Chase Freedom Unlimited – What’s the Big Deal?

Happy Friday!

Last week, Chase announced the details of a new credit card:  the Chase Freedom Unlimited. This compliments, rather than replaces, the Chase Freedom.

ChaseFreedomUnlimited-1

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited, you earn the following:

  • $150 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in 90 days
  • $25 bonus for adding an Authorized User
  • 0% APR for the first 15 months
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases, all the time

For the most part, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is very similar to the Chase Freedom, with the exception of the points earning structure (a big difference!). Remember that the Chase Freedom earns 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories and 1% on everything else.

So, which card makes more sense for you? Let’s assume that you spend:

  • Gas:  $35 a month
  • Grocery:  $200 a month
  • Restaurants:  $200 a month
  • Amazon:  $50 a month
  • Everything Else:  $115 a month
  • TOTAL:  $600 a month

For the Chase Freedom Unlimited, it’s simple:  600 x 1.5 x 12 = 10,800 points ($108 cash back)

For the Chase Freedom, it’s a little more complicated:

  • Gas:  (35 x 1 x 9) + (35 x 5 x 3) = 840 points
  • Grocery:  (200 x 1 x 9) + (200 x 5 x 3) = 4,800 points
  • Restaurants: (200 x 1 x 9) + (200 x 5 x 3) = 4,800 points
  • Amazon:  (50 x 1 x 9) + (50 x 5 x 3) = 1,200 points
  • Everything Else:  (115 x 1 x 12) = 1,380 points

When it’s all said and done, your Chase Freedom has earned 13,020 points ($130.20 cash back) over the course of our hypothetical year, or roughly $22 more in cash back than the the Freedom Unlimited.

For most people, I’d recommend either applying for the Chase Freedom or keeping it, rather than getting a Chase Freedom Unlimited.

NOTE:  If you have the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited AND the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you can turn your cash back into Ultimate Rewards points, which can be transferred to a ton of airline, hotel, rental car, and many other programs. Ultimate Rewards points are how Nick and I are paying for rental cars and our flight home from Hawaii!

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