Personal Finance

Benefits of the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited

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The Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® are both $0-annual-fee cash-back credit cards with similar-sounding names.

With either card, you’ll earn valuable and flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards® points that are worth a penny each when you redeem for cash. But the primary difference is in how the cards award those points based on your spending. Otherwise, many of their perks are the same.

Here are the benefits of the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Benefits at a glance

» MORE: Chase Freedom vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Pick your style

Points on your spending

The Chase Freedom® earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in rotating bonus categories each quarter you activate, and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other spending. Bonus categories in the past have included popular everyday expenses like gas, groceries and restaurants.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns 3% cash back per $1 spent on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000. After that, you’ll earn 1.5% back on everything else.

Points never expire as long as your account is open, which means you can take as long as you like to accumulate a splurge-worthy stash.

Multiple redemption options

Rewards earned on the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can be redeemed for straight cash back — the most flexible reward of all — at a rate of a penny per point. You can take your earnings as a statement credit, or choose a direct deposit into most U.S. checking or savings accounts.

There’s no minimum to redeem for cash back, so you can help yourself to your earnings whenever you like.

You can also redeem points for gift cards, travel or Apple purchases through the Chase portal, or redeem them on to pay for all or part of your purchase. Point values may vary for these options.

Transfers to other Chase cards

If you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can transfer the rewards you earn from your Freedom product to one of those Sapphire products and get a higher value per point for travel redemptions made through Chase.

Points transferred from either Freedom card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through the Chase portal. Points transferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are worth 50% more when used for travel this way.

» MORE: Chase Sapphire showdown: Reserve vs. Preferred

Sign-up bonus

Getting something extra for your spending is always nice, and both the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® come with welcome offers.

  • The Chase Freedom®’s offer: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • The Chase Freedom Unlimited®’s offer: Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

0% intro APR offer

When you need a little extra breathing room to pay off a big purchase, or you’re trying to make some headway on existing debt, a 0% introductory APR offer could be a helping hand. Both cards come with identical introductory offers. Get 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24% – 25.99% Variable APR.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best low interest and 0% APR credit cards

Shopping protection

The Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® also come with some peace-of-mind benefits when you use them to make a purchase.

  • Purchase protection: Your new purchase is covered for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended warranty protection: On eligible warranties of three years or less, you’ll get an additional year of coverage on the manufacturer’s warranty.

Paired up

Remember that you don’t necessarily have to choose either the Chase Freedom® or the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. If you have both, you can use them in tandem to punch up your earning potential. Turn to the Chase Freedom® for spending in the 5% bonus categories, and use the Chase Freedom Unlimited® for everything else.

» MORE: Card coupling: Pair up your credit cards to maximize rewards

More about these cards

This article originally appeared on NerdWallet