In the world of travel credit cards, the best things don’t come free. Want great travel perks? You’ll have to pay for them with higher annual fees.
That’s where cards like the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited Card really shine. And it’s only gotten better recently, after adding lucrative bonuses for buying groceries for new applicants. And all cardholders will get even more bonus categories soon.
While it’s a cashback card, The Chase Freedom Unlimited is the perfect complement to travel cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve. It allows you to pile up points even faster.
Here’s why we think the Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the absolute best no-annual-fee credit cards on the market.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Full Benefits of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card
- Sign-up Bonus: Earn a $200 bonus (or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 in the first three months of card membership. You’ll also earn 5% cashback (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in spending in the first 12 months of card membership.
- Earn 5% cashback on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- Earn 5% cashback on Lyft rides starting Sept. 15 through March 2022.
- Earn 3% cashback on dining, including takeout and delivery services
- Earn 3% cashback at drugstores
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cashback on all other purchases
- Subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, so you won’t get approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited if you’ve opened five or more credit cards (from any bank, not just Chase) in the last 24 months.
- No Annual Fee!
It Pairs Well with the Chase Sapphire Preferred & Reserve Cards
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is technically a cashback credit card. But one of the best benefits it offers is the ability to convert that cashback to Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Each cent is worth 1 Ultimate Rewards point.
In order to do so, you must hold either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. And considering the Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back (or 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points) per dollar spent, it can be better to use it for your spending rather than your Preferred or Reserve card.
Let’s say I spend $200 at Amazon. Since Amazon doesn’t earn a category bonus on either the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred, I would earn 1 Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent – thus earning me 200 points.
But if I made that same purchase with my Freedom Unlimited Card instead, I would earn 1.5% cashback on the $200 purchase which equates to $3. And since that cashback can be transferred into my Ultimate Rewards points balance, I would effectively be earning 300 points.
The best part? Once you transfer those cashback bonuses to Chase points, it redeems at a higher rate depending on which Sapphire card you have. If you hold the Preferred card your points will be worth 1.25 cents each, and if you hold the Reserve, they will be worth 1.5 cents each when used in the Chase Travel Portal or with the new Pay Yourself Back Feature.
It’s The Best Card for Everything Else
Lots of travel rewards credit cards out there earn huge bonuses for spending in certain categories – making them the obvious choice for certain transactions.
Take, for example, the American Express Gold Card and the 4x Membership Rewards points it earns at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 of spending each year. Or the Platinum Card from American Express, which earns 5x points per dollar spent on airfare booked directly with the airline or through Amex Travel. Or even the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which earns 3x points per dollar spent at restaurants and on all travel and 10x points per dollar spent at Lyft.
But what about all those other transactions that don’t earn any sort of category bonus multiplier? This is where the Freedom Unlimited Card shines.
That’s because it earns an unlimited 1.5% cashback on every dollar you spend – regardless of which category the purchase falls under. And because you can transfer the cashback to your stash of Chase points, it is an easy choice for the card to use for every other purchase that doesn’t earn a category bonus from a different card.
Its reach will get even wider come Sept. 15, when new bonus categories go live for Lyft rides, dining, drugstores, and even the Chase travel portal. All current and new cardholders will get these bonus categories automatically.
5% Back or 5x Points on Groceries for 12 Months
Just this summer, Chase added a new benefit available for new cardholders. And it’s a big one.
They’ll earn 5% back (or 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on up to $12,000 of spending at grocery stores for the first 12 months. That excludes stores like Target and Walmart.
Assuming you max out this benefit over the course of the next year, you could earn $600 back or 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. That’s a heck of a deal for a no annual fee card, easily making it one of the best options for your grocery store spending.
Unfortunately, this benefit is only available for new cardholders. If you already have a Chase Freedom Unlimited, you won’t be eligible to earn 5% back (or 5x points) on grocery store purchases.
No Annual Fee & A Small Minimum Spend for a Bonus
One of the most appealing things about the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is that it doesn’t have an annual fee. The card even offers an introductory 0% interest period of 15 months when you first open the account.
And on top of that, you can earn $200 cashback (or 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after spending just $500 in the first three months of card membership. Compared to the $2,000 to $5,000 spending requirement on many cards, that’s more than reasonable.
The one downside is that the Chase Freedom Unlimited does charge a foreign transaction fee of 3% – common among no annual fee credit cards. That said, keep this card in your wallet when you are traveling abroad.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a no-nonsense option that will allow you to earn a bonus on every dollar you spend. It has no annual fee, allows new cardholders to earn 5% back (or 5x points) at the grocery store for the next 12 months, and makes a great companion to either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve cards.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited.