Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
Ready to stack up savings on travel, dining and everyday purchases through the holidays and beyond? Take a look at the latest limited-time offer from Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which will gift you outsize rewards well into the new year: Unlimited Matched Cash Back. Chase will automatically match all the cash back you earned at the end of your first year! There is no limit to how much cash back you can earn.
At first glance, this offer may not sound all that groundbreaking. After all, Discover has offered a similar double cash-back sign-up bonus for years. But when you factor in the Freedom Unlimited's elevated rewards categories, as well as Chase’s high-value travel redemption options, a cash back match on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is far more valuable than meets the eye.
Let’s take a look at how the Chase Freedom Unlimited®’s everyday rewards stack up when combined with this unlimited cash-back match. And remember, this is all with $0-annual fee:
Sign-up bonus: Unlimited Matched Cash Back. Chase will automatically match all the cash back you earned at the end of your first year! There is no limit to how much cash back you can earn.
Typical rewards rate
Rewards rate for the first year with unlimited cash back match
(NOTE: This offer is available when you apply through NerdWallet. If you apply directly with Chase or through a different website, you may not be eligible for this offer.)
That's a minimum of 3% back on all purchases, 6% back on two common everyday categories, plus big bonuses on Lyft ride shares and Chase travel for one full year. For a cash back card with a $0-annual fee, this bonus match represents big value. But it could be worth even more toward travel when maximized through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Make your bonus worth more toward travel
Though the Chase Freedom Unlimited®'s bonus offer is called a cash back match, that's not entirely accurate. In reality, rewards are issued in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, where 3% back is equivalent to earning 3 points per dollar spent. But if you also hold a Chase Sapphire card, points are worth even more toward travel.
Ultimate Rewards® are worth 1.25 cents per point toward travel booked through Chase when you hold a $95-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or 1.5 cents per point if you hold a $550-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
If your spouse or someone in your household already carries the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, there’s no need to pay an additional annual fee. With a quick call to customer service, you can combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards points with one household member and still take advantage of the Sapphire cards’ elevated redemption values.
Let’s say that your total spending on the card in the first year earns you 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards®. With the new cardholder bonus of unlimited cash-back match for the first year, that amount is doubled to 60,000 points.
You could redeem those points for cash at a rate of 1 cent per point, adding $600 to your pocket at the end of the year. But you can boost those 60,000 points to a $750 value toward travel booked through Chase if you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or $900 if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve® .
Holding either Sapphire card in addition to your Chase Freedom Unlimited® also unlocks the ability to transfer your rewards to Chase's travel partners, which can add even more value. Using these tactics, NerdWallet values Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 2.6 cents per point, making your 60,000 rewards points worth as much as $1,560. Suddenly, something as simple as a cash back match becomes a lot more enticing.
The downside? You'll have to be patient for that bonus rewards haul, since you won't receive the bonus match until the end of your first cardholder year.
» MORE: What is the 'Chase trifecta'