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Chase Freedom Unlimited Card vs. Prime Visa Card [Detailed Comparison]

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Christine Krzyszton
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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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Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to le...
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A cash-back card can be a great choice for a starter credit card — especially one that doesn’t charge an annual fee. Plus, cash-back is one of the most liquid forms of rewards you can earn.

The 2 cash-back cards we’re comparing today are popular examples of cards you’ll want to carry in your wallet for everyday purchases. Both cards also offer a bonus-earning niche that is unique to each card.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Prime Visa Card have a great deal in common, yet each card caters to a specific customer profile.

We’ll break down the earning potential, redemption options, and key benefits for each of these everyday spending cards for a clear comparison that reveals which card may be a better choice for you.

Freedom Unlimited Card vs. Prime Visa Card — Overview

Before we dig into the details, it can be helpful to glance at a high-level comparison of how the Freedom Unlimited card and Prime Visa card stack up side-by-side.

Here’s how the 2 cards compare overall:

SCROLL FOR MORE
Feature or BenefitChase Freedom Unlimited®Prime Visa card
Welcome OfferEarn 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.Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members
Earning
  • 5% cash-back on travel via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5% cash-back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases
  • 5% cash-back on Amazon.com purchases and Whole Foods (with Amazon Prime membership)
  • 5% cash-back on travel via the Chase Travel portal (with Amazon Prime membership)
  • 2% cash-back on dining, gas stations, local transit, and commuting
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases
Redemption Options
  • Redeem rewards for travel for 1 cent each via the Chase travel portal
  • Transfer points to premium Chase credit cards to redeem for travel for up to 1.5 cents each
  • Transfer points to premium Chase credit cards to then transfer to airline or hotel partners
  • Statement credit, cash, gift cards, charitable donation
  • Redeem points for 1 cent each at checkout on Amazon.com
  • Redeem points for 1 cent each via the Chase travel portal
  • Statement credit, cash, gift card
Travel Protections and Benefits
  • Trip cancellation, trip interruption insurance
  • Car rental insurance
  • Roadside Dispatch
  • Baggage insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection benefits
  • Car rental insurance
  • Roadside Dispatch
  • Baggage insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection benefits
  • No foreign transaction fees
Shopping Protections and Benefits
  • Purchase protection, extended warranty
  • Chase Offers
  • Shop through Chase
  • Visa Signature shopping bprimeenefits
  • Purchase protection, extended warranty
  • 10% cash-back, or more, on special rotating Amazon category purchases
  • Pay over time on Amazon purchases of $50 or more; purchases do not qualify for 5% cash-back
  • Chase Offers
  • Visa Signature shopping benefits
Annual Fees and Authorized Users
  • $0 annual fee
  • No charge to add authorized users
  • $0 annual fee; Amazon Prime Membership required
  • No charge to add authorized users
Additional Benefits0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.Pay over time on Amazon purchases of $50 or more; purchases do not qualify for 5% cash-back

The Value of a Welcome Offer

Immediately after you’re approved for either the Freedom Unlimited card or Prime Visa card, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus.

The amounts and terms of these bonus offers can vary but for these 2 cards, you can expect to earn a welcome bonus normally worth several hundred dollars.

Because welcome offers can change, be sure to check for the most current offer before you apply for either card. We’ve included snapshots below to assist you.

Freedom Unlimited Card

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

Prime Visa Card

Prime Visa Card
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.

A strong rewards card if you shop regularly at Amazon.com and Whole Foods.

A strong rewards card if you shop regularly at Amazon.com and Whole Foods.
Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members
$100 Amazon Gift Card
$100
$0
19.49% - 27.49% Variable

We all do our fair share of shopping on Amazon, some of us more than others, and when we shop with Amazon, we obviously want to get the best deal possible. Now, with the Prime Visa Card, you can add a credit card to your wallet that will help you do just that.

You’ll not only earn rewards on all of your Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, but on 4 other bonus categories as well, along with flexible redemption options, all for no annual fee!

When you consider everything that the Prime Visa card offers, it is basically a no-brainer for those who frequently shop with Amazon. Let’s dig a little deeper to see just how much the card can save you.

Pros
  • Earn 5% back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market and on Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership
  • Earn 2% back at gas stations, restaurants and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare)
  • Earn 1% back on all other purchases
  • Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members
  • Earn unlimited 5% back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership
  • Earn unlimited 5% back on Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership
  • Earn unlimited 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare)
  • Earn unlimited 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual credit card fee
  • No more waiting. Redeem daily rewards at Amazon.com as soon as the next day
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 19.49% - 27.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: $0
Bottom Line:

Both the Freedom Unlimited card and Prime Visa card come with a welcome offer that can be worth up to several hundred dollars.

