Chase Freedom Discontinuation
One of the best values in the credit card space is the Chase Freedom card. It earns 1% cash back on normal purchases which isn’t good at all, but it also has rotating 5% categories which represent a great value. Combine that with no annual fee and the ability to transfer points to travel partners if you also have a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus and it is one of my favorite cards.
I love this card so much in fact that I now have three of them. Over the years I have signed up once for the card to receive the bonus and converted two Sapphire Preferred cards. Unfortunately it seems that the Freedom as we know it may be a thing of the past.
The Freedom Unlimited
Angelina Travels is reporting on a rumor that the Freedom card will be replaced by the Freedom Unlimited sometime in March. According to her sources and a screenshot that she posted, the Freedom Unlimited will come with a $150 sign-up bonus after $500 in spend plus $25 for adding an authorized user. While that is nice, the real issue comes with the card’s structure.
The Freedom Unlimited will earn 1.5% cashback on all purchases. That’s it. No rotating categories, just 1.5% cashback. This means it will essentially become a worthless card since the Citi Double Cash also has no annual fee and earns 2%. Also, there is no mention of whether the cashback earned will be transferable to Ultimate Rewards like is the case now.
Update: As Ben points out, if this card does earn 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, then it may actually be beneficial to some. Only time will tell.
According to Angelina, current Freedom cardholders will be grandfathered in to the old system when the new card is released. This sounds good on the surface, but I doubt that Chase will continue the 5% categories forever. The Citi Dividend card was discontinued years ago and there are rumors that Citi is now converting Dividend cardholders to the Double Cash. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chase does something similar down the line or even at the end of this year once the published calendar is finished.
Apply Before the Changes?
As many of you know, Chase has tightened significantly on approvals for the Freedom, Sapphire Preferred and other cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points. If you are looking at getting the Freedom, the bonus is currently $150 after $500 in spend. It is available on the Chase website and I even have a personal referral link. If you were looking to convert your Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom some time soon, you may want to call and get that done just in case this happens soon.
Yes this is still a rumor and I haven’t been able to confirm these changes with the bank, but Angelina feels confident in her source and she also has a screenshot showing the details of the new product. These changes don’t surprise me given all of the recent developments with Chase. They are clearly fine tuning their credit card products and the result is upsetting for those of us who cherish outsized value.