February 16, 2018
Review: The Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the best no-annual fee credit cards on the market right now. It’s especially good on non-bonus category spending when you combine it with a more premium Chase Sapphire credit card. I’ll explain how to maximize the Freedom Unlimited below, but first let’s go over the basics.


Sign-Up Bonus


The Freedom Unlimited comes with a sign-up bonus of 15,000 points after spending $500 in the first three months of account opening. Cardholders will receive an additional 2,500 bonus points after adding their first authorized user and making a purchase within the same three months.


The bonus points can be redeemed for $150 and $25 cash back respectively. However, the value of these points increases dramatically if you couple the Freedom Unlimited with a premium Sapphire card. More on that below.


Earning Points


The Freedom Unlimited earns a flat 1.5x points per $1 on every purchase.



Perks


Cardholders receive a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening. *As I’ve said before, you should be paying your credit card statements in full every month to maintain a high credit score and avoid credit card debt.


Fees


There is no annual fee but the Freedom Unlimited does charge foreign transaction fees.


Maximizing Freedom Unlimited Points


The Chase Freedom Unlimited is marketed as a cash back card. It earns a 1.5x points per $1 on everything, or 1.5% cash back if you redeem them for statement credits. This is not the best card available when looking at it as a cash back option. For example, the Citi Double Cash Back earns 2%.



The Freedom Unlimited truly shines when you use it as a miles earning card. Chase allows you to transfer Freedom Unlimited points to any Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. Once those points are transferred, they become Ultimate Rewards points. UR points can then be transferred to various airline frequent flyer programs and redeemed for Business or First Class travel!


You can easily get between 5-10 cents per point (you can go even higher if you’re creative) in value with Ultimate Rewards points instead of the flat 1.5 cents you get with Freedom Unlimited points. Some examples of UR earning premium cards include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Ink Business Preferred.


Should You Get It?


The Chase Freedom Unlimited isn’t the best option if you’re looking for a strict cash back card or if you don’t have one of the above mentioned Ultimate Rewards earning credit cards. But it’s a terrific addition to your wallet if you want to redeem the points for premium travel accommodations and you have an Ultimate Rewards earning card.


For example, you could use the Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn 3x points per $1 on travel and dining and 1x point per $1 on foreign purchases (there’s no foreign transaction fees) and then use the Freedom Unlimited to earn 1.5x points per $1 on all other domestic purchases.

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