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Chase Freedom® vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® – Which is Best?

Chase Freedom® vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® – Which is Best?

If you’re looking for a solid rewards credit card, Chase offers some of the best options on the market today. But with so many strong cards available, it can be difficult to decide on which is best for you.

If you’re torn between the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards, here’s what you need to know to make an informed choice.

About the Chase Freedom® card

If you want to earn rewards on your routine purchases, it’s hard to beat the Chase Freedom® card. Allowing you to earn a high rate of return on your purchases, you can quickly rack up rewards.

Rewards

The Chase Freedom® card allows you to earn 5% cash back on purchases made within rotating spending categories, which change every quarter. For example, right now you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases at gas stations, toll plazas, and drugstores. That means you can earn up to $75 a quarter in cash back rewards.

However, you have to manually activate the category each quarter, otherwise you’re not eligible for the 5% cash back. Outside of the spending category, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Benefits

The Chase Freedom® card has some nice benefits, including:

  • Extended Warranty Protection
  • Zero Liability Protection
  • Purchase Protection
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
  • Travel and Emergency Assistance

Terms and Fees

The Chase Freedom® card has no annual fee.

If you’re interested in getting an introductory APR for new purchases or balance transfers, the Chase Freedom® card offers 15 months at 0% APR. After the promotional period ends, the APR is 17.24%-25.99%. 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.

About the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card

Learn More
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Editor’s Rating: 4.7
4.7
If you hate the idea of remembering quarterly spending categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card might be a better choice for you than the Chase Freedom® card.

Rewards

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card, you'll earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There’s no need to activate a category or keep track of a calendar; the cash back is automatic. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

As an added perk, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers a free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠.

Benefits

Like the Chase Freedom® card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers several benefits, including:

  • Zero Liability Protection
  • Purchase Protection
  • Extended Warranty Protection

Terms and Fees

Like the Chase Freedom® card, there is no annual fee. And, you’ll get 0% intro APR for both new purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After that 15-month period ends, the APR ranges from 17.24%-25.99% Variable. This card comes with a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.



The Bottom Line

If you spend a lot of money within the usual spending categories and don’t mind keeping track of the calendar, opting for the Chase Freedom® card to take advantage of the 5% cash back makes a lot of sense. As long as you remember to activate the different categories and use your card for those purchases, you can earn up to $300 a year in cash back.

However, if you don’t want the hassle of remembering spending categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is a much better choice. You can earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that, you can earn 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases. And because the rewards are unlimited, there’s no cap to how much you can earn. For most card users, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is a better choice than the Chase Freedom® card.

But that doesn’t mean you have to pick just one. If you have good credit and want to maximize your rewards, one strategy you can use to earn more cash back is to sign up for both cards. Use the Chase Freedom® card for purchases within the rotating spending categories, and use the Chase Freedom Unlimited card for all other purchases. This approach will allow you to earn more cash back more quickly.

Looking for a new rewards credit card? Check out the best rewards card of 2019.

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