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Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa Review

Chase has recently begun offering a new card, the Freedom Unlimited Visa. It comes complete with generous cash back rewards, a 0% introductory rate, a bonus of up to $150, and a host of other features and benefits. It competes well for an everyday spending card. Let’s walk through the details in this review.

Unlimited Rewards

You earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with this card, with no limits on the rewards. Redeeming your cash back rewards is easy: cash them in at any time and in any amount. Your rewards also don’t expire, as long as your account is open and in good standing.

Each $1 in rewards is equal to 100 points, which comes out to $.01 per point. Points can be earned anytime you or an authorized user of your card make a purchase of either products or services. You also don’t have to worry about signing up for quarterly categories (as with the standard Chase Freedom card).

Certain transactions will not apply towards rewards. These include balance transfers, cash advances, traveler’s checks, money orders, casino gambling, or other betting transactions.

Bonus Offer

Chase is currently offering a bonus of up to $150 after you spent $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. The bonus offer is available only if you are a new Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholder. You will receive 15,000 bonus which can be redeemed for $150 cash back. The bonus points will post to your account after 6 to 8 weeks.

You can also qualify for an additional $25 bonus by adding your first authorized user. (They also need to make a first purchase within three months.) You will receive 2,500 bonus points which can be redeemed for $25 cash back. Once again, the bonus points will post your account after 6 to 8 weeks.

cashforwardLooking for a card with a better cashback platform?  A great alternative to the Chase Freedom Unlimited is the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®.  It offers a flat 1.5% cash back (with 5% cash bonus on redemptions) on all purchases as well as a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of card ownership and no annual fee.

Card Features

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is offered with no annual membership fee, as well as a host of other features.

The card includes Zero Liability Protection. This means that you won’t be held responsible for any unauthorized charges on your card, or the use of your account information. You can also feel more secure with Chip-Enabled Security, for additional protection of your account.

One of my favorite features is Purchase Protection. This means that any purchases made with the card are protected for 120 days from damage or theft. (Note that there is a maximum of $500 per claim, and $50,000 per account.)

You’ll also enjoy Price Protection coverage with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. Say you make a purchase and later on find a lower price advertised either online or in print (within 90 days, for US purchases only). Chase will reimburse you for up to $500 per item ($2,500 per year).

Lastly, you also get a complimentary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. This feature enables you to decline the optional collision insurance when you charge your car rental on your card.

Rates and Fees

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is offered with no annual membership fee, and no minimum interest charge.

You will pay a fee of $5 or 5% — whichever is greater — of the amount moved on balance transfers. Cash advances will come with a $10 or 5% fee; again, whichever is greater. Foreign transactions will have a fee of 3% applied to the amount of the transaction, in US dollars.

If you’re late making a payment, there is a tiered fee structure. If your account holds a balance of less than $100, your late fee will be up to $15. If your balance is between $100 and $250, the fee will be up to $100. And if your balance is over $250, the fee will be up to $37. Lastly, returned payments incur a fee of $37.

Introductory Interest Rates

For both purchases and balance transfers, there is a 0% Intro APR that applies to the first 15 billing cycles that your account is open. Once the introductory period is over, your rate will vary depending upon your creditworthiness.

For either cash advances or overdraft advances, the rate is 25.24%.

No interest will be charged on your account if you pay the entire balance by the due date. That will be a minimum of 21 days after the close of each billing cycle.

Interest rate calculation: After the introductory period, your interest rate will be calculated based on the Prime Rate (currently 3.50%), plus a margin of between 10.74% and 19.74% in the case of either a purchase or balance transfer. For cash advances and overdraft advances, 21.74% is added to the Prime Rate. The maximum APR in either case is 29.99%.