Chase Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited | Which Credit Card is Right for You?


Hi there, it's Ernest from Trip Astute In this video, we're discussing the difference between the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited credit card, and which might be a better card for you

(light chiming music) The Chase Freedom is one of my most used cards and has a permanent spot in my wallet While I love the benefits that I receive from some of my premium credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, I feel like the Freedom card is a workhorse and probably earns me more Ultimate Rewards points per year than any other Chase card that I use The card has no annual fee and has a quarterly rotating bonus which means that you'll earn five points per dollar spent on certain types of spend throughout the year The bonus category spend is generally capped at $1500 per quarter, which would earn you 7500 bonus points per quarter, or potentially 30,000 bonus points per year This is the current 2017 Chase Freedom bonus calendar

Since this video is being released in summer of 2017, you can see that we are currently wrapping up the second quarter bonus category of grocery stores and drug stores, and starting the third quarter bonus category of restaurants and movie theaters Also, non-bonus category charges earn one point per dollar on the Freedom card In 2016, Chase introduced the Freedom Unlimited Like the regular Freedom card, it has no annual fee, but instead of rotating bonus categories, it has a flat 15 points per dollar reward structure

So, if you charge $100 on your card, you would earn 150 points Both cards are marketed by Chase as cash back cards However, there is a way to make them function more like travel rewards cards I cover this in my Chase Ultimate Rewards 101 video, so check it out for more details Basically, if you have a premium Chase card like the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred card, you unlock additional abilities on other Ultimate Rewards earning cards like the Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited

This means that you can transfer bonus points to Chase's travel partners like airlines and hotels, and even redeem them for bookings on the travel portal So, the big question is "which card is right for you?" Well, the answer is: "it depends!" The Chase Freedom card is definitely an awesome card to pair with Chase's premium cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card I feel like it's a great card for earning points quickly, especially when you take advantage of the category spend I would recommend this card to anyone getting involved in the points hobby, especially if you already have one of the premium Chase cards The Chase Freedom Unlimited card, on the other hand, is a simple no-nonsense flat rate card

I think it's a great card for folks that don't want the hassle of tracking bonus categories and their spend While the 15 points per dollar may seem less than other flat rate cash back cards, keep in mind that you may be able to squeeze more value from each point by transferring them or redeeming them via Chase's travel portal Again, I won't go into detail on the process in this video, but definitely check out the Chase Ultimate Rewards 101 video for more information Honestly, I have both cards and I recommend and use both all the time

Since I'm a points nerd, I try to take advantage of the categories spend on the Freedom card, but all my non-bonus everyday purchases typically go on the Freedom Unlimited If I had to recommend a strategy, I would say get the regular Freedom card first, only because you'll probably gain more points in the short term However, I would also consider adding the Freedom Unlimited to cover the non-bonus spend as a long-term strategy Now that we've covered my recommendation, here are some general tips on maximizing your Freedom and Freedom Unlimited card Keep in mind that most of these tips will apply primarily to the regular Freedom card

Number one: keep track of the bonus categories Since the bonus categories change all the time, it can be difficult to remember, especially if you have other cards with rotating bonus categories like the Discover It card I like to carry a wallet-sized cheat sheet with me which helps me to remember the categories and cards You can download one for free from our website I'll include a link in the video description

Also, I'll often rearrange the cards in my wallet as a reminder on which card to use I generally keep my dining out card in the front of my wallet For most of the year, it's my Chase Sapphire Reserve However, since restaurants is the 2017 third-quarter category for the Chase Freedom Card, I'll move it to the front to remind me to use it when I'm buying lunch or dinner Number two: set a reminder to activate the bonus category every quarter

This is an easy one to miss but is super important Make sure you activate the bonus category every quarter for your Freedom card You can do so by going directly to the activation page or through the Chase account page You should also see the status of your activation on the account home page Keep in mind that you can activate the bonus after the quarter has started

Chase will retroactively award you bonus points The only catch is that you have to activate before the quarter ends, otherwise you will lose out on the bonus points Number three: keep track of your spending This is obviously more applicable to the Chase Freedom Card I personally use You Need a Budget (or YNAB) to track my daily spend

That way, I can proactively monitor how much I'm spending in that bonus category per quarter Number four: transfer points to your Chase Sapphire Reserve card if you have one I touched on this tip in our Maximizing your Chase Sapphire Reserve Card video, so check it out for more details Basically, you can increase the redemption rate on your Freedom and Freedom Unlimited points by transferring them to your Reserve card since it has a 15 cent per point redemption rate versus the 1

25 cents per point rate found on most Chase cards Number five: be creative with your bonus category spend You might think that you'll never actually spend $1,500 on groceries or drugstore purchases, and you're probably right However, remember that you can often buy other things at these stores like gift cards We covered this topic in another video called "Earning Points and Cash with Gift Cards"

While I wouldn't abuse this tactic, it's definitely a great way to earn the extra points on purchases you might need to make As an example, I purchased a few gift cards in May and June from the grocery store and drugstore as Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts, and all contributed to my category spend and bonus Do you have a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card? If so, which card do you find more useful? Please share your experience in the comment section below Also, let us know if you have any questions or comments I've included referral links to the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited card

I do get a bonus if you use a link It doesn't cost you anything extra, but it helps us to continue to build content for this channel If you enjoyed this video or found it useful, please hit the "like" button and consider subscribing It's free and a great way to get updates on our new posts Until next time, travel safe and travel smart

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