What Makes The Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card Good For Beginners
- Low annual fee: Enjoy a low annual fee for enjoying the perks, benefits and features of the card this can be especially useful for students with low incomes or recent graduates.
- Cardmember bonus: New cardholders have the opportunity to earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening the account.
- Low interest for introductory period: The Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card offers a low intro APR on purchases for the first 15 months after opening the card.
- Rewards: Cash back rewards may be redeemed toward gift cards and travel, requested as a statement credit or as a direct deposit in your bank account. Additionally, cash back rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open.
How Long Does My Credit History Have To Be
Similar to its credit score requirements, Chase doesnt state how long your credit history should be. However, like any other credit card issuer, the company does want to avoid issuing credit to those with a limited credit history and an inability to repay their debts.
So, if you can build up your credit history and ensure that you meet repayment on any outstanding debtssuch as student loansyoull put yourself in a great position to receive approval.
Chase Freedom Student Credit Card: Basics
Bonus: $50 Bonus after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening.
Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases.
Through March 2025, the card also earns 5% back on qualifying Lyft services purchased through the Lyft app.
Even though the Chase Freedom® Student credit card is marketed as a cash-back product, technically what you’re earning are Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash back.
You can redeem your rewards for statement credit, a direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts, Amazon purchases, travel or gift cards. Redemption values may vary depending on which option you choose.
Foreign transaction fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars.
“Good Standing” rewards: Accounts in good standing receive $20 after each account anniversary year for the first five years.
A potential credit limit increase after making five monthly payments on time within 10 months of opening an account.
Payments reported to the three major credit bureaus , which helps you build credit.
Travel and retail benefits such as trip cancellation insurance, purchase protection and extended warranty protection.
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Ihg Rewards Club Premier Card: 670+ Credit Score Needed
The Intercontinental Hotels Group partners with Chase to bring you the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, where you earn rewards at more than a dozen different hotel chains. Approval appears to require a minimum credit score of 670.
- Earn 10 points per $1 spent at IHG Hotels and Resorts
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Cardholders will also receive one free night on their account anniversary each year and a fourth night free when points are redeemed for a stay of four or more nights, among other elite perks.
Chase Freedom Student Credit Card Review: Earn 1% Cash Back On Every Purchase
For college students who want a simple rewards card, the Chase Freedom Student credit card offers 1% cash back on all purchases and other perks.
If you’re like most college students, you’re always looking for creative ways to save money. The Chase Freedom Student credit card is a great option that can help you do just that. With this card, you’ll get access to exclusive deals and discounts, including a $50 bonus offer and a $20 Good Standing Reward. And the card will help you build your credit history, which will come in handy after you graduate.
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What Is A Student Credit Card
A student credit card is a type of credit card designed and marketed towards students and recent graduates by banks and financial institutions. Student credit cards typically have a lower credit limit and sometimes have higher credit approval rates for students with little to no credit history and limited incomes. Student credit cards may require a co-signer if you are under the age of 21.
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority: 670+ Credit Score Needed
The Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Priority Card offers the most generous rewards among the trio of Southwest cards offered by Chase. While the minimum score for this card is unspecified, its reasonable to peg it at the average score, 670, for the Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Premier.
- Tiered rewards, including 3X points per $1 spent with Southwest
- $75 Southwest Airlines annual travel credit
- Earn 7,500 anniversary points each year
- $149 annual fee
This card is best used by those who travel with Southwest several times a year to recoup the annual fee and can take advantage of the annual travel credit. Cardholders also earn 25% back on in-flight Southwest purchases with the Priority card.
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What Credit Score Do You Need To Get The Chase Freedom Cards
Your credit score plays a big role in your overall financial life. But at TPG, we place a big emphasis on maintaining a high score, in part so that you can be approved for the best credit cards. Generally speaking, a credit score of 750+ will grant you approval to almost any credit card on the market. However, you don’t have to have excellent credit to be approved for a good rewards credit card.
