You get Chase Freedom Unlimited points, but they’re meant to function like cash back. Basically, Chase Freedom Unlimited is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which is a points-based system that lets you trade each point you earn for a penny in cash back, gift cards or travel. So the 1.5 Freedom Unlimited points you get for every $1 you spend on most purchases are the equivalent of 1.5% cash back. It is a bit disingenuous that Chase advertises cash back for Freedom Unlimited, but just look at it as getting more options. You can get cash back, sure, but you won’t lose value if you choose to use your points for something else. It’s actually not too complicated once you know all the details.
Here’s how Chase Freedom Unlimited points work:
You get 1.5 points per $1 spent on most purchases, with no limit on the number of points you can earn. Plus, you get 5 points (5% cash back) on grocery purchases in the first year, on up to $12,000 spent, along with 5 points (5% cash back) on travel purchased through Chase, 3 points (3% cash back) on dining at restaurants and drugstores.
You can earn 20,000 bonus points (worth $200) when you spend $500 in the first 3 months.
You can trade your points for cash back, gift cards or travel at a rate of 1 cent per point.
Unlike most Ultimate Rewards cards, you cannot transfer Chase Freedom Unlimited points to hotel and airline loyalty programs.
There is no minimum number of points needed to redeem for cash back. You can redeem any number of points for travel and pay any leftover balance with your card. For gift cards, points will depend on the cost denomination ($10 minimum).
Your points will not expire as long as your account is open. But you will lose them if you close your account before redeeming. You will also lose them if Chase closes your account for any kind of fraud, abuse or lack of payment.
Most Freedom Unlimited cardholders redeem their points for cash back. But Chase Freedom Unlimited isn’t necessarily the best cash back credit card on the market. While it does give you a respectable 1.5% rate, you might also want to consider Citi Double Cash, which gives you 2% cash back on all purchases.
Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders earn Ultimate Reward points with every purchase. The rewards rate is 1.5%, which is well above average. The card also has a sign-up bonus, and no annual fee. Personally, I think it’s better than most cash back credit cards. The points you earn can be redeemed towards cash back or gift cards at a rate of $0.01 per point.
They're points, not cash back. Still, the Ultimate Rewards portal (not to mention the 5x category thing) makes up for it.
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