The best way to maximize your point earnings with the card is to use it for all your purchases. Since the Freedom Unlimited card does not have any bonus categories and instead earns cash-back on every purchase you make, the best way to earn more points is to use your card as often as you can.
Chase Travel Portal
Booking travel through the Chase Travel portal earns you 5% back on the purchase, or 6.5% during the first year up to $20,000 spent. This includes flights, hotels, but also rental cars, cruises, vacation packages, and any other travel experiences offered through the portal.
Dining and Drugstore Purchases
Using your Freedom Unlimited card to pay for dining and drugstore purchases earns 3% back for every $1 that you spend, or 4.5% during the first year up to $20,000 spent. Dining purchases even include take out or eligible delivery services like Uber Eats or Door Dash.
Chase Shopping Portal
One huge advantage of being a Chase cardholder is having access to the Chase shopping portal. Chase has partnered with several brands like Banana Republic, Macy’s, or Samsung to offer anywhere from an extra 2x-20x points per $1 spent.
Adding Additional Ultimate Rewards-Earning Cards
Since the Freedom Unlimited is a cash-back card, the ways in which you can use your rewards points can be limited. However, by combining your Freedom Unlimited with a premium Ultimate Rewards-earning card, you can unlock huge value for your points. This method can make for a very powerful points-earning combo.
Take the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example. This card earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent on all travel and dining purchases. With this 2-card combo, here’s an example of how you could allocate all your business spending to maximize your rewards:
- Use the Chase Sapphire Reserve for all of your travel and dining purchases, while utilizing its premium travel benefits and protections.
- Use the Freedom Unlimited card to earn 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points for all purchases falling outside of travel and dining. Then pool those points together with the ones earned from your Chase Sapphire Reserve for huge travel savings!
Bottom Line: Pairing a cash-back card with an Ultimate Rewards-earning card will give you the best return for your hard-earned points.
Interested in learning more about Chase’s Ultimate Rewards cards that will allow you to pool your points for huge value? Our favorites include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, and the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.
Once your point-earning has been optimized to ensure you’re always earning the max points possible for each purchase, the next step is to learn how to receive the most value for those points! So which redemption methods are best?
Since the Freedom Unlimited card is a cash-back card, the main redemption is obviously in the form of cash-back.
You can receive your cash-back via a statement credit to offset purchases you’ve made, or get a deposit straight into the bank account you have linked with your account. Either way, you will receive a value of 1 cent per point, making 30,000 points worth $300.
Redeeming for Gift Cards
Another option is to redeem your points for gift cards from over 150 different merchants. Chase will give you 1 cent toward the card of your choice for each point you have — so a $25 gift card to Amazon would cost 2,500 points.
If this is a method you would consider, you should really just opt for cash-back instead. Often times you can receive cash-back at an equal or better rate than a gift card and you won’t be tied to using it at a specific merchant.
Shop With Points on Apple and Amazon
If your card is linked to your Apple and/or Amazon account, Chase will give you the option to use your points toward purchases you make with either retailer. Again, your points are worth a fixed 1 cent per point with this method.
Chase Experience Portal
Chase cardholders can even use their points to book one-of-a-kind experiences through the Chase Experiences Portal, like VIP access to sporting events or a night of fine dining.
While these experiences are only available to Chase cardholders, it is generally better just book them with cash, since using your points will only earn you 1 cent per point in value.
Redeeming Points Through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal
If you head to the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal, you’ll find that you can also use your points to offset travel purchases like airfare or hotel stays.
Your points will be valued at 1 cent per point toward such purchases, and you can enjoy perks like no blackout dates.
Pair With Other Ultimate Rewards Cards to Transfer to Airline and Hotel Partners
If you hold an Ultimate Rewards-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer the points earned from your Freedom Unlimited to unlock huge value.
Chase Ultimate Rewards points are incredibly valuable because of their ability to be transferred to select airline and hotel partners. This opens up a wealth of different options for your points in terms of the experiences that can be booked with them.
If you’re strategic about how you use your Ultimate Rewards points, you can book first/business class flights or 5-star hotel stays for just pennies on the dollar.
Bottom Line: Here at Upgraded Points, we highly recommend you opt for transfer partners when redeeming your hard-earned earned points, and we do not recommend using them for gift cards, Amazon purchases, or any other method that earn you 1 cent per point in value, or less.
If you only have the Freedom Unlimited card, you won’t have access to Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners.
However, if you also have a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card that carries an annual fee (for example, the Ink Business Preferred or Chase Sapphire Preferred) you will have access to their travel partners. This is achieved by transferring your points earned by the Freedom Unlimited card to your premium Chase card award balance.
Chase Airline Transfer Partners
|Chase Airline Transfer Partner||Min Transfer||Transfer Ratio|
(Chase > Airline)
|Aer Lingus AerClub||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Air Canada Aeroplan||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Air France-KLM Flying Blue||1,000||1:1||1 hour|
|British Airways Executive Club||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Emirates Skywards||1,000||1:1||Almost instant|
|Iberia Plus||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||1,000||1:1||1-2 days|
|Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|United Airlines MileagePlus||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||1,000||1:1||Almost Instant|
Chase Hotel Transfer Partners