Chase Freedom Unlimited® review
Get a signup bonus and earn unlimited cash back with this no-annual-fee card.
finder.com’s rating: 4.7 / 5
- Get this card if you want to maximize cashback rewards on all purchases without paying an annual fee.
- Pick something else if you want a cashback card with a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers.
- Apply with a good to an excellent credit score of 670 or higher.
Up to 5%
Intro purchase APR
for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
|Product Name||Chase Freedom Unlimited®|
|Purchase APR||0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)|
|Balance transfer APR||14.99% to 23.74% variable|
|Balance transfer fee||$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater|
|Cash advance rate||24.99% variable|
|Cash advance fee||$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater|
|Foreign transaction fee||3% of the transaction value|
|Interest free period||Up to 21 days|
|Late payment fee||Up to $39|
|Returned payment fee||Up to $39|
|Additional cardholder fee||$0|
|Rates & fees||rates & fees|
Megan Horner is the credit cards publisher at Finder. She's passionate about helping you find the best credit cards to meet your financial needs — whether that's earning great rewards or improving your credit score. Megan's expertise has been spotlighted on Lifehacker, CreditCards.com, American Banker and featured on news broadcasts across the country.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® by Visa is the beefed-up version of its former self. In the past, you could only earn 1.5% back on all purchases. But now you also earn 5% back in new categories — including Lyft rides and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Purchases made at drug stores and restaurants, including takeout and delivery, now earn 3% back.
The main signup bonus remains the same. But on top of it, you now earn 5% back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 during your first year Spend $1,000 in this category every month and you’re looking at $600 back by the end of the year. It’s hard to find another no-annual-fee card that earns the same rewards.
The only feature the Chase Freedom Unlimited® by Visa lacks is a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers. Chase removed this perk from most of its cards during the coronavirus pandemic, but it compensated with the new reward categories that are more rewarding in the current financial landscape.
All this makes the Chase Freedom Unlimited® by Visa one of the most rewarding cashback credit cards you can currently get. If earning rewards on everyday purchases is your priority, you don’t want to miss this card.
How do I apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?
- Click Apply now.
- Go to the provider’s application.
- Enter your personal contact information and click Next.
- Enter your financial information — including your monthly salary and rental or mortgage payment — and click Next.
- Enter additional details — including your Social Security number and mother’s maiden name — and click Next.
- Review your information and submit your application.
How long will it take for me to be approved?
You typically find out about your application’s status minutes after you submit it online if everything can be immediately confirmed. If approved, you’ll get your card in the mail within 10 business days.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® changes
On September 15th, this card got a new name: Chase Freedom Unlimited® by Visa, and it now offers the following rewards:
- $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
- 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 3% Cash back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
- 3% cash back on drugstore purchases.
- 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
- Signup bonus. Earn a $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 in your first 3 months when you open your account. This is $50 more than what you get with similar cards from American Express, Capital One or Wells Fargo. A new addition to the card is an earning rate of 5% on groceries on up to $12,000 in purchases for your first year after account opening (then 1.5%). This is an $800 value if you meet the spending cap, which is a terrific value.
What’s more, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can transfer your signup bonus earnings there and get 25% and 50% higher value when you redeem for travel purchases via the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. This can turn your $200 for example into $250 and $300 respectively.
- Cash back. Earn 5% cash back on qualifying Lyft rides purchased through the Lyft app until March 31, 2022. Qualifying Lyft purchases include rides with Classic, Shared, Lux or XL modes, bike and scooter rides, and subscription and membership products. Earn 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Earn 3% back on purchases at drug stores and dining at restaurants, including takeout and delivery. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which equates to $1.50 for every $100 you spend when you choose to redeem your points for cash back.
- DoorDash benefits. Get three months of DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. DashPass offers unlimited $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on orders of $12 or more. Three months of DashPass membership is worth $29.97.
- No annual fee. Not having to pay a fee each year will help you keep this card around long-term and reap its cashback benefits.
- Intro period. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited® 0% intro APR perk, you pay no interest on purchases during the first 15 months from account opening. After the intro period ends, you’ll have a 14.99% to 23.74% variable APR. Where your APR falls in that range depends on your creditworthiness.
- Partner benefits. Get complimentary three months of DashPass and 50% discounted DashPass for nine months when you activate by December 21, 2021.
How much cashback rewards can I earn with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?
Here’s how much cash back you might earn annually based on these potential budgets:
- $500 per month x 1.5% cash back = $90 cash back
- $1,000 per month x 1.5% cash back = $180 cash back
- $1,500 per month x 1.5% cash back = $270 cash back
- $100 per month on Lyft purchases x 5% = $60 cash back
If you clear the signup bonus, that’s another $200 on top for the first year.
Case study: Kevin’s experience
There are many glitzy credit cards, but the majority of consumers can get the most out of a flat-rate cashback product. It’s simple, likely has no annual fee and offers solid, consistent rewards.
That’s why I like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card. Day to day, I spend little in common bonus categories such as gas, dining and travel. My spending is spread across many categories — health and auto insurance, gym membership, random Amazon purchases, etc. — and my Chase card lets me earn solid points, no matter what I buy.
