Chase just announced a change to the sign-up bonus structure offered by the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card.
The Freedom Unlimited is one of my favorite credit cards. While Chase markets the card as “cash back,” it actually earns Ultimate Rewards points that you can redeem for cash (1 point = 1¢).
The Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back on all transactions — or 1.5x points per dollar spent. You can pool your points between Chase cards, so if you have a more premium card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you move points from the Freedom to another card, and get a bonus when purchasing travel, or transfer them to travel partners.
In the past, the Freedom Unlimited offered $150 — or 15,000 points — after you spent $500 on the card in the first three months.
Now, instead of offering a traditional sign-up bonus, the card will offer double its normal earning rate — 3% cash back, or 3x points per dollar — for your first year with the card, on up to $20,000 of spend (after which you’ll earn 1.5% as usual).
Because that’s an extra 1.5% — or 1.5x points — you’ll earn an extra $150 after spending $10,000. That means that if you expect to spend more than that on the card within your first year, you’ll come out ahead of where you would have with the old bonus.
The new bonus earning rate has actually been available for people who applied for the card in-person in Chase branches for a few weeks — however, it’s now available online as well, while the old bonus is officially discontinued.
While the Freedom Unlimited is a solid card on its own, the best way to make use of it is to pair it with another Chase card. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3x points on all dining and travel, so if you also have that card, you can basically earn 3x points for a year on everything by pairing it with a new Freedom Unlimited, and using that latter card on all non-dining and non-travel purchases.