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The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a cash back credit card issued by Chase Bank. It sets itself apart because it has, on average, a higher percentage of cash back, 1.5% on each purchase. It also has a good sign up bonus and an introductory rate of 0% APR. In addition, the cash back feature is straightforward, unlike some other rewards cards that require you to jump through hoops to maximize the rewards.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Card
On Chase’s Secure Website
One Of The Best CashBack Card Avaliable
Good – Excellent Credit
1.5% Cash Back
$150 Sign Up Bonus
No Bonus Categories
Foreign Transaction Fee
- 0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases in the First 15 Months
- No Annual Fee
- Protection & Free Credit Score
Here’s a summary of the main pros & cons (click to see explanation or scroll down):
|1.5% Cash Back||No Bonus Rewards|
|$150 Sign Up Bonus||Balance Transfer Fee|
|0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases||Foreign Transaction Fee|
|No Annual Fee||High APR|
|Protection & Free Credit Score|
Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card – Benefits
Let’s take a look at the benefits of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card and see if it’s the right one for your wallet or not.
1.5% Cash Back
This feature is the biggest benefit to the credit card in that you get 1.5% cash back on everything you buy. There is no specific purchase needed to earn the reward, it is on every purchase. You also do not have to wait to use that cash. Many other credit cards have thresholds you must meet in order to use the cash back, such as hitting $50 before using the money. With Chase Freedom Unlimited, the cash back also does not expire.
$150 Sign Up Bonus
You can get a $150 bonus after signing up by spending $500 in the first 3 months. This bonus has a low threshold compared to other cards; in fact, many other credit cards have sign-up bonuses that require thousands to be spent in the first few months in order to get the bonus.
0% APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases in the First 15 Months
If you are looking to save money on interest, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers a 0.00% introductory rate for 15 months on balance transfers. If you have a credit card that you are trying to pay down, you can transfer the account and pay no interest on the transfer for 15 months. You can also charge up the card and pay no interest for 15 months. This is great if you have a big purchase in mind and want to pay over time.
No Annual Fee
Many of the rewards cards that offer higher rewards than Chase Freedom Unlimited have annual fees which end up eating into the rewards. The Chase Freedom Unlimited card does not have an annual fee.
Protection & Free Credit Score
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has zero liability, purchase protection, chip- enabled security and auto rental collision damage waiver. These features help give you peace of mind. Also, The Chase Freedom Unlimited card will also update you monthly with what your credit score is. You can check this by signing into your online account. This is offered through Credit Journey and is based on your Transunion credit report.
If you hold other cards with Chase such as the business credit card product or Ink Business Preferred, you can pool your points to earn even bigger rewards, cash back, or travel points. This is a great feature but be aware that rewards are not always a dollar for dollar transfer. Usually cashback is the best value.
There are a couple of other opportunities you can take advantage of in order to increase your bonuses with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. You can get $100 for referring a friend. You can also increase your sign up bonus by $25 after adding an authorized user to your credit card.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card – Drawbacks
Here are the most important cons you should consider before apply to Chase Freedom Unlimited card:
No Bonus Rewards
There are other rewards cards that offer higher bonuses on certain spending categories, such as gas. The Chase Freedom Unlimited does not include those types of bonuses. It also does not have increased bonuses during certain months which can increase the cash back. For example, another card might have 5% back on all travel spending for the month of May. The Chase Freedom Unlimited card does not provide these.
The APR for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a 17.24%-25.99% variable rate, which is high for a card that requires borrowers with good credit histories. Also, the rate for a credit card cash advance is 27.24%
Balance Transfer Fee
There is a balance transfer fee required if you want to take advantage of the introductory 0.00% APR rate. The fee is incurred when you transfer debts from one or more credit cards to your Chase Freedom Unlimited card. This fee is $5 or 3% of the transfer, whichever is bigger. This fee is upfront and will be added to your debt load when transferred.
Foreign Transaction Fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited has a 3% fee for each transaction in another country. If you are traveling outside of the US you may want to leave this card at home.
Alternatives to Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
There are other credit cards that do offer comparable cash back rewards – we’ve summarized the most popular cards which can use as an alternative to the Chase Freedom Unlimited card:
One of the obvious comparisons is the Chase Freedom card. The Chase Freedom card has all the perks of the Chase Freedom Unlimited except that it only has 1% cashback on purchases. The Freedom card also has revolving bonuses, like 5% cash back on gas purchases for the month of May, June, and July. You could use the cards together to get 1.5% back on your normal purchases with Chase Freedom Unlimited and 5% on special promo purchases on your Chase Freedom card to maximize your rewards. The promo on the Chase Freedom does have a cap on the rewards with a maximum of $1,500 for spending on the bonus category.
The Discover It cashback card is another alternative to the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Discover It has a shorter introductory 0.00% APR rate of 14 months. The Discover It card does not have a foreign transaction fee or an annual fee. It also has lower rates and a lower credit score range. The Discover It card has 1% cash back on purchases and 5% back on rotating purchases.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa is very similar to the Chase Freedom Unlimited. It offers a $200 cashback bonus with $1,000 in purchases in the first 2 months. It has 1.8% cash back on the first year with mobile pay and then 1.5% after on all purchases. It has no annual fee and a similar APR range and credit range. It does have a shorter introductory 0.00% APR rate of 12 months.
Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited Right for You?
Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great cash back card for those with good to excellent credit. The 1.5% cash back is one of the highest in the industry without having an annual fee or the hassle of figuring out which month for which type of purchases gets cash back.
It does have a generous sign up bonus and introductory APR period, but beware of the 3% transfer fee if wanting to take advantage of 0% APR. One benefit of adding this card if you are already a Chase credit card holder is that you can pool your rewards. If you travel overseas this card should be left at home, with a 3% transaction fee outside of the United States that will eat up your cash back rewards.