Earning Potential

Intercontinental Bali Resort
Travel purchased via the Chase travel portal will earn 5% cash-back with either of our featured cards. InterContinental Bali Resort. Image Credit: IHG

The Freedom Unlimited card and Prime Visa card both earn rewards initially in the form of points that can readily be redeemed for cash-back, therefore, each card is marketed as a cash-back card.

The level of cash-back you’ll earn with either card will depend on how your actual spending mix matches up with the bonus-earning categories on each card.

Let’s look at the earning structures and bonus-earning potential for each of our featured cards.

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Earning CategoryFreedom Unlimited CardPrime Visa Card
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
  • 5% cash-back on prepaid travel purchased via the Chase travel portal or via phone
  • 1% cash-back on all other travel
Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods1.5% cash-back5% cash-back
Dining and Drugstores3% cash-back

2% cash-back (dining)

1% cash-back (drugstores)

Transit and Commuting

1.5% cash-back 

2% cash-back
Gas Stations1.5% cash-back2% cash-back
All Other Purchases1.5% cash-back1% cash-back

If your spending mix includes a large volume of travel purchases, the Freedom Unlimited card could be a better card for your situation. The card also offers elevated earnings on dining, including carry-out, and at drugstores. The card would also be an asset if you have heavy spending for non-bonus-earning expenses such as tuition, medical bills, or household repairs as you’ll be earning 1.5% on every purchase.

The Prime Visa card has stellar earnings on Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh online and in-store, and at Whole Foods. If the majority of your purchases are with these merchants, you’ll earn well with the card.

Earnings, however, are just one element of total card value. Redemption options also contribute to the overall value you’ll receive. We’ll look at those options next.

Bottom Line:

The Freedom Unlimited card’s earning strength is focused on travel purchases via the Chase travel portal, dining, and at drugstores. All other purchases will earn a strong 1.5% cash-back. The Prime Visa card would be your go-to card for Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Food purchases but the card also earns well on dining, gas stations, transit, and commuting.

Redemption Options

Mickey Mouse Sports New Outfit in the Reimagined Mickeys Toontown at Disneyland Park
Both of our featured cards offer the option to redeem points for a statement credit to offset previous travel purchases. Image Credit: Christian Thompson via Disneyland Resort

Although the Freedom Unlimited card and Prime Visa card are primarily cash-back cards, you’ll find various options at redemption time.

Here are the choices you’ll have when it’s time to redeem rewards earned on either of our featured cards.

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Redemption OptionFreedom Unlimited CardPrime Visa Card
Travel
  • Redeem rewards for 1 cent each for travel via the Chase travel portal
  • Redeem rewards for 1 cent each for a statement credit for previous travel purchases
  • Transfer rewards to premium Chase cards to redeem for travel for up to 50% more in value
  • Transfer rewards to premium Chase cards to then transfer to airline and hotel partners
  • 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
Amazon.com PurchasesRedeem rewards for 0.8 cents each at checkoutRedeem points for 1 cent each at checkout
Additional Redemption OptionsCash, statement credit, gift cards, charitable donationCash, statement credit, gift cards

While both of our featured cards have similar options at redemption time, the Freedom Unlimited card allows you to receive greater potential value with the additional option of transferring points to Chase premium cards.

Chase premium cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® provide up to 50% more in value when redeeming points via the Chase travel portal.

These Chase premium cards also allow you to transfer points to airline and hotel partners where it’s possible to receive much greater value when purchasing award flights or reward hotel nights.

Bottom Line:

Both the Freedom Unlimited card and Prime Visa card earn rewards that can be redeemed for cash-back, travel via the Chase travel portal, statement credits, and gift cards. The Prime Visa card offers greater points value at checkout for Amazon purchases, at 1 cent each. The Freedom Unlimited card offers the additional option of transferring points to premium Chase cards for greater potential value.

Travel Protections and Benefits

Travel protections deliver peace of mind during your journey while benefits can save you money and make your travels more comfortable.

Here are the travel protections and benefits you’ll find on both the Freedom Unlimited card and the Prime Visa card:

  • Car Rental Insurance — Reserve and pay for your entire car rental with your card, decline the rental agency’s CDW/LDW coverage, and receive coverage for damage and theft. Coverage within the U.S. is secondary and primary in most other countries. Secondary coverage means that you must first file a claim with any other applicable insurance before card coverage kicks in.
  • Roadside Dispatch — If you’re stranded, know that you’ll pay just 1 low fee for a service call that can include limited towing, standard winching, lockout service, tire changing of an inflated spare, emergency fuel delivery, and jump-start service.
  • Baggage Insurance — If your baggage is delayed more than 6 hours, you could receive up to $100 per day in reimbursements for eligible incidentals. Coverage is valid for up to 5 days with the Freedom Unlimited card and for up to 3 days with the Prime Visa card. If your luggage is lost, stolen, or damaged, you could receive up to $3,000 per person, per trip.
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services — Receive 24/7 assistance during your travels including medical/dental referrals, translation services, help with emergency transportation, and more.
  • Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection Benefits — Receive elite-style benefits such as an upgraded room and late checkout (when available), complimentary breakfast for 2, free Wi-Fi, a $25 food/beverage credit, and VIP treatment. You must book your stay via the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection website.

