At Experian, consumer credit and finance education is our priority. This post may contain links and references to one or more of our partners, but we provide an objective view to help you make the best decisions. For more, see our Editorial Policy.
In this article:
It can be tricky to find a great rewards credit card that doesn't come saddled with an annual fee. As a flat rate rewards card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a good introductory opportunity to get the hang of accumulating cash back without a pesky annual fee to eat into your reward earnings.
This card has an impressive bonus offer that gives you double cash back—3%—for all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent (1.5% cash back on all purchases after that). With no annual fee, it won't cost you anything to carry this card in your wallet, and your rewards will never expire as long as you keep the card open.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card also offers zero interest on purchases and balance transfers for a long introductory period, plus many shopping benefits that can help protect your purchases.
|Customer Service Contact Info|
P.O. Box 15298
Wilmington, DE 19850
|Simplified rewards with extra cash back the first year||High standard APR|
|Lengthy intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers||Foreign transaction fees|
|No annual fee||Requires good to excellent credit|
|No minimum to redeem for cash back|
If you're looking for a cash back card with high earning potential but without an expensive annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® could be an ideal fit if your credit is in great shape. This versatile credit card provides unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make—and double that the first year you have the card. Unlike many cash back credit cards that have annual fees that kick in after the first year, this Chase card never charges an annual fee, helping your rewards go further.
As an added bonus, the credit card offers an intro 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 0 months. If there are any large purchases you've been procrastinating on, you could put them on the card to earn double cash back, then pay them off over 15 months without owing any interest. This card can also save you a lot of money if you're transferring over a high interest balance from another card since you'll have a long interest-free window to pay off that debt.
Be aware that once this introductory period ends, the card's regular APR is high: You'll pay a variable rate from 16.49% - 25.24% Variable on purchases and balance transfers, depending on your creditworthiness. So it's probably not the best card if you plan to carry a balance regularly. It also charges foreign transaction fees, so it's not ideal for frequent international travelers.
Double Cash Back Rewards With No Expiration
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers double cash back for the entire first year of purchases, up to $20,000 spent, which could be appealing for frequent credit card users. After the first year, your cash back earnings go down from 3% to 1.5%, but you'll get it on every purchase.
For some folks, registering for rotating higher percentage cash back categories required by some credit cards takes too much effort. If that describes you, you'll appreciate that you get the same amount of cash back on every purchase with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card—there's no having to figure out when it's time to use the card for gas versus groceries: Any time is a good time to earn cash back.
There's no minimum for redeeming your cash back rewards, so you can withdraw your earnings at any time, and these rewards never expire as long as your account remains open. When you're ready to cash out, you can get your cash back via either a statement credit or a direct deposit to most checking and savings accounts.
Maximize Your Rewards Points
Your rewards can add up quickly when you use this credit card for everyday purchases (and then pay off the balance right away)—especially during the first year of double cash back. Consider setting up any monthly bills, like those for your mobile phone or cable, to automatically charge to the card, then pay them off right away. This will help you earn cash back faster. Just make sure the draw of cash back doesn't lure you into spending more than you can afford.
While the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is technically a cash back card, you have several other options for redeeming your rewards if you prefer. To get a higher value out of your accumulated rewards, you can redeem them through the company's Chase Ultimate Rewards site.
Through this portal, you can redeem your earnings for any available reward options, such as gift cards to 150 different retailers, travel such as airfare and hotel stays, and products or services made available through the program—and you can often find some great deals and higher redemption values. You can also use points on deals from third-party merchants.
Use Your Points at Amazon.com
Chase Freedom Unlimited® has another unique rewards benefit. If you're an Amazon user (who isn't?), you also have the option to link your credit card to your Amazon.com account. This allows you to instantly use your card's cash back reward balance to pay for some or all of your eligible Amazon.com orders at checkout—and this includes tax and shipping fees.
Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® comes with several other free benefits that can help you save money and have more peace of mind when you shop. One is purchase protection; this feature covers your credit card purchases from damage or theft for 120 days after buying them. You're permitted up to $500 per claim, and $50,000 total per credit card account.
Cardholders also get the benefit of an extended warranty. When you buy an item with the card, this feature will extend the manufacturer's warranty by a year (though it must be on eligible warranties that are three years or less).
Like most credit cards, you also get zero liability protection with this one, so if your card or account is used for any unauthorized purchases, you won't be held responsible.
Convenient and Easy-to-Use Mobile App
As a cardholder, you get access to Chase's handy mobile app, which is available for both iPhone and Android users. You can use the app for a variety of functions:
- Monitor your credit card purchases and transactions
- Set up travel notifications so your card doesn't accidentally get shut off
- Set up account alerts
- Schedule, edit or cancel credit card payments
- Track and redeem your rewards
- Find the nearest Chase branch or ATM
- Contact customer service
|Purchase APR: 0% APR for the first 15 months, then 16.49% - 25.24% Variable||Grace Period: 21 days|
|Transfer APR: 0% APR for the first 0 months, then 16.49% - 25.24% Variable||Annual Fee: $0|
|Cash Advance APR: 26.49%||Balance Transfer Fee: 3% the first 60 days, then $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater|
|Minimum Interest Charge: None||Cash Advance Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater|
|Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%|
|Late Payment Fee: Up to $39|
|Returned Payment Fee: Up to $39|
You might be interested in adding your spouse or child to your Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card account as an authorized user. Chase will allow you to do this, and your authorized users will have the same account number and access to the same line of credit. While Chase authorized users have the same charging privileges as you, they are not financially responsible for purchases—only you, the primary cardholder, are. So make sure you trust whoever you sign up as an authorized user since any irresponsible behavior on their part will wreak havoc on your credit report, not theirs.
Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Right for You?
If you're looking for a straightforward cash back card that gives you extra rewards the first year and doesn't charge an annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® could be a great choice. While you can find cards that offer more cash back, this one keeps rewards simple and offers a strong 0% APR intro period if you want to pay off some existing debt and save on interest. Just remember to leave this card at home when you travel abroad so you're not charged foreign transaction fees.