Earn 3x Ultimate Reward Points Everywhere for a Year With New Card Offer

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We are seeing some interesting rewards credit card trends in 2018, and one of the trends being explored by certain cards is a shift away from the big welcome bonuses in favor of more rewarding rates on everyday spending. Don’t worry as this is not a goodbye to the welcome bonus, but it is certainly an interesting development that doesn’t seem to be diminishing anytime soon.


Details on the standard Freedom Unlimited bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card has a standard sign-up bonus of $150 cash back (aka 15,000 points) after you spend $500 in the first three months. On an ongoing basis, the card offers 1.5x points per dollar charged. Note that this is a different card than the version of the Freedom that has rotating 5x bonus categories. The Freedom Unlimited has an extremely strong earning rate for a card with no annual fee. This is especially true if you also have a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards product that will allow you to transfer the points earned on the Freedom Unlimited to Ultimate Rewards transfer partners such as United, Hyatt, Southwest, and more.

Transfer points to Hyatt and use 15,000 points per night at the Andaz Costa Rica

If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, then you can even use the points earned by the Freedom Unlimited at 1.5 cents in value each to book travel through Chase. This means you are essentially earning 2.25 cents toward travel with each dollar you charge to the Freedom Unlimited at 1.5x points per dollar.

New Freedom Unlimited offer gives you 3x points for a year

Earning 1.5x points per dollar is already a strong earning rate, but a new offer for the card doubles that rate from 1.5x to 3x for the entire first year of holding the card. (Not an affiliate link). Most of us love the 3x categories of travel and dining on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, so imagine earning 3x points everywhere. This would include things such as visits to the doctor’s office, veterinary office, daycare, dry cleaning, your insurance bills, on tax payments, car repairs, home repairs, and essentially anywhere that takes a credit card for an entire year. Depending on how much you spend, that could result in a whole lot of very valuable points.

The trade-off in this equation is that this 3x for a year offer does not include the $150 welcome bonus. It does still include a $25 bonus (2,500 points) if you add an authorized user who makes their first purchase within the first 3 months of the account opening.

Earning 3x can be better than a welcome bonus

At 3x/3% back, you would need to spend $10,000 on the card in the first year to make back the additional $150 you passed on as the standard welcome bonus. For some hit and run folks, that math won’t be worth the trade-off of the welcome bonus. However, if you put an average of $3,000 on the card each month for a year, that would mean you could earn 108,000 points on the card during that time. Charging that much with the standard welcome bonus would only result in 69,000 points without the doubled rate on everyday earning. Obviously, the earning discrepancy grows the more you charge on the card in the first 12 months.

If you like to keep things simple, don’t use a ton of different cards, and charge a relatively large amount each month, this could be very rewarding.

Make this an exceptional deal if you also have the Sapphire Reserve

If you used the 3x points earned on the Freedom Unlimited by transferring them to the Sapphire Reserve card and then booked your travel through Chase, that would result in earning 4.5 cents toward travel with every dollar charged on the Freedom Unlimited for the entire first year. I cannot think of a better earnings ratio out there without category restrictions on any card!

The Freedom Unlimited is only available to those under 5/24 and who have not received a new cardmember bonus for the card in the past 24 months.

Would you trade away a welcome bonus for the ability to earn 3x points on virtually everything for a year?

Thanks to Doctor of Credit for first spotting this new Freedom Unlimited offer.

Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.

The responses below 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.


  1. AF on my CSP is due in a month. I am planning to downgrade it to CFU. Do you think this is doable? I still have an old Ink Bold which I can use to consolidate or transfer any UR accumulated from CFU.

    • I think that this is like a new customer welcome bonus, so probably not eligible for downgrades like a regular bonus would not be eligible. You could product change to the 5x Freedom and then apply outright to this version of the CFU assuming you are under 5/24.

  2. Excellent news!! I might be at the 5/24 limit…how do I check for sure (I can’t remember exactly when a couple were opened and/or closed). Also, my husband is under the 5/24 limit, BUT he’s an authorized user on a couple of my Chase cards…does that count against him, preventing him from being eligible for this card? Last question… I do have the Freedom card with the rotating 5% categories…any chance they let me switch it over to this card for this promotion (I am guessing not)?

  3. Hi, I was planning on applying for a CSR next month (I have excellent credit and am 1/24). Should I apply for the CFU card at the same time? I can do the spend requirements for both simultaneously. Or is it better to do the CSR, do the spend, then get CFU to maximize my spend at the introductory 3x match? I’m thinking the latter unless I’m missing something.

  4. Do you know if the points will transfer to a Chase Sapphire Preferred as well? Lots of Reserve talk but wasn’t sure if the same were true for a Sapphire Preferred.

  5. I’m looking for some clarification. When I look into the CFU, it shows the 3x being earned as UR. But in reading this article, it seems you are saying I’d have to keep a Sapphire product in order to get the 3x spending as UR. I was hoping to open a CFU to keep an established UR account and then cancel my CSP before the AF. But the way I read this, unless I have some other product open, I will lose my UR and just get the 3x spending as cash back. Any clarification would be appreciated.

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