How Chase’s New Offer Completely Changed My Future Application Plans

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Chase Freedom Unlimited Increased Offer

Chase Freedom Unlimited Increased Offer Makes It A Must Get

Chase has really been making me think these last few weeks.  I had to do the mental olympics on the Sapphire Reserve card, with the pay myself back feature.  That has actually been working out better than expected, with continued spending offers. Plus, I still haven’t been billed the annual fee yet (😉). Now Chase launched a whole new offer on the Chase Freedom Unlimited card that has me back to the drawing board. The Chase Freedom Unlimited increased offer is so good that I think it is a must get card for a lot of people.

Details of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Increased Offer

Here are the details of the new offer:
  • Earn a $200 welcome offer after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Learn More

using the new chase offers system

Why This Offer Is So Good

The $200 (or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points with an annual fee card on the account) is somewhat a normal offer.  The standard welcome offer is for $150, but it is often increased to $200, so that isn’t a noticeable increase.

Adding 5% back on grocery spend, up to $12,000 in the first year, is the real eye catching perk here.  Many people’s grocery bills are higher than ever right now so this is a large area of spend. There are also other opportunities at grocery stores for people that are even slightly creative.  The $12,000 limit should be reachable over 12 months for many people. That is an additional 60,000 points if you are able to complete the spending.

The 0% APR is an underrated part on the offer too.  Especially if you could use a little breathing room right now with everything going on.  Or, you can use it as an investment vehicle with an interest free loan.  There are a lot of possibilities there too.

Why The Offer Has Flipped My Plans On The Side

I wrote about my upcoming plans for my wife’s final Chase 5/24 slot a few weeks back.  If you remember, I was taking a slightly different approach with her World of Hyatt card.  I planned on paying the annual fee to get the free night, since I value it over the $95 annual fee.  Then I would have her complete the $15,000 in spend to earn another category 1-4 certificate. Once that was done we planned on closing the card and opening a new account for the 50,000 point welcome offer.

That plan has already been set into motion. We have paid the annual fee and completed $5,000 worth of the spend so far. However, this offer has me rethinking that plan.  Should I abandon ship and jump on the Chase Freedom Unlimited offer instead?  Would that make better sense?

Comparing The Two Offers

Let’s take a look at the two offers:

Chase Freedom Unlimited
After spending the $12,000 on grocery purchases I would have the following:
  • 20,000 points from the welcome offer
  • 60,000 from the grocery spend
  • A grand total of 80,000 points
  • Learn More

World of Hyatt Card
If I put the same $12,000 in spend on the World of Hyatt card I would have the following:
  • 50,000 World of Hyatt points from the welcome offer
  • At least 12,000 points from the spending
  • An additional 12,000 points from the free night certificate
  • A grand total of 74,000
  • Learn More

I added an additional 12,000 points for the free night certificate on the World of Hyatt card.  After spending $12,000 she would only be $3,000 away from the $15K free night cert.  That certificate is worth as much as 15,000 points, or an extra point per dollar.  Giving it a full 1 point per dollar valuation is a little generous but I wanted to go with the maximum value out there.

Crunching The Numbers

As you can see the Chase Freedom Unlimited comes out on top by 6,000 points.  That doesn’t factor in that the points are essentially Ultimate Rewards points, if you have an annual fee Ultimate Rewards earning card.  I value UR points a little bit more than World of Hyatt points since they are flexible.

Final Thoughts

My plan going forward is to wait for the free night to post from the World of Hyatt card’s annual fee, which can take a bit. I will then have my wife close the account and abandoned the final $10,000 in spend for the second free night certificate.  In a perfect world we would complete the spend and then close the account.  I am not going that route since I have not seen an end date on the Chase Freedom Unlimited increased offer and I don’t want to risk missing out.

Once the World of Hyatt card is closed I will have my wife apply for the Freedom Unlimited.  This is perfect timing to replace some of my Ultimate Rewards stash from the pay myself back feature.  It will chip away at the 200,000 points that I have cashed out, giving me 40% of those points back fairly quickly.

Has the Chase Freedom Unlimited increased offer changed your application plans at all? Are you pivoting to a new plan because of it like I am?

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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27 COMMENTS

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Last year I product changed from the sapphire to the Freedom (the one with rotating categories). Does this make me ineligible for receiving the 20k bonuson the Freedom Unlimited? Mind you I have the Ink card so I do collect UR points still.

  2. Stupid question time – Does Chase Freedom pay the $200 bonus and 5% grocery credit in UR points? Or via a statement credit?

    • In points but they are only UR points if you transfer them to a UR earning card that has an annual fee.