Freedom Unlimited Card

  • Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption — Should your trip need to be canceled or is disrupted for a covered reason, you could receive up to $10,000 per person, up to $20,000 per trip.

Prime Visa Card

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees — Unlike the Freedom Unlimited card, which charges a foreign transaction fee, the Prime Visa card does not charge these fees.
Bottom Line:

Both the Freedom Unlimited card and Prime Visa card come with key travel benefits such as car rental insurance, roadside dispatch, baggage insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, and Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection benefits. In addition, the Freedom Unlimited card has trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance.

Shopping Protections and Benefits

Woman shopping online
Using your card when shopping in person or online can provide added protection and save you money. Image Credit: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

Eligible items purchased with either the Freedom Unlimited card or Prime Visa card can qualify for extra protection. Cardholders also receive several shopping discounts and benefits.

Here are the benefits provided on both of our featured cards.

  • Purchase Protection — New qualifying items are eligible for theft and damage protection for up to 120 days from the purchase date. Coverage limits are up to $500 per claim, up to $50,000 per account.
  • Extended Warranty — Eligible items, purchased with your card, that have manufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less can receive warranty coverage extended by 1 additional year.
  • Chase Offers — Access your online card account to view and apply Chase Offers that provide statement credits when shopping with featured retailers and service providers.
  • Visa Signature Shopping Benefits — While not spectacular, you can find useful benefits such as discounts on car rentals, hotels, and golf, plus a free trial membership for Shipt delivery services.

In addition, each of our featured cards offers its own unique collection of benefits.

Freedom Unlimited Card

  • DoorDash DashPass — Receive a 3-month membership plus an additional 9 months at 50% off when you enroll by December 31, 2024. Benefits include free delivery, reduced fees, and discounts.
  • Instacart+ — Activate this offer by July 31, 2024, and receive a complimentary 3-month membership plus up to $10 in credits each quarter.
  • Shop through Chase — Access the Chase Shopping portal and earn additional rewards for shopping online with listed merchants.
  • Introductory 0% APR Period on Purchases0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
Bottom Line:

The Freedom Unlimited card and Prime Visa card come with shopping protections such as purchase protection and extended warranty coverage. Both cards also offer shopping benefits that help save you money and earn additional cash-back.

Annual Fees and Authorized Users

The Freedom Unlimited card does not charge an annual fee. And, although the Prime Visa card does not charge an annual fee, you will need to have an Amazon Prime membership in order to be approved for the card.

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

Everything Else You Need To Know

Both the Freedom Unlimited card and Prime Visa card are issued by Chase. This fact is important because Chase has, what is referred to as, the Chase 5/24 rule. This rule can affect Chase card approvals if you’ve applied for too many cards from any financial institution within the past 24 months. You’ll want to be aware of how the rule works before you apply for either card.

The Prime Visa card requires an Amazon Prime membership. If you do not have an Amazon Prime membership you may be able to secure the Amazon Rewards Visa Card.

Final Thoughts

The Freedom Unlimited card offers the nice balance of a no-annual-fee travel rewards card combined with an everyday spending card. While you’ll need a premium Chase credit card to maximize redemption value, the card is still a great starter card for earning valuable Ultimate Rewards points.

If you’re an Amazon shopper and have an Amazon Prime membership, there’s a strong case to be made for the Prime Visa card for earning cash-back. You’ll still earn well on Chase travel portal purchases and you can count on receiving 1 cent each for your rewards points no matter the redemption option.

Either card could be an appropriate choice depending on your spending mix and how you prefer to use your rewards at redemption time. And neither card charges an annual fee.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Which card is better, the Freedom Unlimited card or the Prime Visa card?

Both the Freedom Unlimited card and Prime Visa card earn well on everyday purchases and neither card charges an annual fee. The Prime Visa card is the better card for earning on Amazon.com purchases.

The Freedom Unlimited card is the better card overall if you have a Chase premium card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card. With either of these additional cards, flexible rewards earned on the Freedom Unlimited card can be worth significantly more than 1 cent each.

Does the Prime Visa card charge foreign transaction fees?

No, the Prime Visa card does not charge foreign transaction fees.

Does the Freedom Unlimited card have primary car rental insurance?

The Freedom Unlimited card has car rental insurance that is secondary within the U.S. and primary outside of the U.S. Secondary means that you must first file a claim with any other insurance that applies before card coverage kicks in.

Does the Freedom Unlimited card come with cell phone protection?

No, the Freedom Unlimited card does not come with cell phone protection. Another card in the Freedom family, the Chase Freedom Flex℠, offers cell phone protection.

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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