The Chase Freedom Unlimited: A Simple No-Annual-Fee Card That Offers Benefits for Everyone
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INSIDER SECRET: It’s best to pair the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited card with certain other cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points and redeem the Ultimate Rewards you earn for travel.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great example that even a simple, no-annual-fee credit card can carry a ton of valuable benefits and perks.
Right now, when you apply for the card, you’ll earn 3% cash back (3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) on all purchases for the first year, up to $20,000 spent (then 1.5% cash back). There’s no need to track rotating bonus categories because you’ll earn the same cash back rate on all purchases.
And as a card member, you’ll also be able to take advantage of a number of perks which can not only help you stretch the value of your points but also save you money in the long run. Chase Freedom Unlimited benefits include travel and shopping protections like trip cancellation insurance and extended warranty.
I’ll go over six Chase Freedom Unlimited benefits so you can see exactly how this card can add value to your wallet outside of the cash back bonus on your everyday purchases.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Benefits
Apply here: Chase Freedom Unlimited
Read our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited’s current intro offer allowing you to earn 3% cash back bonus on up to $20,000 on purchases is pretty amazing, especially since it applies to all purchases regardless of whether you’re out dining, shopping at a warehouse or spending money on computer electronics.
The card also has six additional benefits which can wind up saving you tons of money in the long run.
Points Pooling With Other Eligible Chase Cards
The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns cash back in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. On their own, these points earned on the Chase Freedom Unlimited can be redeemed through the Chase Travel Portal for 1 cent per point. But if you have another Chase card that also earns Ultimate Rewards points, you could pool the points to get even more value. That’s because Ultimate Rewards points redeemed through certain cards are worth more through the Chase Travel Portal.
Here are some other Chase cards you can pool your points with:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve (points are worth 1.5 cents per point when redeemed for travel through the Chase Travel Portal)
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card (points are worth 1.25 cents per point when redeemed for travel through the Chase Travel Portal)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (points are worth 1.25 cents per point when redeemed for travel through the Chase Travel Portal)
I personally carry both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Sapphire Reserve, and I regularly transfer all my points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve so that I can take advantage of the higher redemption value of 1.5 cents per point.
If you purchase an eligible item brand new, it’ll be covered against damage or theft for 120 days, up to a limit of $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
You’ll be covered as long as you made at least part of the purchase with your card.
To take advantage of this perk, you’ll need to contact Chase within 90 days after the loss, damage or theft occurred. They’ll let you know what documentation they’ll need, which could include a copy of the store receipt, police report or any other documentation to substantiate the claim.
Certain items are not eligible for this coverage, such as animals, antiques, computer software and medical equipment. You can check the Guide to Benefits for a complete list of excluded items.
Extended Warranty Protection
Eligible items that are purchased with your Chase Freedom Unlimited could have the original manufacturer’s warranty extended by up to one additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less. Coverage is limited to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.
You’ll qualify for this extended warranty coverage if you made at least part of the purchase with your card.
Taking advantage of this benefit is fairly straightforward. You’ll want to contact Chase within 90 days of the product failure and provide any supporting documentation they may require, such as copies of repair invoices, the original warranty, etc.
Personally, the extended warranty perk saved me several hundred dollars when my out-of-warranty laptop needed a new keyboard. And as I recall, the claim process was very simple! I simply contacted the credit card company, provided a copy of my original purchase receipt and repair invoice, and was promptly mailed a paper check reimbursing me in full for the cost of parts and labor.
There are some items that are excluded from coverage, and you can find the full list in the Guide to Benefits.
Trip Interruption/Cancellation Coverage
If you’ve booked a trip and charged at least part of it to your card, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that you’ll be covered in the event you have to cancel due to an unexpected event.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited provides coverage to reimburse you for certain eligible non-refundable expenses up to $1,500 per person, up to a maximum of $6,000 for all covered persons traveling together on the same trip.
Qualifying events include changes in military orders, severe weather, sickness experienced by you or a traveling companion and more. And you could be reimbursed for expenses related to airline, cruise line, railroad, other common carrier fees, change fees and ground transportation expenses.
A complete list is available in the Guide to Benefits.
If the unexpected happens and you do have to file a claim, you can expect to follow this general process:
- Contact Chase at 888-320-9656. It’s recommended to do this within 20 days of finding out you won’t be able to make your travel plans
- You’ll be sent claim forms which will need to be signed and completed
- You may need to provide supporting documentation such as copies of your travel itinerary and documents supporting your trip cancellation circumstances such as medical documents or death certificate
Travel Emergency Services
If you need help but don’t know where to turn or who to call, travel emergency services is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.
- Outside the US, call: 804-673-1691
- Inside the US, call: 888-320-9656
They provide a wide range of services, but it’s important to note that they provide only assistance and referral only. You will be responsible for the cost of any services or goods provided.
Here are some examples of services they can provide referrals for:
- Medical referral assistance
- Legal referral assistance
- Emergency transportation assistance
- Emergency ticket replacement
- Lost luggage locator service
- Emergency translation service
- Prescription assistance
Tacking on roadside assistance to your car insurance can be pricey, so if you’ve opted out of that on your personal insurance policy, the roadside dispatch offered on the Chase Freedom Unlimited could serve as a great alternative or backup option.
And there’s no separate enrollment process. Once you’re a card member, you’re automatically all set to take advantage of this benefit if and when you need to. Just call 800-847-2869 and you can get help for the following services:
- Towing (up to five miles included)
- Tire changing (you must provide a good, inflated spare)
- Jump-start – battery boost
- Lockout service (no key replacement)
- Fuel delivery (up to five gallons; cost of fuel not included)
- Winching (within 100 feet of paved or county-maintained road only)
Once you call in, the dispatcher will stay on the line with you while they arrange for a local towing or service provider to come to you. It saves you the hassle of having to find a local company yourself, and the fees will be billed directly to your credit card account.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (Auto Rental CDW)
When you decline a car-rental agency’s Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)/Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), you’ll get secondary coverage when you pay for your car rental with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Coverage is global and is eligible with most private passenger vehicles. Covered losses are:
- Physical damage and theft of the vehicle
- Valid loss-of-use charges while the damaged vehicle is out of service
- Reasonable and customary towing charges
You can find much more information starting on page 2 in the Chase Guide To Benefits.
Carrying a card with a simple rewards structure doesn’t mean you have to give up anything in terms of perks and benefits. Life and the unexpected happens, and you could arguably get more value out of the perks than the cash back bonus you’d be earning on your daily purchases.
A single canceled trip, for instance, could save you as much as $6,000 in fees that would otherwise be non-refundable. Using the extended warranty perk even once could potentially save you as much as $10,000 for a single claim. And if you purchase an eligible item brand-new only to have it stolen or damaged, you could be protected for up to $500.
There are a number of use cases for this card, so you should definitely consider applying for the Chase Freedom Unlimited. It won’t cost you anything to keep because the card carries no annual fee. And if you apply now, you can earn 3% cash back on all purchases for the first year, up to $20,000 spent (then 1.5% cash back).
To learn more about Chase Ultimate Rewards points, check out the following:
- Chase Points Value
- Best Way to Use Chase Points
- Chase Transfer Partners
- How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- How to Setup a Chase Ultimate Rewards Account
- How to Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
- Do Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Expire?
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