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Chase Freedom Unlimited® review

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The best card you'll find on the market for unlimited cash back.

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.

$200

Welcome offer

Up to 5%

Cash back

$0

Annual fee

0%

Intro purchase APR

for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)

Details

Annual fee$0
Welcome Offer$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
Rewards5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
Purchase APR0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR14.99% to 23.74% variable
Recommended minimum credit score670
IssuerVisa

Expert review

Megan Horner

Review by


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.

Expert review

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the beefed-up version of its former self. In the past, you could only earn 1.5% back on all purchases, which is the industry-standard for unlimited cashback cards. 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, also earn 3% back. These are rates and categories you’d typically find on a category cashback card, and they’re often limited by spending caps. The simple fact that the Unlimited earns at least 1.5% on all purchases and can reach as high as 5% makes it one of the most valuable cashback cards on the market.

The only feature the Chase Freedom Unlimited® 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.

What you should know before applying

Eligibility criteria

  • 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.

Apply now

How do I apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

  1. Click Apply now.
  2. Go to the provider’s application.
  3. Enter your personal contact information and click Next.
  4. Enter your financial information — including your monthly salary and rental or mortgage payment — and click Next.
  5. Enter additional details — including your Social Security number and mother’s maiden name — and click Next.
  6. 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.

Card benefits

  • Signup bonus. The Freedom Unlimited‘s signup bonus is $50 more than what you get with similar cards from American Express, Capital One or Wells Fargo, which is a great value for no annual fee. 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. The accelerated cashback categories added to this card single-handedly catapulted the value of this card to the top of the unlimited cashback card pack. In fact, this card potentially earns more on travel than the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which is Chase’s mid-level travel option. No other unlimited cashback card offers this much value provided you often spend in the new categories.
  • Lyft and DoorDash benefits. While Lyft perks were added prior to the pandemic, they still pair well with the DoorDash benefits to offer rewards on the evolving spending habits consumers face as we recover.
  • 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. It’s something of a steal given the card’s cashback potential and signup bonus.
  • Intro period. A 0% intro period for purchases is a handy tool to have if you need to float your finances or otherwise save some money on interest after some upfront purchases. 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.

What to watch out for

Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a terrific $0 annual 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.
  • No intro balance transfer opportunities. A few competing reward cards such as the Citi Double Cash offer an intro balance transfer offer. As of February 2021, you won’t find such an offer on theChase Freedom Unlimited®.

Compare Freedom Unlimited to similar credit cards

The Freedom Unlimited is a strong cashback card, but here are a couple others that are competitive as well.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

Rates & fees
Go to site

Minimum credit score

670

Annual fee

$0

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

Rewards

5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases

Welcome offer

$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Flex℠

★★★★★

Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

Rates & fees
Go to site

Minimum credit score

670

Annual fee

$0

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

Rewards

5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases

Welcome offer

$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months

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.

How much cashback rewards can I earn with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

Here’s a look at how much cash back you can earn in one month with the Chase Freedom Unlimited given a few average spending values:

  • $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. For more tips on making the most of your Chase Freedom Unlimited, check out our Chase Ultimate Rewards earning guide.

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

Guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards points

Apply now

Chase Freedom Unlimited® customer 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.

JPMorgan Chase Credit Card is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau but it has an A+ rating and a composite score of 1.18 out of 5 stars based on 229 customer reviews as of October 2020. Most customer complaints revolve around poor customer service and hidden costs Chase credit cards in general. Make sure you read your card’s terms and the rewards agreement to avoid issues with your account.

As of October 2020, Chase earns a Trustpilot score of 1.3 out of 5. 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.

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.

Bottom line

If you’re interested in earning cash back on all of your purchases, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the best cashback card 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 category cashback cards in some cases. No matter what kind of spender you are, you’ll find the Chase Freedom Unlimited® well worth the spot in your wallet. If you’re looking for a different kind of cashback card however, you’ll want to compare all cashback card options to find the one that brings you the most value on your spending needs.

Credit card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.

We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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