When you first look at the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you might think that it is a normal cash back card. But once you start looking into how you can use it, the possibilities are endless.
This is one of the cards I recommend the most in my free card consultations and probably the easiest to start with when you want to start getting into gaining travel points.
Let’s take a look at what makes the Chase Freedom Unlimited worth it.
Who Should Get The Chase Freedom Unlimited?
There are a couple different types of credit card users that should get this card.
The first route is if you really don’t want to think hard about what credit card to use, this is perfect for you.
I have a specific card for dining, a card for hotels, a card for airline purchases, a card for groceries and so on. This isn’t the process everyone wants to go down though. The Chase Freedom Unlimited gives you 1.5x return on all your purchases which is a huge benefit and makes it easy to use in any situation.
The second route that makes this card for perfect is for those that are just getting started wanting to earn points for travel. Not only is this card relatively easy to get approved for, but it can help you have more eligibility when you apply for other Chase cards later.
It has no annual fee so once you open this card, I’ll advise you to never close it and your points on your account will never expire.
One last thing to keep in mind is this card is subject to the 5/24 rule meaning if you have opened 5 or more cards in the last 24 months, you will automatically be denied for this card.
The Sign-Up Bonus
Right now, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has a sign-up bonus of $150 after spending $500 in the first three months of having the card. You also get an extra $25 bonus if you add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the first three months.
One of the great things about this credit card though is even though they say you can get $150 back, it’s actually 15000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points. This means that you can always cash out your points at a rate of 1 cent per point.
But you can also pair this card with other cards offered by Chase and use 15000 points toward airline tickets, hotel stays and more.
I just used 14,000 UR points to book two tickets to San Diego that would have cost me $310. I’ll show you how to do all this in a moment.
Ways to Earn
This card earns 1.5x on every purchase, everywhere. So you don’t have to put any brainpower into thinking about if you’re going to hit a spending cap soon or if this is a grocery store or a supermarket.
Just use the Chase Freedom Unlimited every time and your points will always be growing. 1.5% if you’re only looking for cash back isn’t bad at all but there are a couple better options.
If you only want cash back, check out the Citi Double Cash Card which earns you 2% cash back on everything you purchase.
The reason why I offer the Freedom Unlimited to most first is because of what I’m about to show you for when you redeem your points.
Ways to Redeem
Now we’ve already talked about the first way you can redeem points which is turning your points into cash back. If you have 10000 points and each point is worth 1 cent, this means you can cash it out for $100.
There are some other insignificant ways to redeem like buying gift cards that also can be redeemed at 1 cent per point but if you had a choice between $100 cash and a $100 gift card, which one would you want?
The best way to redeem UR points though is by connecting this credit card with one of the other Premium Chase Cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or th Ink Business Preferred.
Combining points across cards can allow you to turn points from your spending into full scale vacations.
Having one of these premium credit cards allows you to book travel through Chase’s Travel Portal.
If you have the Reserve, you can book at a rate of 1.5 cents per point.
If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Business Preferred, you can book at 1.25 cents per point.
This means that your 15000 point sign up bonus can kinda be looked at like 18,750 - 22,500 points if you have one of these cards.
That’s if you use the travel portal.
There is another option though. Chase gives you the opportunity to transfer these points to airline and hotel partners. This opens you up to a lot more opportunities.
Remember how I said I got two tickets for 13,000 points earlier. This is how I did it.
One of Chase’s partners is Southwest Airlines. They had a flight going from my home airport to San Diego at $155 per person. That’s $310 for two people.
What I did instead was looked up the Southwest points it would cost me to get on that same flight. Each ticket would cost me 6,313 points or 13,626 for the two of us.
So I transferred 14,000 points over and paid for our flight to San Diego with points.
Now, if you’re still following, did I save money or lose money doing this and by how much? If I cashed out 14,000 points back in Chase, I would have got $140 in cash.
By using these points with Southwest, I used that same amount of points to book two tickets for $310.
This means that I more than doubled the value of those points by transferring them out.
Redemptions like this is what makes the Chase Freedom Unlimited so powerful and much more powerful than a generic cashback card.
Recommendations on Credit Score and Credit History
Whenever I recommend a card or am giving a free consultation, I have to remember that every person’s situation is different. Some of us have great credit scores and some of us have poor credit scores.
Some of us have had credit cards for 5+ years and some have had cards for 6 months.
All these things play into effect when applying for these cards.
With the Chase Freedom Unlimited, I recommend you have a credit score of 690+. If you don’t have a score this high, check out our post on how to increase your credit score which will help you out so you can get to the point where you can start applying for cards like this.
I also recommend that you have a credit history of at least 6 months. This means that you’ve held another credit card even a secured or student credit card for at least that time period.
This helps show Chase that you are reliable and trustworthy enough to have card with them.
Of course, having these factors doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get approved so don’t get mad at me if you don’t. Also these rules aren’t set in stone so you might be below this and get approved as well.
No one knows (besides the banks) how these algorithms work but we can make our best guesses.
Also one more reminder that this card counts with the 5/24 rule. This means if you have gotten more than 5 new cards in the last 24 months, you won't be eligible for this card. Don't even bother applying because you'll get automatically rejected.
To Wrap It Up
With a lot of premium cards, you have to be able to know every detail of your card, when to use it, when not to use it, how much you need to spend on it and so on.
With the Chase Freedom Unlimited, it’s so simple that it is my #1 everyday, non-bonus spending card. This means I use it on things that don’t fall into other categories where I have a better card.
If you’re just starting out with credit cards or you want the simplicity of having an everyday card, I wouldn’t look any further than the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Do you have the Freedom Unlimited or do you want it? Let me know in the comments down below!