Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU) Review
2018.4 Update: (Expired) Now there’s a new offer: no sign-up bonus, but you can earn 3x UR points on everything in the first year. At the same time, the usual 15k offer still exists via referral links. Is the new 3x offer better than the usual 15k offer? It depends how much you can spend. Considering you can earn 1.5x on everything already with this card, 3x only means 1.5x more, therefore 3x is a better offer if and only if you spend $10,000 or more in the first year. If you can really spend a lot, then the new 3x offer is better; if not, you still should apply for the 15k offer.
- 15k+2.5k offer: earn 15,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points after spending $500 in 3 months from account opening, and get 2,500 more points by adding an authorized user and making a purchase within this same 3 month period.
- Earn 1.5x UR on everything, no cap!
- Although this card is advertised as a cash back card, it actually earns Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. We estimate that Ultimate Rewards (UR) points are worth about 1.6 cents/point, see below for a brief introduction. So the 15k+2.5k sign-up bonus could be worth about $262.5, and the return of the spendings could be worth about 2.4%!
- 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, Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU), Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP), Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR), Chase Ink Cash (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 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: Korean Air (KE) (SkyTeam), British Airways (BA) (Oneworld), Southwest (WN) (Non-alliance), Singapore Airlines (SQ) (Star Alliance), Flying Blue (SkyTeam), 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 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. If you use UR in this way, the value is about 1.8 cents/point. You can also transfer UR points to Marriott points, however, the value is very low unless you only need to transfer a few points towards the Marriott Travel Packages.
- If you have Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR), you can redeem your UR points at a fixed rate 1.5 cents/point towards air tickets 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 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 reject your application for this card.The number of new accounts includes all credit card accounts, not only Chase accounts. Recently some data points have shown that there are exceptions to this rule, but if you really want this card, play it safe and be sure to apply for it as soon as you are eligible. See this post for details.
- 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 on everything is worth about ~2.4% in return. The return is even higher than the Citi Double Cash (DC)! 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. If you want this card but you think the sign-up bonus is not enough, or you are limited by the 5/24 rule, you can convert your other Chase credit cards (Freedom, CSP, CSR ) to this card (there’s no sign-up bonus for conversion). The Freedom + CFU + CSP/CSR combo makes the UR currency even better than before! The biggest drawback is that, these UR cards are hard to get because of the 5/24 rule.
Related Credit Cards
- Chase Freedom
- Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU) (this post)
- 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.