Chase Freedom Unlimited Review: Is It A Top Cashback Card Contender?

Chase Freedom Unlimited Review: Is It A Top Cashback Card Contender?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Editor's Rating

?

  • On Chase's Secure Website

Editor's Rating

?

  • On Chase's Secure Website

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a great cashback card for cardholders seeking simplicity, or for Chase loyalists looking for the perfect combination of cards to maximize rewards.

Citi is an advertising partner

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is an excellent choice for cardholders seeking a solid cashback credit card with a simple rewards structure and a few bonus categories for extra earnings.

The card may be especially attractive to consumers who spend a lot on dining and at drugstores — but it may miss the mark for those looking for a bonus on gas or groceries. Another drawback: The welcome bonus is less than on some other top cashback cards.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® made our list of the best Chase credit cards of 2021, and it may be a key addition to your wallet if you want to earn more rewards by rotating multiple cards. In fact, it's part of the new Chase trifecta, a powerhouse combination of three Chase cards for cardholders serious about earning maximum rewards.

While the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a cashback card, you can turn your rewards into points by transferring them to a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points. That means you’ll also need a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card.

Pros

  • High flat rate of rewards on most purchases
  • Bonus categories boost earnings
  • Flexible rewards that are easy to redeem and never expire
  • Pair this card with other Ultimate Rewards cards
  • Introductory offer on purchases

Cons

  • Sign-up bonus is competitive, but not as high as some other top cashback credit cards
  • Card is not as rewarding as some flat-rate cards
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$0

14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Excellent/Good

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

Sign-up bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a good welcome bonus, though it didn’t make our list of the current top sign-up bonuses of 2021.

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Most points-and-miles cards offer sign-up bonuses worth quite a bit more, and several cashback cards also offer more valuable bonuses. Still, considering the low minimum spend required, the card’s sign-up bonus is quite competitive.

What it’s worth: $620 ($200 + up to $420 in bonus cash back on groceries)

Who’s eligible to earn this bonus? You should have Excellent/Good credit to apply, and it’s only available to applicants who don’t currently have the card and haven’t earned the sign-up bonus in the past 24 months. The Chase 5/24 rule also applies to this card, so you may be rejected if you’ve applied for more than five cards in the past 24 months.

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Earning points

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card has a fairly simple rewards earning structure with three tiers:

Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® outshines some other cashback cards, due to its ability to earn up to 5% cashback on certain purchases. But if you don’t spend much on dining or at drugstores, you might be better served by another card.

You’d have to crunch the numbers based on your own spending habits, but you might earn more with a card like Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, which lets you Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

How much are Chase Freedom Unlimited® points worth?

While marketed as a cashback card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card actually earns Ultimate Rewards points, and each point is worth 1 cent when redeemed for cash. You can increase the value of your points by transferring them to a premium Ultimate Rewards card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. In this case, your points are worth 1.25 cents when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.

Value: Average

Ease of redeeming: Above average

{"backgroundColor":"ice","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3 id=\"Worth\"\u003EHow much are Chase Freedom Unlimited\u00ae points worth?\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EWhile marketed as a cashback card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited\u00ae card actually earns \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Chase Ultimate Rewards: We Break Down How They Work\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/chase-ultimate-rewards\"\u003EUltimate Rewards\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E points, and each point is worth 1 cent when redeemed for cash. You can increase the value of your points by transferring them to a premium Ultimate Rewards card, like the \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Chase Sapphire Preferred\u00ae Card: Does It Live Up To The Hype?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/chase-sapphire-preferred\"\u003EChase Sapphire Preferred\u00ae Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E. In this case, your points are worth 1.25 cents when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards\u00ae portal.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EValue:\u003C\/strong\u003E Average\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EEase of redeeming:\u003C\/strong\u003E Above average\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Redeeming points

It’s easy to redeem points you earn on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. First, your points never expire as long as your account is open, and you can redeem them for cash back with no minimum by logging in to your Chase account — just choose whether you want a statement credit or a transfer into your bank account. You also have the ability to redeem for gift cards or to pay with points on Amazon (though, per our chart below, you get less than 1 cent per point on Amazon purchases).

You can improve the value of your points by transferring them to certain Chase Ultimate Rewards® cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. You can get a boost of 25% to 50% on your rewards (or more) by redeeming them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal or by transferring them to an airline or hotel partner (more on that below).

Transferring points between Chase Cards

The Chase Ultimate Rewards® program is extremely flexible, in that it allows you to transfer points between cards as well to cards of other people in your household.

With some Ultimate Rewards cards, you can redeem your rewards for a greater value through the Chase travel portal, based on the redemption bonus on the card you hold (see below). Or you can transfer points to a variety of outside loyalty programs to redeem for flights or hotel stays with those partners, often at a better value than redeeming directly through the Chase travel portal.

