Chase Freedom Unlimited Review

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Updated on Tuesday, August 7, 2018

It’s time to get a new credit card and you’ve decided that getting cash back is what’s most important to you. If you’re interested in a simple, no-fee card that doesn’t make you jump through hoops to earn your cash back, and you’re not too concerned about bells and whistles, then you should consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The information related to Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Regular Purchase APR
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR for 15 months
Intro BT APR
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

What we like about this card

Unlimited cashback opportunities. The ability to earn unlimited cash back on purchases can be a benefit if you use the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card regularly. Cardholders can earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases. Your rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is convenient because although the cashback rate is lower than some other cards, it doesn’t have categories that change every quarter, nor do you have to sign up to get your cash back.

Combine cards for more rewards. If you already have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, you can combine those points with what you earn on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. They can all be used at the Chase Ultimate Rewards® website, where you can earn 50% more value with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or 25% more value with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card when you redeem points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises. You can also transfer those points 1:1 to four hotel or nine airline partners.

If you just want straight cash back, you can get it as an account statement credit or an electronic deposit into an eligible U.S.-based checking or savings account. If you close your Chase Freedom Unlimited® account, you have 30 days to use your cash back.

A few benefits to consider. Card benefits include purchase protection that covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account; an extended warranty on an eligible U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less, by another year; and auto rental coverage that includes theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad. Terms & Conditions apply.

What we don’t like about this card

The foreign transaction fee. If you travel outside of the country regularly, the 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars foreign transaction fee charged on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can really add up.

Lower cash back in popular categories. If you spend more money in specific categories, such as travel or dining, there are other cards that offer larger cashback rewards.

Your points aren’t as valuable in the Ultimate Rewards Portal as some other Chase cards. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, every 100 points are only worth $1 in the portal.

You can’t transfer points to airline or hotel loyalty programs. Unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, your Chase Freedom Unlimited® card points can’t be transferred to Chase’s nine airline and four hotel loyalty program partners.

Redeeming points

Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases. Those rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open.

Convert your cash into points that can be used on the Chase Ultimate Rewards website for travel, gift cards and merchandise.

After linking the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to your Amazon.com account, you can instantly redeem your cashback rewards to pay for all or part of your eligible orders at checkout, which includes tax and shipping costs.

Other cards to consider

If you’re looking for alternatives to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, here are four other cards you might want to consider.

There are more benefits with The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, including roadside assistance, collision damage coverage for rental cars, 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial or other emergency coordination and assistance services and travel accident insurance. You also get an extended warranty on eligible purchases and purchase protection, limited to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year. Terms apply.

Under The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express’s Membership Rewards program, you can use your points with more than 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise and entertainment. You can also transfer your points to 16 airline and three hotel loyalty programs. Conditions may apply.

Book your travel via Membership Rewards and you don’t have to worry about blackout dates or seat restrictions. And you can use points for all or part of your flight, hotel, vacation package or cruise. Your points don’t expire as long as the card is active, but there’s a 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. foreign transaction fee.

Chase Freedom®

The information related to Chase Freedom® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Chase Freedom®

Regular Purchase APR
14.99% to 23.74% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. The current category from April – June 2020 offers 5% cash back at Grocery Stores, Fitness Club & Gym Memberships & Select Streaming Services. Earn $100 — up to $500 a year — when you refer friends and they are approved for the card. And cashback rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open. The benefits with the Chase Freedom® aren’t quite as robust as the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, but you still get purchase protection for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, and extended warranty protection, which adds another year to an eligible U.S. manufacturer’s warranty. Terms apply.

There’s no minimum to redeem for cash back with the Chase Freedom®. You can get it as a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. If you link your card to your Amazon.com account, you can instantly redeem your cashback rewards to pay for all or part of your eligible orders at checkout, including tax and shipping.

Like other Chase cards, having the Chase Freedom® card gives you access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards website, where you can do things like book travel.

But you will pay 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars as a foreign transaction fee with the card.

This card allows you to earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. The 5% is limited to $1500 spending per quarter, 1% after that. Activation is required. You can redeem your rewards for cash at any time and your cash back never expires. Unlike the other cards in this category, the Discover it® Cash Back is not big on benefits, except for a free FICO® credit score.

 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Annual fee
$95
Rewards Rate
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.
Credit required
good-credit

Good/Excellent

When it comes to benefits and benefits, this card is more robust than the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows you to maximize your points with 25% more value when you redeem them for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website. You can do 1:1 transfers of your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card points over to nine airline or four hotel loyalty programs. There’s a $0 foreign exchange fee.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has all the benefits you would expect in its category, including trip cancellation/interruption insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement and travel and emergency assistance services. You also get purchase protection and extended warranty protection. And you can earn 10,000 points for each friend you recommend for the card who are approved, up to five friends.

The bottom line

If you want a simple card where you don’t have to register for cashback rewards and don’t need a lot of benefits, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the one for you. There are alternatives that have more benefits and better cash back, but you may not want to pay an annual fee to get them. There are no caps on the cash you can get back and the 1.5%, while less than other cards, covers everything — and you don’t have to register to get it.

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

Chase Freedom®

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Annual Fee

$0

$0

$0

$95

Purchase Intro APR

0% Intro APR for 15 months

0% for 15 Months

0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

0% for 15 Months

0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months

N/A

Balance Transfer Fee

Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

$0 balance transfer fee.

3% when you transfer during the first 60 days of account opening, with a minimum of $5

Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Regular Purchase APR

14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR

12.99% - 23.99% variable APR

14.99% to 23.74% Variable APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

Rewards

Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.

2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases.

Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

2X points on travel and dining at restaurants, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide.

Sign-Up Bonus

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.

Earn a $200 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Foreign Transaction Fee

3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

$0

To see rates & fees for The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, please click here.

The information related to Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

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