Chase Freedom Unlimited Review

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Best Cash Back Credit Card Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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Best Cash Back Credit Card Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Intro offer:
    Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    18.74% – 27.49% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;. 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service. 1.5% on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

Pros
  • Flexible, hybrid rewards structure made up of tiered categories and flat cash back
  • No annual fee
  • Valuable first-year bonus
  • Competitive intro APR period can be useful for paying off large purchases over time
Cons
  • Not a great choice for international travelers — you’ll incur a 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Travel bonus rewards only apply to travel booked through Chase
The Bottom Line
Chase Freedom Unlimited is NextAdvisor’s pick for the best cash back credit card for its impressive rewards and flexibility for everyday spenders. But the card’s value goes beyond its primary rewards structure. A standout first-year bonus, introductory interest offer, and boosted redemption options make this card one of the best available on the market today.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory interest offer on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after account opening, variable APR of 18.74% – 27.49% interest thereafter; intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025
  • Complimentary 3-month subscription to Doordash’s DashPass, followed by 50% off DashPass for 9 months (activate by 12/31/24)
  • Travel protections
  • Purchase protections

Chase Freedom Unlimited Full Review

Card Type

Chase Freedom Unlimited is a cash back credit card that earns flat 1.5% rewards on every purchase, plus higher rates of cash back in certain bonus categories.

Annual Fee

This card has no annual fee ($0).

Welcome Offer

Earn an additional 1.5% back on everything you buy, up to the first $20,000 spent in the first year (worth up to $300 cash back).

Introductory Offer

You can get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on both new purchases and balance transfers with this card. The ongoing variable APR ranges from 17.99%-26.74% after that.

Rewards

Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining at restaurants (including takeout and delivery), and 3% at drugstores. Every other purchase earns 1.5% cash back.

When you’re ready to redeem, you can choose between a number of redemption options, including cash, statement credits, travel, gift cards, and paying for purchases with points. The value of your points can vary depending on the redemption options you choose.

Fees 

There’s no annual fee for this card and the ongoing variable APR is 17.99% -26.74% after the intro period. If you choose to transfer a balance, you’ll pay a 3% ($5 minimum fee) if you transfer within 60 days of account opening — after the first 60 days, the fee raises to 5% ($5 minimum). 

There’s also a 3% foreign transaction fee and late or returned payments may result in a fee up to $40 and penalty APR up to 29.99%.

How to Use Chase Freedom Unlimited

Maximizing the Chase Freedom Unlimited is relatively easy; getting the best value pretty much relies on using this card for every purchase you make. 

Maximize tiered rewards categories by swiping this card whenever you dine out, order in, or pick up essentials at the drugstore. You can especially benefit from this in the first year, since you’ll get an additional 1.5% back on top of the bonus category rate. That means, for example, instead of earning 3% on dining purchases, you’ll earn 4.5%. Just remember, the additional 1.5% applies to the first $20,000 you spend across any category in the first year.

If you don’t have a travel rewards card, you can also maximize your travel spending through Chase Ultimate Rewards with that 5% category. If you do carry another travel rewards card already, compare how 5% stacks up against what you can earn with that card.

And the best thing about the Freedom Unlimited’s flat cash back is you can guarantee a cash back bonus on any purchase you make, anywhere. While it’s not the highest flat rewards earn available, whenever an item or service doesn’t align with other bonus categories, or you’re unsure how the merchant may be coded, Freedom Unlimited will guarantee you get at least 1.5% in savings.

Another lucrative bonus feature of this Chase card is the extra rewards boost you can get using it in tandem with one of Chase’s Sapphire card offerings: the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. 

