Updated January 16, 2018
Cardholders who stay with the same card issuer can reap generous rewards, which is the case with Chase Freedom Unlimited®. But the card is also a good option for cardholders new to the Chase brand. We Fools like this credit card for its generous, flexible cash-back rewards rate, $0 annual fee, and lengthy 0% intro APR offer.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for loyal Chase cardholders, as the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card can multiply rewards when used in concert with either the Chase Freedom® card or Chase Sapphire Preferred®. We’ll explain why in just a moment, but first let’s dive in to learn more about Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- $150 new cardholder bonus
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back
- $0 annual fee
- 0% intro APR
- Higher than average balance-transfer fee
- No free FICO® Score
|Bonus Offer||$150 after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.|
Intro: 0%, 15 months
Reg: 16.24% - 24.99%, variable
|Balance Transfer APR||
Intro: 0%, 15 months
Reg: 16.24% - 24.99%, variable
- Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase – it's automatic
- Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- No minimum to redeem for cash back
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
- No annual fee
What we like about Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- $150 cash sign-up bonus – The hurdle for grabbing the $150 new cardholder bonus is rather low. Simply spend at least $500 in the first three months from account opening to unlock your $150 cash bonus.
- 1.5% cash-back rate – 1.5% cash back is common among standard cash-back cards, but we like that Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers unlimited cash back, which doesn’t expire as long as a cardholder’s account is open.
- $0 annual fee – Chase smartly ditched annual fees with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card. With thousands of credit cards available, card issuers must be competitive and one of the best ways to do so is by reducing fees.
- 0% intro APR – Both new purchases and balance transfers benefit from a 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles, one of the longer offers out there for cash-back cards.
What could be improved for Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Balance-transfer fee – Balance transfers incur a fee of 5% or $5, whichever is greater. This is a little higher than other cash-back cards that charge the greater of 3% or $5.
- Free FICO® Score – It’s become practically standard for credit card issuers to offer free access to your FICO® Score, which is a valuable tool to help track and build your credit history.
How to best use Chase Freedom Unlimited®Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a great no-hassles cash-back card by itself, but the real value is for loyal Chase cardholders carrying two Chase cards. Rewards earned on Chase Freedom Unlimited® can be transferred to a Chase Freedom® card (includes 5% bonus cash-back categories) or a Chase Sapphire Preferred® card (which increases travel redemption value for redemptions through Chase’s travel portal).
- Earn more cash back along with Chase Freedom® – Chase Freedom® earns 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories. Cardholders can accumulate cash back faster by using Chase Freedom® for 5% bonus categories (versus 1.5% with Chase Freedom Unlimited®) and Chase Freedom Unlimited® for other purchases (1.5% cash back versus 1% for Chase Freedom®). Cash-back rewards can be combined and transferred to either card as well. Read our full Chase Freedom® review to learn more.
- Get better travel rewards by transferring cash back to Chase Sapphire Preferred® – Cash back earned on Chase Freedom Unlimited® can be transferred to a Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card and redeemed for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards® points worth $0.0125 cents per point. Tally it all up, and cash back earned at a 1.5% rate, then transferred to Chase Sapphire Preferred® and redeemed through Chase’s travel portal, amounts to a fully baked rewards rate of 1.875%. Chase Sapphire Preferred® does charge a $95 annual fee (waived the first year). Read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred® review to learn why we think it’s one of the best travel credit cards.
How to earn up to 5.25% cash backChase Freedom Unlimited® falls short in bonus cash-back categories, whereas Bank of America® Cash Rewards earns 3% bonus cash back for gas and 2% at grocery stores and warehouse clubs (on the first $2,500 of combined spending quarterly), plus 1% on all other purchases. BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ also includes a $0 annual fee, and packs in a lucrative $150 cash rewards bonus offer after spending $500 on purchases within 90 days, on top of giving existing Bank of America banking clients up to 75% bonus rewards for Preferred Rewards members, which works out to a sky-high rate of up 5.25% cash back (albeit capped) on gas at the highest tier. See our full Bank of America® Cash Rewards review to uncover why we think it’s one of the best credit cards of 2017.