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Two common cards for beginners are the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited. Both are no-annual-fee credit cards that earn cash back but that cash back can be converted to Ultimate Rewards points when you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. For that reason, these two Freedom cards are both potential members of the Chase Trifecta, which can help you maximize card spend across categories for maximum redemption value.
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How To Improve Your Credit Score
Improving your credit score is a great way to improve the odds of approval for a Chase credit card.
Several routes toward better credit are available:
- Pay every bill on time. Payment history makes up 35% of a credit score rating, so it should be a primary focus. Set up automatic payments and try to pay off the balance every month.
- Get a secured credit card.Secured cards are usually designed for applicants with poorer credit who want to improve a credit score. Secured cards require a deposit that becomes the credit line. Use the credit to make small payments, then pay off the balance on time every month to help improve your credit.
- Become an authorized user. Ask a friend or family member to add you as an authorized user to a credit account in good standing. Most cards allowing authorized users will report authorized user activity to credit bureaus, allowing you to improve your credit using your own card on someone elses account.
- Pay off existing debt. Paying down debt will help decrease your credit utilization, which makes up 30% of your credit score. Try paying the smallest balances off first or pay down the debts with the highest interest rates.
- Get a credit builder loan. are designed to help people with no or poor credit history build history. The borrower pays the lender a minimum amount every month, and the lender reports the payment activity to credit bureaus. A healthy payment history can go a long way to improving a credit score.
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What Credit Utilization Should I Have
While Chase doesnt require you to meet a specific percentage, its best practice to keep your credit utilization under 30%. Your credit utilization shows how much of your overall credit you are using. If you have a higher credit utilization, it could be a warning sign that you may be unable to repay the amount charged to your card.
What We Like About The Chase Freedom Student Credit Card
The Chase Freedom® Student credit card is aimed at students looking to build or rebuild their credit and who have credit scores around Excellent/Good and above.
College is the perfect time to apply for your first credit card so that when you graduate, youll have a solid credit score to help you when applying for an apartment, car loan, or even a job that may require a credit check.
Potential credit limit increase
After making five monthly payments on time within 10 months from account opening, your account will be reviewed for a potential credit limit increase. Given that your initial credit limit may be small if youre new to credit, an increase can allow you more purchasing power.
While not huge, the sign-up bonus that comes with the Chase Freedom® Student credit card should be easy to earn: earn a $50 bonus after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening.
You will receive the bonus in the form of 5,000 points, which can be redeemed for $50 cash back.
Simple cashback rewards program
If you want a straightforward approach to earning rewards, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card offers just that. Instead of dealing with spending caps or bonus categories that rotate each quarter, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card lets cardholders earn 1% cash back on all purchases plus $20 good standing rewards after each account anniversary for up to 5 years.
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Pros & Cons Explained
While assessing Chase Freedom® Student Cards benefits, you should also consider the drawbacks as well. Here are some benefits and drawbacks that may impact your decision on whether or not to apply for the card.
- Simple rewards programEvery purchase you make with the Chase Freedom® Student credit card earns you 1% cash back. This means that you dont need to remember spending limits or bonus categories. Just your card to get the cash back and bonuses.
- No annual feeIn addition to the simple rewards program, you may find the card highly appealing thanks to its lack of an annual fee.
- Rewards for good standingYou will receive 2,000 points for every year that your account is in good standing. This is equivalent to $20. This benefit is available for up to five years, which means that paying responsibly could earn you $100. This is an exceptional offer for a student card.
- Significantly low APRThe variable APR of this card is lower than the rate on most student cards, and everyone receives the same rate. Student cards that charge higher rates may quote an APR well over 20%, making this card extremely appealing if you need to carry a balance.
- Automatic credit limit increaseAfter making five on-time monthly payments within 10 months of using the card, Chase will consider you eligible for an automatic credit limit increase.
What Do You Need To Qualify For A Student Credit Card
A typical nonstudent credit card application requires a high credit score and at least a few years of credit report history. To get a student credit card, however, you often don’t necessarily need either, though some proof of financial experience and responsibility helps when it comes to securing a credit card offer. The issuer may ask you for information regarding any income you may have , and any checking account or savings account you may have. You do need to prove enrollment generally in a four-year college, community college or other higher education institution.
