Review: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card

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Review: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card


There are plenty of cash back cards out there, and now Chase is adding one more to the mix: the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

The card might be particularly attractive to current Chase cardholders who have a card that earns Ultimate Rewards® points, which would allow them to convert cash back earned from the Chase Freedom Unlimited® into points. These points can then be transferred to participating travel partners or redeemed for airfare, car rentals and more.

You can apply online with Credit Karma, in-person at Chase branches, over the phone with Chase or by responding to direct mail.

We did some research to see what it offers and how it differs from the Chase Freedom®, as well as other similar cash back credit cards out there.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® features

  • $150 signup bonus. When you open a Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, you get a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
  • Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back. With this card, you automatically earn a flat 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. You can redeem your cash back rewards at any time and for any amount. They also don't expire as long as your account is open. If you also own a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards® points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can convert the cash back rewards you earn from your Chase Freedom Unlimited® into points, which gives you more redemption options.
  • No annual fee. Some cash back cards may only be worth having if you earn more in cash back than you pay for the annual fee. However, with no annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® could be a great card to have, regardless of how little or much you end up using it.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Chase Freedom®?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a nice addition to the company's family of rewards cards, which includes the Chase Freedom®. Both the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom® are great cash back credit cards. However, in some instances, you might be better off with one over the other:

  • If you don't use the Chase Freedom® rotating categories, you might want to lean toward Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Chase Freedom® shines if you opt into and take advantage of its rotating categories every quarter, which offer 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases made in those categories (as long as you activate each quarter). If you find that your purchases don't fall into those categories or that you're just forgetting to opt in every quarter, then the 1.5 percent cash back from Chase Freedom Unlimited® might be better suited for you.
  • If you regularly use the Chase Freedom® rotating categories, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited® may not be as attractive. The rotating categories may include grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants. Depending on how much and where you spend, the Chase Freedom® could earn you more cash back than the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
  • If you have an Ultimate Rewards® points-earning card, both the Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Unlimited® could be a great companion. Because both of these cards have no annual fee, it might be good to have both on hand so you can responsibly take advantage of the 1.5 percent cash back and the 5 percent cash back on rotating categories.

Other cash back credit cards

With lots of other cash back cards out there, we rounded up some of the ones that are most comparable to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

chase freedom unlimited review table

If you're looking to get the most cash back with no frills, the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers the highest potential cash back percentage out of these cards if you pay your balance every month, could be a good choice. You could also consider the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®, which rewards you for redeeming your cash back.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® offer mostly similar rewards, so if you don't have an Ultimate Rewards® points-earning card to pair with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, either card could work for you.

Bottom line

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a straightforward, no-frills cash back card that has benefits comparable to the most popular cashback cards. It also offers a higher everyday cash back rate than the Chase Freedom®.

About the author: Felicia Chen is a Communications Assistant at Credit Karma. When she isn't supporting the communications team, she can be found exploring and eating her way through the city, photographing her adventures and crossing things off her bucket list. Tweet her at @flcchn!

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This marks the end of earning 1 point per dollar. With this card, there is no excuse to still be earning a point per dollar (Citi Double Cash is a cash back card).

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