Chase Freedom Unlimited Review: Incredible Rewards With No Annual Fee

Earn incredible cash back rewards with the potential for lucrative redemptions.
4 minute read | 6/25/19June 25, 2019

The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers cardholders a chance to accelerate their earnings during the first year, then earn a high, flat rewards rate after that.

In this Chase Freedom Unlimited 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

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Benefits

  • Earn 3% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000) in the first year
  • 0% Intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
  • No minimum to redeem cash back rewards
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • No bonus rewards categories
  • Has foreign transaction fee

Who should get this 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, 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.

That said, it may not be the best choice if you want a card with bonus rewards on categories where you spend a lot. Also, you’ll need good or excellent credit to get approved, which typically means a FICO score of 670 or higher.

Card basics

Annual Fee $0
Intro Bonus Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in the first year (up to $20,000 in spend)
Recommended Credit Score Excellent, Good
Intro APR 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
Foreign Transaction Fee 3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Top card benefits

  • Enticing welcome offer: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in the first year (up to $20,000 in spend). That’s tough to beat.
  • 0% introductory APR offer: You’ll get 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. If you need to finance a large purchase or pay down a high-interest balance from another card, this card will give you plenty of time to do so. Note, however, that there’s a balance transfer fee of Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Flexible redemption: While it’s a cashback credit card, you technically earn points, which you can use to redeem 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 for more redemption options.
  • Chances to earn more cash back: The Shop through Chase portal and Chase Offers program both allow cardholders 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.
  • No 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.

Earning and redeeming

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.

Best ways to earn

The card offers a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, so there’s no extra legwork to maximize your earning power. But keep in mind, though, that you’ll get double that on the first $20,000 you spend during the first year. So it’s important to use the card for everything you can to maximize that bonus.

If you reach the $20,000 mark during the first year, you’ll earn a total of $300 in bonus cash back. With many similar cards offering bonuses of $150 or $200 — some top cash back cards don’t have a bonus at all — this one is worth the extra effort.

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.

If you have one of the Chase Sapphire cards 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 airline or hotel partner.

Common questions

As you do your research for your next credit card, it’s important to learn as much as possible about each option. 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 the amount 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 travel credit card 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, each card’s features are nearly identical — the only difference is the rewards program. With the Chase Freedom, you can potentially earn a sign-up bonus, as well as 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent on rotating bonus categories each quarter you activate. All other purchases will net you 1% cash back. The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers flat-rate cash back rewards with no special bonus categories to opt into each quarter.

Other cards to consider

The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers incredible cash back value, but if you're still on the fence, you may want to consider the rotating bonus categories from the Chase Freedom or the flat-rate cash back rewards from the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Unlimited Cash Back

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Special Offer

Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in the first year (up to $20,000 in spend)

See how these cards compare:

Chase Freedom Card
Chase Freedom Card
  • $150 cash back welcome bonus
  • 5% rotating cash back in bonus categories
  • Cash back rewards never expire
  • No annual fee
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • $150 cash bonus welcome offer
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and transfers for 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fees

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