New limited-time offer. The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is a no-annual-fee rewards card which earns a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases (or a possibly more valuable 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent). This is a different card from the popular Chase Freedom, which has 5% cash back on rotating categories, on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter. Right now, this card has a higher-yet-attainable limited-time offer:

  • $200 cash bonus (20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after $500 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target(R) or Walmart(R) purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. That’s up to $600 cash back the first year (and you can buy many gift cards at grocery stores).
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Redeem for cash – any amount, anytime.
  • Earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3.5% cash back in addition to the 1.5% cash back you already earn.
  • Cash back does not expire as long as your card is open.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases.
  • No annual fee.

1.5% cash back on all purchases is better than the 1% cash back you see from a lot of cards, but there are competitors with higher effective cash back rates.

But wait, you actually get Ultimate Rewards Points! The lesser-known perk of this card is that you actually earn Ultimate Rewards points, which are in turn redeemable for cash back at a rate of 100 points = $1 in cash back, or 1 cent per point. But you don’t have to do that. Ultimate Rewards points are worth collecting because of their flexibility. (I hope Chase doesn’t forget this fact.) This is important because there are many ways in which Ultimate Rewards points can be worth much more than 1 cent per point.

If you have also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred Card, then you can pool all of your Ultimate Rewards points together (even with your spouse/partner as an authorized user) and thus utilize all of the same transfer partners with the following results:

  • Earn 1.5 United Mileageplus miles per dollar spent on ALL purchases.
  • Earn 1.5 Hyatt points per dollar spent on ALL purchases.
  • Earn 1.5 British Airways Avios per dollar spent on ALL purchases.
  • Earn 1.5 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent on ALL purchases.

Notice that you are earning more miles and points on ALL purchases than even the specific co-branded cards from United or Hyatt themselves! Most of them just offer 1 point/mile per dollar spent on all purchases.

If you placed a perceived value of 1.5 cents on each United Airlines mile or Hyatt hotel point, then you’d receive 2.25 cents of perceived value per dollar spent with this card. Your actual numbers will depend on your own specific redemption choices, but you can see that you can definitely exceed 2% cash back value on an ongoing basis with the Sapphire Preferred/Freedom Unlimited combo.

With the Sapphire Reserve, you can also redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal at 1.5 cents per point value, which means 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points = $300 towards airfare, hotel, car rentals booked through Ultimate Rewards. 5% cash back on groceries turns into 7.5% potential value back, and so on.

If you would like the opportunity to earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories each quarter, compare with the Chase Freedom card. You can have both a Freedom and a Freedom Unlimited card, but you’ll have to apply for each card separately. I think this is actually a great idea if you plan to keep a Sapphire Preferred/Sapphire Reserve/Ink Preferred cards as well.

Restrictions. This card is subject to “5/24” restrictions, which means that your application will be automatically denied if you have opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months (check your credit reports). Our household strategy is to have one person only apply for Chase 5/24 cards, and the other person applies for everything else. There is also this language on the consumer card:

This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.

Bottom line. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a unique card that works best in combination with either the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Preferred Business cards. The combination of earning 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on all purchases plus the unique redemption options from those other cards can create a value exceeding that of 2% cash back.

Right now, there is a limited-time offer for $200 cash back with a relatively low $500 in purchases, in addition to 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. That’s up to $600 in cash back in the first year if you spend a lot on groceries these days.

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Chase Freedom Unlimited Review – $200 Cash Bonus + 5% Back on Groceries (Up to $600 Cash Back in First Year) from My Money Blog.


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