While there are many credit cards offered out there, not all come with attractive cashback programs and introductory bonuses. But that is exactly what users of the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card get.
Looking at the highlights, Chase did a fantastic job of issuing a card with a 0% annual fee, an interest-free introductory period, and a complicated yet lucrative rewards plan.
Interested to find out whether Freedom Unlimited is a worthy choice for everyday spending, I decided to order one and share my experience. Read about my conclusions below:
- What Is the Freedom Unlimited Card All About?
- How to Apply for the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
- Versatile Rewards Program
- What Are the Rates and Fees?
- What Are the Redeeming Options?
- Should You Get the Freedom Unlimited Card?
- Are You Eligible for the DashPass Subscription?
- Insurance and Travel Protection
- Pay Yourself Back with Chase
- The Disadvantages of Freedom Unlimited
What Is the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card All About?
Knowing that the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card, which is issued by Chase Bank, has been a fan favorite when it comes to options with rewards programs, I had major expectations.
Suffice it to say, I was not disappointed with its introductory offer of $200 after spending $500 in purchases (within the first 90 days).
The point that I was particularly happy with is that there is no interest rate on purchases made in the first 15 months after opening the account.
This makes shopping with Freedom Unlimited a more pleasant experience. Furthermore, with 1.5% cash back on all purchases, the offer is even more attractive. We will discuss that more down below.
No Annual Fee
Unlike with some other cashback credit cards, Chase doesn’t charge an annual fee if you are a user of their Freedom Unlimited card.
This is great because, with similar options from other banks, I would be subjected to a maintenance fee of at least $90.
How to Apply for the Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
Before getting into all the advantages and disadvantages of this Chase credit card, it is necessary to cover the application process.
There are a few requirements that you need to meet to get approved. Firstly, you should be over 18 years old and a US citizen/permanent resident.
Much like with other cashback cards, your credit score is a deciding factor when applying for Freedom Unlimited. I found that to be easily approved, you need to have a rating of above 750.
Still, you have a chance if you are between 700 and 750 as long as you don’t have a lot of debt and prove that your annual income is stable and hefty.
Where to Apply
The application process itself is simple and is done through the Chase website.
Once you fill out the form and provide all the required information, the decision should be given to you in a few minutes.
The physical credit card arrived at my address 5 days from when I was approved.
Versatile Rewards Program
Upon its initial release, Chase Freedom Unlimited didn’t offer more than 1.5% cash back on anything. Today, it is a different story.
I love the 5% cashback on all travel-related purchases, including accommodation and plane tickets. I also enjoyed the 5% cashback on Lyft services, which you can find out about on their website.
Discussing the rewards program, owning a Freedom Unlimited card also allows for a cashback bonus of 3% on all restaurant, delivery, take-out, and drugstore purchases.
With this in mind, I found that this credit card is particularly good for people who are on the go, though the foreign transaction fee isn’t ideal.
Get 1.5% Back on Everything Else
Apart from the benefits that I got from eating out and the money saved while traveling, I was also subjected to 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
This may not sound like a lot, but if you are like me and enjoy everyday shopping, it is a worthy choice.
What Are the Rates and Fees?
When applying for any kind of credit card, it is essential to know all the fees and charges that you might be subjected to.
The first point that I was interested in was the annual percentage rate, which is set between 14.99% and 23.74% depending on your credit score and the current market prime rate.
As for the basic fees, there are a few that you should consider below.
- Annual fee – $0
- APR – 14.99% to 23.74%
- Penalty APR – none
- Purchases Intro APR – 15 months interest-free
- Balance transfer – $5 or 5% of the sum (whichever is greater)
- Cash advance – $10 or 5% of the sum (whichever is greater)
- Foreign transaction – 3% if the total (in $)
Is It a Worthy Choice?
It all depends on your spending habits. The APR of 23.74% is quite high, especially when you compare it to other cashback credit cards.
Still, if you have a good score and are financially disciplined, then you will be subjected to a more reasonable APR.
What Are the Redeeming Options?
To accompany the attractive rewards program, there are many different redemption options, including gift cards, credit statement points, and direct deposits.
