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The 3 Best Cards To Pair With the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card [2024]

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited® consistently ranks as one of the best everyday spending credit cards on the market. In fact, the Freedom Unlimited card is currently our top cash-back credit card.

The Freedom Unlimited card has an enticing welcome offer, is relatively easy to get approved for, and has one of the best overall earning rates. The Freedom Unlimited card also earns highly valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. It provides all this value without an annual fee.

When you pair the Freedom Unlimited card with other specific Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, you can convert your cash-back into points, which can provide even more value.

Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of the Freedom Unlimited card and what cards would be best to pair with it to maximize your rewards.

Freedom Unlimited Card Snapshot

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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!

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
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!
Up to $300 cash back
$0
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 Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Earn big on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Everyday bonus on dining and drugstores
  • Straightforward cash-back on all other purchases
  • Ability to pool points

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 Ultimate Rewards®, 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 Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 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, real-time alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Benefits of the Freedom Unlimited Card

The Freedom Unlimited card is easily one of the best cards to have in your wallet, thanks to its earning potential.

With the Freedom Unlimited card, you can earn 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 5% cash-back on all Lyft rides through March 31, 2025. Earn 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases and an unlimited 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases.

There’s no limit to how much you can earn, which is great for those who spend a lot on credit cards. The rewards you earn will not expire for as long as you have the card.

When it comes to redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards for cash-back, there’s also no minimum points requirement. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. However, that may not be the best way to redeem your points. More on that below.

In addition to the earning structure, the Freedom Unlimited card provides 3 months of DoorDash DashPass (activate by December 31, 2024), and 3 free months of Instacart+ (enroll by July 31, 2024). Plus, you can earn up to $10 in statement credits each quarter through July 31, 2024, when making eligible Instacart purchases with your Freedom Unlimited card.

As great as the Freedom Unlimited card is, it also has some weak points. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Where the Freedom Unlimited Card Is Weakest

No single credit card has everything. Although the Freedom Unlimited card can provide a ton of value, especially in the first year, it does lack when it comes to overall travel rewards and overall perks.

Although the Freedom Unlimited card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, the points cannot be transferred to Chase’s travel partners. This is a huge loss as Chase’s hotel and airline transfer partners are the best way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points. However, you can make up for this deficiency by pairing the Freedom Unlimited card with another Chase card that offers points transfers.

The Freedom Unlimited card is not considered a travel rewards card on its own and comes with a 3% foreign transaction fee.

The 3 Best Cards To Pair With the Freedom Unlimited Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited Upgraded Points LLC
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

1. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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 top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

A top player in the high-end premium travel credit card space that earns 3x points on travel and dining while offering top luxury perks.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
60,000 points
$1,200
$550
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.
Excellent (740-850)

If you’re looking for an all-around excellent travel rewards card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the best options out there.

The card combines elite travel benefits and perks like airport lounge access, with excellent point earning and redemption options.  Plus it offers top-notch travel insurance protections to keep you covered whether you’re at home or on the road.

Don’t forget the $300 annual travel credit which really helps to reduce the annual fee!

Pros

  • 10x points on car rentals, hotels, and dining booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 10x points on Lyft purchases March 31, 2025
  • 10x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250 through March 31, 2025
  • 5x points on airfare booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3x points on all other travel and dining purchases; 1x point on all other purchases
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access
  • TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS credit
  • Access to Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection
  • Rental car elite status with National and Avis

Cons

  • $550 annual fee
  • Does not offer any sort of hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is Chase’s flagship travel rewards card. The card has some excellent earning rates, offers numerous travel benefits, allows for access to transfer partners, and has some intriguing benefits.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can earn 10x Ultimate Rewards points on hotels, dining, and car rentals and 5x points on flights purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You also earn 3x points on other travel and dining purchases. Additionally, the card earns 10x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025) and 10x points on select Peloton purchases over $250 (through March 31, 2025).

