Chase Freedom Unlimited

Robin Saks Frankel  in  Cash Back Advertising Disclosure
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Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

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Best for 1.5% cash back on everything

Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Regular APR:
17.24% - 25.99% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

Commonly used for: 0% APR, Balance Transfer, Cash Back, Good Credit, No Annual Fee, Rewards, Sign-up Bonus.

Score Breakdown

Bankrate Rating

Annual Fee
Foreign Transaction Fee
Rewards
Intro Bonus
Perks
Variable APR

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One of Bankrate’s favorite cash back credit cards just got better.

Here are the details

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® comes with a strong rewards structure, no annual fee and a zero percent APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (17.24% – 25.99% variable APR after).

You can now earn three percent cash back on your first $20,000 spent in the first year of your account, and unlimited one-point-five percent cash back on all purchases after. This new offer is replacing the card’s original $150 sign-up bonus, significantly increasing the value of the card.

A worthy addition to your wallet?

There are a lot of reasons to consider adding the Chase Freedom Unlimited to your card roster, especially with this new offer change.

The fixed rewards rate is an attractive benefit if you aren’t interested in juggling rotating categories. The offer of three percent cash back on up to $20,000 in purchases during your first year doubles the standard rewards rate in lieu of a sign-up bonus, which actually increases its first-year value compared with the old rewards structure.

If you’re looking for a way to finance larger purchases, you’ll also find value in the Chase Freedom Unlimited’s intro APR offer. You’ll have 15 months of no interest on new purchases and balance transfers (17.24% – 25.99% variable APR after). That could help you afford to be a bridesmaid in your best friend’s wedding without completely busting your budget.

The one downside to this card is its three percent foreign transaction fee. You’ll completely cancel out any rewards earned on purchases abroad, so it’s best to have another card for international trips.

Advantages
  • 3% cash back on the first $20,000 in purchases your first year (unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases after) — no need to juggle rotating categories
  • No annual fee
  • Easy to pair with other Chase credit cards
Disadvantages
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • There is a cap on 3% cash back, and the offer is only valid in the first year

How much are rewards worth?

While the Chase Freedom Unlimited might not be the flashiest cash back credit card, it still packs a serious punch. If you hit the $20,000 cap on three percent cash back, that’s $600 in rewards at the end of your first year. Plus, you’ll still earn one-point-five percent cash back on all purchases after that

One of this card’s hidden benefits is the points boost you get when you pair it with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Chase awards cash back in points. Three percent cash back equates to 3x points on each purchase, and so on. Each point is worth only one cent; however, Chase allows you to pool those rewards with other Chase card accounts. That means you can move your Freedom Unlimited points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred account, where points are worth 1.5 and 1.25 cents each, respectively (when redeemed for travel through the Chase portal).

The $600 you can earn with the three percent cash back offer would be worth $750 when paired with the Preferred, and $900 when paired with the Reserve.

Get the most value out of this card

You’re going to get the max value from the Chase Freedom Unlimited by strategically pairing it with other Chase credit cards. It takes a little more time and effort to consider which card is best for certain purchases, but the rewards could prove worth it.

In the first year, you should use the card for most, if not all, of your purchases until you hit the $20,000 cap. After, it can be a supplemental card for purchases that don’t earn higher rewards.

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