Chase Freedom Unlimited Review - Solid Cash Back Rewards for Those With Good Credit

If you’re looking for a simple cash back rewards credit card with impressive earning potential, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is an excellent option. This card earns up to 5% cash back on qualifying purchases and comes with a generous welcome bonus of $200. Best of all, the card earns a flat cash back rate of 1.5% and comes with no annual fee, ensuring that you’ll always earn rewards no matter what you buy or how much or little you spend.

What is the Chase Freedom Unlimited card?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a rewards credit card offered by Chase. This card is only available to borrowers with good to excellent credit and comes with an impressive cash back rewards program. The card earns 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drug store purchases, and a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on everything else.
The card also comes with a limited offer of 5% cash back on grocery purchases up to $12,000 in the first year. The card comes with a $200 welcome bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months, and there’s no annual fee.

How does Chase Freedom Unlimited work?

To apply for this card, you’ll need to navigate to the Chase website.
Chase Freedom 1
If you already have a Chase account, you can log in to apply faster. Otherwise, you can apply as a guest. Either way, you’ll need to provide personal information about yourself, including your name, address, social security number, and date of birth. You’ll also need to state your income and monthly rental or mortgage payments.
Chase Freedom 2
Once you’ve filled out all the relevant info, you can go ahead and submit your application. In some cases, you may be approved right away. In other cases, it may take a few weeks for Chase to review your application and get back to you with a decision. During the review process, you may receive a call from Chase to verify your identity. Once you’ve been approved, you’ll receive your card in the mail and can begin using it right away.

How much does Chase Freedom Unlimited cost?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is free to use and has no annual fee. That said, it does have a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74%. It also charges a 3% foreign transaction fee, a late fee of up to $40, and a cash advance fee of $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater. If you’re interested in transferring a balance, there’s a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3-5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Chase Freedom Unlimited features

This card comes with many great features that make it an attractive option for a cash back rewards credit card.

Cash back

This card earns up to 5% cash back on purchases, a competitive rate on par with the top tier of cash back rewards credit cards. In addition to high bonus rates, the card also features a high flat rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There’s no need to keep track of rotating categories or spending limits, making this a super simple rewards card to have in your wallet.

Low intro APR

The card comes with an introductory APR of 0% for the first 15 months on new purchases and balance transfers. After that, the card comes with a regular APR of 14.99% to 23.74%.

No annual fee

Unlike many top rewards credit cards, Chase Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee. This means that it’s an affordable cash back card even for borrowers on a budget. Since all purchases earn some amount of cash back, you’re guaranteed to come out ahead if you use this card for your shopping.

Welcome bonus

The card also features a welcome bonus of $200 when you spend $500 in the first three months. While not quite as generous as some other welcome bonuses, it’s super easy to hit the minimum spending threshold for this bonus. Cardholders only have to spend a little under $170 per month to qualify.

Safety features

The card comes with safety features including purchase protection, $0 fraud liability, extended warranty protection, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, car rental collision damage waiver, and travel and emergency assistance services.

Who is Chase Freedom Unlimited best for?

People who want to earn cash back. Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the best credit cards on offer for cash back. Cash back cards immediately provide value in the form of cold, hard cash, with no need to mess around with various point conversions or redemption options. They’re also a great fit for people who want to simplify their credit card habits while still earning competitive rewards.
People who want rewards for everyday spending. Chase Freedom Unlimited does reward purchases in certain bonus categories like groceries or dining with extra cash back. But where the card truly shines is the generous flat rate of 1.5%, which is among the most competitive on offer, especially when paired with additional bonuses.

Who shouldn’t use Chase Freedom Unlimited?

People with poor credit. Unfortunately, Chase Freedom Unlimited is only available to borrowers with good to excellent credit. It’s recommended that you have a credit score of 690 or higher to improve your chances of being accepted by the card issuer. If you’re not sure whether your creditworthiness is up to snuff, consider taking steps to boost your score before applying.
People who want travel rewards. One area where Chase Freedom Unlimited does fall slightly short is when it comes to travel rewards. Unlike sister Chase cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve, this card doesn’t feature luxury travel perks like free hotel or airline credits, TSA precheck, or luxury airport lounge access. If you travel frequently, you may want to consider a card that comes with more travel perks and benefits.

Pros & cons

Pros
  • Cash back rewards. The card earns up to 5% cash back rewards, with a flat base rate of 1.5%.
  • Intro APR. The Chase Freedom Unlimited comes with a 0% interest rate intro APR for the first 15 months.
  • Welcome bonus. The card earns a welcome bonus of $200 when you spend $500 in the first three months of account opening.
Cons
  • Limited travel perks. Chase Freedom Unlimited has fewer travel perks and benefits than other similar rewards cards.
  • Foreign transaction fee: There’s a foreign transaction fee of 3%, which means this card isn’t a great pick for frequent international travelers.
  • Grocery rewards end after a year. The card only earns 5% cash back on groceries for the first year.

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. competitors

BankRewardsAnnual FeeWelcome Bonus
Chase Freedom Unlimited5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5% cash back on groceries for the first year, 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, 1.5% cash back on everything else$0$200
Citi Double Cash2% cash back$0None
Capital One Quicksilver Rewards1.5% cash back$0$200
American Express Blue Cash Preferred6% cash back on groceries and streaming, 3% cash back on transit and gas, 1% cash back on everything else$95$200

Citi Double Cash

The Citi Double Cash card is another great cash back rewards credit card, with a flat cash back rate of 1% to 2% when you make a purchase and an additional 1% when you pay it off. This card could net your even more earnings than Chase Freedom Unlimited, depending on your spending patterns. For instance, if you don’t have a lot of spending on groceries, dining, or drug stores, the higher flat-rate could boost your earning potential.

Capital One Quicksilver Rewards

The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards card earns a flat rewards rate of 1.5% on all purchases. This rate is the same as Chase Freedom Unlimited’s flat rate. The card also comes with a $200 cash bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months. Unlike Chase Freedom Unlimited, this card has no foreign transaction fee, making it worth considering if you often travel internationally.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred

Like Chase Freedom Unlimited, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred earns cash back in a range of different spending categories. The card earns 6% cash back on groceries and streaming, 3% cash back on transit and gas, and 1% cash back on everything else. If you spend a lot on groceries, streaming, and transit, this card might make more sense for you.

FAQs about the Chase Freedom Unlimited

Do cash back rewards expire?
No, cash back rewards never expire. As long as your account with Chase is still open, you’ll be able to access your rewards.
Can you have multiple Chase credit cards?
Yes, you can have multiple credit cards from Chase at one time. Many borrowers pair the Chase Freedom Unlimited with complimentary cards, such as the Chase Freedom Flex or the Chase Sapphire Preferred, to maximize their rewards.
How do you redeem cash back?
Redeeming cash back rewards is easy in the form of a cash back statement credit or direct deposit, points at Amazon, gift cards, or travel reservations using Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

The bottom line

If you’re looking for a lucrative but straightforward rewards structure, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card. With a competitive base rate of 1.5% cash back and bonus rewards of up to 5%, this card comes with plenty of ways to earn. Plus, with a $200 sign-up bonus and no annual fee, you’re practically guaranteed to come out ahead. If you travel frequently and are looking for travel-related perks, this card might not be the best option out there. But if you’re looking for a solid cash rewards credit card, it’s hard to beat what the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers.
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