The Chase Freedom Unlimited has been around for a few years now and is definitely one of the more popular credit cards within the Chase Ultimate Rewards family. With this card, you typically earn 1.5 points on every single purchase, however, they just made some huge enhancements to the card which will allow you to earn even more points! Starting on Sept. 15, 2020, you’ll earn:
- 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- 3% on drugstore purchases
- 1.5% on all other purchases
And since you can purchase many gift cards at drug stores, that can theoretically allow you to earn 3 points per dollar spent at many other retailers.
Apply Here: Chase Freedom Unlimited
Increased welcome offer for new applicants
If you do not yet have this card, you can also take advantage of the recently announced welcome offer which will allow you to earn even more points — especially those who spend a decent amount on groceries. Their newly launched offer includes a $200 sign-up bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months, plus 5% cash back (5x points) on grocery store purchases within the first year, capped at $12,000 spend.
This means, if you are able to maximize the bonus, you can ultimately earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points. I value these points to be worth around 2 cents per point, which means you are looking at around $1,600 towards travel!
- Key Link: Chase Freedom Unlimited — Earn $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months, plus 5% cash back (5x points) on grocery purchases within the first year, capped at $12,000 spend.
The value of Chase Ultimate Reward points
Since this is a no annual fee card, your only option to redeem your Chase Ultimate Reward points — assuming this is your sole Chase Ultimate Reward card — is for cash. This means as a standalone card, you cannot directly transfer your point to partner loyalty programs. Your points can be cashed out at 1 point = 1 cent.
However, if you have a “premier” Chase Ultimate Reward card your points can go much further! If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Ink Preferred (or the no longer available Chase Ink Bold or Chase Ink Plus, you can transfer your points earned from the Chase Freedom Unlimited card to one of those “premier” cards and then transfer your points to a partner program.
Redeeming your points for travel typically makes your Chase Ultimate Reward points worth about 2 cents per point. This puts a much higher valuation on the points earned and means you are earning a 3% return on your every day purchases, 6% return at restaurants and at drug stores, and a 10% return on groceries (as part of the current welcome offer).
This is the perfect no annual fee card to partner up with another Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards where you can transfer to partners. Or, if you prefer earning a higher amount on rotating categories — instead of the flat 1.5 points per dollar spent — you might want to consider the brand new Chase Freedom Flex card instead.
I personally am a fan of combining this card with the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You use the Chase Freedom Unlimited on every day purchases, the Chase Sapphire Reserve for all travel purchases, and then you transfer the points earned from your no annual fee card to your premier Chase Ultimate Reward card. Within your premier card, you can transfer your points to some awesome travel partners, with my personal favorites being Hyatt, United, and British Airways — all partners transfer at a 1:1 ratio.
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