This used to be a card that simply earned 1.5% back on everything. However, Chase really upgraded the power of this no-annual-fee card last fall by offering additional bonus categories and many other benefits.
[Referral Link] Chase Freedom Unlimited
Here are some reasons why I think this is a great card:
1. No Annual Fee
No explanation needed :)
2. $200 (20,000 UR pts) Signup Bonus
Earn $200 after spending $500 within the first 3 months of account opening. That alone is an incredible 40% return on your spend.
If you eventually upgrade or apply for one of Chase's premium cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve (review), it could be redeemed for at least $300 cash or potentially way more (think $1000-2000 worth!!!) if business class flights or 5-star hotels are what you are aiming for. Also, note that even if you already have the old Chase Freedom (now discontinued) or Freedom Flex (review) card, the Freedom Unlimited is considered a separate product and you are eligible to earn this bonus.
3. Generous Bonus Categories
5% on Groceries (within your first year)
5% on Travel when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
3% on Dining (restaurants, food delivery, cafes, etc.)
3% on Drugstores (CVS, Walgreens, etc.)
1.5% on All Other Purchases
Evidently, Chase has made the Unlimited a much more interesting card than simply 1.5% on everything. Now, you can also earn 3x on dining, which is MORE than the 2x on the $95 annual fee Chase Sapphire Preferred, and on-par with the $550 annual fee Chase Sapphire Reserve!
4. Free Warranty and Purchase Protections
Here are some of the key benefits that come with your no annual fee credit card:
- Zero Liability Protection - you won't be held responsible for any fraudulent charges
- Purchase Protection - covers damage or theft within 120 days of your purchase! Check out how I was reimbursed for my AirPods in this article!
- Extended Warranty - extends the time of U.S. manufacturer's warranty by an additional year for free! Check out how Chase bought me a new MacBook last year in this article!
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver - free insurance when you rent!
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance - covers your costs if trip is cancelled or cut short by sickness, severe weather, etc.
5. Other Perks
- Earn 5% on Lyft rides (until Mar 2025)
- 3 months of DashPass (DoorDash's delivery subscription service, which usually costs $9.99/month) FREE, so you can save on delivery fees!
- (NEW) 3 months of Instacart+. This works for existing customers too (and extends current subscription if you are already paying for one).
Most people should have no problem getting approved for this card, since it is considered a more entry level credit card. However, if you are in the following situation, you may not be eligible (or at risk of being rejected):
- Currently hold the Chase Freedom Unlimited or have gotten a bonus from this card in the last 24 months. In this case, you could consider the business version called Chase Ink Unlimited.
- You are over 5/24, meaning you have opened 5 or more credit cards with any banks over the last 24 months.
- Relatively new credit history or non-US citizen with no relationship with Chase and recently received a SSN (no hard evidence, just data points from people around me).
Whether you are looking for a simple, no annual fee one-card setup or thinking about pairing this with other chase cards like the Freedom Flex, Sapphire Preferred / Reserve, etc., this is one of the best cards to get.
Unlike the Flex, which has quarterly rotating 5% categories to keep track of, this card is low-maintenance and good for those that may not want to spend extra effort monitoring.
Finally, the incredible earning categories, free benefits like purchase protection and extended warranty, as well as the juicy signup bonus make it one of my favorite intro credit cards to recommend!
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