Home > Credit Cards > The Rewards Credit Card Everyone Is Overlooking

Comments 0 Comments

[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners here — Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom.]

In the world of credit cards, 2016 has been quite a successful year for JPMorgan Chase. As the producer of 60% of the 95 million cards made each year in the U.S. (stat courtesy of Bloomberg), Chase has become an industry leader. Earlier this year, it helped solidify its market share by releasing the extremely popular Chase Sapphire Reserve card — a card that offers, among other things, a signup bonus equivalent to $1,500 if you redeem the rewards through the bank’s travel portal. Demand for the card was so high that Chase ran out of materials used to produce it.

Chase made another splash earlier this week with the release of a brand new business card, the Ink Business Preferred. While that card doesn’t have all the hype the Chase Sapphire Reserve did, it’s still a safe bet many business owners will be jumping at its lucrative 80,000 point signup bonus (worth $1,000 when redeemed for travel through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal).

But, before all the anticipation for the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred, Chase released another new personal credit card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited, that, compared to the others, has flown slightly under the radar. But while the card may not offer a big, flashy signup bonus or a 3x return on purchases, it’s still a good option for someone looking for a straightforward rewards program. Here’s why.

Why the Chase Freedom Unlimited?

One of the more popular credit cards for a long time has been the original Chase Freedom card (see full review here). It offers cardholders 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in rotating categories each quarter. The only big potential drawback with the card is that it requires opting in to receive the 5% every quarter. Plus, if you have multiple credit cards, it can be difficult to keep track of what purchases are earning you those big bonus rewards.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited (see full review here) targets the market that didn’t want all the work involved with opting in and keeping track of bonus categories. It offers a much more simple 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, no caps and no expiration dates, so long as you keep the account open.

While the signup bonus isn’t going to blow you away like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred, you are eligible to receive $150 cash back after spending just $500 within the first three months of opening an account. Plus, when you add an authorized user to your account and they make a purchases in those first three months, you receive an additional $25. Not too bad for a card with no annual fee.

Another plus: If you’re planning to make a large purchase in the near future, the Freedom Unlimited gives you the flexibility to pay it off over time, because it comes with an introductory 0% annual percentage rate for the first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. After the introductory period, the APR will move to a variable 14.24% to 23.24% depending on your creditworthiness. With the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you can also receive several protection benefits, including purchase protection, an extended warranty and price protection.

Vetting a Credit Card

Remember, it’s important to read the fine print of all credit cards carefully so you understand what you’re signing up for. It’s also important to consider your spending habits during your search. For example, rewards credit cards, like the Freedom Unlimited, aren’t best-suited to someone who consistently carries a balance, because after that introductory APR expires, you could easily lose the rewards you earned to interest. This group would be better-served looking into low-interest credit cards instead. Finally, it’s a good idea to check your credit so you know what type of cards you can qualify for. (You can do so by viewing two of your credit scores, updated every 14 days, on Credit.com.)

At publishing time, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for thiscard. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Image: Vesna Andjic

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Our Owners

Credit.com is owned by Progrexion Holdings Inc. which is the owner and administrator of a number of business related to credit and credit repair, including CreditRepair.com, and eFolks. In addition, Progrexion also provides services to Lexington Law Firm as a third party provider. Despite being owned by Progrexion, it is not the role of the Credit.com editorial team to advocate the use of the company’s other services. In articles, reporters may mention credit repair as an option, for example, but we’ll also be sure to note the various alternatives to that service. Furthermore, you may see ads for credit repair services on Credit.com, but the editorial team isn’t responsible for the creation or implementation of those ads, anymore than reporters for the New York Times or Washington Post are responsible for the ads on their sites.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team