Chase Freedom Unlimited® review: Flat-rate cash back

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In a Nutshell

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a flat-rate cash back credit card — you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Plus, there’s no annual fee. This makes the Chase Freedom Unlimited® a great choice for people who want to earn cash back.

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Pros Cons
Decent sign-up bonus Foreign transaction fee will cost you extra abroad
Flat 1.5% cash back rate means you earn cash back everywhere you shop Juggling a balance transfer with rewards can be a challenge
Low intro APR for purchases and balance transfers Fees might make it too expensive to transfer your balance
No annual fee

From our partner

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

From cardholders in the last year

See Details, Rates & Fees

4 things to know about the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

1. Competitive cash back earning rate

You’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, with no spending limits.

For a flat-rate cash back credit card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a competitive rate on every purchase you make.

You might have seen higher rates from other cash back credit cards, but they usually correspond to limited bonus categories or rotating categories that offer more cash back on only certain types of purchases. These cash back programs require you to do more work to track purchases, while the Chase Freedom Unlimited® makes it easy by eliminating the need to juggle categories and rates in your head when you’re out shopping.

2. There’s a sign-up bonus

You’ll earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening, which is pretty decent for a cash back card.

And here’s some perspective on the sign-up bonus: In order to earn $150 in cash back at the card’s normal 1.5% cash back rate, you’d have to spend $10,000. So the bonus is a pretty good deal.

3. No annual fee

Like many of the best cash back credit cards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® doesn’t charge an annual fee — so you don’t have that extra cost taking a bite out of the cash back you can earn.

4. Low intro APR

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® features an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after opening the account. After that, the APR for purchases and balance transfers climbs to a variable 16.49% - 25.24%.

And take note that if you transfer a balance with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® in the first 60 days your account is open, you’ll be hit with a balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5) of the transferred amount. Otherwise, you’ll pay a balance transfer fee of 5% (minimum $5) of the transferred amount.

Make sure you do the math before transferring your balance. After fees, will you still save on interest charges? If not, consider a balance transfer card without a balance transfer fee.

It’s important to keep in mind that it can be tough to manage a balance transfer on a rewards credit card. Getting a rewards card with a low intro APR might encourage you to spend more than you can afford in order to earn the most rewards possible. But this sort of thinking can put you on the fast track to credit card debt if you’re not careful. It can also make it much more difficult for you to pay off your balance before you get hit with interest charges.

Still, the rewards available on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can be helpful after you pay off your transferred balance. Just make sure you understand the risks of balance transfers before making the decision to use your card for purchases in addition to a balance transfer.

Other things to consider

Here are a couple of other card features to keep in mind.

  • You could earn up to $500 in referral bonuses. You’ll earn $100 cash back for every person you refer who is approved for the card (up to five each year).
  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited® might not be the best credit card to bring on your next international trip because it charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Understanding your points and redemption options

The points you earn from the Chase Freedom Unlimited® are worth 1 cent each.

The simplest way to redeem your points is through Chase Ultimate Rewards for cash back, travel or gift cards. You can also use them to pay for purchases you make on Amazon.com.

If you have another Chase card, you could also move your points to that account’s rewards balance to potentially get more value. If you transfer your points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, for example, and redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, they’ll be worth 50% more. Transferring your points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card and redeeming them for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards will make your points worth 25% more.

You can learn more about how this process works and other rewards options in our guide to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.

Who this card is good for

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® could be valuable for people who prefer simple cash back and redemption options. It’s nice to just swipe your card at the register instead of doing mental math to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

But if you’re willing to put in the effort, a cash back card with rotating categories could net you more cash back. And if you travel at all, you might be able to get more value out of a travel rewards card that offers higher rates in specific categories.

In the end, the best cash back card for you depends on how you spend your money and how much time you want to spend tracking rewards categories.

Not sure this card is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

If you’re not sold on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you might be interested in one of these other cash back credit cards.