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Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ vs Chase Freedom®

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3.7/5.0 from 165 Offer Ratings

(165) Over the Past 60 Days!


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3.8/5.0 from 25 Offer Ratings
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(25) Over the Past 60 Days!

Rewards Rate Details Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Purchase Go To Rate 15.74% - 24.49% Variable 15.74% - 24.49% Variable
Purchase Intro Rate 0% Intro APR for 15 months 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro Rate 0% Intro APR for 15 months 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Balance Transfer Go To Rate 15.74% - 24.49% Variable 15.74% - 24.49% Variable
$0 Fraud Liability No Yes
Best For Getting 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with this card Earning 5% cash back on purchases in popular rotating categories.
Sign Up Bonus $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Annual Fee $0 $0
Card Details Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ Credit Card Details Chase Freedom® Credit Card Details

Comparison Summary

Chase Freedom 5% categories vs Chase Freedom Unlimited 1.5% on everything

Matchup: Chase Freedom Vs Unlimited

Chase Freedom Category 5% Cash Back vs Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back

  • This is a tough comparison because it really depends on how much you would spend in the 5% categories. While the categories are pretty broad, extremely unlikely that you’ll max out all four categories, and on everything that's not in the bonus categories will only earn 1% cash back. Overall, the Chase Freedom Unlimited may be a better fit for more consumers, though your situation may vary. Winner: Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Math Breakdown: 5% bonus categories vs. 1.5% cash back on everything

Again, this comparison will vary for every consumer, so it’s best to look at your own expenses to make the right decision. But if the average person spends $25,000 annually on their credit card, you would have to have $3,125 of that spending fall within the 5% bonus categories on the Chase Freedom card in order to break even with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. With the 5% categories capped at $1,500 per quarter, this will probably be difficult for most consumers to do since it’s unlikely that all four categories will match up with your spending habits.  

Which Cash Back Credit Card is Better?

If you know that you will consistently spend a lot of money on gas, groceries, dining, and Amazon.com, then the Chase Freedom credit card can’t be beat. But if all four of those categories don’t appeal to you, then you may have more luck with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Since the Chase Freedom Unlimited has such a hassle free rewards program and may have a broader appeal, we have to give it the slight edge over the Chase Freedom. 

Expert Review

CompareCards: Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card Quick Review

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit card gives cardholders the chance to earn a consistent 1.5% cash back on all purchases. As the name implies, the rewards are unlimited and you won’t have to worry about keeping up with any rotating bonus categories.

The rewards program with this credit card couldn’t be any simpler. You never have to enroll in any bonus programs, and you’ll receive your cash back automatically. For added flexibility, you can redeem your cash back at any time, for any amount.

This card also comes with a great sign up bonus of $150 after you spend $500 in the first 3 months. This intro offer is better than most cash back credit cards on the market!

Not only is this credit card a great choice for consumers who want to earn cash back rewards, but it also comes with a nice intro APR. Cardholders will receive 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. This could really come in handy if you need to finance a big purchase or transfer a balance from a high interest credit card.

The ongoing APR is 15.74% - 24.49% Variable, which is a little high, but that fairly normal for rewards credit cards. To top it off, there is no annual fee with this credit card, so you can score a big sign up bonus and rack up rewards with your everyday purchases without ever having to pay a yearly fee.

Pros of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

  • Great for people who want to earn a consistently high rewards rate with every transaction.
  • Great for people who want a long intro APR and also want to earn rewards on their purchases.
  • Great for people who don’t want to pay an annual fee on a rewards card, but want to get more than 1% cash back on their purchases.

Cons of the Chase Freedom Card

  • Not for people who want to use bonus spending categories to maximize earning rewards.
  • Not for people who need a card for overseas travel. There is a 3% foreign transaction fee.

What’s the Best Way to Use the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card?

With such a straightforward and generous rewards program, using the Chase Freedom Unlimited card for maximum rewards doesn’t require any special tactics. Cardholders can have peace of mind knowing that they’re always earning a great rewards rate no matter what they’re buying.

For cardholders that are loyal Chase customers and love the Ultimate Rewards program, combining the Chase Freedom Unlimited with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Freedom credit card would be a great way to earn even more rewards. Since you can transfer points seamlessly between your different accounts, you could use the other two cards for their specific bonus categories and the Chase Freedom Unlimited for all non-bonus spending.

Extra Perks of the Chase Freedom Unlimited

Cardholders can receive an extra $25 cash back bonus if they add an authorized user and they make a purchase in the first 3 months. Your cash back will never expire, and this card comes with a number of bonus perks like Auto Rental Insurance, $0 Fraud Liability, Roadside Assistance and much more. There is also no penalty APR with this card, so your interest rate won’t skyrocket if you happen to miss a payment.

