Updated: Nov 14, 2021
We've all missed out on something good before—an appointment, a sale, or an invitation to an event. However, when it comes to credit cards, there is one that you don't want to miss out on!
All opinions and reviews expressed herein are the author's alone and have not been reviewed or approved by any credit card issuer, airline, bank, hotel chain, or other entity. Some of the credit card offers and links appearing in this article are from companies from which we may receive commission or a referral bonus when you click on the link. You do not need to use our links but we appreciate it when you do—it helps support our website!
The Welcome Bonus
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® currently has a 20,000 Ultimate Rewards® welcome bonus! Although it is marketed as a cashback card—or a $200 welcome bonus—the value of 20,000 points, when used strategically for travel, could translate into 1.5 to 2 times that value! In other words, the actual value of the 20,000 points could be $300 to $400—or even more! You can apply for this card here!
That is not to say having a cashback option is a bad idea; for some cardmembers, that is the ideal use of their credit card rewards. But for other cardmembers who spend money on travel expenses, the cashback option may result in leaving money on the table—something none of us like to experience.
In addition, there is an incredible offer during Chase is offering its cardmembers during their 1st year of use. During this promotional period, a new cardmember can earn 5X points on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year! This is an incredible value—a potential of up to 60,000 points!
Meeting the Minimum Spend
The 20,000 Ultimate Rewards® welcome bonus is well within the reach of many—simply spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Simply using Chase Freedom Unlimited® for all of your eating expenses—grocery and restaurant—should do the trick for most cardmembers.
What if you typically do not organically spend $500 within 3 months? You could prepay your regular expenses. For example, you could purchase a gift card at a grocery or other retail store where you shop regularly. This would allow you to meet the minimum spend requirement while spending money on a normal expense.
Although there is a 0% intro APR for 15 months, it is still best practice to pay your bill in full when your credit card statement arrives. Otherwise, your balance may get out of hand, and you risk being charged interest when the introductory 15 month 0% APR period ends. The accumulated interest would eat away at your credit card rewards—defeating the purpose of getting the Chase Freedom Unlimited® in the first place!
Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns 5X points on Chase Travel purchased through Chase's Travel Portal, 3X points on dining, and 3X points on drugstore purchases. These multipliers are extremely generous from a no-fee credit card; in fact, it even outperforms some of the other credit cards that come with a hefty annual fee! You can apply for this card here! The rate is 1.5X points per dollar on all other purchases.
"The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a must-have when it comes to credit cards that do not have an annual fee."
The 1.5X points per dollar make this an interesting card to use on non-category spend. When paired with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Ink Business Preferred®, the 1.5X can receive a 25% points boost when redeemed for travel on Chase's Travel Portal. You can compare and apply for these cards here! When paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, the 1.5X can receive a 50% points boost. This would be transforming the 1.5X into 2.25X. The points transformation can be even greater when strategically using one of Chase's 14 transfer partners!
Do you want to determine the value of Chase Freedom Unlimited® based on your spending habits? Try using our Credit Card Selector Calculator for FREE! It uses our proprietary algorithm which determines the best credit card in our database based on your spending habits. You will be able to determine the value of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® in your first year of use. It was designed with you in mind! You can also apply for this card here!
Travel Benefits and Purchase Protection
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® comes with good travel benefits and purchase protection. This provides peace of mind when unexpected events take place that impacts your trip.
The travel benefits include Trip Cancellation/ Trip Interruption Insurance—up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip. It also includes secondary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver coverage.
The Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. The Extended Warranty Protection extends the period of the U.S. manufacturer's warranty by an additional year, on eligible warranties of three years or less.
The Chase Trifecta
The "Chase trifecta" is a term known by Chase Ultimate Rewards® enthusiasts. Essentially, it is strategically combining three Chase credit cards to boost their rewards earning potential. Not all Chase-branded credit cards "qualify" for this special designation.
As it relates to consumer credit cards, the Chase trifecta includes (1) the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Ink Business Preferred®, (2) the Chase Freedom Flex℠, and (3) the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
To learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, see the following post: Chase Sapphire Preferred—The Best Credit Card Just Got Better! You can also apply for this card here!
To learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex℠, see the following post: Chase Freedom Flex—A Remarkable No Annual Fee Card! You can also apply for this card here!
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® provides a 50% points boost when redeemed for travel on Chase's Travel Portal! However, it does carry a giant $550 annual fee. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card provides a 25% points boost when redeemed for travel on Chase's Travel Portal. It only has a $95 annual fee! The Chase Ink Business Preferred® also provides a 25% points boost and has a $95 annual fee.
All three of these cards "open the door" to Chase's 14 transfer partners. Using transfer partners strategically can yield a better value than using Chase's Travel Portal! Consulting with a Credit Card Miles & Points Consultant is an excellent idea to take advantage of this option if you need help getting started.
Each of the aforementioned credit cards that make up the Chase trifecta earns rewards in various categories and at different multiplier rates. To maximize the points earned, it is important to select the credit card that has the best multiplier rate for the item you intend to purchase. This method will yield more Ultimate Rewards® points that lead to the desired outcome—more money in your pocket!
Chase allows you to combine your Ultimate Rewards® points within your account—or even transfer them to one family member who lives within your household! This option allows family members to pool their points together—making it easier to use & redeem for award travel.
Welcome Bonus Stipulation
The 20,000 Ultimate Rewards® welcome bonus does come with some stipulations. One stipulation is you will not be eligible for the welcome bonus if you currently have this card or have received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.
Chase's 5/24 Rule
In addition, there is what is known as "Chase's 5/24 rule." This "rule" indicates you will not be approved a Chase credit card if you have opened five or more credit cards—across all banks—within the last 24 months. (I.e. American Express, Capital One, etc.)
However, Chase does not have a published policy to validate the 5/24 rule. Interestingly, there are data points where an individual has been over "Chase's 5/24 rule" and has been approved a Chase credit card. Nonetheless, most data points support the conclusion that an individual will need to be under "Chase's 5/24 rule" to be approved for a Chase credit card.
Is The Chase Freedom Unlimited Right for Me?
The answer to this question depends on you. Are you able to pay off your credit card bill every month? Are you able to resist the temptation to overspend if you have a credit card with a high credit limit? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, Chase Freedom Unlimited® may be a great fit for you! You can apply for this card here!