Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card Review

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great option for people looking for a simple cash-back rewards credit card. The fact that there’s no annual fee and a nice sign-up bonus makes this card extra appealing.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

overall rating
4.6
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.49% - 25.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.8
for Fees
4.2
for Rewards
3.9
for Credit
4.0

$200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Top Rated For

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
    Savvy Saver

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card for non-travelers and people who want an easy way to earn rewards on all their purchases. Those who are new to rewards credit cards will find the Chase Freedom Unlimited an easy way to start earning. Because of Chase’s 5/24 rule, you should avoid applying for this card if you’ve opened more than five credit cards in the past 24 months.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Easy-to-earn sign-up bonus

  • Long introductory no-interest period

Cons

  • Potentially high APR

  • Foreign transaction fee

Pros Explained

  • No annual fee: The Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t charge an annual fee, which is a must-have on a simple rewards card.
  • Easy-to-earn sign-up bonus: You don't have to be a big spender to earn extra dough. Make only $500 of purchases using this card within the first three months, and the sign-up bonus is yours.
  • Long introductory no-interest period: This card offers a 15-month, 0% APR period on both balance transfers and purchases. That makes it easier to finance a large purchase or move a balance from a card with a higher interest rate. You have the freedom to pay over time without the additional cost.

Cons Explained

  • Potentially high APR: Your final APR depends on several aspects of your application, including your credit score. Depending on where your credit stands, you could qualify the higher end of the APR range. Even if you qualify for a lower APR, be sure to pay your balance in full after the promotional period ends, so you can avoid expensive finance charges.
  • Foreign transaction fee: Using this card abroad wipes out your rewards because of the 3% fee on purchases made in other countries. Pair this card with one with travel rewards, or check out a card with a flat rewards-earning rate and no foreign transaction fee, like the Capital One Quicksilver Rewards or the Bank of America Travel Rewards.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Sign-Up Bonus

Spend $500 within three months of opening your account and you'll get $200 cash back. This is a typical offer for a no-annual-fee cash-back card, and one you should be able to earn quickly without adjusting your normal spending habits.

Earning Points & Rewards

The Chase Freedom Unlimited makes it easy to earn rewards. You’ll simply earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases (1.5 points per $1 spent), which is a competitive rate for a flat-rate cash back card. You’ll also earn rewards whenever an authorized user makes purchases on your credit card.

You can find higher earning rates among cash-back cards that offer rewards based on purchase categories, but those cards require more strategic use.

This simple, flat-rate rewards structure means you don’t have to enroll in anything to get a higher rewards rate (like you do with cards with rewards categories that change every quarter), plus there’s no need to alter your spending to take advantage of higher earning categories. 

Points don’t expire as long as your account is open and in good standing.

Redeeming Rewards

Rewards are tracked as Chase Ultimate Rewards points—100 points is usually equal to $1 when redeemed. Here's what you can redeem points for:

  • Cash back: You can do this at any time for any amount—there’s no minimum redemption threshold to worry about. Rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit to your credit card account or as a direct deposit to your checking or savings account. 
  • Travel purchases: Use Chase Ultimate Rewards to book your travel and apply your rewards to your purchase. Reserving travel through Chase’s online booking tool allows you to access competitive rates and gives you flexible ways to pay for your travel. 
  • Gift cards: You can cash in points for gift cards that can be used for dining, entertainment, shopping, and more.
  • Amazon purchases: If you link your Freedom Unlimited credit card account to your Amazon account, you can use your points to instantly pay for all or part of your Amazon orders. Points can even go towards tax and shipping on your purchases.

Warning

Rewards redeemed at Amazon checkout are valued 20% lower than other forms of redemption. When using your rewards through Amazon, you’ll receive 80 cents for every 100 in points rather than the regular $1 for 100 points.

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Make sure you spend at least $167 each month for three months after opening this card to earn your $200 sign-up bonus. After that, either make this your primary use card to get the most out of the easy cash-back rewards, or pair it with another card that offers a higher earning rate on select purchases, like gas or groceries.

If you have one of Chase’s travel rewards credit cards—the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve—you can combine your Ultimate Rewards points and get up to 50% more when you redeem through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal. If you don’t have one of those cards, redeeming your rewards for anything other than Amazon purchases is a worthwhile choice.

Chase Freedom Unlimited’s Other Features

The Chase Freedom Unlimited comes with a couple of other perks when you use your card for purchases. 

  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Extended warranty protection

Customer Experience

The Chase mobile app allows you to view your account activity and pay your bill, but Chase didn’t score well in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study. Chase received a score of 870 out of a possible 1,000 points—just below the industry average of 872. 

In terms of credit card satisfaction, Chase fares a bit better. It has an above-average score of 807, which was good enough for the fourth slot in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Survey.

Key Customer Experience Features

Free Credit Monitoring Tools Access your free credit score with Chase Credit Journey. You’ll have access to weekly credit score updates, alerts to credit score changes, plus the ability to simulate how credit events may affect your credit score.

Contactless Payments Chase Freedom Unlimited features contactless pay technology allowing you to check out by tapping your card on a credit card terminal—where available of course.

Security Features

This card has industry-standard security features, like fraud alerts and $0 fraud liability.

Chase Freedom Unlimited’s Fees & Charges

The Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t come with a lot of fees, and the fees it charges are in line with industry standards. Chase does charge a foreign transaction fee on purchases made in currencies other than U.S. dollars. However, there’s no penalty rate if you default on your credit card payments.

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CURRENT CARD
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
overall rating
4.6
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 16.49% - 25.24% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.