How Do you Redeem Your Chase Freedom Unlimited Rewards?

You can take your cash back in a number of ways. If you would like to receive a statement credit, you can apply your rewards straight to your credit card bill. You can also receive a direct deposit into your bank account or receive gift cards for your rewards.

Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited the Card for You?

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to spend time keeping up with special bonus categories and just wants to earn a generous cash back rate on all of your purchases, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited may be the card for you. The sign up bonuses alone are a great incentive to apply for this card, and when you consider that there is no annual fee, it’s hard to find a downside to the Chase Freedom Unlimited!

CompareCards: Chase Freedom Visa Credit Card Quick Review

The Chase Freedom is one of the best cash back rewards credit cards, and at CompareCards.com, it ranks as one of our favorites. It’s a great starter card for new cash back reward newbies and credit card veterans that are looking to start earning rewards at a generous rate.

The best part about this card is the sign up bonus of $150 when you spend $500 on purchases within your first thing months, on top of a 5% cash back reward on quarterly rotating categories. The categories include a lot of different options like gas, department stores, Amazon, groceries etc. 

This card is great for really anyone that enjoys cash rewards as a part of their credit card repertoire. It should be one a card that people who shop online, commute, purchase a lot of groceries or enjoy retail shopping.

There are so many different rotating categories it fits just about anyone’s needs. With the signup bonus of $150 when you spend just $500 in 3 months, which the average household hits in just gas and grocery costs, is the cherry on top of an already fantastic credit card. 

With it’s no annual fee is great for anyone that is old enough to apply for their own credit card, like college students, recent graduates, part-time and full-time workers all the way to up veterans, and retired people. It’s a great fit anyway you look at it and should be considered a top use credit card.

Pros of the Chase Freedom Card

  • Great for people who have average to good credit and looking to start building cash rewards quickly.
  • Great for people looking for their first credit card and when they want to buy general purchases. Amazon is always 5% cash back during the holidays.
  • Great for people who want the highest general purchase cash back rewards.

Cons of the Chase Freedom Card

  • Not for people who like to plan their rewards. Rotating 5% cash back categories are sometimes not something you would use on a general basis, and are random.
  • Not for people who like traveling a lot. There is a foreign transaction fee.

What’s the Best Way to Use the Chase Freedom Card?

The best way to use the Chase Freedom Card is to use it on general purchase for the first 3 months to ensure you hit the $500 mark and collect your $150 sign up bonus. While it does have a 1% cash back for all purchases, waiting for purchase some items you are interested in is a great way to take full advantage of this credit card. 

For example, let’s say the quarterly categories are as follows: Q1 - Grocery stores, Q2 - Restaurants, Q3 - Gas stations/department stores, Q4 - Amazon. Using it at grocery stores and restaurants for up to $1,500 would max out the amount of 5% rewards you can get, and doing your holiday shopping on Amazon during Q4 would top off the year. Easy enough right?

What is the Chase Ultimate Rewards Site?

It is an online store that gives up to 10% cash back on your online purchases. There are big name stores like Macy’s, Home Depot and Sears that offer more than the current 1% back, and can be used even outside of the chosen 5% back categories for that quarter.

How do You Redeem Your Chase Freedom Rewards?

The Chase Freedom Card provides an easy way to redeem your rewards. You can redeem points for cash, gift cards, products and travel. All you have to do is login to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account, click redeem rewards and choose how you want to redeem them. Usually it’s best to redeem it for statement credit, so you can literally pay off some of your credit card by utilizing the 5% cash back rewards provided.

Is the Chase Freedom Card for You?

In a general sense, it’s for everyone. For a cash back credit card that offers 5% rewards for a lot of different categories - it’s easy to incorporate into your credit card usage. The $150 signup bonus is also great and if you refer a friend you can make an extra $25 in points. This card is one of CompareCards favorites, but we would like to hear your opinion. Comment below to hear your opinions about this card.

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Picture of Chris Thompson

By: | Apr 14, 2016

$150 cash back for spending just $500 is a really generous signup reward from Chase and the 1.5% cash back on all purchases means I'm definitely going to be applying for the Freedom Unlimited.

Picture of Andrew Liwanag

By: | Apr 14, 2016

I've had the Chase Freedom for over 5 years and it's been my go to card. But recently I've been favoring other cards when the %5 categories don't match up. The Chase Unlimited seems to have solved that issue

Picture of Jeff Meyer

By: | Apr 14, 2016

Looks like a great new opportunity to game the rewards system. I'll be keeping both in my wallet - using Freedom classic for category based spending and Freedom Unlimited for everything else. Thanks for the extra cash in my pocket Chase!