I found that if you want to redeem your rewards while shopping at Amazon, each point is worth 0.8 cents. On the other hand, when it comes to direct deposit cash back, each point is worth 1 cent.
As expected, I was better off redeeming the rewards points and using these for travel purchases.
Each point is worth 2.51 cents for British Airways Executive Club and 1.37 cents for Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards. For World of Hyatt accommodations, you will get 1.99 cents per point.
Chase Ultimate Rewards Cards
The rewards program for this credit card is great on its own.
Still, I found that it is even more beneficial if you use other Ultimate Rewards cards.
These include Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, Freedom Flex, Ink Business Cash, Ink Business Preferred, and Ink Business Unlimited.
Should You Get the Freedom Unlimited Card?
In my opinion, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is not for everybody. Frankly, if you plan to use it for balance transfers and cash advances, it isn’t the best choice because of the high fees.
Plus, there is no APR-free introductory period for these activities like there is for purchases.
On the other hand, it is a wise choice for anybody who travels a lot and wants to enjoy attractive rewards and discounts on airline tickets and accommodation.
Furthermore, you don’t have to wonder about what categories fall into the cashback program.
Something for Everyone
Apart from the 5% cash back on travel purchases and 3% on drugstore, restaurant, and takeaway, you are also getting 1.5% on any other purchase that you make.
Thus, if you enjoy habitual shopping (like I do), Chase Freedom Unlimited offers many advantages.
Are You Eligible for the DashPass Subscription?
Apart from using the complimentary credit card rewards to get the most out of Freedom Unlimited, Chase did a fantastic job of teaming up with the DashPass.
As a subscription issued by DashDoor (a delivery service similar to European Glovo and Wolt), having DashPass means that you don’t have to pay anything.
From my experience, DashDoor allows three months of free subscription, which is a perfect length of time to experiment and try food or drink that usually comes with a costly delivery.
As I found out, anyone who is inside the USA and owns the Freedom Unlimited card should be eligible for this promotion.
Much like most subscriptions, the DashPass comes with automatic renewal.
If you don’t cancel after the initial three months, you will be subscribed for the next 9 months at 50% of the regular monthly price.
Insurance and Travel Protection
One of the most impressive points of Freedom Unlimited is that the bank will cover damage caused by the item being broken or stolen up to $500 (per piece).
Along with that, you will enjoy a warranty that is extended by a year as long as the original manufacturer’s warranty doesn’t exceed three years.
Regarding stolen items, insurance is available for 120 days after the purchase. The total account limit for this feature is set at $50,000.
Attractive Travel Insurance
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is tough to be certain whether your travel trip will be canceled.
For that reason, insurance such as what Chase offers, which comes in the sum of $1,500 to $6,000 per person, can better your mood if nothing else.
Pay Yourself Back with Chase
You can use the rewards points to cover the cost of your previous purchases up to 90 days back. This is a fantastic way to save some money and prevent further debt.
What I found is that, if you want to make donations to charitable organizations (12 in total), this can be done at a rate of 1.25.
This means that a donation of $500 will be turned into $625.
Sapphire Preferred and Reserve
Freedom Unlimited still doesn’t allow you to cover grocery purchases and other everyday expenses.
But you can use this credit card to earn reward points and then use them through Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve credit cards.
The value for the first one is 25%, while the latter is set at 50%.
The Disadvantages of Freedom Unlimited
As mentioned above, Freedom Unlimited is a fantastic credit card if you are a consumer, and you want to enjoy great deals on travel accommodation, dining experiences, and grocery shopping.
Still, understanding the rewards program and getting the most out of its redeeming system is a bit complicated and thus not suitable for newbies.
Furthermore, it would be better if there was a balance transfer or cash advance interest-free introductory period given the high fees that are related to these features.
APR Higher Than Average
Last but not least, I would say that this credit card isn’t the best option if you have a low credit score.
Even if you get approved, the interest rate of 23.74% is a lot to deal with.
If you want an attractive rewards program, $0 annual fee, and good travel insurance, then the Freedom Unlimited credit card is a great choice.
Note: There are risks involved when applying for and using credit. Consult the bank’s terms and conditions page for more information.