Chase Freedom Unlimited Review – A Great Everyday Spender!

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Chase Freedom Unlimited
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Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card Review

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is the newest member to the Ultimate Rewards family.  It is the younger sibling of the Chase Freedom card which was reviewed last week.  While the regular Freedom is great for bonus category spend the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is great for everyday spend.  Once you have it it may never leave your wallet.

When the Chase Freedom Unlimited first came out it was a solid downgrade option from the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve but that isn’t really an option these days.  With Chase’s installation of the 5/24 rule and the one per family Sapphire rule downgrading to the card isn’t an easy option anymore.  It is now something that must considered as a card worth signing up for for anyone just starting out in the hobby.

Current Sign Up Bonus vs Historical High

The current sign up bonus is as follows:

  • $150 bonus (15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $25 bonus (2,500 Ultimate Rewards points) if you add an authorized user and they make a purchase
  • No annual fee

There has been bonuses of $300 in the past if you applied in branch but the $150 bonus has been the standard for a while now.


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Chase Freedom Unlimited

Bonus Restrictions

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card does fall under the dreaded 5/24 rule. You can not sign up for the card if you have had more than 4 new credit accounts within the last 24 months.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card also has the standard 24 month bonus restriction language:

“This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.”

Earning Structure

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card comes with the following earning structure:

The card is essentially a 1.5% cash back card unless you have a Chase premium card that unlocks the Ultimate Rewards points and makes them available to transfer to travel partners.   The cards that make this possible are the Ink Preferred, Ink PlusSapphire Preferred, and Sapphire Reserve.

Most people value transferable Ultimate Rewards points at around 1.5 cents a piece.  That would increase the card’s return to 2.25% if you have one of the premium cards listed above to unlock the points.

Cardmember Perks

The Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t come with many perks but they are as follows:

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Purchase Protection
    • Covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account
  • Extended Warranty Protection
    • Extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.

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Chase Freedom Unlimited

Fees

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card comes with no annual fee.  It does come with a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Sign Up Bonus Value – $150

The card is essentially a cash back card and since there is no annual fee you would get to keep the full $150.

If you had a card that makes the Freedom Unlimited card’s Ultimate Rewards transferable then the bonus is worth closer to $225.

Summary

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great everyday spend option for non bonus categories.  If you have a premium Chase card to unlock transfers then it can earn 2.25% on every purchase. The Chase Freedom Unlimited actually gives you the best return on unbonused spend of any Ultimate Rewards card on the market.

Having said that it is truly a complimentary card since a premium card is needed to make it valuable.  The regular Chase Freedom is a better fit for 99.9% of people because of the rotating 5x earning categories.

But if you have an open 5/24 spot and you are not interested in any of the other Chase cards you can’t go wrong with this one.  It is a downgrade option too if you have Business Ink Preferred (or Plus) and are looking to drop your Chase Sapphire Reserve or Preferred card.


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Chase Freedom Unlimited
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Long Term Keeper

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a long term keeper because of Chase’s 5/24 rule.  Once you get one never let it go!  It comes with no annual fee and a compelling rate of return on everyday spend.

Conclusion

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card for everyday non bonused spend.  It’s earning structure and no annual fee make it a sure thing long time keeper.

The Freedom Unlimited is a hard card to get and it takes up a valuable 5/24 spot.  Whether or not you should get it depends on how you feel about Chase’s other card offerings.  It is a good option for downgrade if you have a Chase Ink Business Preferred card and no longer want to carry your Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card.

Most people should get the regular Chase Freedom card before getting this version.  But if you have the means and opportunity the Freedom Unlimited is a card worth taking!


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3 COMMENTS

  1. Are Business cards PC’able to Personal, Mark?

    Think I would change the term to “one per Sapphire family” – otherwise sounds like Sapphire cards are limited by household!

    Love this card, actually crazy about it with the new AMEX SPG debacle. Good & timely write up for getting readers ready for the SPG August devaluation.

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