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Chase Freedom Unlimited Review

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This article was last updated Aug 13, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Who the card is best for

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a decent option for people who want to use their card for more than a balance transfer or large purchase. You can benefit from a 0% intro APR period that provides you with a good amount of time to pay off your debt, in addition to a cash-back program that will earn you money on new purchases. People who want to maximize rewards early on can also take advantage of a sign-up bonus to earn more cash back.

This card isn’t designed for people who want to earn high flat-rate cash back, since the cash-back rate is below average. You can earn a higher cash-back rate from a variety of competing cash-back cards. Also, if you’re someone who needs a long period of time to complete a balance transfer or pay off a large purchase, you’re better off with a different card. Other balance transfer cards have intro periods as long as 18 or 21 months that can provide you with the time you need to rid yourself of debt.

Where this card stands out in its category

  • 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

  • $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

  • 16.74 - 25.49% Variable

Highlights
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit JourneySM
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open

See additional details for Chase Freedom Unlimited®

More Info

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a cash-back program: Earn a 1.5% cash back offer. This is an added perk on top of the balance transfer offer that can earn you rewards on new purchases.

Where this card falls short in its category

This card charges a balance transfer fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5, then either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.. Although most balance transfer cards charge a transfer fee, you can find cards with more favorable fees like the Chase Slate®, potentially allowing you to save money. Regarding its rewards program, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card lets you earn a 1.5% cash back offer.

Additional card benefits

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has few additional card benefits:

  • Monthly FICO® Score for free: You can check your monthly FICO for free with Credit JourneySM. This is a good feature that can keep you on top of any changes in your credit.
  • Fraud protection: Chase will watch over your account with real-time fraud monitoring and check for possible signs of unauthorized activity.
  • Zero-liability protection: You won’t be liable for any unauthorized charges.

How to use it most effectively

To benefit most from the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, make sure to transfer your balance within 60 days from account opening. Once your transfer is complete, make regular on-time payments with the goal of paying off your balance before the intro period ends. Do the same for any large purchases you may make. This way you successfully use the 0% intro APR period to avoid interest. If you plan to use this card to earn rewards, don’t let the prospect of those rewards lure you into overspending. Be aware that the purchase APR is 16.74 - 25.49% variable once the 0% intro period ends.

How to do a balance transfer

The total amount of your balance transfer request including fees and interest charges cannot exceed your available credit or $15,000, whichever is lower. Your balance transfer must be completed within 60 days from account opening in order to take advantage of the $0 intro balance transfer fee and 0% intro APR period.

To complete your balance transfer online, after logging in, click on “Accounts,” then the Chase balance transfer card listed. Click on the “Things you can do” drop-down menu in top right corner, choose “Transfer a balance” and select the Chase balance transfer offer you have been approved for. From there, enter your transfer information and review and submit. Your transfer may take one to three weeks, depending on how quickly the payee processes the transferred amount.

Rewards breakdown

This card has a decent rewards program that will let you earn a 1.5% cash back offer. Cash back earned can be redeemed for a statement credit, direct deposit, travel and gift cards, and to shop with points at Amazon. The rewards program doesn’t have rotating categories, so you don’t have to worry about activating rewards — you’ll earn the same rate on every purchase, every time you use your Chase Freedom Unlimited® card.

Compare with the Chase Freedom®

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

  • 16.74% - 25.49% Variable

Highlights
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit JourneySM

See additional details for Chase Freedom®

More Info

The Chase Freedom® is a good alternative if you want a card with rotating cashback categories.

The Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® are similar cards offered by Chase, but they differ in cashback programs. With the Chase Freedom®, 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. That means each quarter, you can earn up to $75 cash back in the bonus categories, and any purchases in the bonus categories exceeding $1,500 in a quarter will earn unlimited 1% cash back.

Meanwhile, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a flat-rate cashback card offering 1.5% cash back offer.. This card is a good choice if you don’t want to deal with activating bonus cashback categories.

Overall, the card that’s best for you depends on what type of cashback program you want. If you want a flat-rate card, stick with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. But, if you want a card with rotating cashback categories, check out the Chase Freedom®.

How to book travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each card:

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Chase Freedom®
Annual Fee $0 $0
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
Regular Purchase APR 16.74 - 25.49% Variable 16.74% - 25.49% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5, then either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. 3% when you transfer during the first 60 days of account opening, with a minimum of $5
Rewards 1.5% cash back offer. 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.
Foreign Transaction Fee 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Sign-up Bonus $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Bottom Line

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is an OK option for people looking to complete a balance transfer with the added perk of earning cash back. However, you can do better with competing cards that offer longer balance transfer periods, waive the transfer fee and have more robust cash-back programs.


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