Chase Freedom Unlimited® Review
2022.1 Update: The previous $200+5% on grocery offer is expired. There are two kinds of offers now: (1) $200+5% on gas; (2) Additional 1.5% points on all purchases in the first 12 months, up to $20,000 (i.e. $300 cashback). The latter offer is only suitable for those who has a lot of spending.
2021.11 Update: The $250+5% in branch offer is expired. The current offer is $200+5% or $250. Since 5% on grocery is a quite easy way to earn many points, it is better than the $250 offer in my opinion.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU) $200+5% Offer (This is a public offer through Chase direct site only)
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU) Additional 1.5% Offer
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU) $250 Offer: in branch (This is a public offer through Chase direct site only)
- $200+5% offer: earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months. Earn 5% cash back on gas station purchases on up to $6,000 spent in the first 12 months.
- Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, earn 3% cash back on dining (restaurants & delivery) and drugstore.
- Earn 1.5% cash back on all other purchases with no cap!
- Although this card is advertised as a cash back card, it actually earns Ultimate Rewards (UR) points: i.e. the $200 sign-up bonus is actually 20k UR points sign-up bonus, and the 1.5% cash back rate is actually 1.5x UR points earning rate. We estimate that UR points are worth about 1.6 cents/point, see below for a brief introduction. So the 20k sign-up bonus is worth about $320, and the 1.5x UR earning rate is worth about 2.4%!
- [Limited Time] Earn 5% cash back on Lyft, until 2022.03.31. Here is the official link for this promotion.
- [Limited Time] Free DashPass (Doordash membership) for 3 months, and 50% discount on Dashpass for 9 months. Activation required before 2022.3.31. Here is the official link for this promotion.
- Refer a friend: You can earn 10,000 bonus UR points for every approved account you refer, up to a maximum of 5 approved referrals (50,000 UR points) per calendar year.
- No annual fee.
- It has foreign transaction fee, so it's not a good choice outside the US.
Introduction to UR Points
- You can earn UR points with Chase Freedom Student, Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU), Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP), Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR), Chase Ink Cash (Business), Chase Ink Unlimited (Business), Chase Ink Preferred (Business), etc.
- You can move your UR points from one UR card to another at any time.
- UR points never expire. You will lose the UR points on one card if you close the account, but you can prevent losing your UR points by moving the points to another UR card beforehand.
- If you have Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP), Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR), or Chase Ink Preferred (Business), UR points can be transferred to some hotel points. One of the best way to use UR points is to 1:1 transfer to Hyatt points. UR points can also be transferred to some airline miles. One of the most common and best way to use UR points is to 1:1 transfer them to United Airlines (UA) miles (Star Alliance), and combine them with the UA miles earned from the UA card. Other good options are: Southwest (WN) (Non-alliance), British Airways (BA) (Oneworld), Virgin Atlantic (VS) (Non-alliance), etc. If you use UR points in this way, the value is about 1.6 cents/point.
- If you have Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR), you can redeem your UR points at a fixed rate 1.5 cents/point towards air tickets or hotels on UR travel portal; if you have Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) or Chase Ink Preferred (Business), you can redeem your UR at a fixed rate 1.25 cents/point towards air tickets or hotels on UR travel portal.
- If you have any of the UR cards, you can redeem your UR points at a fixed rate 1 cent/point towards cash.
- In summary, we estimate that UR points are worth about 1.6 cents/point.
- For more information about UR points, see Maximize the Credit Card Points Values (overview), and Introduction to UR: How to Earn and Introduction to UR: How to Use (very detailed).
Recommended Application Time
- [5/24 Rule] If you have 5 or more new accounts opened in the past 24 months, Chase will not approve your application on this card, no matter how high your credit score is. The number of new accounts includes all credit card accounts, not only Chase accounts. See this post for details about how to possibly bypass this rule.
- This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months. Note that what matters here is the time you got the sign-up bonus, not the time you open the account or close the account.
- Don’t apply for more than 2 Chase credit cards within 30 days, or it’s highly likely that you will get rejected.
If you have more than $10,000 deposits in Chase checking, you can get this card even with no credit history at all. You can go to a branch and find a banker to apply for this credit card directly through Special Consideration.Special Consideration is no longer available.
- We recommend you to apply for this card after you have a credit history for more than 8~9 months.
1.5x UR earning rate on everything is worth about ~2.4%. The return is even higher than 2% cashback cards! So as long as you are interested in points/miles, and you have/will have CSP/CSR to convert UR points, this card is great for non-bonus categories. In 2020.09, 3x earning rate on dining is added to this card, which makes this card even stronger. This card makes a lot of other dining credit cards less attractive. Everyone should have one! If you want this card but you think the sign-up bonus is not high enough, or you are limited by the 5/24 rule, you can convert your other Chase credit cards (CFF, CSP, CSR ) to this card (there’s no sign-up bonus for conversion). The CFF + CFU + CSP/CSR combo makes the UR currency even better than before! The biggest drawback is the difficulty in acquiring UR cards because of the 5/24 rule.
Related Credit Cards
- Call 800-436-7927 to check Chase application status. This is an automated telephone line, and the information has the following meanings: Receive decision in 2 weeks means your application is probably approved; Receive decision in 7-10 days means your application is probably rejected; Receive decision in 30 days simply means your application requires further review and there’s nothing to tell you for now.
- Chase reconsideration backdoor number: 888-270-2127 or 888-609-7805. Call it if you didn’t get approve immediately. Your personal information will be acquired and they will then review it. You seldom answer questions, instead, just enjoy the music and then you get approved or rejected, or further information is needed to be hand in to the branch or faxed.
Historical Offers Chart
Note: in 2019 there was an everything 3x UR first year welcome offer. This is not shown in the chart. In 2020 there is a $200+5% on grocery in the first year offer, and the latter part is not shown in the plot.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU) $200+5% Offer
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU) Additional 1.5% Offer
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU) $250 Offer: in branch
Editorial disclosure: Opinions express here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.