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Chase Freedom Unlimited Rewards Credit Card: BiggerPockets Review

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a great option for low-maintenance cash back rewards. Real estate investors would enjoy the simplicity of a static reward percentage across all purchases—as well as the large sign-up bonus and zero percent APR introductory offer. 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is a no-fuss rewards card that offers 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. Rewards are easy to access and never expire, which makes it a great option even at the basic level. In addition, a hefty sign-up bonus for new cardholders—up to $800 cash back—makes this card even more attractive. 

Real estate investors may be especially intrigued by the Chase Freedom Unlimited card because of the zero percent APR available for the first fifteen months. That lengthy introductory rate could help stretch a renovation budget, if timed well based on projected cash flow. Plus, 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases is certainly advantageous in terms of getting the most out of every dollar spent.

In addition, investors may want to sign up for a Chase Freedom Unlimited card if they intend to use Chase mortgage services in the future. Currently, Chase product customers (including credit card holders) may be eligible for a Chase Closing Guarantee. With this guarantee, Chase ensures an on-time closing, or a $2,500 credit is awarded to the mortgage applicant. (Restrictions apply.) 


Quick facts

  • APR: Zero percent for the first 15 months; variable 14.99 to 23.74 percent thereafter
  • Annual fee: None
  • Balance transfer fee: $5 or five percent, whichever is greater
  • Cash advance fee: $10 or five percent, whichever is greater 
  • Foreign transaction fee: Three percent, based on the U.S. currency conversion

CREDIT REQUIREMENTS
Good or excellent credit is a requirement for acceptance with Chase Freedom Unlimited. Typically, that means a credit score of 680 or higher would be necessary, though some outlying reports indicate that cardmembers have been accepted with a score as low as 620. Creditworthiness has implications on APR rates following the introductory period. 



PROS

  • Simple, flat 1.5 percent cash back rewards on all purchases
  • Five percent cash back on groceries for the first year (within limits)
  • No annual fee
  • Rewards can be combined with other Chase cards
  • Zero percent APR introductory offer

CONS

  • Limited timeframe for the five percent cash back deal
  • Somewhat high foreign transaction fee
  • After fifteen months, lower APR rates can be found elsewhere


The rewards

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card offers 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, making it an easy-to-use card with significant rewards. There are no categories to keep up with and no activations to manage. Aside from the first-year grocery purchase bonus, this card is a simple, flat-rate reward card. 

That said, Chase actually accounts for rewards on a points system. Each dollar spent on purchases earns 1.5 points, and each point holds the equivalent of one cent. Since cardholders commonly redeem points in the form of cash back, the card is marketed as a 1.5 percent cash back card. But in reality, there are other ways to redeem those Chase points. Here are the options for reward redemption:

  • Cash back
  • Gift cards
  • Travel booked through Chase
  • Program-sponsored offerings made available to cardholders
  • Amazon purchases (though each point is only worth .8 cents here)
Chase Freedom Unlimited reward points do not expire, and there is no minimum to the points necessary for redemption. That means cardholders can take advantage of every cent they earn in rewards, without waiting to cross a certain threshold.  

In addition, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers certain partner benefits when used in conjunction with the card. For example, cardmembers can currently take advantage of five percent back on Lyft purchases and a complimentary three month DoorDash subscription. Partner offers are subject to change. 

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