|Highlights||Credit Card Feature|
|Things We Like||Signing bonus of $150|
|Our Least Favorite||3% foreign transaction fees|
|Our Verdict||Great card for unlimited 1.5% cash back|
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ fills a gap left by Chase Freedom® for uncomplicated cash back on all purchases, at a decent rate. This card from Chase will appeal to those who prefer to earn a flat percentage of cash back no matter what they spend on.
If you already use a Chase Freedom® to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate, but aren't content with the unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases you get automatically, then supplementing your wallet with Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ could be a good way to do it.
In this Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ review, we compare Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ to other flat-rate cash back cards out there, and explain in-depth how you can squeeze the most out of it.
Things We Like About Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
The $150 Bonus! After you charge $500 of purchases to your card in your first 3 months from account opening, you earn a $150 Bonus. That is an easy-to-get and pretty tidy bonus offer. Remember, this bonus only applies if you do not already have this card. If you are a previous cardmember of this credit card, but have not gotten a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months, you may still be eligible.
You earn a $25 bonus by adding your first authorized user and making your first purchase within the first 3 months after account opening. If you have a trusted family member whom you want to add as an authorized user, then adding them will help you get this bonus.
The unlimited 1.5% cash back. This card lets you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase automatically. If you prefer not to have to activate cash back categories every quarter, then you will appreciate the hassle-free approach to earning cash back with this card. Aside from returns, refunds, casino gaming chips, foreign currency and a few other exceptions, you earn this good rate of cash back on virtually every purchase.
It doesn't have an annual fee. Some cards offer a good rate of cash back, but then cut you short with a high annual card fee. Chase Freedom Unlimited℠, on the other hand, has no annual fee.
It has a long introductory low APR. After successfully applying for Chase Freedom Unlimited℠, you get a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. That gives you a chance to pay off old balances or make big purchases and pay them off during that time, without accumulating interest. After the intro APR period, you will get a regular 15.49% - 24.24% variable APR. Note that for each balance transfer you make to this card, you will pay a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Redeeming cash back is easy. You can redeem your cash back any time you like. There are no minimum amounts or tiers to box in the way you redeem cash back, so you can redeem for any amount of cash, anytime. You earn cash back as a form of points, which you can redeem for cash as an electronic deposit into an eligible checking or savings account (financial institutions located in the United States only), as an account statement credit or for travel, gift cards, merchandise and services.
Cash back does not expire. As long as your account is active, your cash back will not expire, so you can save up as much as you like with no pressure to redeem.
Zero liability protection. If you report your card as lost or stolen, you will not be held liable for fraudulent transactions made. That gives you a lot of peace of mind. However, this zero liability protection does not apply to transactions made by an authorized user without your approval, so only authorize people you trust.
You get purchase protection. When you pay for a purchase with this card, the stuff you buy is covered against accidental damage and against theft, so you can get reimbursed (within limits) if disaster strikes. You can file a claim for damages that occur within 120 days of the purchase date. Reimbursement limits are up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, so this benefit can be a big saver.
You get price protection. If you find a lower price than what you paid for something (using this card) being advertised by a merchant either in print or online within 90 days from the purchase date, you may be able to get the difference in price reimbursed. Certain terms and limits do apply, but this is a very useful benefit which could potentially save you a lot of money. This perk applies to purchases you make in the U.S. and you can be reimbursed with up to $500 per item ($2,500 per year) to cover the difference in price.
You get rental car coverage. When you use Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ to pay for a car rental, you get a complimentary auto rental collision damage waiver, as long as you decline the waiver offered by the rental car company. When renting a car in the U.S., this coverage is secondary to coverage you already get from your other insurance policies. Most cars you rent in the U.S. and abroad will be covered against theft and collision damage.
Our Least Favorite Things About Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
The foreign transaction fee. This is a great card to use for all your purchases in the U.S., but leave it at home when you venture to foreign lands. Every time you use this card to pay in a foreign currency, you pay a foreign transaction fee equal to 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.
The penalties. Using this card smartly and always making your payments on time (in full if possible, so the APR doesn't dig into your cash back earnings) will help you save money by earning cash back. However, if you make a late payment, you will have to pay a late payment fee of up to $15 if the balance is less than $100; up to $27 if the balance is $100 to less than $250; up to $37 if the balance is $250 or more. The solution: don't make a late payment, ever. If you are prone to forgetfulness or are just unlucky, you may prefer a card with no penalty fee.
How Other Cards Compare With Chase Freedom Unlimited℠
|Intro APR:||0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers|
|Regular APR:||15.49% - 24.24% Variable|
|Credit Required:||Good, Excellent|
|Intro APR:||0% on balance transfers for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)|
|Regular APR:||15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% Variable|
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ has a simple, straightforward approach to earning and redeeming cash back, and is a rewarding card to use for all purchases. Pedro Pla
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ is a card that will appeal to those who like simple, automated processes with as few hassles involved as possible. You earn unlimited 1.5% cash back automatically, and you can redeem your cash back whenever you choose. No need to think about categories, activating cash back or minimum amounts of cash back in order to redeem.
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ will also come as a welcome secondary solution if you are a Chase Freedom® user and want to earn a higher flat-rate of cash back on all the purchases you make outside of the 5% cash back categories. Chase Freedom® lets you earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically. The 5% categories change every 3 months. So carrying both cards can help you max out cash back on both ends of the spectrum while sticking with one bank.
To sum it up, there are cards out there with potentially higher cash back earning, but Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ strikes a good balance of flat-rate cash back, tempting welcome offer, introductory low APR on purchases and balance transfers and other card benefits.
Pedro Pla is co-founder of GET.com. He has been around the globe several times and considers collecting air miles and points from credit cards to be a hobby, if not, an obsession. Email: email@example.com.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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