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Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Three welcome bonuses to choose from: $200 after $500 or extra 1.5% on $20k online, plus in-branch 5% gas and grocery offer

The 5% gas and grocery welcome offer lives on! Recently, I confirmed that the 5% gas and grocery offer on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is still available, but it is now an in-branch exclusive welcome offer. Before you apply for a Chase Freedom Unlimited, be sure you’re getting the best new cardmember welcome bonus.

Here are the details on all of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® welcome offers that we know about.

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Chase currently offers a dizzying number of welcome bonuses for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. Here are the details:

  • Offer #1: Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This offer is available through referral links or the Chase website. We publish referral links for this bonus on our site.
  • Offer #2: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back. This offer appears to be available exclusively through affiliate channels, like the links on this website.
  • Offer #3: In-branch exclusive offer. Earn up to $800 cash back: Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn 5% cash back on combined gas station and grocery store purchases (not including Target® and Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. (That’s $600 cash back.) You must apply in-branch to get this offer. It is not available online.

For most people, the in-branch offer will be the best deal, provided it is still available when you read this.

Here are the details on all of the currently-available offers:

Best bonus: In-branch $200 after $500 + 5% gas and groceries welcome offer.

The best welcome offer on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can only be found in-branch. Several months ago, the 5% gas and grocery offer was taken down from online channels, but it remains as an in-branch exclusive offer. I was able to reconfirm the Chase Freedom Unlimited® in-branch offer on April 24, 2024 with a Chase banker. Here are the details of the in-branch offer:

  • Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months you have the card.
  • In addition to the welcome bonus, earn 5% cash back on combined gas station and grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Grocery store purchases do not include purchases at Target® and Walmart®.

For reference, here is a scan of the printout I received from a Chase banker about the in-branch exclusive offer. You must apply in-branch to receive this offer—it is not available online. This welcome offer is also available on the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card.

In-branch offer printout showing the in-branch exclusive offers on the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards. Both cards can earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent in the first year on combined gas and grocery store purchases in addition to $200 after $500 spent in the first 3 months.
Chase in-branch offer printout showing gas and grocery Chase Freedom Flex and Unlimited offers on April 24, 2024.

Easiest bonus online: $200 after $500 of spending

Chase offers a welcome bonus of $200 after $500 of spending through non-affiliate channels including refer-a-friend links. This welcome bonus offers the biggest payout for a small amount of spending and makes our list of easy cash back welcome bonuses.

The $200 after $500 online offer may be the best welcome bonus for you if there isn’t a Chase branch bank nearby and you plan on spending less than about $15,000 on the card over the course of a year. Here are the details:

Chase Freedom Unlimited® friend referral offer: Earn $200 after spending $500 in 3 months. (Annual fee: $0)

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art

Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. (Get this welcome bonus.)

More efficient than the current affiliate bonus for rewards on spending. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠. 3% at drugstores and on dining. 1.5% on other purchases. (More in our card review.)

This is a referral link. All information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Biggest payout online: Extra 1.5% cash back on $20,000 of spending your first year

The current Chase Freedom Unlimited® welcome offer in affiliate channels offers an additional 1.5% cash back on the first $20,000 of spending in your first year of having the card. If you plan to spend money at gas stations or grocery stores and can get to a Chase branch bank, you might prefer the current in-branch offer.

The extra 1.5% cash back offer might be best for you if you plan to spend a lot on your Chase Freedom Unlimited card in the first year. The breakpoint is $13,333 in spending—if you spend less than this on your card in the first year, you’ll earn more from the $200 after $500 bonus. Spend $20,000 or more on the card to maximize what you’ll earn from the welcome bonus—$300 in additional rewards.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® offer: Extra 1.5% cash back on $20,000 spent in the first year. (Annual fee: $0)

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

bonus_miles_full (Get this welcome bonus.)

Better than the $200 after $500 bonus once you spend $13,334 in your first year. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠. 3% at drugstores and on dining. 1.5% on other purchases. (More in our card review.)

This is an affiliate link.

About the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers cardmembers 1.5% rewards on all purchases. It is the essential “everywhere else card” in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® ecosystem.

Although the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is marketed as a “1.5% everywhere” card, it offers plenty of bonus spending categories. You get 5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% on dining at restaurants including eligible takeout and delivery, and 3% on drugstore purchases. Although rewards are marketed as cash back, the card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points behind the scenes, which can be transferred to a premium Ultimate Rewards® card and redeemed for greater value.

For a card with no annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® comes with a healthy set of benefits, including purchase protection, extended warranty, secondary auto rental collision damage waiver insurance, and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

For more on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, please see our overview of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card.

My take on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® welcome bonuses

With so many Chase Freedom Unlimited® new cardmember welcome bonuses to choose from, how do you choose which one is right for you? Here’s my take.

