The Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Unlimited® combined can pack a powerful punch. By making the most of the Chase Freedom card’s rotating categories and the Freedom Unlimited card’s unlimited 1.5 percent rate on every purchase, you can earn $540 in cash back in your first year of membership.
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There are plenty of rewards credit cards on the market – cards that dole out airline miles or hotel points, flexible travel credit cards that let you transfer points to partners and even cash back credit cards that let you redeem points for statement credits, gift cards and more.
No matter the type of rewards you prefer, sometimes one credit card isn’t enough. To get more rewards over time, it can make sense to have two different credit cards that complement one another.
If you don’t mind having a few different cards, the Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Unlimited® combined can pack a powerful punch. By making the most of the Chase Freedom card’s rotating categories and the Freedom Unlimited card’s unlimited 1.5 percent rate on every purchase, you can earn $540 in cash back in your first year of membership.
Rotate cards to maximize your earnings
The Chase Freedom card offers an amazing 5 percent bonus category, which changes each quarter. As long as you log into your account to activate the bonus by the activation deadline, you can earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent in the category that quarter (1 percent cash back thereafter). For Q4 of this year (October, November and December), the 5 percent bonus includes department stores, PayPal and Chase Pay.
With an exceptional 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter, the Chase Freedom card is both a good cash back earner on its own and a great companion to other cards.
See related: Chase freedom bonus categories
For purchases that fall outside Chase Freedom’s quarterly bonus categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited comes into play. You earn 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase.
With 1.5% cash back on every purchase, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is both a good simple rewards card and a good companion to cards with bonus categories, including the Chase Freedom.
With both credit cards in your wallet, it’s easy to rack up $540 or more in cash back in year one.
First, spend at least $500 with the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards in the first three months to earn the $150 welcome offer. Then, spend $100 in the Chase Freedom’s bonus categories every month to earn a total of $210 cash back your first year.
In the meantime, spend $1,000 per month on your Chase Freedom Unlimited to earn $15 per month – $180 per year – in additional cash back.
That’s an extra $540 you wouldn’t have otherwise – and all just for using your credit cards in a strategic way.
Cash back strategy
Earn $210 in your first year
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Earn $360 in your first year
|Total cash back earned = $540|
Redeem points however you want
One of the biggest benefits of cash back credit cards from Chase is the flexibility you get in redeeming your rewards. With either card, you have the option to redeem points for statement credits or at a rate of 1 cent per point. You can also use points to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, or for merchandise from Amazon.com or Apple.
|Redemption option||Point value (cents)|
This flexibility ensures you’ll never get stuck with points you can’t use. Everyone can use statement credits that can be applied to any purchase you make with your credit card.
Pay for a large purchase without interest for a limited time
As an additional benefit, both cards offer a 0 percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months followed by a variable APR of 16.49 to 25.24 percent. This introductory APR makes it possible to pay for a large purchase with your credit card and use it as a short-term, interest-free loan. If you bought new furniture or new kitchen appliances with the cards, for example, you could earn rewards and pay your purchases down slowly without accruing interest during the introductory period.
You can also transfer a balance to one of these cards during the same introductory period and pay it down over 15 months with no interest – although a balance transfer fee applies.
The bottom line
If your goal is earning cash back rewards, the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited are both solid options. Both cards make it easy to earn cash back, gift cards and more, and neither comes with an annual fee.
But, why not get both? With each of these cards in your wallet, you can maximize your spending all year long. You can even forgo paying interest on your purchases for the first 15 months while earning cash back at a high rate – you can’t beat that.
See related: What type of user is the Chase Freedom Unlimited card best for?, Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited card the best no-annual-fee cash back rewards card?, Earn more Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase trifecta