Credit Cards

Wow! Chase Freedom Unlimited Adds 5% Grocery Bonus Category! [UPDATED]

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr
Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Chase relaunched its Freedom Unlimited card today and added a significant change: 5% cashback (or 5X Ultimate Rewards) per dollar spent at grocery stores during the first year of membership!

My credit card rep informed me this applies only to new approvals — not current cardmembers. (C’mon, Chase!)

The no-annual-fee card also carries a nice welcome bonus: $200 cashback (or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend just $500 within three months of being approved.

Worth noting: eligible grocery store spending is capped at $12,000 during the first year. Plus, purchases made at Target and Walmart do not qualify for the 5X bonus.

A No-Brainer Card (for Those Who Haven’t Held It)

The Chase Freedom Unlimted‘s signature perk has been unlimited 1.5X Ultimate Rewards on all purchases but no bonus categories. That’s certainly better than nothing — especially for traditionally non-bonused spending (i.e., utilities, school tuition, etc.). But outside of that, it wasn’t very compelling to use on travel, groceries, dining, or other everyday purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa credit card
Learn more now about the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card!

But the 5X on grocery store spending is fantastic (bested only by the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card‘s 6X on up to $6,000 in annual spending at grocery stores). That, combined with the fact is doesn’t charge an annual fee, makes the Chase Freedom Unlimted a must-have card.

The meat aisle at a Ralphs grocery store supermarket in Southern California.

(The 1.5X on all other purchases remains as a standard benefit.)

I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if Chase somehow made a permanent change to the card in terms of grocery store spending, depending on how people react to this offer.

Make Your Points Worth Even More!

If you already have (or want to add) the Chase Freedom Unlimted to your wallet, now’s also a great time to consider getting a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Why?

You can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points from the Freedom Unlimited to your Reserve or Preferred card’s UR well. Then redeem them for travel purchased through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site — and receive a 50% points boost if you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve card or 25% kicker if you have a Chase Sapphire PreferredThat effectively makes your 5X grocery spend worth 7.5X.

Also, keep in mind that Chase is running a “Pay Yourself Back” promotion through September 30, 2020.

Final Approach

What a surprise announcement from Chase! (Well, at least for people who don’t already hold the card.) This comes just one day after they relaunched big welcome bonuses for their Marriott Bonvoy cards.

The 5X on grocery spend — even though it’s capped at $12,000 for the first year — is a heckuva deal. Especially for a no annual fee card. And the $200 welcome bonus for only $500 in spending can undoubtedly be helpful for many of us — especially right now.

If you already have the card, consider using the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card (6X, up to $6,000 in annual spending at grocery stores) or American Express Gold Card (4X, up to $25,000 in annual spending at grocery stores) instead.

— Chris

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa credit card

 

    • –> No annual fee! <–
    • Earn a $200 (or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) bonus after you spend only $500 on purchases with the first three months of being approved!
    • A massive 5% cashback (5X Ultimate Rewards) on grocery store spend (up to $12,000 during the first year you hold the card. Target and Walmart purchases not included)
    • Enjoy unlimited 1.5% cashback (1.5X Ultimate Rewards) on all purchases!

Learn how to apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimted card — or read about more great no annual fee cards!

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

20 Comments

  1. Any idea if the 5x groceries applies to existing Freedom Unlimited cards?

      • patrick kerr Reply

        How would one go about finding out if it does as this is GREAT news.

      • Chris – unfortunately I don’t think you are right. This is a sign up offer, not a change in the existing card bonus structure

        • The wording on Chase’s site didn’t seem to exclude current cardholders. But my affiliate rep confirmed that’s it only for new cardholders.

          That’s kind of lame on Chase’s part. If you’re a current cardholder, I’d call and voice some displeasure.

          • I dunno man – all it is is an improved sign up bonus, which happens to cards all the time. It is unrealistic to expect a no annual fee card to have a 5x bonus category on a permanent basis

          • In this day of statement credits and special bonus categories — even if they’re for a limited time — I think it’s certainly possible someone may try to disrupt the credit card world.

    • I don’t think so — but it certainly takes away the grocery spend aspect for people who haven’t yet held the Chase Freedom Unlimted. And the no annual fee component is very compelling. Chase isn’t extending the perk to current cardholders, unfortunately. Plus, the Amex Gold Card offers 4X at restaurants, 3X on purchases with airlines, $100 airline incidental credit, and the $10 monthly food statement. But the Gold definitely slid down a notch for some people when it comes to grocery store spending.

  2. Chris, did you forget to tell everyone that it specifically excludes Walmart and Target for groceries. Oops.

  3. Any idea if the 5x on groceries will apply to a product change CSP -> CFU?

  4. 5x back on groceries on a no annual fee card is amazing!

    I just signed up for the freedom unlimited on August 1st. The grocery promo was part of the offer when I signed up, but it’s not showing up on my rewards

    Time to deal with customer service. I’m hoping they will remedy it because that’s the only reason I got the card.

  5. 5x groceries is only for the first year correct? After 1 year it expires?

    • Correct: 5X for groceries for the first year someone applies under the current offer. It expires 12 months after approval.

  6. Any idea on whether or not Instacart purchases at grocery stores will code for 5x? That was the case with the Chase Freedom in Quarter 2, but not sure if it will still apply on the Freedom Flex for the first year for new applicants…

Write A Comment

BoardingArea