In-branch 5% gas and grocery offer: For most people, the 5% gas and grocery offer is probably the best Freedom Unlimited welcome offer. This welcome offer essentially gives you a 5% gas and grocery card (on up to $12,000 of combined spending) on top of the card’s normal welcome bonus of $200 after $500 spent on the card within 3 months. This makes the card simultaneously one of the best cards for groceries and one of the best cards for gas in the first year. Chase has previously run grocery-only or gas-only versions of this welcome bonus on both this card and the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

Extra 1.5% on $20,000 offer: If you plan to spend north of $13,334 in the first year on your Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you’ll get more from this welcome offer than you will from the standard $200 after $500 offer. That said, there’s more value to be had for most people in the in-branch-only gas and grocery welcome offer.

$200 after $500 offer: For most people who can’t get into a Chase branch, this welcome offer is probably more compelling than the extra 1.5% offer. It’s an easy welcome bonus that requires only minimal spending. Even if you plan to put $14,000 or more of spending on credit cards this year, you could allocated that to a new Chase Freedom Unlimited® card and get both of the no-annual-fee and score a ton more Ultimate Rewards® points.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® friend referral offer: Earn $200 after spending $500 in 3 months. (Annual fee: $0)

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art

Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. (Get this welcome bonus.)

More efficient than the current affiliate bonus for rewards on spending. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠. 3% at drugstores and on dining. 1.5% on other purchases. (More in our card review.)

This is a referral link. All information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by cardsandpoints.com.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® offer: Extra 1.5% cash back on $20,000 spent in the first year. (Annual fee: $0)

Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

bonus_miles_full (Get this welcome bonus.)

Better than the $200 after $500 bonus once you spend $13,334 in your first year. Rewards are earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠. 3% at drugstores and on dining. 1.5% on other purchases. (More in our card review.)

This is an affiliate link.

Chase Ultimate Rewards® card synergies

Chase Ultimate Rewards® points can always be redeemed for cash back rewards at one cent each. This makes 10,000 points worth $100. But your points can become even more valuable when you hold a premium Ultimate Rewards® credit card.

If you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred card, you have access to a handful of redemption options that can increase the value of your points:

  • Point transfers to airline and hotel partners
  • Increased value when you redeem for travel through Chase Travel℠
  • Pay Yourself Back options

To use the points you earned from your non-premium Ultimate Rewards® credit card for one of these redemptions, simply transfer your Ultimate Rewards® points to your premium Ultimate Rewards® credit card.

A few notes on applying for Chase cards

  • 5/24 rule. Chase generally won’t approve you if your credit report is showing 5 or more new credit card accounts opened in the last 24 months. This rule is knows as the 5/24 rule. If you’re unsure if you are “under 5/24” you should check your 5/24 status before applying for a Chase card. Note that recently this rule seems to have softened, especially for Ink cards. See our coverage about Chase 5/24 for more.
  • Only one Sapphire-branded card. You can only hold one Chase Sapphire-branded card at a time. This means you can have either a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but not both.
  • You can get a welcome bonus on a Chase card, even if you’ve had the card previously. How often you can earn a welcome bonus on a Chase card varies by card family.
    • Most cards allow you to earn a welcome bonus if it has been at least 24 months since your last received a welcome bonus on the same card.
    • Chase Sapphire-branded cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can only earn a welcome bonus once every 48 months. (We published a separate article to help you determine if you can get a Sapphire welcome bonus.)
    • Marriott cards have their own special rules.
  • Chase will match an increased bonus. If you apply for a Chase card and the bank offers a higher bonus within 90 days, you can send Chase a secure message or call them to have your welcome offer matched.
  • In-branch offers are sometimes better. Chase sometimes has better credit card welcome offers in-branch than it will publish on its own website or through affiliate networks. Check all channels to make sure you’re getting the best bonus.
  • Chase business cards do not report to personal credit reports and do not impact your 5/24 status as long as they are current.

Frequently asked questions

Does the double cash back on the Chase Freedom Unlimited come with a $200 welcome bonus?

No. The double cash back offer replaces the normal welcome bonus on this card?

Where can I get the Freedom double cash back offer?

This offer appears to be available through affiliate channels only. You won’t see this offer on the Chase website. At cardsandpoints.com we always show you the best offer, regardless of our affiliate relationships.

Can I get double cash back on the Freedom Flex?

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ does not have a double cash back offer, but it does currently offer 5% rewards on up to $12,000 of gas and groceries in your first year.

Is the double cash back offer capped?

As of January 11, 2024, the double cash back offer only offers 1.5% additional cash back on up to $20,000 of purchases each year.

How can I get the 5% gas and grocery offer?

You must apply in-branch if you want the 5% gas and grocery offer. Referral links ceased to work around March 14, 2024.

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

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