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INSIDER SECRET: The Chase Freedom Unlimited is THE best card to use for any spending that doesn’t fall into a bonus category on your other cards.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a key player in the world of miles and points. It’s one of best tools for earning our favorite kind of credit card rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards points — and it has NO annual fee.
While you might overlook this card because it doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus, that would be a grave mistake. This card deserves a place in your free travel strategy. I’ve had it for years, and I use it almost every single day.
Is the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited worth it? Take three minutes and read this post to see why the answer is HECK YES.
The No Annual Fee Chase Freedom Unlimited Is Worth It
You can apply here for the Chase Freedom Unlimited
Read our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited
It’s true, the Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus that awards you a bunch of bonus points after you meet a minimum spending level — but it does come with a welcome offer.
You’ll receive 3% cash back (3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all purchases for the first year, up to $20,000 spent; then 1.5% cash back (1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on all additional purchases. So, for example, if you were to spend $20,000 on the card in the first year, you’d earn up to $600 cash back (or 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points).
I opened this card SOLELY because of its earning rate. The ability to receive 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on all purchases is a big deal to me.
Here’s Why the Chase Freedom Unlimited Is a Keeper
1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 may not sound like a lot. After all, other cards earn much more than that:
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on dining and travel
- The Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on dining and travel (excluding $300 travel credit)
- The Chase Freedom earns 5% cash back (5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) up to $1,500 in spending in rotating categories each quarter when you activate the bonus
For spending outside each card’s bonus categories, you’ll receive just 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1.
That means the Chase Freedom Unlimited is the perfect card to use when you’re making a boring old purchase that doesn’t fall into a bonus category. I use mine all the time. When I broke a bone, I paid the doctor’s bill with my Chase Freedom Unlimited. When I bought a new car battery, I swiped my Chase Freedom Unlimited. When tummy trouble forced me down to the corner store for Kaopectate, I used my Chase Freedom Unlimited.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is subject to the Chase “5/24 rule.” Chase will not approve you for most of their cards if you’ve opened 5+ cards from any bank (not counting Chase business cards and other business cards) in the past 24 months.
Another important point is that if you have only the Chase Freedom Unlimited, the points you earn are only worth 1 cent each towards cash back or travel. But if you have any of the below Chase Ultimate Rewards point earning credit cards, you can get lots more value:
Depending on which card(s) you have, the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn with your Chase Freedom Unlimited will be worth between 1.25 cents and 1.5 cents for travel through the Chase Travel Portal, plus, you can transfer your points to valuable airline and hotel partners, like Hyatt and United Airlines. Here’s a guide on how to combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to another card, and here’s everything you need to know about Chase transfer partners.
I’m personally transferring the points I’ve earned with my Chase Freedom Unlimited to Hyatt for a stay at the Hyatt Zilara all-inclusive resort in Cancun next month. (I’ll let you know how it is.)
The Hyatt Zilara Cancun costs $425 a night for a double occupancy room, but just 25,000 Hyatt points. By opening the Chase Freedom Unlimited, spending $16,667 in the first year, and transferring those earned points to Hyatt, you’d have enough to spend a weekend at this 5-star all-inclusive resort while saving $850. That’s like getting a return of 5 cents per $1 on your spending ($850 savings / $16,667 in spending)!
With no annual fee and and a flat earning rate, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is excellent for two reasons:
- Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards points is easy, with no bonus categories to juggle
- You’ll earn more Chase Ultimate Rewards points on non-bonus spending than any other card
If you’re a miles and points fiend like me, and you love Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you’ll be wanting this card.
Let me know what you think of the Chase Freedom Unlimited. And read these posts to become a Chase Ultimate Rewards points wizard:
- 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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