There’s no doubt that the Chase Freedom® was one of the most popular reward credit cards
of the last decade. With no annual fee, it was the Chase entry-level rewards card that found its way into a huge number of American Wallets. Most people just seemed to initially like its formula of offering 5x rewards on up to $1,500 spent each quarter at featured merchants, and 1x elsewhere.
Chase later followed up on its success with Freedom by introducing the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which features unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and was designed for those who preferred the simplicity of a fixed percentage of cash back with each purchase vs. keeping up with the rotating reward spending categories involved with Freedom. Freedom Unlimited was an instant hit with consumers, but there’s even more value to this card when you look below the surface.
Take a look at these three outstanding features of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® that few people know about:
1. First year cash back potential
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card has always offered a very solid 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases but recently began offering 3% cash back in the first year up to $20,000, which is quite a phenomenal deal. For someone that spends $3,000 per month on this card that could mean over $1,000 cash back in the first year - not bad for a no annual fee card that also offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
2. Ability to transfer your cash back in the form of Ultimate Rewards Points
With Freedom Unlimited your rewards are received as Ultimate Rewards points, which is a loyalty program common to several different cards issued by Chase. When you only have a Chase Freedom® or Chase Freedom Unlimited® card, then you can redeem your points for just one cent each as statement credits, gift cards, hotel nights, flight fares or for merchandise.
If you have another Chase card that participates in the Ultimate Rewards program, then you can transfer the points earned by your Chase Freedom Unlimited® to another card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. Those other cards can offer you valuable ways to redeem your points that the Chase Freedom® can’t, while other cards have the ability to transfer your points to miles with seven different frequent flyer programs or points with four different hotel programs. When you are able to use these points and miles for expensive award flights in business or first class, or luxury hotel stays, it’s possible to realize several cents in value per point redeemed.
Another way to get more value from your Ultimate Rewards points is to redeem them directly for reservations made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center. While the Freedom® card offers one cent point towards travel reservations, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card let you redeem your points for 1.25 cents each towards airfare, hotels, car rentals, and activities. Furthermore, the Sapphire Reserve® gives you a whopping 1.5 cents in value per point redeemed for travel reservations.
Therefore, it’s ideal is to have both the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and another Chase card. As mentioned earlier, with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® you are able earn a full 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000. After that, you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. With this card, cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back. So, whether you enjoy your rewards in the form of cash back or simply use your Freedom Unlimited card to amass and transfer Ultimate Rewards Points for other types of rewards, the Freedom Unlimited card is a great card to keep at the top of your wallet.
3. Outstanding benefits.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is known for offering competitive rewards and no annual fee. But few cardholders pause to take a look at the valuable cardholder benefits it comes with. For example, it includes a purchase protection program that covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. You will also receive zero liability protection, which means that you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information. You will also receive Credit JourneySM, which gives you unlimited access to your credit score and more. It's free, even if you are not a Chase customer. Checking your score does not affect your credit. Lastly, though still very important, is the secondary insurance CDW coverage provided when using your Chase Freedom Unlimited card to reserve and pay for car rentals. This allows you to waive the often expensive collision damage waiver coverage offered by rental car providers but does require that you file any damage claims against your personal insurance first. This secondary coverage pays for things like insurance deductibles and loss of use fees imposed by rental car companies in the event of an accident.
By understanding these three additional features of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you can receive far more value from this card than you might have thought.
- Credit Recommended (660-850):
- Intro (Purchases)
- 0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
- Intro (Transfers)
- 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
- Annual Fee
- Regular APR
- 16.99% - 25.74% Variable
- Rewards Rate
- 3% cash back offer
- Credit Recommended
- New Offer! Double Cash Back: 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.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- No minimum to redeem for cash back
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
- Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
- No annual fee
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