Chase Freedom Unlimited: Possibly One of the Best No-Nonsense Cash Back Credit Cards

Marcy Bialeschki
May 2, 2020

What is a no-nonsense credit card? It is a card that offers rewards and features that rival the competitors yet keeps the details uncomplicated. The Chase Freedom Unlimited card certainly fills this bill by providing an attractive 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases with rewards that never expire. No annual fee will also turn some heads for a card of this caliber. Let's not stop there. The sign-on incentives will also make you take a look. Everyone loves a 0% purchase APR for 15 months. There is also a bonus of $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first three months. Sound too good to be true? Let's take a look at the details.

By all means, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a great all-purpose credit card. Here are a few details so you know exactly what you are getting.

To get the $200 cash back sign-up bonus, you cannot have received this award or a similar award with Chase in the past 24 months. Additionally, you must apply for the card directly with Chase to receive this bonus.

After the initial 0% purchase APR, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card will have a relatively low 14.99% - 23.74% APR variable.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has a 3% foreign transaction free.

People who want to earn a constant cash back reward for every purchase with no complicating categories will see the Chase Freedom Unlimited card as a viable option. Even though this credit card requires a 750+ credit score, some reviews report that it is not particularly difficult to get. However, potential Chase Freedom Unlimited customers must pass the 5/24 rule. This rule states you cannot have opened more than 4 (5) credit cards across all banks in the last 24 months.

The cash back rewards program is also attractive and simple. Cardholders will receive 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit, no expiration date. Chase Freedom Unlimited card owners can also redeem their points at any time, any amount. Now that's simple.

The best return in terms of cash back for your money spent is to have rewards directly deposited into a checking or savings account or to use them as a statement credit. Card owners will only receive 1% rewards when purchasing gift cards or using their rewards to book travel arrangements through Chase. The reward value decreases even more when using your cash back rewards by linking them to Amazon.com. In this case, the value of your dollar reduces to .08%. To use cash back rewards to the fullest, customers should have them direct deposited or applied to their statement as a credit.

Pairing Cards: Complicated or Worth the Effort

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card was designed to be a great everyday credit card. However, if you are up for the extra effort, you could maximize rewards even further by pairing it with a category card. The Chase Freedom card -- not to be confused with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card -- is one such category card.

A category card will offer cash back rewards in categories that vary every quarter. Categories include businesses such as gas stations, grocery stores, drug stores, and more. You can earn 5% cash back in the featured categories with your Chase Freedom card, and make all other purchases with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card for 1.5% cash back. This method is not as simple as a constant reward; however, when used properly, the cash back can really add up.

Additionally, Chase card owners can transfer points from one card to the other. If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card -- which is a travel rewards card -- you could transfer cash back from your Chase Freedom Unlimited card to travel points on your Sapphire Reserve card. This transfer would give you more rewards towards airfare, hotels, and loyalty travel privileges. Chase Bank has made an conscious effort to offer customers a variety of types of cards that work alone or that pair nicely with one another. If you spend a little more time and effort paying attention to categories on another Chase card, your rewards could increase significantly. However, the beauty of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is its simplicity with a generous 1.5% cash back with no categories to complicate your life. Either way, the cash back rewards are impressive.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers the protections expected in a card of its caliber. It adds a couple of unexpected features from partnering companies as well.

$0 Fraud Liability

Contactless Tap & Go Pay

Real-Time Fraud Monitoring scanning for possible fraudulent charges

Text or e-mail fraud alerts

Purchase Protection for 120 days on new purchases against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account

Extended warranty protection of 1-year on eligible purchases with a 3-year or less manufacturer’s warranty

Referral bonuses of up to $500 per year: $100 cash back for each referral who gets accepted, up to 5 per year.

Lyft: 5% cash back on Lyft purchases made with your card through March 2022

Door Dash: Three complimentary months of free delivery of unlimited deliveries of $12 or more. Cardholders are automatically enrolled for the next 9 months at 50% off.

Who Needs This Card

People who want a great rewards program with minimal effort

People who can spend the $500 in the first three months to receive the $200 in sign-on cash back.

People who plan to make a large purchase in the first few months of owning the card will enjoy the 15 months of 0% purchase APR

People who are against annual fees

Possibly people who want to pair this card with a category card or travel card to maximize rewards

Items to Consider

The $200 sign-on bonus is only available to customers who apply directly through Chase Bank.

The cash back rewards are not at 1.5% when purchasing gift cards or booking travel through Chase. They are at 1%. Also, if you have your rewards linked to your Amazon account, the reward value will drop even more to .08%. The best way to redeem your rewards is with direct deposit or statement credit.

Potential card owners will need a 750+ credit score

Chase adheres to the 5/24 rule, so if you have applied for and received five credit cards in the past 24 months, you are not eligible for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has a 3% foreign transaction fee.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card has some attractive features that make it competitive in the cash back card arena. No annual fee, a lengthy introductory 0% purchase APR, unlimited rewards that never expire, and a decent sign-on cash back bonus certainly make this card worth a look. If you also like the simplicity of a cash back card with no categories, this card could be right for you.

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