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Is It Safe And Secure
The Chase Freedom® Student card comes with all of the standard security features you’ll need. These features include:
- Zero liability protection. You wont be responsible for unauthorized charges.
- Purchase protection. Your new purchases will be covered for 120 days against damage or theft of up to $500 per claim.
- Fraud protection. Chase will help you monitor the account for any fraud.
- Lock feature. You can lock the card against new purchases instantly within the Chase mobile app or on the website.
All of these features provide a safe environment to enjoy this credit card in.
Chase Freedom Student Card Vs The Discover It Student Cash Back
While the Chase Freedom Student card is a solid choice for building credit and earning rewards, the Discover itStudent Cash Back offers a chance at more cash back while still charging no annual fee. You can earn up to 5 percent cash back in rotating categories upon enrollment and Discover will match all the rewards you have earned at the end of your first year. You even get an introductory interest rate on purchases and balance transfers for your first six months. That being said, busier students may find this card to be a hassle when trying to keep up with the activation schedule.
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How To Maximize Your Rewards
To get the most value from your card, make sure you use your Chase Freedom Student card to make a purchase within the first three months of opening an account to qualify for the $50 bonus. After that, use it to pay for all of your routine expenses, such as gas, groceries, utility bills, and textbooks, to earn 1% cash back.
To put those numbers in perspective, consider that The College Board reported that a student at a public four-year university spends $1,298 per year on books and other supplies.
If you used your Chase Freedom Student card to pay for those $1,298 worth of transactions, you’d earn $12.98 in rewards at the 1% cash back rate. Plus, youd earn another $50 as a bonus after your first purchase, giving you a total of $62.98. If you kept your account in good standing and made all of your payments on time, you’d also qualify for the $20 Good Standing Reward, giving you a total of $82.98 in rewards.
To ensure that the rewards you earn go directly into your wallet, make sure you pay off your statement balance in full each month. Otherwise, youll be subject to costly interest, which can offset your rewards and cause you to owe more than you originally charged.
% Cash Back Available On All Purchases
The Chase Freedom® Student credit card earns 1% cash back on every purchase. Importantly, the rewards have no expiration date. You can use the cash back as long as your account is open. Plus, there are no minimum thresholds to meet before you can redeem your points for cash .
Note that the cash back you’ll be earning will actually be in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. That means you’ll have a great variety of redemption options. In addition to cash redemptions, you can shop with points at Amazon, purchase gift cards, or use your points to book travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.
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How Do I Apply For A Student Credit Card If I Am Over The Age Of 21
To apply for a student credit card, you may need to show proof of a steady income from a part-time or full-time job or have a co-signer join you in the application process. You may also have to provide proof that you are enrolled either part-time or full-time at a college or university. Some credit card companies have specific requirements on what constitutes a two or four-year college or university, so be sure to clarify these requirements before applying for a student credit card.
Is The Chase Freedom Student Card Right For You
The Chase Freedom Student credit card is best for college students who want a simple, easy-to-use credit card. It will give you a flat 1% cash-back rate on all purchases and has extra benefits such as a $50 bonus offer and purchase protection.
For students who are more experienced credit card users, the Chase Freedom Student cards rate might not be the best fit since there are cards that offer higher rewards rates in certain spending categories. But for students who havent had a credit card before, the Chase Freedom Student credit card can be a useful first card.
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What Credit Score Do I Need To Get The Chase Freedom Unlimited
To qualify for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, youll need good credit or better. That translates into a credit score of at least 670.
Thats much more attainable than some of the other Chase credit cards. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card its fanciest luxury card requires a credit score of at least 740.
What Are The Features Of A Student Credit Card
In addition to more relaxed eligibility requirements, the best student credit cards will offer some of the following features:
- Special rules for credit newcomers such as minimal late fees and no-penalty APRs
- Lower credit limits — usually between $500 and $2,000
- Cash-back rewards program on spending
- A “reasonable” APR — usually between 15% and 20%
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