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card also comes with all the travel perks you’d imagine an ultra-premium to have. With the card, you have access to airport lounges worldwide. Priority Pass Select membership provides cardholders access to more than 1,400 airport lounges and restaurants worldwide. You can bring 2 guests into any eligible lounge with your membership.

Cardholders get additional complimentary benefits such as a statement credit for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck application fees once every 4 years, Lyft Pink membership, and DoorDash DashPass (including a monthly $5 DoorDash credit through December 31, 2024). Cardholders can also enroll in complimentary Avis Preferred Plus and National Emerald Club Executive rental car elite status.

As a Visa Infinite card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card provides some of the best travel insurance in the industry. The card provides trip delay/cancellation insurance, lost/delayed baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and much more.

Although the card comes with a substantial $550 annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card comes with a $300 annual travel credit to help offset it. Best of all, Chase has one of the broadest definitions of travel. The “travel” category includes everything you’d assume to be travel, like hotels and rental cars, but it also includes public transportation, tolls, and parking lots/garages.

With the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you have access to Chase’s incredible list of hotel and transfer partners, including World of Hyatt and Air Canada Aeroplan.

If you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, points have 50% more value. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.

Why This Card Pairs Well With the Freedom Unlimited Card

The Freedom Unlimited card is a great option for those looking to earn cash-back. However, the points earned can be worth a lot more when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

As mentioned above, the Freedom Unlimited card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points but does not allow for transfers to Chase’s hotel and airline transfer partners. However, when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can pool all of your Chase rewards and then transfer them to travel partners, which is generally the best way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Flexible points, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, are usually worth more when transferred compared to cash-back, which means you can significantly increase the value of your rewards. The cash-back earned can be converted to points at a 1:1 ratio (1.5% cash-back can become 1.5x points).

If you would rather use the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, your points can be combined into a single account. These points are worth 50% more when redeemed using the Chase Sapphire Reserve when compared to the Freedom Unlimited card.

Because the Freedom Unlimited card earns 1.5% cash-back on all purchases, it can be a great way to earn more points on purchases that aren’t part of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s bonus spending categories.

The optimal strategy would be to use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card for all travel purchases, including purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has no foreign transaction fee, so it can also be used for purchases outside of the U.S.

You could then use the Freedom Unlimited card for drugstores to earn 3% cash-back and 1.5% cash-back for all other purchases that don’t fall within a bonus category on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

Bottom Line:

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card is a premium travel rewards card that has great earning rates, offers benefits including lounge access, and has top-notch travel and purchase protections.

2. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

POPULAR FIRST CARD
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® 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 fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
60,000 points
$1,200
$95
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 Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros

  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
  • 3x points on dining purchases, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2x points on all other travel worldwide
  • $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ (activate by July 31, 2024), plus up to $15 in statement credits each quarter through July 2024
  • Excellent travel and car rental insurance
  • 10% annual bonus points
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs like United MileagePlus and World of Hyatt

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, and $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

If the high fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card is difficult to justify, we have another excellent option: the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is arguably the most popular travel rewards credit card on the market. The card is considered to be the best option for those wanting to earn a flexible rewards points currency without immediate travel plans.

Its bonus categories include some of the most common spending categories, which allow you to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases:

  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025) and 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $250 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 3x points on dining purchases, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2x points for all other travel worldwide

In addition to the earning structure, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with some great benefits and perks. You can receive a $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. The statement credit is very easy to use and effectively brings the annual fee of the card down to just $45. You also receive 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ (must activate by July 31, 2024), plus up to $15 in statement credits each quarter through July 2024.

Similar to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you have access to Chase’s incredible list of hotel and transfer partners with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. When redeeming through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, points have 25% more value. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.

Like other mid-tier travel rewards credit cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card comes with great travel insurance. You can be covered with trip delay/cancellation insurance, lost/delayed baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and more.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a lower annual fee of $95, making it an excellent option for those looking for a solid travel rewards credit card.