The Sapphires are both travel cards, with rewards and benefits focused primarily on travel you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards and associated purchases. They’re also unique in that the points they earn are boosted when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

While converting your cash back to points with the Freedom Unlimited on its own will yield a value of 1 cent per point, you can transfer points earned with the Freedom Unlimited to your Sapphire Reserve to boost each point’s value to 1.5 cents or to the Sapphire Preferred for a value of 1.25 cents per point, when redeemed for travel via the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Rewards

Let’s say you spend an average of $15,000 per year, or $1,250 each month on your credit card. Of that, you spend $3,000 on dining out, $1,200 on travel, and $1,000 at drugstores annually — in addition to other purchases like groceries, utility bills, and more. Here’s what you could earn with Chase Freedom Unlimited over time:

SpendFirst Year RewardsOngoing Rewards
Travel through Chase (6.5%, then 5%)$1,200$78$60
Dining (4.5%, then 3%)$3,000$135$90
Drugstores (4.5%, then 3%)$1,000$45$30
Other (3%, then 1.5%)$9,800$294$147
Total$15,000$552$327

Note: These spending values are based on average consumer expenditure data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Totals are not exact and not all potential spending categories are accounted for. Your individual rewards earned may vary.

Pairing Chase Freedom Unlimited with Other Cards

Before You Start

Even the best cash back rewards won’t outweigh sky-high credit card interest rates. Before using rewards and cash back to maximize your purchases, eliminate your debt balances and establish healthy credit habits like timely payments, paying balances in full, and low credit utilization. Using those habits to build a great credit score can not only help you qualify for the best credit cards, but also give you a foundation to maximize your spending without taking on debt.

Another lucrative bonus feature of this Chase card is the extra rewards boost you can get using it in tandem with one of Chase’s Sapphire card offerings: the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. 

The Sapphires are both travel cards, with rewards and benefits focused primarily on travel you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards and associated purchases. They’re also unique in that the points they earn are boosted when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

While converting your cash back to points with the Freedom Unlimited on its own will yield a value of 1 cent per point, you can transfer points earned with the Freedom Unlimited to your Sapphire Reserve to boost each point’s value to 1.5 cents or to the Sapphire Preferred for a value of 1.25 cents per point, when redeemed for travel via the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Compared to Other Cards

Our Choice
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Intro offer:
    Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    18.74% – 27.49% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Apply Now externa link icon At Chase’s secure site
Learn More externa link icon
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Intro offer:
    $250
  • Annual fee:
    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Regular APR:
    17.74%-28.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
Learn More externa link icon
Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Intro offer:
    N/A
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    17.74% – 27.74% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site

Is Chase Freedom Unlimited Right for You?

Across multiple categories, we believe Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the best credit cards available today. It’s at the top of our list for best cash back credit cards and its competitive intro offer earns a spot among our favorite 0% interest cards, too. 

Highly valuable cash back rewards on everyday spending, a 15-month introductory 0% interest period on new purchases and balance transfers (then 17.99% – 26.74% variable APR), great welcome bonus, and always-evolving long-term benefits — all for no annual fee — combine to make this a great credit card. 

If you’re looking for a straightforward rewards card that’s going to earn on every purchase you make and put a little bonus cash in your hand in the short-term, this card can add value to your wallet.

If you value simplicity, Chase Freedom Unlimited can serve as the only card you need to maximize everyday purchases. But if you’re someone who puts a lot of thought into your credit card strategy, Freedom Unlimited can also fit among the other cards already in your wallet — especially more premium cards within the Chase ecosystem. We believe nearly any responsible credit card user looking to maximize everyday spending can benefit from this card.

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chase Freedom Unlimited a good credit card?

We believe Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the best rewards credit cards currently on the market. Between great rewards across everyday spending categories, a long introductory period, and valuable welcome bonus, this card is simple to use and can add value to nearly every purchase you make.

Is Chase Freedom Unlimited hard to get?

The recommended credit score for Chase Freedom Unlimited approval is 670 or higher, a credit rating of good to excellent. If you have bad credit or little credit history, consider taking steps to build your credit score before applying for this card.

What is the credit limit on Chase Freedom Unlimited?

Chase uses information on your application and credit report to determine your individual credit limit. After approval, your Chase Freedom Unlimited card may be issued as a Visa Platinum or Visa Signature card. Visa Platinum recipients will receive a credit line of at least $500, while Visa Signature recipients receive a minimum credit limit of $5,000.