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Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited worth it?

A solid cash back card that lives up to its popularity

Summary

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card comes with a generous rewards program, a 0 percent introductory interest rate offer and no annual fee. Does that make it a worthwhile addition to your wallet?

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card offers a solid rewards program and a generous introductory interest rate offer, all without charging an annual fee. Does this make it a smart addition to your wallet? Keep reading and decide for yourself.

Cash back and rewards that don’t expire

You can earn cash back quickly with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, depending on your spending habits. First, you’ll earn 5 percent cash back on all travel purchases you make through the Chase Ultimate Rewards online portal. You’ll earn the same amount back on Lyft rides through March 2025.

In addition, you’ll earn 3 percent cash back on every dollar you charge at restaurants — including takeout and eligible delivery services — and on drugstore purchases. You’ll earn 1.5 percent back on everything else you buy.

As part of the current welcome offer, you’ll also earn an additional 1.5 percent back on all purchases of up to $20,000 in your first year of opening your account.

Cash back rewards never expire, and you don’t have to earn a minimum amount to redeem your cash.

You can redeem your cash back as a statement credit or as a direct deposit into your checking or savings account. You can also link your Chase Freedom Unlimited card to your Amazon.com account to instantly use your cash back rewards to help pay for any purchases made through the online retailer. You can turn your cash back into gift cards, too.

And if you have other Chase-branded credit cards, you can transfer the points you earn with your Chase Freedom Unlimited card to those, which can help you maximize the value of these points.

Solid long-term value

The cash back program isn’t the Chase Freedom Unlimited card’s only perk. it also offers a 0 percent interest rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening. After this introductory period ends, the standard variable APR of 17.24 percent to 25.99 percent kicks in.

You’ll also get zero liability protection, which means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card, and purchase protection, which covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft for up to $500 each claim.

Other perks include extended warranty protection and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. With this last benefit, you’ll be reimbursed up to $1,500 a person and $6,000 a trip for your prepaid, nonrefundable passenger fares if your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, weather or another covered situation. And if you experience emergencies while traveling, you can call Chase for legal and medical referrals, though you are responsible for covering the cost of these services.

Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited a good card for you?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a good addition to your wallet depending on your spending habits and the other cards in your wallet. To maximize its value, you’ll need to use other Chase-branded cards, travel frequently and spend a lot at restaurants and drugstores.

If you eat out often or frequently order takeout, you can quickly earn cash since you’ll receive 3 percent cash back in these categories. The same holds true for drugstore purchases.

And if you’re a frequent traveler, you can quickly generate cash back, too. That’s thanks to the 5 percent cash back you’ll earn on travel purchases when you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

But this card is even more valuable if you have more than one Chase-branded credit card, because you can transfer the points you earn to any other Chase card that also generates points.

Here’s an example of how this can work: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5 percent cash back on specific categories that rotate each quarter. If you used your Chase Freedom Flex for purchases in the quarter’s 5 percent bonus categories and your Chase Freedom Unlimited for every other purchase, you’d maximize your cash back. You can then combine all your cash back to redeem it all together.

You can also boost the value of your cash back by transferring the points you earn with this card to other Chase cards with higher point-redemption values. Although the Chase Freedom Unlimited is marketed as a cash back card, your purchases really earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points., which are worth a penny each when you redeem them for cash back.

There are other Chase cards that earn a higher redemption rate for points. If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, each point you earn is worth 1.25 cents when you redeem for travel through Chase. You can then transfer the points you’ve earned with your Chase Freedom Unlimited for greater value if you do plan on traveling. The same holds true if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve: Points are worth an even more valuable 1.5 cents each when redeemed for travel through Chase.

Bottom line

The Chase Freedom Unlimited’s value peaks when you have more than one Chase card in your wallet, yet it’s still a solid card on its own for those who spend a lot in its top rewards categories of dining, drugstore and Ultimate Rewards travel.

 

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
Reward
17.99%
Student
18.66%
Airline
17.81%
Business
16.07%
Cash Back
17.95%

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