Why This Card Pairs Well With the Freedom Unlimited Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a workhorse when it comes to earning points on everyday purchases thanks to its bonus categories. By combining a high-earning everyday rewards card with a travel credit card, you can maximize your spending and the rewards you earn on every purchase. 

The best strategy would be to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred card on travel outside the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You could also use the card on dining purchases, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services to earn 3x points.

You could then use the Freedom Unlimited card for purchases at drugstores to earn 3% cash-back and 1.5% cash-back for all other purchases that are not in a bonus category for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Similarly to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, your Ultimate Rewards points are worth more in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. If you utilize the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, your points can be combined into a single account, and these points are worth 25% more.

When pairing the Freedom Unlimited Card with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can also transfer points to Chase’s travel partners. This allows you to maximize your points, as transferring to Chase’s transfer partners is generally the best way to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

3. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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 cash-back card offers a capped 3% at U.S. supermarkets, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 3% on U.S. online retail purchases!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Apply With Confidence

Know if you're approved with no credit score impact

If you're approved and accept this Card, your credit score may be impacted.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

This cash-back card offers a capped 3% at U.S. supermarkets, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 3% on U.S. online retail purchases!
Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
$200
$0
19.24%-29.99% Variable,0% on purchases for 15 months
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)

When it comes to cash-back credit cards, there are dozens of options to choose from. So what sets the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express apart from the rest?

This card is excellent at earning cash-back on your everyday purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. online retail purchases. So if you regularly spend money on everyday purchases, this could be the perfect card to add to your wallet.

Pros

  • 3% back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after.
  • 3% back on purchases at U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after.
  • 3% back on purchases on online retail purchases on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after.
  • Monthly credit towards The Disney Bundle
  • Monthly credit towards Home Chef

Cons

  • Rewards are not flexible and can only be redeemed for cash-back. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Balance Transfer is back! Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening. After that, 19.24% to 29.99% variable APR.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Everyday® Card. Enrollment required.
  • Enjoy up to $15 back per month when you purchase a Home Chef meal kit subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your enrolled Blue Cash Everyday® Card.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.24%-29.99% Variable,0% on purchases for 15 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Card Categories

Although the first 2 options presented are more geared toward those looking to earn travel rewards, let’s also take a look at a great cash-back card to pair with the Freedom Unlimited card.

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is another top-notch card option for those looking to earn cash-back on everyday spending. The card is excellent at earning cash-back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and even on online retail purchases.

The cash-back you earn comes in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout. However, there is a limit on how much cash-back you can earn.

With the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card, you can earn:

  • 3% back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after
  • 3% back on purchases at U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after
  • 3% back on purchases on U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after

In addition to the earning rates, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card comes with some extra benefits. The card comes with 2 credits (enrollment required):

  • $84 Disney Bundle Credit: Get a $7 monthly statement credit after using your Amex Blue Cash Everyday card to spend $9.99 or more each month on a subscription to The Disney Bundle, which is subject to auto-renewal.
  • $180 Home Chef Credit: Get up to $15 in statement credits back per month after you use your Amex Blue Cash Everyday card to purchase a Home Chef subscription, which is subject to auto-renewal.

Best of all, the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card provides all this value with a $0 annual fee (rates & fees).

Why This Card Pairs Well With the Freedom Unlimited Card

This credit card combination is best for those looking at a cash-back rewards system. With this 2-card setup, you could earn a significant amount of cash-back, as both cards have bonus categories with good earning rates.

To maximize this combination, you could use the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year in each category) to earn 3% cash-back.

You could then use the Freedom Unlimited card to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal and for Lyft rides to earn 5% cash-back.

Neither card has an annual fee, making this combination an excellent choice to earn rewards without having to out-earn an annual fee. However, both cards have foreign transaction fees (Amex Blue Cash Everyday card rates & fees) and are not great for spending outside the U.S.

