Published on March 13th, 2016 | by William Charles38
Chase Freedom Unlimited Now Available – Should You Apply/Product Change?
According to an anonymous source, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is now available for sign ups in branch and over the phone (backed up by this exchange PointsCentric had). You should also be able to product change an existing Chase branded personal card (Chase Slate, Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire or Chase Sapphire Preferred) into this new card. It should also become available online sometime during April (most likely April 8th) when Chase launches it’s official advertising program for the card.
- 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
Should You Apply/Product Change?
Keep in mind that if you want to apply for this card, you’ll be subjected to the Chase 5/24 rule. Basically meaning you won’t be approved if you’ve got five credit cards in the past two years (from any issuer, not just Chase). Because of this, most people will be looking at this as a product change option rather than an apply option, but basically the reasoning behind both decisions is pretty much the same.
- You shouldn’t product change if you don’t have a card with the ability to transfer to Chase’s travel partners (e.g Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus). The Freedom Unlimited (Chase FU card) earns 1.5% cash back (really 1.5 Chase UR points), but you can only transfer those points to travel partners with one of these annual fee cards. There are cards that earn 2%+ cash back, so downgrading doesn’t make sense if you just want a cash back card.
- You need to value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.34¢ a piece otherwise you’d be better off putting that spend on a 2%+ cash back card.
- You need to look at how much spend you’d be able to put on a regular Chase Freedom’s 5% categories. The regular Chase Freedom offers 5% back in rotating categories (with a cap of $1,500 in spend per quarter). Let’s say you max out those categories every year (unlikely for most people, but just making a point) you’d earn a total of 30,000 Chase UR points on $6,000 in spend. You’d need to spend $20,000 on the Chase Freedom Unlimited to earn the same amount of points.
I have a couple of regular Chase Freedom’s, I don’t max out all of the quarters anymore but I do probably earn ~15,000 Chase UR per card. My breakeven would be $10,000 a year on the Chase FU card, I do value Chase UR at more than 1.34¢ a piece but at the moment I don’t have that much non-category spend that isn’t put towards meeting minimum spend requirements on other cards, so I’m not going to bother product changing to the new Chase FU card.
For others that don’t utilize the 5% rotating categories or do have a lot of non category bonus, non minimum requirement spend then this card is a pretty good option. Let me know what your plans are in regards to the Chase FU card in the comments and also if you were able to successfully product change or apply.