The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers new cardholders a generous rewards rate for everyday purchases. There are no categories you have to remember to sign up for, nor is there a limit on the amount of cash back you can earn.
In this Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card review, you’ll learn about both the benefits and the drawbacks of the card and why you should consider adding it to your wallet.
Unlimited Cash Back
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
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
- We think the Chase Freedom Unlimited makes sense if you want $0-annual-fee card with a simple rewards rate that earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
You can earn 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.
You can also take advantage of multiple intro APR offers.
Who should get the Chase Freedom Unlimited card?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a solid choice if you want to earn a high cash back rewards rate but don’t want to deal with an annual fee. It’s also an excellent choice to use in tandem with a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Chase allows you to transfer points earned between accounts so you can transfer your rewards from the Chase Freedom Unlimited to one of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business Preferred to gain access to better redemption options. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is also part of the Chase trifecta that helps you maximize earnings and redemptions by strategically using three Chase credit cards together to take advantage of this transfer of rewards.
That said, it may not be the best choice if you want a card with different bonus categories that better match your spending. Also, you’ll need a good or excellent credit score to get approved, which typically means a FICO score of 670 or higher.
|Card type||Cash back|
|Credit card issuer||Chase|
|Credit card network||Visa|
|Welcome 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|
|Rewards rate||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|
|Recommended credit score||Excellent, Good|
|Intro APR||0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 20.49% - 29.24% Variable APR
0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months, then 20.49% - 29.24% Variable APR
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars|
Chase Freedom Unlimited benefits and perks
- Rewarding welcome bonus: 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% introductory APR offers: You’ll get 0% intro APR for 15 months on new purchases (then 20.49% - 29.24% Variable APR). You’ll also get 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers (then 20.49% - 29.24% Variable). There is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days. If you need to finance a large purchase or save on high-interest debt via a balance transfer, this card will give you plenty of time to do so. After that, your interest rate will increase to the regular APR.
- Bonus cashback rate in useful spending categories: The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 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.
- Flexible redemption options: You might be surprised to discover the Freedom Unlimited isn't just a cash card, but also a travel card. With its rewards structure, you technically earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which are a popular travel rewards currency. You can redeem points for cash back as a statement credit or direct deposit, gift cards, travel, or shopping on Amazon.com. You can also transfer points to another Ultimate Rewards-earning card.
- Lyft and DoorDash perks: You can earn 5% total cash back on Lyft rides. You'll also get a free 3-month membership to DoorDash's DashPass program, which offers reduced fees on eligible food delivery orders of $12 or more. After that initial period ends, you'll be automatically enrolled in DashPass for the next 9 months at a 50% discount (the normal membership is $9.99 a month).
- Instacart benefits: Receive three free months of Instacart+ and $10 per quarter in statement credits toward Instacart purchases. You must join Instacart+ with your eligible card to receive these benefits.
- Chances to earn more cash back: The Shop through Chase portal and Chase Offers program both allow cardmembers to multiply the cash back they earn on certain purchases. Shop through Chase offers up to 15% extra cash back, and Chase Offers gives you statement credits when you activate an offer and redeem it with your card.
- $0 annual fee: There’s nothing inherently wrong with credit cards that have an annual fee. But with this one, you don’t have to worry about whether you’re getting enough value each year to make up for its yearly cost.
- Purchase protection: This credit card offers both purchase protection and extended warranty protection on eligible purchases.
- Trip cancellation/Interruption insurance: This coverage could reimburse you for up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip if your trip is canceled, you’re too sick to go, there are severe weather conditions, and other situations. The trip must have been charged to your card.
- Freedom Unlimited authorized user: The primary cardholder can add an authorized user account as part of the Freedom Unlimited account services and features. This can help a trusted family member have their own credit card account to help build positive credit history on their credit report. You typically have to provide a date of birth for the authorized user, though there's technically no minimum age requirement.
- Credit Journey: Freedom Unlimited cardholders can access Credit Journey, a free tool for checking your credit score and receiving alerts about activity on your credit report. This could be useful whether you're a beginner or a veteran with credit scores and reports.
Drawbacks to the Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Foreign transaction fee: If you travel abroad often, you may want to make your international purchases with a different card. This one comes with a 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars foreign transaction fee.
