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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% introductory interest rate offer and no annual fee. Does that make this card 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 the card a smart addition to your wallet? We think so, and there are plenty of reasons why.

Cash back and rewards that don’t expire

You can earn cash back quickly with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, depending on your spending habits. First, you’ll earn 5% 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 of 2022.

In addition, you’ll earn 3% cash back on every dollar you charge at restaurants, including takeout and through eligible delivery services, and on drugstore purchases. You’ll earn 1.5% back on all other purchases.

As part of the card’s current welcome offer, you’ll also earn 5% back on grocery store purchases, excluding those made at Target or Walmart, on up to $12,000 worth of charges during your first year of opening your account. The Chase Freedom Unlimited’s welcome offer also includes a $200 cash back bonus if you spend $500 in purchases within the first three months 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 saving 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 your other Chase cards. This 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. The card also offers a 0% interest rate on purchases for the first 15 months after you open your account. After this introductory period ends, the card’s standard variable APR of 14.99% to 24.74% kicks in.

You’ll also get three free months of DashPass. This subscription service from DoorDash provides unlimited food deliveries for a $0 fee on orders of more than $12 on DoorDash and fellow food delivery service Caviar.

You’ll get these perks without paying an annual fee, which makes them even more valuable.

The Chase Freedom offers other benefits, too. This includes zero liability protection, in which 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 a 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, non-refundable 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 the value of your Chase Freedom Unlimited card, 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 as you’ll receive 3% cash back in these categories. The same holds true for drugstore purchases: If you use your card often at these stores, you can also generate cash back quickly thanks to the 3% cash back offer for drugstore purchases.

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

The card’s $200 welcome bonus is easy to earn, too. If you use your card often, you’ll easily charge the $500 you need on purchases during the first three months of opening your account to nab this reward.

But this card is even more valuable if you have more than one Chase-branded credit card. That’s because Chase lets you transfer the points you earn among any other Chase card that also generates points.

Here’s an example of how this can work: The Chase Freedom FlexSM card offers 5% cash back on specific categories that rotate each quarter. If you used your Chase Freedom Flex for purchases in the quarter’s 5% 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 into one larger pool to redeem 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. These points 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 points 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 here 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.

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