Chase Freedom Unlimited review: A great card for beginners and pros alike

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® overview

The no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited is perfect for beginner and advanced award travelers. While many cards offer 1% back on purchases outside of bonus categories, you’ll earn 1.5% back on non-bonus spending with the Freedom Unlimited. And if you pair this with a card that earns premium Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can convert your rewards into fully transferable points, doubling their value. Card rating*: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Card rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.

At first glance, the Chase Freedom Unlimited might seem like a tame cash-back card. But there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

With no annual fee and a simple earning structure, it’s a great card for beginners, provided they have a credit score of at least 670. It’s also an excellent card pairing for more premium options like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve, making it a valuable addition to many larger card portfolios.

Let’s examine what makes this card so deceptively great, and whether it deserves a spot in your wallet.

Chase Freedom Unlimited welcome offer

The Chase Freedom Unlimited‘s current welcome offer allows cardholders to effectively double the cash back earned in their first year. With the Freedom Unlimited, Chase will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned in the first 12 months with no limit, essentially doubling the card’s earnings rates. However, this lucrative offer ends soon, so you’ll have to act fast.


This is undoubtedly one of the best offers we’ve seen on this card — perhaps the best, depending on your spending habits. Note that you’ll receive the matched cash-back in one lump sum at the end of 12 months — not at the end of each monthly billing cycle.

And it’s even more valuable if you also have a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, meaning you can transfer your cash back to points and move them to one of Chase’s transfer partners.

Also, since this is a Chase card, remember it’s subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule.

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Related: The best time to apply for these Chase cards based on offer history

Chase Freedom Unlimited benefits

The trade-off for cards without an annual fee is that they tend to come with fewer perks than their more premium counterparts. Still, the Freedom Unlimited has some nice features worth highlighting:

  • Rental car protection: You’ll have rental car insurance that covers theft and damage up to the actual cash value of most rented cars
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance: You’ll be covered for up to $1,500 per person and up to $6,000 per trip for eligible travel expenses on your card if a loss results in the cancellation or interruption of your travel plans
  • Roadside dispatch: You’ll get access to pay-per-use roadside assistance that will connect you with service providers when you have issues on the road
  • Extended warranty protection: You can extend the time period of warranty coverage by one additional year on original eligible warranties of three years or less
  • Purchase protection: Your purchases are protected against theft and damage for 120 days after the date of purchase

If you don’t have another card with more robust travel insurance and shopping protections, this is a decent amount of coverage for a card with no annual fee.

Related: Why the Chase Freedom Unlimited is great for college students

Earning cash back on the Chase Freedom Unlimited

With the Freedom Unlimited, you’ll normally earn:

  • 5% back on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services)
  • 3% back at drugstores
  • 1.5% back on all other purchases

However, with the current welcome offer, you’ll earn double those rates for the first year you have the card. Notably, that means you can earn 6% on dining and at least 3% on all other purchases.


While none of the bonus categories are show-stoppers, finding a card with bonus categories and a flat rate higher than 1% for all additional purchases is unusual. The bonus categories are nice, but the ability to earn 50% more on non-bonus spending makes this card shine.

Related: The best cards to pair with the Freedom Unlimited

Redeeming cash back on the Chase Freedom Unlimited

You can redeem the cash back earned on your Freedom Unlimited as a statement credit or for a direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts at a value of one cent per point. You can also redeem your rewards for gift cards or use them to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal for travel for the same value.

You can also pay directly with your points at, but you’ll get a lower value going this route.


With the right card pairing, you can turn your rewards into transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points and utilize Chase’s valuable transfer partners for even more value.

Related: Why the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Freedom unlimited are the perfect beginner card combo

Transferring cash back with the Chase Freedom Unlimited

Alone, the Freedom Unlimited is a true cash-back card and doesn’t allow you to transfer your rewards to travel partners.

However, if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can combine your rewards and unlock Chase’s full list of 14 hotel and airline partners.


TPG staffers particularly love the option to transfer our Chase Ultimate Rewards to World of Hyatt. Some of us, like TPG director of content Summer Hull, prefer to use these rewards to book higher-end Hyatts that might otherwise be out of budget. Alternatively, some are like me and prefer to stretch our rewards by using them for great deals on Hyatt’s Category 1 properties.

In addition to World of Hyatt, Chase’s other transfer partners include valuable options like United MileagePlus, British Airways Executive Club and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer. You’ll find excellent options with Chase’s transfer partners, regardless of your travel style and preferences.

Related: How to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards for maximum value

Which cards compete with the Chase Freedom Unlimited?

One option might be a better fit if you want to focus on earning cash-back rewards. Like the Freedom Unlimited, they earn cash-back rewards and don’t carry an annual fee.

For additional options, please see our lists of the best cash-back cards and the best cards without an annual fee.

Related: Chase Freedom Flex vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited worth it?

Since the Freedom Unlimited doesn’t carry an annual fee, you can feel great about earning rewards without justifying what you pay to keep it each year. You can maximize your rewards-earning potential if you already have a Chase Ultimate Rewards points-earning card. However, if you’re focused solely on cash-back rewards, you’ll likely want a card with a higher earning rate.

Related: How to choose a cash-back card

Bottom line

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card for everyday, non-bonus spending and can provide incredible value when paired with a more premium Chase card. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro looking for a complementary card to add to your portfolio, the Freedom Unlimited is an excellent choice.

Apply here: Chase Freedom Unlimited, with all the cash back you’ve earned in the first 12 months matched with no limit. Offer ends soon.

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