 1 cent each for cash, statement credits, gift cards, and at select retailers. Points can also be transferred to Chase premium credit cards for greater value at redemption time.

Travel Protections and Benefits

Here are the protections and benefits on both cards:

  • Car Rental Insurance: The auto collision damage waiver provides secondary coverage domestically if you have other auto insurance that applies. Outside your country of residence, the coverage is primary, and you do not need to file a claim with any other applicable insurance for card coverage to kick in. Use your card to book and pay for your rental, decline the rental agency’s collision damage waiver and loss damage waiver coverage, and receive coverage for damage or theft.
  • Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance: If your trip needs to be canceled or is disrupted for a covered reason, you could receive up to $1,500 per covered person, with a maximum of up to $6,000 per trip for nonrefundable passenger fares.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services — Receive 24/7 help when traveling for medical or legal referrals, translation services, assistance with a lost passport, emergency transportation, and more.

Shopping Protections and Benefits

Man Opening Food Delivery
Shopping benefits can save you money on food delivery and much more. Image Credit: Mikhail Nilov via Pexels

Shopping protections with the Freedom Rise card and Freedom Unlimited card provide additional protection for eligible items purchased with either card. Shopping benefits can provide free trial memberships and savings on specific purchases.

Here are the shopping protections and benefits on both cards:

Shopping Protections

  • Purchase Protection: Receive coverage for theft and damage on eligible items purchased with your card for up to 120 days from the purchase date. Maximum coverage per item is $500, with a maximum of up to $50,000 per account.
  • Extended Warranty: Eligible items purchased with your card with manufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less may qualify for 1 additional year of warranty protection.

Shopping Benefits

  • DoorDash DashPass: You receive a free, 3-month membership and an option for an additional 9 months at 50% off. Membership includes free delivery and reduced service fees on eligible orders.
  • Instacart+ Benefits: Receive a complimentary 3-month membership that includes free delivery and reduced service fees. Enroll and receive $10 each quarter in statement credits for Instatcart+ purchases through July 2024.
  • Chase Offers: When you log in to your online card account, you can select Chase Offers, which allows you to earn additional cash-back when purchasing with featured retailers or service providers.
  • Shop through Chase: Before you make a purchase, check out the featured retailers in the Shop through Chase section on the Ultimate Rewards page in your online card account. Make the qualifying purchase with your card and earn additional rewards.

Freedom Unlimited Card — Additional Shopping Benefits

  • Introductory 0% APR Period for Purchases: Pay off large purchases over time without interest with the Freedom Unlimited card. Receive a 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%..

Credit Management Tools

The Freedom Rise card and Freedom Unlimited card have several features that help you manage your card account and build a strong credit history.

Here are some of the credit management tools that come with either card:

  • Chase Credit Journey: Set alerts for any unusual activity, monitor your credit, and have free access to your credit score and history.
  • My Chase Plan: Qualifying purchases of $100 or more can be split into manageable monthly payments with no interest — just a monthly service fee. The service fee is waived if your purchase falls within the introductory 0% APR period featured on the Freedom Unlimited card.
  • Zero Liability: You won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges.
  • Lock/Unlock Feature: Use your Chase app to block activity on your card.
Hot Tip:

Increase your chances of getting approved for the Freedom Rise card by having a Chase checking account with at least $250 before applying. Additionally, you may need to provide a valid driver’s license or other acceptable form of ID when applying online.

In addition, each of our featured cards has its own unique credit management benefits.

Freedom Rise Card

  • Credit Limit Increase: You could receive a credit limit increase after 6 months of on-time payments after card approval. Terms apply.

Freedom Unlimited Card

  • Introductory 0% APR Period for Balance Transfers: The Freedom Unlimited card has a 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.. If you have high-interest credit cards, you may be able to benefit by transferring the balance to the Freedom Unlimited card and paying off the balance over time without interest. There is a transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater, within the first 60 days after card approval, and 5% or $5, whichever is greater, after that.
Bottom Line:

Both the Freedom Rise card and Freedom Unlimited card come with tools to manage your card account and credit wisely. Both cards offer free access to your credit report, the ability to manage monthly payments without interest, and more. Additionally, the Freedom Rise card provides an incentive to receive a higher credit limit, and the Freedom Unlimited card has an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers.

Annual Fees and Authorized Users

Let’s take a look at the annual fees of the Freedom Rise card and the Freedom Unlimited card:

  • Freedom Rise card: $0 annual fee
  • Freedom Unlimited card: $0 annual fee

There is also no additional fee to add authorized users to either card.

Everything Else You Need To Know

Before applying for any Chase credit card, review Chase’s 5/24 rule. The rule includes cards issued by other financial institutions in addition to Chase cards and affects whether Chase will approve you.

The Freedom Rise card and Freedom Unlimited card charge foreign transaction fees of 3% of the total transaction.

Points do not expire with either card as long as your card account is open and in good standing.

We recommend at least a “fair” credit score of 640 or better to qualify for the Freedom Rise card. For the Freedom Unlimited card, we recommend a “good” to “excellent” score of 670 or greater.

Final Thoughts

Either the Freedom Rise card or Freedom Unlimited card could be a great starter card, but the best card will be the one for which you qualify.

And, while there are other choices for your first credit card, building a positive relationship with Chase can open doors to upgrading to or qualifying for some of the best travel rewards credit cards available.

These alone are good reasons to consider either of these featured cards.

The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Rise℠ Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which card is better, the Freedom Rise card or the Freedom Unlimited card?

The Freedom Unlimited card is the better card because of its elevated earning potential. However, the Freedom Rise card is a sound card that provides an entry-level path to qualify for a Chase credit card, establish a credit history, and access better rewards-earning cards and financial products.

Either card could be a good choice for the long term, as neither card charges an annual fee.

Do Chase Freedom credit cards charge foreign transaction fees?

Yes, the Freedom Rise card, Freedom Unlimited card, and Chase Freedom Flex℠ all charge 3% foreign transaction fees based on the total transaction.

 

Do I need to be a student to get the Freedom Rise card?

No. The Freedom Rise card, unlike the former Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card, does not require you to be a student to be approved.

Can I transfer points earned on the Freedom Rise card to other Chase cards?

Yes, you can transfer points earned on the Freedom Rise card, and all Chase Freedom cards, to other select Ultimate Rewards-earning credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Does the Freedom Rise card require a security deposit?

No, the Freedom Rise card is not a secured card and does not require a security deposit.

Christine Krzyszton's image

About Christine Krzyszton

Christine ran her own business developing and managing insurance and financial services. This stoked a passion for points and miles and she now has over 2 dozen credit cards and creates in-depth, detailed content for UP.

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