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This article was last updated Apr 15, 2016, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
Be on the lookout for the new commercials with Ellie Kemper promoting the Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card! The quirky comedy star was recently spotted filming in Time Square clutching the new cash back credit card from Chase. Kemper is best-known as the eponymous title character in Netflix's comedy, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which recently kicked off its second season. You may also recognize Kemper as Erin in The Office. She has now had now joined the ranks of numerous A-list celebrities featured in commercials for credit cards. For more details on Kemper’s favorite piece of plastic, check out our detailed review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
The Evolution of Celebrities & Credit Card Commercials
Chase isn’t the first credit card issuer to use popular comedy figures to promote their plastic. You’ve probably seen the hilarious commercials with Tina Fey and Ellen DeGeneres touting the world class customer service and premium benefits of American Express cards. In fact, Amex has been making viewers laugh since the late 90’s when they featured Jerry Seinfeld in a string of TV commercials inviting consumers to “Do more with the American Express Card”. Interestingly enough, Tina Fey, who recently starred in a hysterical commercial for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, is an executive producer for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt which stars the spokeswoman for the new Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
But Capital One is probably the first credit card company that comes to mind when you think of Hollywood appearances. Their use of big name actors Jennifer Garner, Alec Baldwin, and David Spade helped propel the popular Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card into the spotlight, ultimately leading it to become one of the top travel rewards cards. In the cash backspace, Capital One tapped none other than Samuel L. Jackson to be the face of the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, hoping to tether his no-nonsense reputation to the card's straightforward, yet lucrative rewards program.
Can We Trust These Hollywood Endorsements?
Ellie Kemper and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®
In the commercial, Ellie Kemper certainly makes the Chase Freedom Unlimited® like the best credit card on the planet. The hilarious 30-second reel highlights that you will earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you buy and that you can spend that cash back on anything you want. We don’t recommend throwing your credit card to the wind in the middle of Time Square like Kemper does four seconds into the commercial, but other than that, she’s pretty much spot on with the key features of this rewarding credit card.
If anything, the commercial actually undersells this new piece of plastic. Yes, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns you Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, but for folks who use Chase Ultimate Rewards points to get free travel, this credit cards offer is even more exciting that Kemper makes it out to be. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, you can transfer your points to a number of airline and hotel loyalty programs to get an even better value for your points. While these two cards have nice bonus categories for earning extra points, you still only earn a flat 1 point per dollar on most things you buy.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® now gives cardholders a chance to get a minimum of 1.5 points per dollar on every purchase. When you redeem your points for travel with great partners like Hyatt Hotels or United Airlines, it’s easy to get as much as 2¢ per point. At the rate, it’s like you’re actually earning 3% “cash back” with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®!
Tina Fey, Ellen DeGeneres, and American Express Cards
American Express has long been the gold standard when it comes to customer service, and in one of Tina Fey’s commercials, Amex puts this on display when a customer service rep calls Tina to verify a suspicious purchase of 14,000 racket balls. The idea is that when you need it most, the world class customer service from American Express will always have your back. American Express cardholders should certainly expect excellent fraud monitoring on their card, but in reality, this is a service that you would hope to find from any major credit card issuer.
A 2008 commercial with Ellen DeGeneres gives a better example of where American Express' customer service shines brightest. When Beyoncé invites Ellen to a concert and tells her to have “your people call my people,” Ellen is perplexed at who exactly are “her people”. But just in the nick of time, her personal concierge, a complimentary benefit of The Platinum Card® from American Express, gets her VIP tickets to the show. Amex leads the industry when it comes to entertainment perks and luxury benefits, and the personal concierge in this commercial is a great example.
Jennifer Garner and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Capital One sought to break the mold of traditional travel rewards credit cards with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. In an informative commercial, Garner taps into the frustration that millions of Americans have felt when trying to navigate the intricacies of airline frequent flyer programs. Touting the ease and convenience of redeeming miles with the Venture Card, Garner says you can “book any flight you want on any airline, then use your miles to cover the cost. No blackout dates.” And she’s exactly right.
While co-branded airline credit cards may be able to get you more bang for your buck if you’re willing to do some research, the flexibility of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is hard to beat and will usually make it a better fit for the average consumer. Before it was called the “Venture” card, Capital One featured comedian David Spade in a series of hilarious commercials where he abrasively denied hopeful travelers the ability to redeem their miles with his favorite word: “NO!” On the flip side, Capital One offers “No Hassle Rewards” that can be redeemed on any airline, anytime.
Samuel L. Jackson and the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
The dinosaur-hunting, lightsaber-wielding, Pulp Fiction star was the perfect choice to promote the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. Just like the actor, the Quicksilver® credit card doesn’t play any games, and as Jackson promotes in the commercials, cardholders will earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card also comes with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
Going along with the “no-gimmicks” theme, there is no minimum amount for cardholders to redeem their cash back and you don’t even have to wait until your billing cycle ends to receive the rewards – your cash back will post to your account almost as soon as the transaction is processed. As you can see, this credit card is extremely similar to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. If cash back is your only goal, then you will probably be slightly more satisfied with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, but if you want to combine rewards with other cards to get a better value by redeeming for travel, then you would want to go with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
The Bottom Line
You can’t always believe everything you see on TV, but when it comes to these credit card commercials, the Hollywood stars do a pretty good job of portraying the perks and benefits of their favorite plastic. To pick which credit card is best for you, you’ll need to take a more in depth look at the rates, fees, and features of each card, so check out our credit card comparison tool and get started today!
*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.