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.
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 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!
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 Preferred. That 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.
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.
- –> 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!
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