Pound for pound, the Citi® Double Cash Card can offer better rewards. But I’ve banked with Chase for a long time, so it was natural to get a credit card from the same provider. I like that I can easily redeem my Ultimate Reward points as statement credit or as a deposit to my checking account.
What is the Chase Freedom Unlimited® 0% APR?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® 0% intro APR is a solid perk where you get to save money on interest on purchases made in the first 15 months when you open your account.
After the Chase Freedom Unlimited® 0% APR period expires, your normal purchase APR will be 14.99% to 23.74% variable. You’re more likely to qualify for a lower APR if you have a higher credit score.
What to watch out forChase Freedom Unlimited® is a decent $0 fee card with just a few elements you’ll want to be cautious of.
- Foreign transaction fees. You’ll pay a 3% of the transaction value for every transaction you make abroad or online with foreign merchants.
Case study: Ezra’s experience
When I was 20, I figured I should start building up credit in order to be able to buy a car or a home in the future. A representative at my local Chase bank convinced me to sign up for their Freedom Unlimited card.
It’s a nice fit for college students looking to establish credit. When I signed up, I was encouraged to use the card for small purchases. Not only did this allow me to gradually build a solid credit score, but it taught me to sensibly manage my expenses. With the Chase mobile app, I can keep track of my spending on the credit card, read my monthly statements, pay my bill and check my credit score for free.
The only drawback is that it can take a while before you can extend your credit limit beyond the typical starting limit of $500 for those getting their first credit card. Otherwise, it’s a good way to build credit and develop smart spending habits.
Best cards to pair with Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a solid card on its own. Combine it with other Chase credit cards and you get a rewards powerhouse. The most common combination of Chase cards is the Chase trifecta, which consists of:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Chase Freedom Flex℠
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (or Chase Sapphire Reserve®)
Chase 5/24 rule
Before you start applying for the Chase trifecta, keep in mind that Chase has an unwritten 5/24 rule that says Chase will automatically decline your credit card application if you opened five or more credit card accounts in the past 24 months.
This includes personal and business credit cards issued by Chase and other card providers.
Compare similar cashback credit cards
Compare Chase Freedom Unlimited® with other cards
Chase Freedom Unlimited® direct competitors
To see how the Chase Freedom Unlimited® fares with the competition, take a look at the table below.
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||American Express Cash Magnet® Card||Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card|
|Cash back||5% cash back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and on Lyft through March 2022, 3% back at restaurants and drugstores and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases||Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases||Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases||Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases|
Unlimited 1.8% cash back on qualified digital wallet purchases during the first 12 months
|Signup bonus||$200 bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months.|
Earn 5% back on groceries on up to $12,000 in purchases during your first year from opening (then 1%).
|$150 bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months||$200 bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months||$200 bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months|
|Intro APR period on purchases||15 months intro APR period on purchases, a variable 14.99% to 23.74% thereafter||15 months intro APR period on purchases, a variable 13.99% to 23.99% thereafter||15 months intro APR period on purchases, a variable 15.49% to 25.49% thereafter||15 months intro APR period on purchases, a variable 13.99% to 25.99% thereafter|
|Intro APR period on transfers||N/A||N/A||N/A||15 months intro APR period on balance transfers, a variable 13.99% to 25.99% thereafter|
|Foreign transaction fees||3%||2.7%||0%||3%|
What you should know before applying
- You’re at least 18 years old.
- You’re at least 19 years old if you live in Alabama or Nebraska.
- You’re at least 21 years old if you live in Puerto Rico.
What credit score should I have?
A good to excellent credit score will increase the chances of your application being approved.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® reviews and complaints
Many cardholders praise the Chase Freedom Unlimited®‘s 1.5% cashback feature. However, a few customers expressed that they had trouble getting their credit limit increased.
Chase earns a Trustpilot score of 5.5 out of 10 at the time of this writing. Most negative reviews cite slow responses to fraud complaints and less-than-helpful customer service. Positive reviews cite the bank’s great mobile app and quick resolutions to their issues. Overall, your mileage may vary with Chase customer support.
The JPMorgan Chase Credit Card division earns an overall A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
I got the card. Now what?
After reviewing your application Chase will issue you either a Signature or Platinum card. If approved for a Signature account, your credit access line will be at least $5,000. If approved for a Platinum account, your credit limit will be at least $500.
- Manage your account online. Register with Chase Online to keep an eye on your spending and payments.
- Steer clear of penalties. Late payments and returned payments can attract fees of up to $39.
- Limit its use overseas. You pay foreign transaction fees each time you use this card outside the US. Learn more about cards that come with no foreign transaction fees.
- Contact customer service. Looking for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® phone number? Don’t hesitate to contact Chase if you need any account-related information. Customer service can be reached at 800-432-3117. You can also connect with Chase on Twitter @ChaseSupport.
How do I redeem rewards from the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?
Despite being marketed as a cashback card, you actually earn points, which you can redeem for cash. You can also redeem your Chase points for other rewards. Here’s how:
- Log in to your Chase account.
- Choose a redemption option from the dashboard, such as cash, gift cards, travel or products and services from third-party merchants
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® by Visa is one of the best cashback cards you can currently get. With the addition of new 5% and 3% cashback categories, this card rises high above flat-reward cards and even shoots beyond similar cashback cards. For maximum reward value, consider pairing this card with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Common questions about the Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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