Chase Freedom Unlimited for Military Members

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card is an excellent daily use workhorse for many service members thanks to a generous slate of sign-up bonuses, 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and purchases at drugstores, 1.5% cash back on all other purchases, and a full slate of other useful perks and offers.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Overview

This $0 annual fee card is a worthy addition to your wallet, with attractive cash-back earnings in the categories you use the most. You can supersize those returns even more when you pair the Chase Freedom Unlimited with another premium Chase card.

Service members can also enjoy considerable sign-up bonuses on all purchases with an added 1.5% cash-back bonus during the first year as a cardholder. You’re eligible to receive up to an additional $300 back on up to $20,000 in spending as a first-year cardholder.

First-year benefits mean you can get up to 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, Chase’s premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards, and more.

You’ll also get 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases. 

There are no minimum redemption amounts, and Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

In most cases, you’ll need at least a 700 FICO score to qualify, but if you do, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a smart choice that combines flexibility and generous benefits that make it attractive as a frequent-use card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Cardholder Perks

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers cardholders a full range of perks. In addition to generous sign-up bonuses and offers mentioned below, cardholders also get:

  • 3% back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
  • 3% back on drugstore purchases.
  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 5% back on qualifying Lyft services purchased through the Lyft app for new and existing cardholders through March 31, 2025.
  • Earn 1% to 15% cash back at select merchants when you purchase through the Chase online bonus mall.
  • All purchases are covered for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • An additional year of coverage on the manufacturer’s warranty on eligible warranties of three years or less. 
  • Receive rental car insurance when you decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S., coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
  • Trip cancellation insurance provides cardholders with reimbursement up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for prepaid, nonrefundable passenger fares if a trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather, and other covered situations.
  • Roadside dispatch includes 24/7 towing, tire changes, jump starts, fuel delivery and lockout service at a reduced service call fee.
  • Cardholders can guard against identity theft and monitor their credit score any time and get free identity restoration services with the online account tool called Chase Credit Journey.
  • Additional discounts are offered on services through Boxed, Postmates, Shoprunner, Fandango and more.
  • When paired with Chase premium cards, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points for potentially larger discounts and added flexibility. Points earned with this card are usually worth a penny per point. But several Chase cards give you more value per point when you use them to book travel through Chase’s online portal, which Expedia operates.

Several premium Chase cards also allow you to transfer points at a 1:1 ratio to about a dozen airline and hotel loyalty programs, including United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, JetBlue, Marriott, and Hyatt.

Earning Rewards with Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is marketed as a cash-back card, but your spending earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Points are worth a penny apiece when redeemed for cash back, but there are ways to bump up that rate.

You get 1.5% cash back or more, depending your the purchase category of your purchase. For example, you’ll earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and 3% cash back on eligible dining and drugstores.

You can also redeem points for gift cards (1 cent per point), travel booked through Chase (1 cent per point, and Amazon purchases (0.8 cents per point).

Redeeming Rewards With Chase Freedom Unlimited

You can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, as a statement credit or choose a direct deposit into most U.S. checking or savings accounts.

There’s no minimum to redeem, so you can cash in your rewards whenever you like.

However, if you also have a premium Chase card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards points and redeem them for an increased rate or transfer them to one of Chase’s travel partners for a potentially higher value.

For example, if you have the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Sapphire Preferred cards, your points will be worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through Chase’s Travel Portal. Instead of earning 5% cash back, you’ll earn an effective cashback rate of 6.25%.

Similarly, your restaurant and drugstore spending will be worth 3.75%, and everyday spending will bump up to 1.875%.

Even more impressive, points transferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve are worth 50% more when used for travel.

When you combine your Freedom Unlimited with a premium Chase card, you can also transfer your rewards to Chase’s airline and hotel transfer partners at a 1:1 rate. The Freedom Unlimited Card alone does not offer that privilege.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card Rates and Fees

  • Regular APR: 18.74% – 27.49% Variable
  • Purchase Intro APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

How to Get the Chase Credit Card Military Fee Waiver

Chase offers benefits for active military members under the Military Lending Act law for service members on active duty who applied for cards after September 20, 2017. Benefits apply only to personal credit cards, not Chase business cards.

Under this act, service members will receive waived annual and other fees (except late fees and insufficient fund fees). In addition, the Military Annual Percentage Rate (MAPR) must not exceed 36%, and any introductory promotional interest rates must be honored.

After you’re approved, you can request these benefits by accessing your online banking profile, going to “secure messages,” and under “inquires,” selecting Military SCRA benefits. You will need your account number and supporting documents.

You can also call 1-877-469-0110 to ask about credit card fee waivers for Chase credit cards (8 am-10 pm Monday through Friday and 9 am-6 pm Saturdays). Internationally, call collect at 318-340-3348.

Applying for the Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is relatively hard to get because applicants must have a minimum credit score of 700 for approval. Applicants must also demonstrate an ability to make minimum monthly payments, reasonable amounts of existing debt, the size of their monthly housing payment, the number of recently opened credit accounts, and other similar factors.

Chase has an online prequalification tool, so you’ll have a good indication of approval in a matter of seconds based on the information you provide. Prequalification doesn’t affect your credit score because the process is considered a soft inquiry.

Chase will make a hard inquiry on your credit report if you apply. 

Sign-up bonus

One of the best perks of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a generous sign-up bonus.

You’ll earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy up to $20,000 spent in the first year. That’s an added $300 benefit if you max out your spending under those terms.

Coupled with other cash-back perks, you’ll get 6.5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 4.5% on drugstore purchases and dining, and 3% on all other purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited also has a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers before switching to a variable rate on purchases going forward. 

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card Pros & Cons

  • No annual fee
  • Generous welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card
  • Unlimited 1.5% minimum rate for Cash Back rewards
  • 0% Intro APR period
  • High rewards rate when combined with other premium Chase cards
  • No minimum redemption amount
  • Requires excellent credit
  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Ongoing balance transfer fee is high
  • Reward rates in some spending categories is difficult to understand.
  • You must have a companion card to transfer points to travel partners

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card vs. Other Cards for Military Members

There is no shortage of consumer credit cards on the market that offer a package of attractive perks and benefits for service members.

It’s impossible to cover all of them in a side-by-side comparison, so we’ve picked out a couple of the more popular cards to help you get a general idea of how the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card stacks up.

As always, we encourage you to do your homework before deciding which cards are best for you.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Card Chase Freedom Flex Card Citi Double Cash Card Discover It Cash Back Card
$0 Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee
0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, 5% cash back on travel, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores, 1.5% back on all other purchases 0% APR for balance transfers for 18 months
5% quarterly cashback rotating categories. Bonus cash back is also capped at $1,500 per quarter in spending before reverting to 1% back
0% intro APR for balance transfers for 18 months, unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
with no categories to track or quarterly activations
0% intro APR for on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter, up to the quarterly maximum
700 minimum FICO score for approval 700 minimum FICO score for approval 700 minimum FICO score for approval 700 minimum FICO score for approval
18.74% and up variable APR 18.74% and up variable APR 18.24% and up variable APR 16.24% and up variable APR
Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More

Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card Worth It?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great deal for military members, especially those with a partner card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve cards.

Users can immediately take advantage of a generous sign-up offer and practical bonus rewards categories that give plenty of options for cashing in rewards.

Coupled with a variety of other benefits that include rental car insurance, trip cancellation protection, extended product warranties, and several others, The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great addition to your wallet.

The Military Wallet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. The Military Wallet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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