The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers cash-back rewards with a $0 annual fee, which might appeal to you if you're cost-conscious. But it's important to consider the full picture to make sure it's the right card for you.
For instance, some $0-annual-fee cards may not be worthwhile if it means missing out on valuable rewards or benefits other cards may offer. Here's a closer look at what you can expect from the Chase Freedom Unlimited® if you're on the hunt for a new cash-back rewards card.
Earn unlimited cash back
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on most purchases, 5% cash back when you purchase travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal and 3% back at drugstores and restaurants, including takeout and delivery.
Add to that two limited-time cash-back promotions:
You can also earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022. That also applies to qualifying Lyft products and services purchased through the Lyft app.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is subject to the 5/24 rule, a Chase policy to decline your credit card application if you’ve opened five or more card accounts, with any issuer, in the last 24 months. So consider whether this card could put you at the five-card limit and whether that would mean sacrificing a better option down the road.
» Learn more: Chase 5/24 rule explained
Snag a sizable introductory cash-back bonus
Introductory bonus offers can make no-annual-fee cash-back cards more appealing if they come with an easy-to-meet minimum spending requirement. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers the following welcome bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
When you hit the minimum spending requirement, earning the bonus is essentially like getting 40% cash back on those purchases. That's on top of the the 3.5% cash back for Lyft purchases or the unlimited 1.5% cash back you could earn on everything else.
Compared to other cash-back rewards cards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has one of the most competitive welcome bonuses.
» Learn more: Which cash-back credit cards offer a good welcome bonus?
Enjoy flexible cash-back redemptions
Another plus of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the options you have for redeeming cash-back rewards. Rewards earned with this card can be redeemed for:
Direct deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account.
Shopping with points at Amazon.com.
Gift cards for shopping, dining and entertainment.
Travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
To book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, your $200 welcome bonus is converted into 20,000 points that you could then redeem for airfare, hotels or other travel purchases.
You can get even more value from those points if you have another Chase card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. That’s because Chase lets you transfer your points between cards. For example, transferring points from the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gives you 25% more redemption value when you then use the points for travel in the Chase portal. So transferring the 20,000 points from the welcome bonus can get you value equal to 25,000 points when booking through the portal.
The bottom line
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has a lot to like if you're interested in a $0-annual-fee cash-back rewards card. Consider this card if you:
Want to earn unlimited cash-back rewards without juggling rewards tiers or rotating bonus categories.
Want to earn the welcome bonus.
Want flexible ways to redeem your cash back rewards.
Have another Chase card that's eligible for Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
This card may not be the best fit if you'd like to leave a slot open for another Chase rewards card under the 5/24 rule. Overall, however, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a solid pick for earning cash back with no annual fee while enjoying a few additional perks along the way.
If you want to dive into rotating bonus categories to earn even more points, still with a no-fee card, consider the Chase Freedom Flex℠.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card