How to get approved for Chase Freedom Unlimited — One of our favorite no-annual-fee cards for travel!

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the most powerful cash back credit 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 for this no annual fee card, many people in online forums report success with modest credit scores (I was able to find an approval with a score as low as 636!). Your credit score is just one of several items Chase will look at, so you’ll still have a chance at being approved even if yours isn’t excellent.

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.

It’s hard to believe a no-annual-fee card can take you somewhere like this! Check out our Chase Freedom Unlimited approval tips to boost your chances of success. (Photo by CherylRamalho/Shutterstock)

Chase Freedom Unlimited – Credit score to get approved

Many people from online forums report approvals on the Chase Freedom Unlimited with a credit score of 675 and above. Generally speaking, the higher your score, the better chance you’ll have for approval. But I’ve found approval reports in the low 600s in the past. If you’re nowhere near 700, we recommend you take some time to boost your credit score before diving into the miles and points hobby, anyway.

Keep in mind that your credit score is just one of several factors that Chase may consider.

Chase Freedom Unlimited approval tips

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 have reported success calling Chase to get authorized-user accounts disregarded.

You can use free credit monitoring tools to count how many cards you’ve opened in the past 24 months.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t come with a truckload of bonus points after meeting minimum spending requirements. But thanks to recent upgrades, it comes with some amazing benefits, including the most solid ongoing spending of any card in existence — even better than many cards with $450+ annual fees.

You’ll get:

  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 5% cash back (5x Chase points) on travel you buy through the Chase Travel Portal
  • 3% cash back (3x Chase points) on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back (3x Chase points) at drugstores
  • 1.5% cash back (1.5x Chase points on all other purchases

You won’t have to worry about keeping track of rotating quarterly bonus categories with this card, unlike the Chase Freedom.

Chase calls it a cash back card, but it technically earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, one of our favorite types of flexible points. That’s because they can be worth so much more depending on how you use them. 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 the Chase Sapphire Preferred® 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.

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:

Lead the call and emphasize positive credit factors

Regardless of your credit score, Chase ultimately has the final say. There are several 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 upfront also lets them know you are knowledgeable about your credit and finances, which banks love to hear.

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 you just want a simple cash back structure. Read our full Chase Freedom Unlimited review to acquaint yourself with this card’s increadable benefits.

The most important thing is to be honest both on the application and when you speak with them on the phone.

And remember, be polite on the call. Sometimes the bank just needs a bit of extra information from you, so don’t sweat it.

Bottom line

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. Consistent categories take less brainpower.

A solid Chase Freedom Unlimited credit score is around 675+. 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 subscribe to our newsletter for more credit card approval tips.

Please subscribe to our newsletter for more credit card approval tips.

Andrew Wan is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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