Chase Freedom Unlimited – Details Revealed
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Yesterday, Chase revealed its new product to The Points Guy, the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
On Sunday, another blogger revealed this rumor and there was much speculation that the current Chase Freedom which has x5 points on rotating quarters would go away and that a new Chase Freedom product would replace it. This new product, the Chase Freedom Unlimited, would earn 1.5X back on every purchase, but would not have categories and would not have the ability to transfer to the Sapphire or Ink to redeem on travel partners.
However, yesterday, Chase confirmed the following:
- The Chase Freedom Unlimited will be a new and additional Chase product; the current Freedom is not going anywhere. Great news.
- The 1.5X points per dollar earned on the Freedom Unlimited can be used for cash back, or transferred to the Sapphire/Ink to be redeemed on travel partners. Again, great news.
- Current cardholders of the Freedom will be able to convert their products to the Freedom Unlimited. Excellent!
With no actual card available for sign ups just yet (I believe it will be in April), it’s hard to accurately review it and recommend it over another card.
Does converting your Freedom to Freedom Ultimate make sense?
Scenario 1: Less than 5 cards in 24 months and no Freedom, Sapphire or Ink
- If you have no credit history, or little credit history, your best bet will be to start off with one of the Freedom products.
- Which one? Why not both. They’re separate products. They provide great return, one of them offering 5X on common categories every quarter; the other, providing a great return of 1.5X/dollar on everything else.
- Then, get the Sapphire or Ink so you have the ability to transfer to partners.
Scenario 2: More than 5 cards in 24 months and currently holds Freedom and Sapphire OR Ink.
- With two Ultimate rewards cards, and only one that has the ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners, this is a bit of a conundrum.
- If you convert your Sapphire or Ink to the new Freedom Unlimited, you will lose the ability to transfer to partners; if you convert your old Freedom to the New Freedom, you’ll lose the category bonus.
- Determine if you max out the bonuses:
- Do you earn ($1,500)(5) = 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points, for a total of 30,000 a year?
- If not, will you, or do you spend at least $20,000 in unbonused spend? $20,000 in unbonused spend, at an earning rate of 1.5X, will earn 30,000 points.
Scenario 3: More than 5 cards in 24 months, holds the Freedom, Sapphire and Ink
- You hold all Ultimate Rewards earning cards
- Keep the old Freedom, convert the Sapphire to Freedom Unlimited and keep the Ink for the ability to transfer to partners.
These are my recommendations. I fall into the second category and need to decide what’s a better rate of return for me: 5X each quarter on different categories, or 1.5X on each dollar, always.
What will you do?