Chase Freedom Unlimited Review – 3X Ultimate Rewards Points Per Dollar On Up To $20K In Spending During First Year

“My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of selected credit card products. My Money Blog and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and the content has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for supporting this independent site.”

Chase Freedom UnlimitedThe Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is a no-annual-fee rewards card which earns a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases (or a possibly more valuable 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent). This is a different card from the popular Chase Freedom, which has 5% cash back on rotating categories every quarter and then 1% cash back on all other purchases. Here are the highlights:

  • Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Redeem for cash – any amount, anytime.
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum.
  • No annual fee.

1.5% cash back on all purchases might have been a great percentage number several years ago, but there are now at least a few competitors with higher effective cash back rates.

But wait, you actually get Ultimate Rewards Points! The lesser-known perk of this card is that you actually earn Ultimate Rewards points, which are in turn redeemable for cash back at a rate of 100 points = $1 in cash back, or 1 cent per point. Ultimate Rewards points are worth collecting because of their flexibility. (I hope Chase doesn’t forget this fact.) This is important because there are many ways in which Ultimate Rewards points can be worth much more than 1 cent per point.

If you have also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred Card, then you can pool all of your Ultimate Rewards points together (even with your spouse/partner as an authorized user) and thus utilize all of the same transfer partners with the following results:

  • Earn 3 United Mileage miles per dollar spent on ALL purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent.
  • Earn 3 Hyatt points per dollar spent on ALL purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent.
  • Earn 3 British Airways Avios per dollar spent on ALL purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent.
  • Earn 3 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on ALL purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent.

Let’s say you spend the full $20,000 during the first year. That’s $600 cash back or $750 toward any travel (with Sapphire Preferred and Ink Preferred Business) or $900 towards any travel (with Sapphire Reserve). Or with any of those three cards, that’s 60,000 United Miles, 60,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards Points, or 60,000 Hyatt points. Finally, this card has no annual fee and is worth keeping around past the first year.

Keeper value. After the first year, you can still:

  • Earn 1.5 United Mileage miles per dollar spent on ALL purchases.
  • Earn 1.5 Hyatt points per dollar spent on ALL purchases.
  • Earn 1.5 British Airways Avios per dollar spent on ALL purchases.
  • Earn 1.5 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on ALL purchases.

Notice that you are earning more miles and points on ALL purchases than even the specific co-branded cards from United or Hyatt themselves! Most of them just offer 1 point/mile per dollar spent on all purchases.

If for example, you placed a perceived value of 1.5 cents on each United Airlines mile or Hyatt hotel point, then you’d receive 2.25 cents of perceived value per dollar spent with this card. Your actual numbers will depend on your own specific redemption choices, but you can see that you can definitely exceed 2% cash back value on an ongoing basis with the Sapphire Preferred/Freedom Unlimited combo.

If you would like the opportunity to earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories each quarter, compare with the Chase Freedom card. You can have both a Freedom and a Freedom Unlimited card, but you’ll have to apply for each card separately. I think this is actually a great idea if you plan to keep a Sapphire Preferred/Sapphire Reserve/Ink Preferred cards as well.

Restrictions. This card is subject to “5/24” restrictions, which means that your application will be automatically denied if you have opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months (check your credit reports). Our household strategy is to have one person only apply for Chase 5/24 cards, and the other person applies for everything else. There is also this language on the consumer card:

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.

Bottom line. As a plain cash back rewards card, the 1.5% cash back of the Chase Freedom Unlimited can be exceeded by other 2% cash back cards. The key factor for those in the know is that if you or your partner also has the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Preferred Business cards, then this card allows you to receive the equivalent of 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on every purchase (3X Ultimate Rewards points during the first year on up to $20,000 in purchases). If you value other travel points like United Airlines miles, Hyatt points, or Southwest Rapid Rewards points, then by earning Ultimate Rewards you can obtain solid rewards value and flexibility from this card.

“My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of selected credit card products. My Money Blog and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and the content has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for supporting this independent site.”



User Generated Content Disclosure: Comments and/or responses are not provided or commissioned by any advertiser. Comments and/or responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser. It is not any advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Buzzkill. Chase has a 5/24 rule (no more than 5 credit card applications in the last 24 months, all issuers). I’ve run into this issue with CFU and I imagine a few others might too.

  2. I currently have the Chase Freedom. I wonder if I can switch to the Ultimate and still get the $150 bonus.

    • You could always ask Chase (worse they could say is no), but usually the sign-up bonus is not available to cardholders switching card types.

      • I called Chase last night and asked this very question! Chase confirmed you can do this, but you will be signing up for an additional line of credit. So instead of just “upgrading” to the Freedom Unlimited card, you should apply for the new Freedom Unlimited card outright, and if you accept the terms and meet the qualifying criteria, you will get the $150 bonus. Just note, if you plan to make the upgrade and no longer want to keep your original Freedom Card, you cannot transfer balances from Chase to Chase (Freedom Card to Unlimited Freedom Card). Happy hunting!

        • So what I am hearing is that you are not in fact “upgrading” your Freedom to the Freedom Unlimited (no new credit check), but are instead getting a brand new, separate Freedom Unlimited card (with new credit check) and thus getting the big sign-up bonus.

          • Correct. Although they WILL upgrade you without checking your credit , but you would be ineligible for the $150 sign-on bonus. They suggested keeping both cards (of course) and leveraging the point systems based on that card’s individual rewards as mentioned in the original article above. So, as always, there is a catch to getting free money.

          • Good to know you have the option of either converting w/o sign-up bonus or applying for an additional card w/ sign-up bonus. Thanks!

  3. Even if you don’t have the Sapphire Preferred card yourself, you can transfer the points to your spouse’s account, if they have one.

  4. If you combine the UR points earned with the regular Freedom card with those in the Chase Ink Plus, will the UR Freedom points value 20% more for travel also?

  5. I don’t know if this card would be right for me. I have a few different credit cards that rotate cash back benefits each quarter. The main benefit of the regular cash back card is that I get a rotating 5% each quarter that makes it more attractive than the few other cards I have. So I don’t know if a flat 1.5 cash back would move the needle for me and provide a benefit greater than the other points I earn.
    That being said, I can easily how a flat 1.5% cash would be appealing to those who do not have multiple cards or do not want to deal with rotating cards and having to think about which card is best at the point of purchase.

    Thanks for taking the time to put this review together!

    Bert, One of the Dividend Diplomats

    • This quarter I’m getting 5% back on groceries with my regular Chase Freedom card and that’s looking mighty good.

  6. When I first saw this, I saw it as an obvious mimic of the Capital One QuickSilver card. However, I am pleasantly surprised that it earns Ultimate Rewards, like the regular Chase Freedom cards.

    Then again, with Capital One, I can configure the account to automatically redeem rewards as a statement credit. I can’t do that with Chase. I have to manually redeem rewards as a statement credit.

    • IMHO, Capital One QuickSilver has 1 advantage over the new Chase Freedom Unlimited; Quicksilver has No Foreign Transaction fees (Chase has 3% fee) for purchases outside US. Everything else is the same so far.

Speak Your Mind

Узнайте про полезный сайт с информацией про http://220km.com.ua.
Был найден мной полезный web-сайт со статьями про www.showroom-kiev.com.ua.
bailey jay fucking