You can make purchases in the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card’s bonus categories, and then transfer your points to one of the cards below to maximize the value of your rewards.

Card
Travel portal bonus
Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve®50% (1.5 cents per point)$550
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card25% (1.25 cents per point)$95
Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card25% (1.25 cents per point)$95

Chase travel partners (1:1 point transfer)

  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Aer Lingus, AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt
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Or you can transfer points to a variety of \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Chase Ultimate Reward Transfer Partners: Where Can You Move Your Points?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/chase-ultimate-rewards-transfer-partners\"\u003Eoutside loyalty programs\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E to redeem for flights or hotel stays with those partners, often at a better value than redeeming directly through the Chase travel portal.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EYou can make purchases in the Chase Freedom Unlimited\u00ae card\u2019s bonus categories, and then transfer your points to one of the cards below to maximize the value of your rewards.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeCtaBanner--root ShortcodeCtaBanner--padding\"\u003E\n \n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeCtaBanner--alternate-container ShortcodeCtaBanner--alternate-container-flex-column\"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeCtaBanner--content\"\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-SortableTable\" data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"StyledRootWrapper-sc-3qeib4 jYHfZo\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableWrapper-sc-5nmmx9 fesmOM\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledTableOverflowWrapper-sc-hixhp9 gVbnK\"\u003E\u003Ctable class=\"StyledTable-sc-ujzn9t jVpJxq\"\u003E\u003Cthead class=\"StyledHeaderRow-sc-1m1b8dn cBFLrt\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Cth width=\"40%\" colSpan=\"1\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd yLRDw\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r gPTwhA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003ECard\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth width=\"40%\" colSpan=\"1\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd yLRDw\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003ETravel portal bonus\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003Cth width=\"20%\" colSpan=\"1\" class=\"StyledHeaderCell-sc-nsptsd gANUQe\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"StyledColumnHeaderWrapper-sc-12xyb2r glLrYA\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003EAnnual fee\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/th\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003C\/thead\u003E\u003Ctbody class=\"StyledBody-sc-14y8oc0 dcdMVT\"\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"40%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EChase Sapphire Reserve\u00ae\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"40%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E50% (1.5 cents per point)\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"20%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bGuMza\"\u003E$550\u003C\/td\u003E\u003C\/tr\u003E\u003Ctr\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" rowspan=\"1\" width=\"40%\" class=\"StyledBodyCell-sc-5cu9ee bEfFUh\"\u003EChase Sapphire Preferred\u00ae Card\u003C\/td\u003E\u003Ctd colSpan=\"1\" 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data-component-name=\"SortableTable\"\u003E{\"alignsHorizontal\":[\"left\",\"right\",\"right\"],\"alignsVertical\":[\"top\",\"top\",\"top\",\"top\"],\"columnWidths\":[\"40%\",\"40%\",\"20%\"],\"data\":[[\"Card\",\"Travel portal bonus\",\"Annual fee\"],[\"Chase Sapphire Reserve\\u00ae\",\"50% (1.5 cents per point)\",\"$550\"],[\"Chase Sapphire Preferred\\u00ae Card\",\"25% (1.25 cents per point)\",\"$95\"],[\"Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card\",\"25% (1.25 cents per point)\",\"$95\"]],\"footnote\":\"\",\"hasMarginBottom\":true,\"isExpandable\":false,\"isSortable\":false,\"maxWidth\":\"1215\",\"minWidth\":\"100%\",\"showSearch\":false,\"sortColumnIndex\":0,\"sortDirection\":\"asc\"}\u003C\/script\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EChase travel partners (1:1 point transfer)\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Air Canada Aeroplan\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Aer Lingus, AerClub\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n British Airways Executive Club\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Emirates Skywards\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Iberia Plus\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n JetBlue TrueBlue\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli 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Other Chase Freedom Unlimited® card benefits

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card also offers an array of other benefits and perks that protect your purchases and the travel you book with your card. Other benefits include:

Get a 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases. After the introductory period, there’s an APR of 14.99% - 23.74% Variable.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers extended warranty protection. Get an extra year of warranty protection when you use your card to purchase an item that has an eligible manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less.

Purchase protection covers purchases you make with the card against damage or theft for 120 days from the date of purchase. The card offers up to $500 per claim and up to a total of $50,000 per account.

The card offers trip cancellation/interruption coverage of up to $1,500 per person and up to $6,000 per nonrefundable fare purchased on the card. The trip must be canceled or interrupted for a covered reason, such as illness or severe weather.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers rental car insurance for collision and theft in the United States and abroad when you pay for the entire car rental with your card. U.S. coverage is secondary to your own car insurance, which means it will pay only for damages not covered by your insurer.

Get three free months of DashPass, the DoorDash subscription service that gives you unlimited deliveries for a $0 delivery fee on eligible orders over $12. After that, you get automatically enrolled in DashPass at 50% off for the next nine months. Offer must be activated by Dec. 31, 2021.

