Who Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card Good For?
The latest offering in Chase’s Ultimate Rewards lineup is the Freedom Unlimited card. Like the standard Freedom card, the Unlimited card works best as a companion to either the Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus cards. Without either of those cards, you won’t be able to transfer points to partner airlines. On their own, the Freedom cards function mostly as cash back cards.
Freedom and Freedom Unlimited differ only in their bonus earning categories. The Freedom card offers an impressive quintuple points on up to $1,500 worth of purchases made in quarterly rotating bonus categories. Those categories may include gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, holiday shopping and more. All other purchases earn one point per dollar.
The Unlimited card, on the other hand, gives you 1.5 points per dollar for all purchases with no limit. Very few cards offer bonus earning across the board, making this another impressive offering from Chase.
While the standard Freedom card’s quintuple earning is hard to beat, the Unlimited card is a great option if you either don’t want the hassle of keeping on top of the bonus categories, or if you don’t think you’ll spend much on those specific types of purchases.
Since neither Freedom card has an annual fee, you should consider getting both of them, particularly if you’re serious about maximizing your UR points. With the Sapphire, Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards, you’ll earn bonus points on every purchase you make. Sapphire gives you double for travel and restaurants; Freedom gives you quintuple for select purchases; and everything else can go on the Unlimited card.
14.24%-23.24% based on creditworthiness
The official sign-up bonus for the Freedom Unlimited card is $150 cash back, which is 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points. To get the bonus, you have to spend $500 within the first three months of having the card. You’ll get an additional 2,500 points if you add an authorized user within the same time period.
- 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases
What Do Your Points Get You?
Without either a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus card, your redemption options are limited. You’ll be able to use points for cash back, gift cards, shopping on Amazon or purchasing travel through the Ultimate Rewards website. One nice perk of the Unlimited card is that you can get cash back for any amount at any time.
If you have a premium ThankYou card and full access to the Ultimate Rewards program, then you can transfer points to seven airline partners, including British Airways, Air France KLM, Korean Air, United, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic and Singapore Airlines.
The Ultimate Rewards program may have the fewest airline transfer partners of the three major credit card rewards programs (Amex Membership Rewards has 17 transfer partners and Citi ThankYou has 12), but they are solid partners. You’ll have access to all three of the major airline alliances: United and Singapore Airlines are Star Alliance members; British Airways is a oneworld member; and Korean Air belongs to SkyTeam.
- Unlimited bonus earning of 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases
- No annual fee
- Points don’t expire if you remain a Chase cardholder
- Sign-up bonus with a no-fee card
- Must have Sapphire or Ink Plus card to transfer points to airlines
- 3 percent foreign transaction fee
How Far Do Your Points Go?
With full access to the Ultimate Rewards program, you can transfer your points to Chase’s airline partners. Wherever you want to go, those airlines have you covered.
British Airways is great for short-haul flights because they’re cheap and have minimal or no surcharges added; Virgin Atlantic, Air France KLM and United are good options for transatlantic flights; Korean Air has solid redemptions to Asia, including Japan, Korea and Hong Kong; And Southwest, the largest low-cost carrier in the world, offers cheap domestic flights and only partners with Chase.
If you can’t find the award flight you want with Chase’s airline partners, buying a ticket through the Ultimate Rewards travel center is always an option. And if you have Sapphire or Ink Plus, you’ll get a 20 percent discount on all travel purchased through the UR website.
Additional Cardholder Benefits:
- Zero Liability
- Purchase Protection
- Price Protection
- Auto rental and collision damage waiver