- Limited bonus categories: There are a few spending categories available on the Freedom Unlimited, but you won't earn any bonus points at gas stations or grocery stores.
Earning cash back with the Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards program is relatively straightforward, making it easy to know how to maximize your rewards. And depending on how savvy you are with redemptions, you could get more than the standard value the card offers.
Potential earnings in years one and two
Here's a look at how your cash back can add up with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. To calculate these values, we used a valuation of 1 cent per Ultimate Rewards point.
Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.
Year one earnings: $732
Year two earnings: $732
These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which takes a look at points earned via spending, the welcome offer, and the annual fee. If you take advantage of the special earnings in year one, then you could earn even more with this card.
Best ways to earn
|Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®||5%|
|Drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service||3%|
|All other purchases||1.5%|
Given the base earnings rate plus the array of bonus categories, this card offers great rewards potential on almost every purchase you make, so there’s no extra legwork to maximize your earning power.
Maximizing your redemptions
When redeeming for cash back, gift cards, or travel, each point is worth one cent apiece, which is fairly standard. If you use rewards to shop on Amazon.com, however, they’re worth only 0.8 cents apiece.
Some Chase credit cards offer a bonus on travel redemptions in the Ultimate Rewards portal. If you have either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve, or the Ink Business Preferred, you can transfer your points from the Chase Freedom Unlimited to one of these cards to get 25% or 50% more on travel redemptions. You could potentially get even more with point transfers to a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner.
You can see how the Chase Freedom Unlimited pairs well with one of the Chase Sapphire cards by comparing the two directly. When placed side-by-side, the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Sapphire Preferred comparison highlights that each card has its own strengths. By utilizing both cards, you can maximize their benefits.
Chase Freedom Unlimited FAQs
As you do your research for your next credit card, it’s important to learn as much as possible about each option to find the best card for your wallet. Here are some common questions we found about the Chase Freedom Unlimited, along with their answers.
Does the Chase Freedom Unlimited have a foreign transaction fee?
Yes, the card charges a 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars fee on foreign purchases, so it’s not the best choice to take on a vacation abroad. If you’re planning such a trip, consider a top travel credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or The Platinum Card® from American Express instead.
What’s the credit limit for Chase Freedom Unlimited?
There’s no set credit limit for the card. Rather, your credit limit will be determined by a number of factors, including your creditworthiness, income, other debt, and more. Unfortunately, you won’t know what your credit limit is until after you apply and get approved.
What’s the difference between Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited?
For the most part, both Chase cards' features are nearly identical — the difference is the rewards program. With the Chase Freedom, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent on rotating categories each quarter you activate. (Editor's note: the Chase Freedom is no longer available.)
The Chase Freedom Unlimited does not offer a rotating category, but with it you can earn 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. Additionally, the Freedom Unlimited's 1.5% base rewards rate on all other purchases is higher than the Freedom's 1% on all other purchases.
You can compare the Chase Freedom vs. Freedom Unlimited directly and see which is the best fit for you.
Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited hard to get?
In order to get approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you'll need a good to excellent credit score, which typically means a FICO score of 670 or higher.
Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited a good credit card?
The Freedom Unlimited is a great card for earning rewards on your regular purchases. With this card, you can earn 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, which makes it a popular option among cashback cards.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is also one of the best cards for adding an authorized user at no cost. This can also be a great credit card for teens to learn good financial habits, as there is no age requirement for authorized users.
Other cards to consider
The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card offers incredible cashback value and is often considered one of the best cash back cards available. But if you're still on the fence, you may want to consider the rotating bonus categories from the Chase Freedom Flex℠ or the flat-rate cash rewards from the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.
The Chase Freedom Flex offers 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories you activate (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service); and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can directly compare the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex cards and see if one – or maybe both – best fits your needs.
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day; and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply) with the added bonus of no foreign transaction fee. By comparing the different rewards of the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver cards, you can determine which better fits your spending habits.
Unlimited Cash Back
See how these cards compare:
Chase Freedom Flex℠
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- Up to 5% cash back on spending
- Perks from Lyft, DoorDash, and more
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
- No annual fee
- 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 19.99% - 29.99% (variable) APR; 3% fee for the first 15 months. No fee for amounts transferred at the Transfer APR
- 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
- Rates and fees