How does the Chase Freedom Unlimited® compare to other cards?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is certainly a top cashback contender, but it has its pros and cons when stacked up next to other top cashback cards. If you’re still weighing your options, learn about how the Freedom Unlimited compares to similar cashback cards.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® vs.Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • On Chase's Secure Website

For rewards maximizers, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card offers the same bonuses on travel and dining purchases as the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, plus a rotating 5% cashback category. Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

While the Chase Freedom Flex℠’s earning rate on purchases outside its bonus categories is low (only 1%), its 5% rotating category offers massive earning potential for savvy cardholders. If you max out the $1,500 limit each quarter, that’s $300 in bonus cash back each year.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® vs. Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • On Citibank's Secure Website

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer could be a great alternative to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The card has a simpler earnings structure: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Depending on your spending habits, you might be able to earn more with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

Redemption is easy too: You can get your cashback rewards directly deposited into a Citi or non-Citi account, applied as a statement credit to your card or mailed to you as a check.

Just like with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you can also turn your cash back into points. You receive 100 Citi ThankYou points for every $1 you convert, and the minimum conversion amount is only $1. Once converted, you can use your points to book travel or transfer to any of Citibank’s 15 airline partners.

One big downside, however, is that the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer does not offer a sign-up bonus. Still, all in all, for many cardholders, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer may be a better option than the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® vs. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is another cashback credit card that offers 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day with a $0 annual fee. But unlike the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t offer extra rewards in bonus categories — this means if you spend even a little bit each month on dining and at drugstores, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® may be a better bet.

On the plus side, rewards redemption is easy with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. You can redeem your rewards for cash, use them to cover recent purchases or trade them in for gift cards at any time, with no expiration. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card may be a good choice if you can’t get the Chase Freedom Unlimited® due to the Chase 5/24 rule, an unwritten rule that can get you turned down for a Chase card if you’ve applied for more than five cards from any issuer in the past 24 months. Capital One doesn’t have a similar restriction.

In addition, travelers can enjoy this card’s lack of foreign transaction fees when using it. This benefit makes the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card a better card to use than the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card for international transactions.

Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited® worth it?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card could be worth it for cardholders seeking a cashback card with a simple rewards earning structure and those who spend a lot on dining and at drugstores. It may also be a good choice for Chase fans looking to maximize their earnings by rotating between multiple Chase credit cards.

The card may not work for cardholders with shaky credit, those seeking extra rewards on grocery or gas purchases or those who want one flat earnings rate without special bonus categories to track.

For those seeking to earn the most cash back possible on a single card, The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer might be a better choice. For other alternatives to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, check out our list of the best rewards credit cards of 2021 to find the best credit card for you.

Does the Chase Freedom Unlimited® have foreign transaction fees?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card does have foreign transaction fees of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars of each transaction made outside of the United States. The fee is charged on the amount of the purchase calculated in U.S. dollars.

Does the Chase Freedom Unlimited® have travel insurance?

Yes, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® covers trip cancellation and interruption. When you pay with your card, you could get back up to $1,500 per person or $6,000 per trip canceled or interrupted due to a covered reason, such as a severe storm or sickness. However, the card doesn’t cover accidents, injuries or lost or delayed bags.

How do I refer a friend to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

Click the Freedom link on the Chase refer-a-friend page to refer your friends to the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. You can earn up to $500 a year in cash back by referring friends to the card.

Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited® metal?

No, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is not made of metal. Like most cashback cards, it is made of plastic. If you’re looking for a metal credit card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a great travel card from Chase.

How do I get my cash back on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

It’s easy to get your cash back on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Simply log in to your account and choose whether you want a statement credit or a direct deposit into your bank account. There’s no minimum balance required to redeem your cash back.

How do I qualify for the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

You need Excellent/Good credit to qualify for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. You should also be aware that you may not qualify if you’ve opened multiple cards recently, due to the Chase 5/24 rule.

Is Chase Freedom Unlimited® a Visa or Mastercard?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a Visa credit card, which means the card runs on the Visa payment network and some of the benefits provided on the card may be part of a package of Visa card benefits.

Does the Chase Freedom Unlimited® earn Ultimate Rewards?

Yes, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card earns Ultimate Rewards points.

Does the Chase Freedom Unlimited® have price protection?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® does not have price protection, a perk that refunds you the difference if an item you buy goes on sale for a lower price in a certain time period after the purchase. However, the card does have purchase protection, a perk that protects items you buy against damage or theft in the first 120 days after purchase.

What is the credit limit on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

The credit limit on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® varies based on the cardholder’s creditworthiness, current credit use and other factors.

Can you get the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

You can get both the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards. Chase does not put any restrictions on holding both of these cards at once.

Which credit bureau does Chase Freedom Unlimited® use?

When you apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase may pull your credit history from one or more than one of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

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