Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card Review

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Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card Review

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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!

The information regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

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.

Pro's

  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash-back per $1 spent
  • Ability to pool points

Con's

  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • No bonus categories

Card Snapshot

The Ideal Cardholder

Points on Shopping
Get a credit card that earns you cash-back for every single purchase you make! Image Credit: Freestocks via Pexels

The Freedom Unlimited card is perfect for 2 groups of people. If you’re looking for a no-fuss cash-back card or a great secondary card to pair with a premium Ultimate Reward earning card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® card.

The Freedom Unlimited can benefit cardholders by earning an uncapped 1.5% cash-back on all purchases, or 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points which, when paired with a premium Chase credit card, can be used for massive travel value for flights and hotels.

Great Card If

  • You want a card that earns flexible rewards
  • You want a card with a simple earning structure
  • You want a card with no annual fee

Don't Get If

Card Fees

  • Annual Fee
    • $0
  • Foreign Transaction Fees
    3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.
  • Interest Rates
    • 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
    • Ongoing APR: 16.49% - 25.24% Variable
  • Balance Transfers
    • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
    • Ongoing APR: 16.49% - 25.24% Variable
    • Intro Fee: 3% when you transfer during the first 60 days of account opening, with a minimum of $5
    • Ongoing Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR
    • 26.49% Variable
    • Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

How To Earn More Points

Wallet sitting on table with computer
Earn more for purchases you’re already making with the Freedom Unlimited. Image Credit: Lukas via Pexels

Daily Expenses

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 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.

How To Use These Points For Max Value

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?

Cash-Back

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 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, 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 to your premium Chase card award balance.

Chase Airline Transfer Partners

Chase Airline Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer Ratio
(Chase > Airline)
Transfer Time
Aer Lingus AerClub1,0001:1Almost Instant
British Airways Executive Club1,0001:1Almost Instant
Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
1,0001:11 hour
Emirates Skywards1,0001:1New, pending reports
Iberia Plus1,0001:1Almost Instant
JetBlue1,0001:1Almost Instant
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
1,0001:11-2 days
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards1,0001:1Almost Instant
United Airlines MileagePlus1,0001:1Almost Instant
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club1,0001:1Almost Instant

Chase Hotel Transfer Partners

Chase Hotel Transfer PartnerMin TransferTransfer RatioTransfer Time
World of Hyatt
1,0001:1Almost Instant
IHG Rewards Club1,0001:11 day
Marriott Rewards1,0001:12 days

Competitor Cards

Citi® Double Cash Card

If it is a standard cash-back card you’re after, the  Double Cash card could be a great fit for you. The Double Cash card lets you earn 2% cash-back, 1% when you buy, and an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases, all for no annual fee.

Capital One® Savor® Rewards Card

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 CapOne Savor card. The CapOne Savor card earns unlimited 4% cash-back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.

Frequently asked questions

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 rewards 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 rewards 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 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.

Jarrod West

About Jarrod West

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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Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

2 comments

  1. Linda K. Horn April 1, 2020

    How much is 7,144 points worth?

    Reply

    • Katie Seemann April 1, 2020

      Hi Linda,
      7,144 points earned from the Freedom Unlimited are worth $71.44. If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card they would be worth $89.30 and if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, they would be worth $107.16.

      Reply

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