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Chase Freedom Unlimited Review: Big Cash Back and an Innovative Bonus

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a solid cash back credit card that's perfect for a one-card wallet. It packs in a robust program, has a potentially big sign-up bonus, doesn't charge an annual fee, and somehow also packs in a long 0% intro APR offer. Find out if it's right for you and how to get approved in our Chase Freedom Unlimited® review.

  • This card includes a lineup of features that makes it a great option for one-card-wallet simplicity. The unlimited cash back makes it easy to earn rewards. The sign-up bonus and long 0% intro APR offer are the cherries on top.

    • Innovative sign-up bonus
    • Travel rewards
    • Robust rewards program
    • Great intro APR
    • No annual fee
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • INTRO 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!
    • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
    • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 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.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
    • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49% - 25.24%.
    • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
    • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

Full Chase Freedom Unlimited review

Top perks

Sign-up bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® allows you to earn an additional 1.5% cash back on purchases in the first year up to $20,000. This perk allows you to earn up to $300 cash back. This is a potentially rich credit card sign-up bonus. But it's worth noting that how it's structured is different from the competition. Many credit cards offer a specific bonus amount when spending a minimum amount over a specified period, such as earn $100 for spending $500 within three months. So, your mileage may vary with Chase Freedom Unlimited®'s sign-up bonus, depending on your planned card spending.

Cash back program

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has a lucrative cash back program that is outlined below:

  • 5% back on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% back for restaurants and at drugstores
  • 1.5% back on other eligible purchases

All said, the cards robust cash back program competes with the best cash back cards. Many times, the rewards lead the pack.

No annual fee

If you're trying to avoid as many credit card fees as possible, this card is a good choice. Because Chase Freedom Unlimited® doesn't charge an annual fee, it offers plenty of value whether you're a big spender or you use your credit card sparingly.

Our list of the best no annual fee credit cards is also worth a look if you're interested in avoiding this fee.

0% intro APR

The card includes a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for an impressive 15 months.

Other benefits

  • No minimum redemptions: You can redeem as little as $0.01 in cash back for a statement credit on your credit card bill. Some rewards credit cards require you to wait until you've hit a minimum amount, such as $25, before you can redeem your cash back.

Read more: Best Credit Cards

What could be improved

Foreign transaction fee

The Chase Freedom Unlimited®'s foreign transaction fee is 3%. You'll need to check out different travel credit cards if you plan to explore the world or make any orders from international merchants.

Compared to other top credit cards

  • This card: Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • More 0% intro APR options: Discover it® Balance Transfer (the go-to variable rates apply after the intro period)
  • Easier to qualify for: Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
As of Aug. 04, 2022
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Chase Freedom Unlimited® Discover it® Balance Transfer Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Good/Excellent (670-850) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Fair (300-669) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Up to $300 cash back

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Cashback Match

Welcome Offer:

N/A

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1.5% - 5% cash back

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1% - 5% Cashback

Rewards Program:

1.5% cash back

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0%, 15 months

Balance Transfers: 0%, 15 months

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0% Intro APR, 6 months

Balance Transfers: 0% Intro APR, 18 months

Intro APR:

Purchases: N/A

Balance Transfers: N/A

Regular APR:

16.49% - 25.24% Variable

Regular APR:

13.49% - 24.49% Variable APR

Regular APR:

26.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$39

Highlights:

  • INTRO 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!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 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.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49% - 25.24%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

Highlights:

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Every $1 you earn in cash back is $1 you can redeem.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

Highlights:

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or limits to how much you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account. It's that simple
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set
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Chase Freedom Unlimited credit score

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is designed for people with good credit and better, with a FICO® Score of at least 670. The card will be hard to get with a much lower credit score.

That's not to say applicants with lower scores can't secure approval. In fact, some people have reported approval with a score in the low to mid-600s. Credit scores are heavily weighted in the approval decision, but the reality is that other factors also play a role.

Another consideration before you apply is the number of credit cards you've opened in the previous 24 months. If you've opened too many, Chase's 5/24 rule could lead to an automatic rejection.

Related: What credit score do I need for a Chase credit card?

TIP

How to increase your Chase rewards

Chase's credit cards are popular, and there's no overlooking the fact that it's partly because you can combine Chase Cards and double your Ultimate Rewards points. This strategy requires carrying two Chase credit cards, typically a combination of a cash back card and a travel card. By placing certain category purchases on the card that has a higher rewards rate, cardholders can optimize rewards earned.

Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Chase Freedom Flex

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers a similar deep bench of perks to its close sibling. The main difference between the two offers is the Chase Freedom Flex℠ also earns 5% cash back in rotating categories you activate quarterly (capped on up to $1,500 of spending) and 1% back on other purchases. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® doesn't have those rotating bonus categories, but it has a higher cash back rate of 1.5% on all non-bonus spending and a different sign-up bonus structure.

Otherwise, the cards are close twins with a $0 annual fee and a 0% intro APR offers. Cardholders who can make the most of the quarterly bonus cash back categories will earn more with the Chase Freedom Flex℠, so it's worth crunching your budget numbers to nail down the right option.

For more information, check on this guide on Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex card benefits.

This credit card is right for you if:

If you want to stick to a one-card wallet, Chase Freedom Unlimited® can earn you high cash back rates on a most of your spending. If you have big purchases you want to pay off over time or need a balance transfer, you should take advantage of this card's 0% intro APR.

Learn more: Best Chase Credit Cards

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