  3. What am I missing:
    You describe the result to be, Chase Freedom Unlimited After spending the $12,000 on grocery purchases I would have the following: 20,000 points from the welcome offer; 60,000 from the grocery spend; A grand total of 80,000 points. But the offer is, Earn a $200 welcome offer after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

    How does cash welcome offer and cash back become points? There is a short reference to a points option, but with an annual fee which isn’t accounted for in the description of the outcome. What am I missing, how does 5% in grocery spending move from 5% cash to points? Thanks in advance!

    • If you carry a Ultimate Rewards earning card with an annual fee you can transfer the points earned with the Freedom Unlimited card to these cards and they become transferable.

      Sapphire Reserve or Preferred
      Ink Business Plus
      Ink Business Preferred

      If you have any of those cards the points become full Ultimate Rewards points (once transferred) instead of simply cash back.

      • Thanks, that sets me staight. For me I’d have to open 2 cards to have the flex, since I have pretty much all of the Chase hotel and airline cards and AMEX hotel and airline, but never bothered with UR cards, maybe it’s time; maybe not if it burns my 5/24 when hoping that better offers are on the horizon. Much to ponder, thank you.

  4. I just received my card last week and called to ask if I can get the 5% cash back on grocery store purchases added to mine and they said NO because they can not change offers. what BS is that?

    • I have heard of others getting matched so I would try again. Chase has usually been pretty open to it in the past. Hope you have better luck with the next agent.

      • Should this request be by secure message or over the phone? I signed up via referral and it looks like the offer I signed up for doesn’t have the 5X. This was just yesterday, the 24th. Think I’m hosed?

          • I singed up via a referral on the 24th not realizing it was a different offer. I SM’d them on the 25th and asked them to verify that i would get the 20,000 UR points as well as the 5X groceries. I heard back from them on the 26th the following “We understand that you’re interested in enrollment offer
            with 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (Not
            including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to
            $12,000.00 spent in the first year. Please be assured
            that your request will be completed within two weeks, and
            eligible purchases on your account since the account open
            date will qualify for the promotion listed above.” Needless to say I am re-leaved. Who knows, maybe my spouse will still get the referral.

  5. Chase points won’t be devalued – if anything they will be worth more as we are seeing much better redemption values and inventory for both airlines and hotels. But I guess it makes sense to cash in if you are short on cash.
    I can’t comment on UA refund/change policy for cash tickets. But you can easily cancel award tix and redeposit miles. The only downside is tying up miles (rather than Transferable Chase points) at UA or another airline where they may well depreciate.

    • How will they not be devalued? They have been greatly devalued over the past 2 years losing partners and United gutting their award chart.

      The prices will be lower coming out of the pandemic which would make the bookings actually worth less, not more.

      It isn’t based on whether or not you need cash but how many points you have (ultimate rewards and their partners) right now, how quickly you can earn them and how many you need for the next few years of bookings. If you are points low or struggle to earn them then I would say sitting on them is the right move for sure. If you are sitting on more than you need they will only lose value over time and the cash out rate at 1.5 cents will probably never be this high again.

      • If you want cash the better ROI is 2% on Citi and Fidelity cards. I rarely get <2% when I redeem airline miles or Hyatt but YMMV.
        Certainly you can make an argument for spending on a cash back card given low fares and hotel rates. But this is not the card to do it.

        • That doesn’t take into account that you are earning 3X-5X on many of your purchases that are earning UR points. Even with the Unlimited cards it turns it into a 2.25% cashback card. These office store deals turn all spending into 7.5% back if you have Ink cards.

          I am always doing exponentially better than 2% going this route.

  6. Why would you cash in at 1.5 cents? Just got 2.5 cents transferring Chase UR to book United business class international for next summer (arguably higher value because I can cancel anytime)

    • Because of cancellations and lack of travel I have enough points in airline accounts and hotel accounts for a year or two. So these points will be replaced by the time I need them.

      Why have points sitting in an account that will only be devalued when I could get something for them now? Then I can turn around and invest that money to improve its value or buy reduced priced flights and hotels when travel picks up taking advantage of points, miles, status and portal earnings because of it.

      Totally depends on your situation on whether it makes sense though.

    • Boraxo, can you clarify United’s cancellation policy? I thought they were allowing a change of flight for up to 2 years out, but won’t refund the difference in fare if the new tickets is cheaper, and will charge for the difference if it is higher. Is there a way to cancel and get a full point/cash reimbursement at any time?

  7. On a slightly related topic… the World Of Hyatt card… for the last couple of years (and maybe more) the annual fee that I have seen for both my card and my wife’s has been offset by a credit. I didn’t contact to ask that this be done. Just came out of the blue. Can you think of any reason why? We have no status at all.

      • I’d rather not “rock the boat” They might realize they made a mistake and “claw” back the credit. I’ve never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

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