Credit Cards

What’s The Difference Between Chase Freedom And Chase Freedom Unlimited

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 5 minute read

Despite their identical names, the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited credit cards from Chase each have their own unique rewards program. Chase provides a wide variety of credit cards to choose from. Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited credit cards are two options from this company worth considering. This list of top-rated cash-back credit cards also comes with a slew of attractive benefits and rebates. It’s easy to mistake them for one another if you only compare them by their names, which isn’t the case.

They have a few additional things in common besides their names. It’s not just that they’re different, though. Find out which of the two plans you should choose in our comparison of Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Freedom Unlimited vs. Chase Freedom

In many ways, they are two of Chase’s most popular cash-back credit cards. They also differ in other ways, most notably in the way they are paid.

How to choose which Chase Freedom card is right for you

If you’re trying to figure out whether the two Chase Freedom credit cards—the Freedom or the Freedom Unlimited—are right for you, you’ll want to evaluate more than just the earnings potential.

Because the Chase Freedom rewards program uses a quarterly cashback schedule, you don’t always know what’s going to be provided until just before the time opens to activate it. In spite of the fact that many of the rotating categories are well-known (such as grocery stores and petrol stations), it is hard to predict exactly what the quarterly bonus categories will be. This makes it difficult for cardholders who plan ahead to plan their purchases in advance.

As long as “restaurants” don’t appear on your calendar, you’ll only be able to earn 1 percent of the 3 percent that Freedom Unlimited would have provided. Bonus categories are normally only available for one quarter of the year, which means you’ll only earn 5 percent dining out for three months of the year.

However, Chase Freedom’s rotating bonus categories certainly have their attraction. The announcement of new categories may be thrilling, especially if they match your own buying patterns. However, if you don’t mind having to sign up for a new reward category every three months, Chase Freedom Unlimited may be a better option.

Chase Freedom Unlimited is the best deal for the first year

There is no doubt that Chase Freedom Unlimited is the best credit card to use if you can spend as much as possible in each of the bonus areas. Keep in mind that spending in bonus categories is where you’ll reap the biggest rewards.

As an added bonus, both cards come with a low introductory APR. If you plan to make large purchases and can pay them off before the standard variable APR kicks in, taking advantage of a low-interest rate can save you money.

Freedom and Freedom Unlimited are the best options for a sign-up bonus.

This award goes to Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited. After spending $500 in the first three months, you can get a $200 bonus from Chase Freedom, and if you upgrade to Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can get an extra 1.5% cashback on all purchases (up to $20,000 in the first year). You should have no trouble earning the bonus with either of these cards.

A basic cash back program is offered by Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU).

Because you don’t have to keep track of and activate bonus categories on a quarterly basis with Chase Freedom Unlimited, the rewards system is easier. Flat-rate cashback is a great advantage for the vast majority of customers.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card’s rewards system is great for consumers who want to receive cashback on every purchase they make. Someone who does not want to bother about remembering the activation step in order to get their bonus cashback would be a person in this situation.

If you want to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, this is the best option: Trifecta Chase

Chase offers cashback benefits in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These may be used to earn cashback or redeemed for travel purchases through the Chase travel site. Because the cashback rate you receive on your purchases is the key difference between Freedom and Freedom Unlimited, this is where you’ll want to seek the greatest value:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited’s 5 percent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3 percent on dining and pharmacy purchases, and 1.5 percent on all other transactions give you at least 1.5 points (worth $0.015) each dollar spent.
  • For every dollar you spend outside of the rotating bonus area, you get one point (equal to $0.010) on your Chase Freedom credit card, earning you 1% cash back. At 5 percent cash back, you’ll get 5 points for every dollar you spend in one of the rotating bonus areas (up to $1,500 per quarter).

It’s possible to make even more money with “The Chase Trifecta” if you like the sound of all these perks. Using both Chase Freedom cards and the Chase Sapphire Reserve card strategically will help you earn the most Chase Ultimate Rewards on your transactions. It’s the easiest method to rack up Chase credit card benefits.

Best if you’re prepared to put in some extra effort: Freedom’s Pursuit

If you’re willing to keep track of the bonus categories and activate them when the time is right, Chase Freedom can deliver a higher overall earning potential. Making an extra effort may also entail organizing and managing your spending in accordance with the changing bonus areas. For your convenience, we maintain an up-to-date schedule of Chase Freedom bonus categories.

Changing from Chase Freedom to Unlimited Freedom

You can switch between Chase credit cards at any time. This implies that if you already have a Chase card, you may change it to a new one and receive all the benefits of the new card without losing any of the previous card’s attributes. If you’ve already built up a good credit history on the card, a product change like this would keep it.

Chase cards like Freedom and Freedom Unlimited can’t be transferred to co-branded cards like Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card or International Hotels & Resorts Premier MasterCard. A co-branded Chase card cannot be converted to a Freedom or Sapphire card.
In order to upgrade your Chase Freedom Unlimited card to a Chase Freedom Unlimited, you may either phone or send a secure message to Chase through your online account. To take advantage of the Freedom Unlimited bonus categories that are not available on the Chase Freedom, this is the primary reason for making this switch.

To maximize your earnings, make sure that your regular spending falls inside Freedom Unlimited’s earning categories. However, if you make this adjustment, you will no longer be eligible for Chase Freedom’s rotating categories or higher earning rate. As a result, you won’t be able to gain a sign-up bonus on Freedom Unlimited by switching to a different program. If you’re searching for a card with a significant sign-up bonus, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

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