In late February, I blogged about the leak of exciting new Chase product, the Chase Freedom Unlimited that allows you to earn 1.5x on everything with no annual fee!
The card was officially announced a few weeks ago at branch locations and is now available for applications online.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is not amazing if used strictly as a cash back card. The real value lies in the the ability to “combine points” with your Chase Sapphire Preferred (learn more here), allowing the 1.5% cash back “points” to become flexible Ultimate Rewards points that can be further transferred to travel partners such as United, Hyatt, British Airways, Southwest, Singapore, etc.
I value Ultimate Rewards points at ~2 cents each, so using the Chase Freedom Unlimited in conjunction with the Sapphire Preferred is like getting a 3% “return” on everyday spend when transferred to travel partners.
I still love my regular Freedom card too for the 5x rotating quarterly bonus categories, a feature that I consider to be the absolute most valuable component to the no-annual fee card (last year we had the ability to earn 22,500 bonus points at Amazon.com!)
Applying for the Freedom Unlimited
Yesterday night was a quiet evening, so I decided it was an appropriate time to apply for the card. The card comes with $150 (in the form of 15,000 points, which can be transferred into Ultimate Rewards as described above) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
I was pretty certain I would get a pending review (and I did) because I just recently applied for 3 new cards in February, bringing me to a total of 8 active Chase cards at the time of application.
The specialist evaluated my application and told me that I would be approved if I closed out my inactive no-fee United co-branded card. That was a no brainer! The no-fee United card was a downgrade from my United MileagePlus Explorer and it only earned 1/2 a United mile for every dollar spent. Now with the Freedom Unlimited card, I can essentially earn 3x that amount. That was a painless goodbye.
Want the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited Too?
You can view all credit card offers by clicking on the “Recommended Credit Cards” tab on the top navigation bar to view card offers from all banks or view offers via the “Find Your Best Credit Card” banner on the side of this site.
Anyway, I am calling BS on the Chase 5/24 rule
It’s no secret that times are changing as many of the banks are getting more strict with the amount of credit cards you can get approved for within a 24-month period.
This Chase “5/24 Rule” states that if you’ve opened 5 or more credit card accounts (from any bank) in the past 24 months, it was very unlikely that Chase would approve you for some of their Ultimate Rewards earning cards (such as Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, Ink, etc.).
Now recent reports are saying that this 5/24 rule applies to all Chase products, including co-branded cards (such as the Hyatt Credit Card, United MileagePlus Explorer, etc.).
I can say with 100% certainty that I probably have applied and been approved for at least 15 new credit cards in the past 2 years – including 3 in February alone! I was still able to get approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
What are your thoughts and experiences? Did I simply get lucky or is this 5/24 rule really just a myth?