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The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the best all-around cash back cards on the market and it’s a great card to hold if you’re a fan of Ultimate Rewards and hold one of the Chase Sapphire cards. If you don’t already hold the Freedom Unlimited Card now may be the time to consider applying as Chase has just made a couple of significant improvements to the card’s welcome offer.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
- $0 (zero)
- Earn $200 back after spending $500 on the card in the first 3 months of opening your new account (this is an increase on the old offer of $150 back)
- NEW: Get 5% back at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 of spending in the first year of card membership.
Note: This product is not available to current cardmembers of this credit card or to previous holders of this card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.
- Earn 1.5% back on all purchases.
Note: There is no cap on earnings.
How The Cash Back Works
The Freedom Unlimited credit card earns 1.5% in “cash back rewards” on all spending but the cash back is actually paid out in the form of points that can then be redeemed for cash back or for various other rewards. Each point is worth 1 cent and for most, the cash back option is the most economically sound option available unless the card holder also holds a Chase Sapphire card (more on that later).
Why I Like The Freedom Unlimited Card
Great Welcome Offer
The welcome offer will pay out 20,000 points (worth $200) after a new cardholder spends $500 in the first 3 months of having and that’s an effective rebate of 40% on the first $500 of spending put on this card. Just think about that for a moment. This is a card that costs absolutely nothing to hold and which will allow you to buy $500 of whatever it is that you want to buy for a net cost of just $300. This is genuinely free money.
On top of the generous cash back, the 5% back (5 points/dollar) that this card offers on grocery spending for the first 12 months of card membership is a fantastic deal and, outside of any special offers, will make the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card one of the very best cards to use at grocery stores – I can’t think of a single no-fee credit card that offers as good a return as this at grocery stores.
Good, Simple Earnings
There are two reasons the Freedom Unlimited credit card shines here:
- Most rewards credit cards only offer bonuses for shopping in select categories so you have to remember which credit cards offer bonuses in which categories if you’re to maximize the value you get out of each card. With the Freedom Unlimited credit card there are no such issues as it pays a flat 1.5% back (1.5 points/dollar) on all spending.
- Even if you’re a huge miles & points fan who can remember all the various bonus categories that your cards offer, a card that offers an effective rebate of 1.5% on all purchases should still be a key weapon in your miles & points strategy. There are a number of shopping categories in which most credit cards don’t offer a bonus so, when you find yourself shopping in one of these categories (e.g. in department stores or at drugstores), the Freedom Unlimited credit card can often provide a considerably better return than anything else in your wallet…even cards costing $450+ per year
Pair It With A Sapphire Card For Excellent Value
If you happen to hold one of the Chase Sapphire credit cards (which I think most people should) and you’re a fan of Ultimate Rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card goes from being a very good card to hold to a card that you probably can’t afford not to hold.
Remember when I mentioned earlier that the Freedom Card pays out its rebate in the form of points? Well, if you hold one of the Chase Sapphire credit cards, the points earned by the Freedom Unlimited credit card can be transferred over to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program (in a ratio of 1:1). From there they can be transferred over to a host of other loyalty programs (World of Hyatt, United MileagePlus, etc…) for fantastic redemptions.
I value Chase Ultimate Rewards Points at 1.5 cents each so each point the Freedom Unlimited credit card earns for a Sapphire card holder is actually worth 1.5 cents and not 1.0 cents as it is for everyone else. Looked at in this light, the 20,000 points that the welcome bonus is offering is actually worth $300, and the 5 points per dollar on offer at grocery stores is actually worth 7.5 cents (an effective rebate of 7.5%).
This is a super-simple and yet super-effective no annual fee credit card with an excellent welcome offer and great earnings potential. If you’re in the market for a cash back credit card this is a very good card to hold. If you have a Chase Sapphire credit card and enjoy Ultimate Rewards the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is as close to a “no-brainer” as it gets.