Posted by William Charles on February 29, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on February 29th, 2016 | by William Charles

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Chase Freedom Unlimited Coming Soon

Reposting this because it disappeared from the front page and people weren’t able to view it for some weird reason.

Angelina Travels is reporting that Chase will launch a new credit card called the Chase Freedom Unlimited sometime in March (my source says sometime in the middle of March). It’ll launch with the following benefits:

  • $150 sign up bonus after $500 in spend within three months
  • $25 bonus for adding an authorized user and them making their first purchase
  • 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

The current Chase Freedom has the same offer, but with two key differences:

  • It offers 5% quarterly rotating categories (limit of $1,500 in spend per quarter)
  • Earns 1% cash back on all purchases

What Will Happen To Existing Chase Freedom Cardholders?

Chase has already published the 2016 rotating categories and Angelina Travels says that existing cardholders will be grandfathered into the old program (you should be able to convert to the new product if you choose, it’s unclear if new applicants will be able to product change to the ‘old’ Chase Freedom or not).

Personally I think existing cardholders will be grandfathered for at least 2016 and possibly into 2017 and they will eventually discontinue the product and automatically convert people to the Unlimited (similar to what happened with the Chase Cash Rewards card).

Should You Product Change To The New Card?

We’re going to assume the Unlimited will earn UR points (see below), if it doesn’t then you’ll be much better off with a card that earns 2%+ cash back on all purchases. If it does, then you’ll need to value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.34¢ a piece otherwise again you’d be better off putting that spend on a 2%+ cash back card.

What you’ll also need to consider is how much spend you put in the 5% categories and how much unbonused spend you have (that isn’t used to meet minimum spend requirements). Let’s take an example, Johnny values Chase UR points at 1.6¢ a piece, usually puts $2,000 per year in the 5% categories and around $5,000 per year in unbonused spend.

  • With the Chase Freedom he’d earn 10,000 Chase UR ($160 value) and $100 in cash back by using a 2% card for a total value of $260
  • With the Chase Freedom Unlimited he’d earn 10,500 Chase UR, for a total value of $168

You’d really need to be putting a lot of unbonused spend on the Unlimited or not have much spend in the 5% categories for a product change to make sense. For people (like myself) with multiple Chase Freedoms, the question on whether to product change or not is an even more difficult question.

Will The New Card Earn Ultimate Rewards?

There is no way to know for sure, but all Chase branded credit cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points even if they are marketed as earning cash back, you just don’t have the ability to transfer to travel partners unless you have a premium annual fee card (e.g Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus).

I’d be somewhat surprised if this new card didn’t earn Chase UR points, that being said it would be strange to have a no annual fee card earn at a better rate than the annual fee version (although you’d still need an annual fee card to be able to transfer to travel partners and this is also somewhat common, e.g the American Express Platinum only earns at 1x whereas other American Express cards have lower annual fees but bonus categories and even the AmEx EveryDay has a better base earning rate with no annual fee if you meet the transaction requirements).

Will They Offer Both Products At The Same Time?

I doubt it, this may seem stupid but if the new product is called the Chase Freedom Unlimited then I think the existing Chase Freedom would need a sprucing up of the name otherwise the Unlimited would seemingly be more compelling product name.

Final Thoughts

Most people that read this blog won’t be able to apply for this new product even if it does launch, due to the Chase 5/24 rules. This will be more interesting from a product change perspective.



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Mark
Mark

Leaked spread says “any amount, anytime”. Current UR has a $20 minimum for cash back redemption. Doesn’t sound like it will earn UR to me.

I agree the branding is poor, but I don’t see this as a replacemen, just a bad QS competitor.

Dan
Dan

Just curious, why doesn’t this post show up on the Home page of DoC? Is there some lag time or something?

Dan
Dan

Just curious, why doesn’t this post show up on the Home page of DoC? Is there a lag time or something?

Evan
Evan

Why would they have to kill Freedom when they launch this one? To me it looks like Discover It and Discover It Chrome, albeit Chrome offers cb only in 2 categories.

Evan
Evan

I guess Discover It Miles is actually even closer.

Chucks
Chucks

It’s mostly just a guess. The Freedom requires Chase to come up with new cash back categories every quarter, forever. That’s a heck of a lot of work for a card Chase probably doesn’t like anymore.

Also, I suspect the Freedom isn’t nearly as profitable as Chase would like. While every card is going to nab some people on interest and fees and not signing up for bonuses and using the card for regular spend, there are a load of people who milk the 5% categories and sockdrawer it for the rest of the year. That costs Chase. Instead, a card that earns Chase a profit on every swipe is way more attractive.

joE
joE

How soon can we expect a signup bonus?

I know freedom regularly offers $150-$200 signup bonuses, but not sure how soon banks offer signup bonuses on new cards.

joE
joE

I should have clarified by saying and “increased” bonus like the freedom. I know it will come with a $150 bonus to start with but can we expect this to double, like freedom does often, to $300?

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