Bottom Line:

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is an excellent no-annual-fee card for common spending categories, including U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.

Card Comparison

Comparing Cards by Bonus Category Earnings

Now that we have seen the potential of pairing credit cards with the Freedom Unlimited card let’s take a look at the earning rates on some common spending categories and which card is best to use.

The Freedom Unlimited card earns cash-back by itself. When paired with certain more premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards, points can be pooled together.

SCROLL FOR MORE
Bonus CategoryFreedom Unlimited CardChase Sapphire Reserve CardChase Sapphire Preferred CardAmex Blue Cash Everyday Card
Flights5% cash-back on Chase Travel, 1.5% otherwise5x points on Chase Travel, 3x otherwise 5x points on Chase Travel, 2x otherwise 1% cash-back
Hotels5% cash-back on Chase Travel, 1.5% otherwise10x points on Chase Travel, 3x otherwise 5x points on Chase Travel, 2x otherwise 1% cash-back
Rental Cars5% cash-back on Chase Travel, 1.5% otherwise10x points on Chase Travel, 3x otherwise 5x points on Chase Travel, 2x otherwise 1% cash-back
Dining1.5% cash-back10x points on Chase Travel, 3x otherwise 3x points1% cash-back
Grocery/Supermarkets1.5% cash-back1x points3x points online3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year)
Gas1.5% cash-back1x points1x points3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations (up to $6,000 per year)
Lyft5% cash-back (through March 31, 2025)10x points (through March 31, 2025)5x points (through March 31, 2025)1% cash-back
Online Shopping1.5% cash-back1x points1x points3% cash-back at U.S. online retailers (up to $6,000 per year)
Everything Else1.5% cash-back 1x points1x points1% cash-back

Comparing Cards by Welcome Offer and Annual Fee

Now that we know what card is best to use for some common spending categories, let’s also take a look at the current welcome offers and associated annual fees for each card that we covered.

SCROLL FOR MORE
CardWelcome OfferAnnual Fee
Freedom Unlimited CardINTRO 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!$0
Chase Sapphire Reserve CardEarn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.$550
Chase Sapphire Preferred CardEarn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.$95
Amex Blue Cash Everyday CardEarn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.$0

Final Thoughts

The Freedom Unlimited card is an excellent credit card for everyday spending. The card comes with an excellent earning structure and does not have an annual fee.

However, as good as good as the Freedom Unlimited card is, it comes with several drawbacks as well. Fortunately, the biggest drawback, the inability to transfer to Chase’s transfer partners, can be addressed when pairing the card with Chase’s more premium credit cards.

Pairing the right credit cards together is the best way to maximize spending and can earn you thousands of extra points and miles annually. Pairing the Freedom Unlimited card with 1 or more of the cards we’ve recommended can help do just that.

When it comes to pairing credit cards, it’s important to know what your spending habits are. This will make the decision of what cards to carry in your wallet significantly easier.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred card come with lounge access?

No, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card does not provide any lounge access.

What is the annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a $550 annual fee. However, the card comes with a $300 travel credit that can help offset the fee. The card also provides other credits, such as a monthly DoorDash credit and a Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck fee credit.

Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred card have foreign transaction fees?

No, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card does not have any foreign transaction fees.

If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, are your points worth more?

Yes, but only if you’re redeeming points through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Your points are worth 50% more when redeemed through the travel portal. For example, 50,000 points would be worth $750 towards travel.

Can I get both the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card?

No, Chase has a “1 Sapphire” rule that only allows you to have 1 Sapphire-branded card at a time. Additionally, you are only eligible for 1 Sapphire bonus every 48 months.

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About Ehsan Haque

Ehsan is an avid traveler who has traveled to 100 countries, diligently using points and miles to fund his journeys. Currently, he holds 32 active credit cards and earns over a million points and miles annually, primarily using them for luxury hotels and long-haul premium cabins.

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