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Chase Made some changes to its Chase Freedom card. The most significant change to hit the Chase Freedom Unlimited was the elimination of the 5% back at grocery stores which was disappointing. However, not all the changes have been negative, and the card now features revamped welcome bonus that is very attractive across the board. So here are 5 reasons why you should still consider getting the Chase Freedom Unlimited and why it might become your day-to-day go-to card.
Outstanding Welcome Bonus
The Chase Freedom Unlimited now features a new welcome bonus. New cardholders will get an additional 1.5% back on up to $20,000 in their first year of membership. This improves the earning on the Freedom Unlimited to the following:
- 6.5% on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
- 4.5% on purchases on drugstore purchases
- 4.5% on dining, including restaurants, eligible delivery services, and takeout.
- 3% on all other purchases.
After the first calendar year, the rates will go back to normal.
For the bonus duration, the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers an industry-leading earning rate of 3X for a card with no annual fee. Even if you do not take advantage of any of the bonus categories, earning 3X back on $20,000 will yield $600 in cash back.
That is an outstanding value if you take the cash, although if you hold a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can convert your cashback to Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1 cent a point.
That works out at a stunning 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which you can redeem through the Chase travel portal for between 1.25 and 1.5 cents per point, depending on which Chase Sapphire card you hold.
Great Earning On travel
The Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal acts like an online travel agent. So if you would typically use a travel agent site to find the best option and book your flights, the Ultimate Rewards portal acts in the same way with a twist.
Once you have completed your search for airfare, hotel, stay, etc., you have multiple payment options. You can use your Chase Ultimate Rewards balance to pay for your trip at a rate between 1.25 and 1.5 cents per point, depending on which Chase Sapphire card you have.
Alternatively, you can opt to pay cash with your Chase credit card and earn an Ultimate Rewards Points bonus along the way. The new Chase Freedom Unlimited earns you 5% back on all purchases made through the portal (after the first year of card membership or $20,000 of spending.)
If your travel plans and itineraries do not allow you to focus on specific hotel chains and airlines, then using your Freedom Unlimited to book travel will provide you with a fantastic return. Spending $10,000 per year on travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards on your Freedom Unlimited will yield an impressive $500 in cashback. Again, this can be taken as is or converted to Ultimate Rewards points if you hold a qualifying Sapphire card.
Excellent Earning at Restaurants & Drugstores
When it comes to drugstore purchases, the kings of the hill are the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Freedom Flex. Both cards earn an excellent 3% back on drugstore purchases (In the case of the Freedom Unlimited after the first year of card membership or $20,000 of spending). There are no other cards we are aware of that earn you such a high multiplier, while several earn you 2X. The 3X is industry-leading and makes either card our go-to card when making drugstore purchases.
Similarly, to drugstore purchases, The Chase Freedom Unlimited also delivers when it comes to dining and eating out (after the first year of card membership or $20,000 of spending). The card earns you an impressive 3% back on restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services. While this is not the highest rate around, most other cards offering a higher earning multiplier tend to carry an annual fee. On the other hand, when you factor in the fact that the Freedom Unlimited has a $0 annual fee and compare it to similar cards. You find that the Freedom Unlimited delivers industry-leading earning potential on restaurants and dining.
Strong Earning On Everything else
The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers one of the highest-earning rates for everyday spending. Even high-end credit cards tend only to offer 1X earning on non-bonus category spending (all other purchases). The Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5% back on all other purchases
The 1.5X rate beats both Chase Sapphire cards, which only earn you 1X on “all other purchases”, and is on par with other leading cashback cards on the market. Combining the no annual fee and industry-leading earning rates for everyday spending make the Chase Freedom Unlimited our go-to card for everyday spending that will not earn us any category spending bonus.
If you opt for a standalone credit card strategy, then the Freedom Unlimited is a contender. However, it is best suited to being a tool in your overall credit card travel rewards strategy.
No Annual Fee
Every credit card has a cost-benefit trade-off. While earning huge multiples on your everyday spending and complimentary airport lounge access can be a great perk. How does it stack up against the card’s annual fee, which can run into hundreds of dollars? There is no need to worry about this trade-off with the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
The card carries no annual fee. When you stack that up against its earning rates, it means the Freedom Unlimited is one of the strongest performers on the market today.
Sure, removing the 5% back at grocery stores was disappointing, but you have other options available to maximize your earnings from grocery shopping. On the upside, the new Chase Freedom Unlimited now provides an incredible bonus great earning rates at restaurants and drug stores. Factor in the fact that it is a no annual fee card, and there is nothing not to like about the new offering. After fully maximizing your bonus, the 1.5% back makes the Chase Freedom Unlimited the perfect card for spending that would otherwise attract a 1X earning from other cards!