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"A New Cash-back Competitor"
This is Chase's all-purpose cash-back card that competes with similar cards from the other big banks. The bonus with this card: you can turn the cash-back into Ultimate Rewards points!
At first glance, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card might not seem that compelling. But there is more to the card than meets the eye! In fact, when paired with other cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, this “cash-back” card can become one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited can benefit cardholders by earning an uncapped 1.5% cash-back on all purchases, or 1.5x Ultimate Reward points which, when paired with a premium Chase credit card, can be used for massive travel value for flights and hotels.
Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Cash Advance APR
Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
How To Earn More Points
The best way to maximize your point earnings with the card is to use it for all your purchases. Since the Freedom Unlimited does not have any bonus categories and instead earns an uncapped 1.5% back on every purchase you make, the best way to earn more points is to use your card as often as you can.
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 to earn 1.5x Ultimate Reward 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. By affording you the opportunity to use your points with airline and hotel transfer partners, you can receive more value than you would otherwise get redeeming for gift cards or cash-back.
You can redeem all of the cash back you earn with this card as a statement credit if you wish, which is valued at 100 points per $1.
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 is technically 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® Card, 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 Reward points, you can book first/business class flights, or 5-star hotel stays for just pennies on the dollar.
New to the world of points and miles, or find it difficult to navigate the different transfer partners and award charts? We are here to help! We’ve put together a guide on Chase’s transfer partners and how to use them to get you traveling like a pro in no time.
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.
Using your reward points as cash back in the Chase rewards portal offers the same or lesser value, and can be used for a variety of merchandise.
However, the most valuable way to redeem these points would be to get a Chase travel rewards card, and then either use the points in the travel portal for 20% off or re-transfer to a travel partner at a 1:1 ratio.
If you only have the Freedom Unlimited, 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℠ Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Preferred) you will have access to their travel partners. This is achieved by transferring your points earned by the Freedom Unlimited to your premium Chase card award balance.
If it is a standard cash-back card you’re after, the Citi Double Cash card could be a great fit for you. The Citi Double Cash card lets you earn 2% cash-back, 1% on purchases and an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases, all for no annual fee.
If you’re looking for a cash-back card that offers bonus categories for what you spend the most on, consider a card like the Capital One Savor. The Capital One Savor earns unlimited 4% cash-back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.
Is the Freedom Unlimited a good credit card?
The Freedom Unlimited card could be perfect for your situation if you’re looking for a strong cash-back card and anyone who will utilize the other Chase cards to optimize their reward points.
Is the Freedom Unlimited a cash-back card?
Yes, technically the card is marketed as a cash-back card. You will earn 1.5% cash-back rewards on all of your purchases, which is usable as a statement credit
However, in practice, it works as a points card. The cash-back accumulates in Chase Ultimate Rewards as points. From there, you can spend the reward points in the online shopping portals to earn rewards or transfer them to another Chase card account.
Does the Chase 5/24 rule apply to the Freedom Unlimited card?
Yes, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. So if you have opened 5 or more new accounts in the last 24 months you will not be eligible for the card.
Does the Freedom Unlimited card have an annual fee?
No, the Freedom Unlimited does not charge an annual fee.
Born and raised just outside of Cincinnati, Jarrod became fascinated with using points and miles as the perfect way to visit dream destinations without breaking the bank. Thanks to points and miles, Jarrod was able to spend 3 months traveling Europe financed nearly entirely with points and miles; while flying in premium cabins and staying in 5-star hotels along the way. To date, Jarrod has traveled to 16 countries and 22 US states.
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