Chase Freedom Unlimited Review: Earn 1.5% Cash Back on Everything
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is an easy-to-use credit card that earns cash back at a flat rate. That cash back can be worth even more when you transfer your points to a premium Ultimate Rewards card and redeem toward travel. Even if you don’t get another Chase card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% cash back on every purchase is a good deal. Check out our full review to see if it’s the right card for you.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Card Quick Review
Here are the highlights of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card:
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Sign-Up Bonus: $0
- 1.5% cash back on every purchase
- Convert cash back into valuable Ultimate Rewards points
- Rewards never expire
- 0% intro APR
- Purchase protection
- Extended warranty
- If you owe less than $25, the full statement balance
- If you owe at least $25, the minimum payment will be the larger of:
- 1% of the new balance plus interest charges and late fees
- Up to $39 for late payments
- Up to $39 for returned payments
Why Apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card
There are a few reasons to consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.
You want an easy-to-use, cash-back card
There are two main types of cash-back credit cards: flat-rate cards and bonus category cards.
Bonus category cards offer a low cash-back rate on most purchases, but a higher rate on purchases in specific categories, like dining or groceries. This means if you have multiple cards, you have to remember which earns the highest rewards based on where you’re shopping or spending.
Flat-rate cards offer the same rewards everywhere. As a flat-rate card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is easy to use, and works well as the only card in your wallet.
You have a Chase Ultimate Rewards card and want to stack rewards
While the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a cash-back card, it actually earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If the Chase Freedom Unlimited is your lone Chase card, then you can only redeem your points for cash back. But if you have one of Chase’s premium cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer the cash back you earn on the Chase Freedom Unlimited to those cards. That opens up even more valuable travel redemptions, and gives the Chase Freedom Unlimited an effective earning rate as high as 2.25%.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Card: Drawbacks and Downsides
Like any credit card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has some drawbacks.
Not the highest flat rate on the market
That 1.5% cash back on every purchase is a good deal, but it isn’t the highest cash-back rate of cash back out there. Many other cards offer 1.5% cash back, so you’ll need some reason to pick the Chase Freedom Unlimited over those. Some cards even earn 2% cash back or more. For example, the Citi Double Cash offers 2% cash back on every purchase, and the Alliant Visa Signature Card pays 2.5% cash back.
Few premium perks
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card offers standard credit card perks like purchase protection and extended warranty. It doesn’t offer premium perks like travel credits or trip delay insurance. It also charges a hefty foreign transaction fee, making it a poor choice for people who travel on a regular basis, unless you pair it with one of Chase’s travel cards.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Card Alternatives
If you’re not quite sold on the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, consider these alternatives.
Citi® Double Cash Card
If you want a fee-free credit card that offers higher flat-rate rewards, apply for the Citi® Double Cash Card. This card offers the highest flat-rate rewards of any credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee. You’ll earn 1% cash back on every purchase, and an additional 1% cash back on every payment. That means you’ll earn an effective 2% cash back. There are no categories to remember, and no fees to pay. It’s a great card for piling up cash back without any further thought.
Chase Freedom Card
If you want a credit card that offers higher rewards in rotating categories, consider the Chase Freedom. This card offers just 1% cash back on most purchases, but 5% cash back on bonus categories. The categories change every three months, so even if you don’t spend much in the current bonus categories, you’re bound to find one that matches your spending sooner or later. Plus, you can combine the bonus rewards you earn on the Chase Freedom with the increased value you get through Chase’s premium Ultimate Rewards cards, just like you can with the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Card FAQs
Here are answers to a few common questions that come up with the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
What’s the difference between the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Freedom?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a flat-rate, cash-back card that earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase. The Chase Freedom Card pays 1% cash back on most purchases, but 5% on purchases in its rotating bonus categories. Despite similar names, their earning structures are quite different.
What is the credit limit for the Chase Freedom Unlimited?
Well-qualified applicants may receive credit limits of $10,000, $20,000 or more. More commonly, the card offers a credit limit between $3,000 and $5,000, though lower limits are possible.
Does Chase automatically increase your credit limit?
Some card issuers will automatically increase your credit limit after you’ve been with them for a while, but Chase doesn’t. If you want to increase the credit limit of your Chase Freedom Unlimited, you’ll have to request it.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card if you pair it with another Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points. On its own, its 1.5% cash back is solid, but not the best on the market. But if you like banking with Chase, and you pair the Chase Freedom Unlimited with a premium card, you’ll have a winning combination.