The recently revamped Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is turning heads and may be the best cash back credit card on the market. Offering the same great 1.5% cash back on purchases, the card now offers unlimited cash back of up to 5% in certain categories. This is a massive boost to the card’s value, making it one of the first credit cards of any type that you should consider.
Don’t forget, the Chase Freedom Unlimited also doubles as a very good 0% APR card. So, if you need to make a large purchase or have a big project coming up, the Freedom Unlimited may be a good choice for some short-term, interest-free financing.
Just as before, you can gain access to some awesome travel benefits by pairing the card with one of the Chase’s premium rewards cards — like the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve. Likewise, the card comes with no annual fee so it doesn’t cost you anything to keep it.
With its new benefits, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a super versatile credit card that deserves a spot in your wallet. Let’s take a closer look at how it works!
Chase Freedom Unlimited Card Highlights
Here’s a quick look at what makes the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card one of the best cash back credit cards available:
- $200 Signup Bonus – Earn a $200 signup bonus when you spend just $500 the first three months you have the card. That’s practically free money!
- 5% Cash Back on Groceries & Lyft – You’ll get 5% cash back on up to $12,000 in purchases made at most grocery stores for the first year (not applicable at Target or Walmart). You’ll also earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2020.
- Unlimited 5% Cash Back on Travel – With the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, you’ll now earn an unlimited 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase portal.
- Unlimited 3% Cash Back on Restaurants and Drugstores – Purchases at restaurants and drugstores earn an unlimited 3% cash back.
- Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back – Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
- Intro 0% APR on Purchases – The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases made within the first 15 months of opening the account.
- Complimentary DoorDash Benefits – Activate this benefit for a complimentary 3-month membership to DoorDash’s Dashpass and enjoy $0 delivery charges on orders over $12.
- No Minimum to Redeem – There is no minimum balance required to redeem your cash back.
- Ability to Transfer Points for Travel – When paired with a premium rewards card (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve), you can pool your cash back and redeem it for great travel deals.
- No Annual Fee – There is no annual fee to worry about with the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.
- Learn How to Apply
Where It Shines
If you’re looking for a top cash back card to use for everyday spending, it’s hard to go wrong with the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card. For me, the biggest benefit of the card is the cash back it earns. While I liked the simplicity the card offered in the past, the new cash back benefits really push it over the top.
As a travel lover, earning an unlimited 5% cash back on travel purchases through Chase is huge. The unlimited 3% cash back at restaurants and drugstores, however, may be an even bigger benefit for most cardholders. Plus, the card still offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
The additional bonuses available to first year cardmembers are also a sweet treat! Chase recently increased the card’s standard signup bonus to $200. Simply make $500 in purchases during the first three months and the bonus is yours. Additionally, you can earn 5% cash back on the first $12,000 you spend at grocery stores during the first year. Sure, Walmart and Target are excluded, but this could potentially net you $600 in cash back. Those are some pretty major benefits which add a ton of value to this card!
Tips for Getting the Most from Your Card
Want to get the most value from the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card? First, be sure to take advantage of the $200 signup bonus for spending just $500 the first three months. That’s a no-brainer and it’s practically free money.
Don’t forget to connect your card to your Lyft account and receive 5% cash back on rides through March 2020, as well. Plus, you’ll want to use your Freedom Unlimited card at the grocery store. Remember, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 in grocery spending (excluding Target and Walmart) for the first year you have the card.
Pairing the card with one of Chase’s premium rewards cards is another tactic to consider. Premium travel cards provide access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. So by pairing the Freedom Unlimited with a premium travel card, you can use the cash back you earned toward redeeming travel. When making a purchase, simply use the card that offers the most cash back or rewards credit. Then transfer your points to one of Chase’s travel partners using the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
If you decide to do this, I’d highly recommend checking out the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. This card offers a 80,000 point signup bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Those points can be redeemed for up to $1,000 in travel (through the Chase Portal), $800 in gift cards to popular merchants, or transferred to more than a dozen hotel and airline loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio.
Honestly, that’s just some of the Sapphire Preferred benefits. I think this is the best rewards card available if you’re new to points and miles. It’s the #1 card I recommend for beginners, and it should definitely be on your radar to check out.
What You May Not Like
So, what’s not to like about the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card? Well, not much…but there are a few areas where the card falls flat.
- No Quarterly 5% Bonus Categories – While the simplicity of a flat cash back is nice, it also means you’ll miss out on some hefty rotating bonuses offered by other cash back cards. Of course, you can still get the best of both worlds if you use them in combination with each other.
- Not a Great Travel Card – If you’re looking for a best credit card for travel, look elsewhere. To take advantage of the best travel benefits, you’ll need to pair this card with a premium rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve.
- Counts Against 5/24 Rule – Chase will deny your application for this card if you’ve opened more than 5 new cards in the last 24 months, regardless of issuer. Try one of the alternatives listed below instead.
Alternatives to the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card
Although the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is a great cash back card for some, it isn’t the best choice for everybody. Maybe you don’t qualify due to the Chase 5/24 rule, or perhaps you’re looking for a card that has the 5% quarterly bonus categories instead.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
If you’re looking for a solid cash back card from another issuer, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is hard to beat. This card offers a $150 welcome offer for spending $500 in the first 3 months. There’s also no annual fee. This card differs in that it offers a flat 1.5% cash back across all categories. You’ll also get a 0% APR on purchases made in the first 15 months. With offers like that, this card also deserves your consideration.
Chase Freedom Flex
The new Chase Freedom Flex card can be used either in combination with or as a solid alternative to the Freedom Unlimited. The cards are practically identical – including the unlimited 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase portal and the unlimited 3% cash back at restaurants and drugstores. However, the Freedom Flex offers a 5% quarterly cash back bonus on spending in certain categories that is capped at $1,500 in combined spending. Additionally, you can get a $200 bonus for spending $500 the first three months, but you’ll earn just 1% cash back on other purchases.
If you love cash back rewards, this card is one of the best options you’ll find.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card offers straightforward cash back rewards that span all categories. Even better, the new unlimited cash back offerings (5% for travel purchases through Chase and 3% at restaurants and drugstores) adds some serious beef to an already great cash back card. You can even pair the Freedom Unlimited with one of Chase’s premium rewards cards to pool your points for travel benefits and get even more bang for your buck.
As always, thanks for reading! Please leave any comments or questions below.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Review
Cash Back Value
The newly revamped Chase Freedom Unlimited has added some major benefits that beef up its value. You can now get an unlimited 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase portal and an unlimited 3% cash back on spending at restaurants and drugstores. The card still earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
To top it off, you’ll earn a $200 signup bonus when you spend $500 during the first three months. You can even get 5% cash back on the first $12,000 in grocery purchases during the first year you have the card. That’s up to $600 in cash back value! (Target and Walmart are excluded.)
When you add it all up, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is arguably the best cash back credit card available today. Learn how to apply here.