Update: This offer for Chase Freedom Unlimited® has expired. Learn more about the current offers here.
I’ve written in the past about the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which is one of the cards I use most for everyday spend. The card earns 1.5x points per dollar spent, and each point can be redeemed for a penny, so it essentially offers a return of 1.5%. If that’s how you’re using the card then there are better options, like the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers 1% cash back on every purchase, plus an additional 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases.
So this isn’t a card I really recommend using independently, as there are other cards that will get you a better return.
But there’s a way to unlock more value from the Chase Freedom Unlimited. If you have the card in conjunction with a card that accrues Ultimate Rewards points — specifically, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card — then you can convert the points earned on the Freedom Unlimited into Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio. This can easily be done online for free, and it’s an instant process.
Using this method you go from earning 1.5 cents per dollar spent on the Freedom Unlimited to earning 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent. I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~1.7 cents each, so to me that’s like increasing the value of the points you earn by 70%.
Personally I think the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card are a pretty incredible duo. Points on the Reserve can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each towards a travel purchase, meaning that using the Freedom Unlimited for everyday spend will earn you 2.25% towards travel, which is excellent.
Historically the welcome bonus on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been for 15,000 points after spending $500 within three months.
While that bonus is still around, there’s now another limited time option for the welcome bonus, which is also publicly available. Specifically, this version of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® welcome bonus gives 3x points for all your spend within the first year. There’s no limit to how many points you can earn.
In other words, in conjunction with a card earning Ultimate Rewards points, these points could be converted into 3x Ultimate Rewards points on all your spend within the first year, which is incredible.
The breakeven point here is going to be $10,000 of spend in the first year, since usually $10,000 of spend would earn 15,000 points. So if you don’t spend that much per year in non-bonused categories, you’re better off with the old bonus.
However, if you’re someone who spends a lot on credit cards, this has the potential to be a huge bonus, and perhaps even has the potential to be the most lucrative welcome bonus ever.
(Tip of the hat to Doctor Of Credit)