As a reminder, the Chase Freedom® (review) offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories (up to $1,500 per quarter), and then 1x point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Each point can be redeemed for a penny cash back, or otherwise in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, those points can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio.
It’s a card I use for the purpose of maximizing the 5x points categories, and then I transfer those points to my cards accruing “premium” Ultimate Rewards points.
The rumors suggested the new Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) would offer a flat 1.5% cashback, with no 5% cashback categories. You’d basically be getting a higher return on everyday spend, without the 5% cashback categories.
We now have some official information from Chase regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited, including some clarification. Via The Points Guy:
The new Chase Freedom Unlimited card will offer 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase. We know today’s consumers want choice and convenience to fit their lifestyle, which is why we’re adding Chase Freedom Unlimited as an option for 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There’s no minimum to redeem for cash back—cardholders can redeem any amount, anytime. Chase Freedom, one of our most popular cards, will continue to be available and play an important role in our credit card growth plan. Whether a consumer chooses to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase with the new Chase Freedom Unlimited card or 5% cash back in quarterly bonus categories on up to $1,500 and 1% on all other purchases with the current Freedom card—they have the ability to do so with Chase. Chase Freedom Unlimited customers will earn points through the Ultimate Rewards program in the same way our Freedom customers do today. For both products, customers can redeem points for cash back or other redemptions options including gift cards and travel. In addition, customers can redeem points through the Freedom mobile app at the register.
The first good news is that the Chase Freedom Card won’t be going away — the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card will simply be an additional product offering, which will be introduced in the spring.
Other than that, the details are basically as expected. The card will offer 1.5% cashback.
The best part is that the points can still be converted into Ultimate Rewards points. That means the Chase Freedom Unlimited will be an opportunity to earn 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points on everyday spend. For a no annual fee card, that’s incredible, and that might make the Freedom Unlimited Card the best card for everyday, non-bonused spend. That means the card would offer a better return on non-bonused spend than the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers 1x point per dollar spent.
In theory this is similar to the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, which offers a 50% points bonus when you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle, meaning you’re essentially earning 1.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. That card also has a $95 annual fee, but then again it accrues “real” Membership Rewards points, while you can only maximize the value of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card in conjunction with an annual fee card anyway.
If it’s just straight cashback you’re after, you’re better off with the Citi® Double Cash Card, which offers 1% cash back when you make your purchase, and then 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases (that’s the equivalent of 2% cash back).
The Chase Freedom Unlimited sounds like a fantastic new product offering, and a card I can’t wait to apply for when it goes live. Right now my primary card for everyday, non-bonused spend is the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, which earns me 1.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent. It’s nice to see there will be a Chase equivalent.
Best of all, the Chase Freedom® won’t be eliminated, so you can continue to take advantage of the 5x points categories.
What do you think of the Chase Freedom Unlimited?