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INSIDER SECRET: No-annual-fee credit cards are a great way to build a good credit score. You can keep the card forever to increase the average age of your credit accounts and it won’t cost you anything!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the most powerful no-annual-fee cards on the market. It’s got a great return rate on your daily purchases. Many of us on the team use it every day.
If you’re wondering about your chances for approval, many people in online forums report success with scores of 680 and above. (Although I was able to find an approval with a score as low as 636!) The credit score is just one of several items Chase will look at, so you’ll still have a chance at being approved even if you don’t have an excellent credit score.
And because of the flexibility of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, it’s possible to get more value out of this card than competing cash-back cards. We’ll give you our Chase Freedom Unlimited approval tips to improve your chances.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Approval Tips
Apply Here: Chase Freedom Unlimited
Read our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t come with a truckload of bonus points after meeting minimum spending requirements. Instead, it comes with 3% cash back (3x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on all purchases for the first year, up to $20,000 spent; then 1.5% cash back (1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on any additional purchases.
You won’t have to worry about keeping track of rotating quarterly bonus categories!
This card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which are one of our favorite types of flexible points. That’s because they can be worth so much more depending on how you use them, so it’s very easy to come out ahead of competing 2% cash-back cards.
For example, you can redeem these points for cash at a rate of one cent each. But if you also have either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can redeem your points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal at a rate of 1.25 cents each (25% more value). If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, your points will be worth 1.5 cents each toward travel through the Chase portal.
Additionally, if you transfer your points from the Freedom Unlimited to any of the above cards, you can also transfer points to any of Chase’s travel partners to potentially get even more value.
How to Improve Your Chances of Approval With the Chase Freedom Unlimited
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to improve your chances of getting approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
1. Be Mindful of Chase’s 5/24 Application Rule
Chase has some strict application rules, one of which is the 5/24 rule. You will not be approved for most of their cards, including the Chase Freedom Unlimited, if you have opened five or more credit cards from any bank (NOT counting Chase small business cards and certain other business cards) in the past 24 months.
If you have been added as an authorized user to any credit cards, these will count under 5/24. However, some folks have reported success calling Chase to get authorized-user accounts disregarded.
You can use tools like myBankrate to count how many cards you have opened in the past 24 months.
2. Check Your Credit Score
Many people from online forums reported approvals on the Chase Freedom Unlimited with a credit score of 680 and above. Generally speaking, the higher your score, the better chance you’ll have for an approval. But I’ve found approval reports in the low 600s in the past.
Keep in mind that your credit score is just one of several factors that Chase may consider.
What to Do If You’re Not Immediately Approved
It’s not unusual for a Chase credit card application to go to pending status. If your application is not immediately approved, don’t panic. It does not necessarily mean you were declined. In fact, there are reports online that many pending applications eventually turned into approvals. The best thing to do would be to wait for a final decision before calling Chase.
If you are declined, don’t give up hope. You can still call Chase and ask for a reconsideration.
You can use these tips to make your reconsideration call a success and you can emphasize a couple of additional items:
1. Lead the Call and Emphasize Positive Credit Factors
Regardless of your credit score, Chase ultimately has the final say. There are a number of other factors they can look at when deciding to approve or deny your application. You’ll make a stronger case for approval if you lead the call and emphasize items like the following:
- Payment history on existing Chase cards and other banks
- Length of history with Chase and other banks
- Number of recent credit card applications
- Credit utilization on your existing cards
Mentioning these items up front also lets them know you are knowledgeable about your credit and finances, which banks love to hear.
2. Let Them Know Why You Want the Card
Banks want to know that you’ll be regularly using the card, so your reconsideration call will have a better chance of success if you tell them how you plan on using the card, how it fits into your everyday spending and why you want it.
For example, maybe you don’t like the hassle of keeping track of rotating bonus categories and just want the simplicity of a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
The most important thing is to be honest both on the application and when you speak with them on the phone.
Above all else, be polite on the call. Sometimes the bank just needs a bit of extra information from you, so don’t sweat it.
If you’re looking for a simple no-annual-fee credit card, you should consider applying for the Chase Freedom Unlimited. There are no rotating categories to remember. Few cards take less brainpower.
You’ll have a better chance to be approved for this card with a credit score of 680+, but because Chase also looks at other factors, it is possible to get approved with a lower credit score (or denied with a higher credit score).
If you do not get approved for the card, you can call Chase and ask for a reconsideration. Emphasize your positive credit factors besides your credit score and let them know why you want the card.
Do you have any approval tips or did you have to call in for a reconsideration? Let us know in the comments, and check out these posts for more about Chase Ultimate Rewards points:
- Chase Ultimate Rewards Review
- 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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