As a relative newcomer to the world of credit cards, I’ve found that I have to pick and choose my cards carefully. Welcome offers come and go, benefits are added and removed, and spending habits change.
At the same time, though, when a great sign-up bonus comes along, you have to know when to pull the trigger.
So, what made me choose this card over all the others?
A staple to have in your wallet
First and most importantly, the Freedom Unlimited makes sense for me and my lifestyle.
It offers valuable cash-back earning rates: 5% back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, 3% on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services), 3% at drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases.
Those are much better rates than either of my two previous cards, especially considering how often I eat out and order food delivery.
This brings me to another important point: finding a card that fits your spending habits.
I moved from North Carolina to New York City a month ago, meaning I’ll be spending a not-inconsiderable amount of money on flights this holiday season. Bonus cash back on travel through Ultimate Rewards will help me get some of that money back — and with the current welcome offer on the Freedom Unlimited, it gets even sweeter.
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Double cash back in your 1st year
Another reason to sign up for the Freedom Unlimited? The current welcome offer.
Right now, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is offering cardholders a chance to effectively double their cash-back earnings during the first year. With this promotion, Chase automatically will match all cash back earned within the initial 12 months, without any limitations, doubling the card’s earning potential.
That means in your first year, you’ll get 10% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 6% back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and at drugstores, and 3% back on all other purchases.
How do I plan to take advantage of this? Probably by putting every purchase possible on my new card. The bonus categories are incredible, but even the 3% back on general purchases is a strong return rate.
And once I land my next Chase card, the return rates will be even better than that, if you can believe it.
Pair with a premium Chase card
As any TPGer will tell you, one of the reasons to get your Chase cards first in your points and miles journey is the issuer’s infamous 5/24 rule. That rule essentially states that you can’t apply for a Chase card if you’ve opened five or more cards across all issuers in the last 24 months. It makes sense to check whatever Chase cards you want off your list first, so you’re free to apply for whatever you want afterward.
Landing a card like the Freedom Unlimited will also help me get my foot in the door with Chase so I can apply for the next card on my list: the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Aside from being, on its own, one of the most valuable mid-tier cards on the market, the Sapphire Preferred will also allow me to essentially double my earnings with the Freedom Unlimited — again.
That’s because owning a card like the Sapphire Preferred allows you to convert your cash back from the Freedom Unlimited into fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points — which are worth 2.05 cents apiece per TPG valuations. That means 1 cent in cash back becomes 1 point, which is now worth 2.05 cents.
So when it’s all said and done, my 5% back on Chase travel, for example, becomes 10% back in the first 12 months — which then becomes over 20% back if I can land the Sapphire Preferred and convert my cash back to points. Not too shabby at all.
This special offer on the Freedom Unlimited is arguably the best in the card’s history, but it’s only available through our exclusive link. If it makes sense for me — still a credit card neophyte looking for simple, easy rewards — it probably makes sense for you, too. And if you can parlay your Freedom Unlimited into a Sapphire Preferred, the sky’s the limit for your earning potential.
To learn more, read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Apply here: Chase Freedom Unlimited