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Chase Freedom Unlimited + Sapphire Preferred for 50% faster everyday rewards

by on Fri April 8, 2016 • 4 Comments


The new Chase Freedom Unlimited® is meant to be an all-around, front-of-the-wallet card.

freedomunlimitedIt earns 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards® for every dollar spent, and that’s equivalent to 1.5% cash back on all purchases, which is 50% faster than the base earning on other Ultimate Rewards cards.

But pairing this card with a premium Chase card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, is where things get interesting, because it unlocks the ability to transfer points to Chase Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel transfer partners such as United, Singapore Airlines, and Hyatt, for example.

chasesapphirevisaThat could double the value of your rewards if you use the partners wisely.

Chase lets you combine Ultimate Rewards points between Freedom Unlimited and other Ultimate Rewards accounts online, anytime, so instead of the Chase Freedom Unlimited® being just a 1.5% cash back card, it can be a 1.5x Ultimate Rewards card that could help you earn 3% or better travel rewards on your spending.

Combine Chase Ultimate Rewards points

How much you can earn

Not only does the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card come into play to allow you to transfer these points and increase their value, but it also comes into play in terms of increasing your total rewards earning since the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent on all travel and dining.

Let’s look at an example.

Say that you spend $3,000 per month on your credit cards. $400 of that is dining purchases, $500 of that is travel purchases, and the remaining $2,100 is other purchases.

This is what your rewards earning could look like with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® combination:

  • $400 dining * 2 points/dollar (Sapphire Preferred) = 800 points/month

  • $500 travel * 2 points/dollar (Sapphire Preferred) = 1,000 points/month

  • $2,100 other * 1.5 points/dollar (Freedom Unlimited) = 3,150 points/month

Over the course of 12 months, this equates to earning 59,400 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, more than enough for two round-trip coach tickets within the US and nearly enough for a round-trip coach ticket to Europe.

Let’s look at the same scenario if you only had the Chase Freedom Unlimited®:

  • $3,000 * 1.5 points/dollar = 4,500 points/month

You would earn 54,000 points over the course of the year, but you would not be able to transfer them to airline partners, so these points would be worth $540.

Now, if you only had the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card:

  • $900 travel/dining * 2 points/dollar = 1,800 points/month

  • $2,100 other * 1 point/dollar = 2,100 points/month

In this case, you would earn 46,800 points per year. You would be able to transfer them to partners, but you would be missing out on almost 13,000 points, which is enough for a one-way domestic coach plane ticket. The only addition you would need to make to earn those extra points is the no annual fee Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card.

What you can do with the points

transferpartnersHere is the full list of transfer partners and examples of what you could do with the theoretical 59,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points you are able to earn in a year of having both of these cards.

  • British Airways

  • Korean SkyPass

  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer

    • One Way from New York to Frankfurt in Singapore Suites

  • Southwest Rapid Rewards

    • About $820 toward travel on Southwest Airlines using Wanna Get Away Fares

  • United MileagePlus

    • Two Round Trip Continental USA Coach Saver Award Tickets

    • Round Trip US to Europe in Coach on United or its partners like Lufthansa and SWISS

  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

  • Hyatt Gold Passport

    • Two Nights at a Top-Tier Property

  • IHG Rewards Club

  • Marriott Rewards

    • One Night at a Top-Tier Property

  • Ritz-Carlton Rewards

    • One Night at a Mid-Tier Property

In some cases it might make sense to book travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. When booking this way, points are worth 20% more than they are worth when redeemed for cash.

Those 59,000 points you earned over the course of the year would be worth about $700 when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

If you were, for example, booking an inexpensive flight that costs $100 round trip, it would make more sense to book directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal rather than transferring those points to United, since United will always charge at least 20 – 25,000 miles roundtrip for a domestic flight.

In the case of a $100 flight, the cost would only be 8,333 points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Regardless of how you redeem for travel, pairing the Chase Freedom Unlimited® with your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a no fee way to help boost your rewards.

The following two tabs change content below.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

Still confused? Have a question?

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"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."

4 thoughts on Chase Freedom Unlimited + Sapphire Preferred for 50% faster everyday rewards

  1. Poppy

    Hello, I’d like to thank this website and its writers for such a wonderful job. I’ve learned sooo much through your articles. I was wondering how the Sapphire Preferred would work with the Chase Freedom card. Wouldn’t you earn more with the 5% cash back rotating categories than the Freedom Unlimited? Or would you still consider the Freedom Unlimited to be overall the best pairing?

    Thank you!


      @Poppy: It depends on your spending habits. If you could maximize each rotating spending category every quarter with the Chase Freedom® Card, then you could potentially earn more rewards than the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card. You can use our Cardfinder tool to determine the best combination for you.


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