The Chase Freedom Unlimited (paired with a Sapphire card) is one of our favorite cards for everyday spending, and now it’s about to get even better!
On September 15, Chase is adding a new no annual fee card to the Freedom suite, as well as making changes to the Chase Freedom Unlimited. The new Chase Freedom Flex will be replacing the Chase Freedom. This new card is very similar to the Chase Freedom, but with more bonus categories! The Chase Freedom Unlimited is keeping the earn rate we love so much, but it is also adding some new bonus categories. Both cards will have $0 annual fee.
Both of these cards earn cash back rewards unless you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Business Preferred. If you have one of those 3 cards, then the points you earn on any of the Freedom products are redeemable in the same ways you can redeem points earned from Sapphire cards. This gives you the option to transfer the points to airline and hotel programs. Transferring points to airline and hotels partners is how we’re often able to get significantly more value out of our points than we would if we were to redeem them as cash towards travel.
Click here for more info on accelerating your Chase Ultimate Rewards earn rate by pairing a Chase Freedom Unlimited with one of 3 Chase Sapphire cards.
I’ll compare the two Freedom cards prior to the Chase Freedom Flex launch date on September 15, but for now, I wanted to publish the new/updated details of each card. Update: you can read the comparison here.
Chase Freedom Flex
The new Chase Freedom Flex will launch on September 15. The welcome bonus will be $200 (or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first 3 months. Also, new cardmembers will receive 5% cash back on grocery store purchases for the first year (on up to $12,000).
The welcome bonus on the Chase Freedom Flex will be available even if you already have a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited as this is a separate product.
Chase Freedom Flex will be replacing Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom will be closed to new applicants after September 15.
Current holders of Chase Freedom have the option to change to the Chase Freedom Flex, or to keep the Chase Freedom. I can’t really think of a reason not to product change.
Chase Freedom Flex has more earning potential than Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom Flex will have the same quarterly rotating 5% bonus categories that the Chase Freedom currently has. But it will also feature additional year-round bonus categories.
- 5% on Bonus Quarterly Categories – Each quarter, card members can activate their ability to receive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on bonus categories such as grocery stores, select streaming services and many others. The categories change every quarter.
- 5% on Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, including vacation and car rentals.
- 3% on Dining purchases, including take out or eligible delivery services.
- 3% on Drugstore purchases on daily essentials like medicine, toiletries, diapers and other items.
- 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.
Note that x % is like x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar if you also have a card that earns transferable Ultimate Rewards. For example, 5% cash back is the same as 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, 3% cash back is the same as 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, etc.
As far as bonus categories, this is arguably better than the 3 Chase Sapphire cards that do have an annual fee!
If the earn rate is better, why not stick with the no-fee Freedom cards?
For a cash back card, these earn rates are good. But as I stated at the beginning of this post, I prefer points that can be transferred to airline and hotel programs. In order to transfer points you earn on either of the Freedom cards to airlines or hotels, you also need to have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Business Preferred. In this post, I explain why having both a Freedom card and a Sapphire card gives you the best earn rate and the best redemption options.
Mastercard World Elite Benefits
Unlike its Visa predecessor, the Chase Freedom, the new Freedom Flex will be a Mastercard. Cardholders will receive World Elite Mastercard benefits.
- Cell phone insurance-this provides $800 per claim and up to $1,000 per year for damage or theft
- Free ShopRunner Membership- this allows members to receive free 2 day shipping and free returns at over one hundred retailers
- Lyft- Earn $10 credit if you take 5 rides in one month. This resets every calendar month.
- Boxed- Earn 5% in rewards on Boxed purchases
- Fandago- earn double VIP points when you purchase movie tickets through Fandago. These points are redeemable for movie tickets and streaming on FandangoNow
Cardmembers will also have access to Priceless Experiences.
Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card changes
This card earns 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on all purchases. To compare, the earn rate on other Ultimate Rewards earning cards is 1 point per dollar on all non-category bonus spending. Currently, there are no bonus categories, but on September 15, these bonus categories will be added!
- 5% on Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% on Dining
- 3% on Drugstore purchases
Welcome offer: $200 (or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first 3 months. Also, earn 5% cash back (or 5 points per dollar) on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
Lyft and DoorDash benefits
Cardmembers of Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited will also receive Lyft and Doordash* benefits:
- 5% total cash back on all Lyft rides through March 2022.
- In addition to earning 3% on all dining purchases, cardmembers can activate and receive complimentary DoorDash DashPass for the first three months. After the first 3 months, cardmembers can choose to keep the DashPass membership at a 50% discount price for the next nine months.
*Complimentary DashPass Subscription for Chase Freedom®, Freedom Unlimited®, Freedom Student® and Slate® cardmembers: Your credit card account will receive one complimentary 3 month DashPass from DoorDash when the subscription is activated by 12/31/21. After your complimentary period ends, you’ll be automatically enrolled for 9 months at 50% off the then current monthly DashPass rate. After the DashPass discounted period ends, you will continue to be enrolled and charged the then current monthly DashPass rate. You can cancel at any time on the DoorDash mobile application. Subscription will be registered in the name of the primary cardmember or an authorized user, whoever activates the benefit first. To receive the subscription benefits, the primary cardmember or authorized user(s) must first add their eligible Chase credit card as payment method in the DoorDash mobile application, and then click the activation button. Benefits of DashPass from DoorDash include no delivery fees on orders that total over $12 (amount subject to change – see DoorDash site for current minimum); however service fees and other fees on food orders will apply.
Are Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited credit cards subject to Chase 5/24?
Both of these cards will be subject to the 5/24 rule.
I am under 5/24. Can I open both of these cards?
While you can have these cards at the same time, you would have to use 2 Chase 5/24 slots to acquire both cards. There are other Chase cards with more valuable bonuses that I’d suggest opening first.
If you’re in 2 player mode (you have a partner or spouse who is also opening cards), this post explains how you may be able to get one of the Freedom products without having to use a Chase 5/24 spot.
If you like the simplicity of cash back rewards, these are some exciting updates. If you like having the option to transfer points, these updates are also exciting since the additional bonus categories bring even more opportunities to increase your earn rate!
I normally wouldn’t get too excited about new/updated cash back products, but Chase Freedom cards are an exception since they have the potential to be converted to transferable Ultimate Rewards when paired with one of 3 other cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Business Preferred).
If you do not already have a transferable Ultimate Rewards earning card such as a Chase Sapphire Preferred, I suggest starting with that. Then, adding a Chase Freedom Unlimited or the new Chase Freedom Flex card to your wallet can increase your earning potential. This has been our strategy for the past few years.
Be sure to check back on September 15 when the new card launches! I’ll also have a post comparing the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex cards.
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