Posted by Chuck on March 1, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on March 1st, 2016 | by Chuck

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Coming in April: Chase Freedom Unlimited with 1.5 UR Points Per Dollar

Freedom Unlimited

The news broke a few days ago that Chase is set to add another cashback credit card to their portfolio. Called the Freedom Unlimited, the card will offer 1.5% back on all purchases.

A few questions lingered: 1) Will these points be flexible Ultimate Rewards (UR) points which can be transferred to travel partners if you have a premium  UR product such as the Sapphire Preferred or INK Plus card? 2) Will the Freedom Unlimited replace the Freedom or be an addition card? 3) When will the card be released?

We now have the answers to those questions:

  • The Freedom Unlimited will earn flexible UR points which can be transferred to travel partners for those who have a Chase premium card.
  • The Freedom Unlimited will be an additional card in Chase’s portfolio; both the Freedom and the Freedom Unlimited will be available, and customers can have both cards.
  • The Freedom Unlimited will launch in April.

And we already knew that:

  • The Unlimited card will have no annual fee, like the original Freedom card.
  • It will earn 1.5 points on all purchases, unlimited.
  • It will launch with a $150 signup bonus after $500 in spend within 3 months, plus $25 for adding an authorized user after they make a purchase.
  • 0% Introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
  • Rewards never expire.
  • You can redeem cashback of any amount with no minimum.

Chase’s Description of the Card

The above information is gleaned from statements made by Chase to TPG and Reuters (bolding is mine):

From TPG:

The new Chase Freedom Unlimited card will offer 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase. We know today’s consumers want choice and convenience to fit their lifestyle, which is why we’re adding Chase Freedom Unlimited as an option for 1.5% cash back on every purchase. There’s no minimum to redeem for cash back—cardholders can redeem any amount, anytime. Chase Freedom, one of our most popular cards, will continue to be available and play an important role in our credit card growth plan. Whether a consumer chooses to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase with the new Chase Freedom Unlimited card or 5% cash back in quarterly bonus categories on up to $1,500 and 1% on all other purchases with the current Freedom card—they have the ability to do so with Chase. Chase Freedom Unlimited customers will earn points through the Ultimate Rewards program in the same way our Freedom customers do today. For both products, customers can redeem points for cash back or other redemptions options including gift cards and travel. In addition, customers can redeem points through the Freedom mobile app at the register.

Chase has confirmed that you will be able to switch from Freedom to Freedom Unlimited, if that’s something you’d like to do.

From Reuters:

JPMorgan Chase & Co will offer a richer cash-back credit card in April to better compete against products from Capital One Financial Corp and Citigroup Inc.

The new “Freedom Unlimited” card will pay back 1.5 percent on all purchases, a higher standard rate than its current Freedom card, Pamela Codispoti, president of Chase Consumer Branded Cards, said in an interview….

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said at the company’s annual investor day conference last week that Chase would “have a new card coming out that would compete better with (Capital One’s) cash-back product.”

Codispoti said the Freedom Unlimited card will available as an alternative, or a companion, to Chase’s current Freedom card, whose standard cash-back rate is back 1 percent. It also offers quarterly specials of 5 percent back on changing categories of spending, such as groceries or gasoline, up to $1,500.

“I don’t think we were late, per se,” with the simpler, richer cash-back card, she said. Different customers like different offers and some like the current Freedom card, she said.

Is the Freedom Unlimited Worth It?

At 1.5 points on all spend, the Unlimited card can be quite lucrative for those who get valuable redemptions from UR points. Giving a 1.5 cent-per-point value will yield a 2.25% return on all purchases, besting the standard 2% back we can get from other cards.

Still, cash is king and give more flexibility, and at 2.25% it’s nothing to write home about. But for those who get values closer to 2 cents-per-point, this can be a real powerhouse card for everyday spend.

Product Changing to Unlimited

The obvious way to get Freedom Unlimited is to sign up for the card when it’s released. The problem here is that Chase now has a strict 5/24  rule in place for approving credit cards, and many of us won’t be eligible.

The good news is that Chase is willing to product change other cards into the Freedom card. As noted by TPG and Dansdeals, they’ll allow us to product change the Freedom to the Unlimited card as well. They don’t allow changing a co-brand into a UR-earning card, but we’ll be able to change a Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred, or Freedom card (and possibly Slate) into a Freedom Unlimited card.



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Smitty
Smitty

Safe to assume there is no annual fee on this, just like the regular Freedom card?

William Charles

Correct

Winston
Winston

It has to be 1.5 UR points to at least be able to compete with citi’s double cash card, and i think people at chase know that.

Patrick
Patrick

Doesn’t that make this a better card for non-bonus spend than the CSP?

William Charles

Yes

Keith
Keith

Any suggestions on how to get this card if we are running up on the 5/24 rule

Jay
Jay

Yeah, take a break for a while!

Keith
Keith

2 years is a long time

Tory
Tory

park some decent cash in deposit accounts with chase – those beating 5/24 often have long-standing relationships with chase, both credit and deposit accounts

William Charles

Product change an existing Chase branded personal card (e.g Slate, Freedom or Sapphire)

John
John

How is Chase UR worth 2.25%?

Phong

You can transfer the points to other programs. For example, you can transfer points them to United and get around 1.5x the value of your UR points (according to the valuation of some people).

Evan
Evan

Good news. As I believed and hoped there not gonna kill the old Freedom card. Replacing the 5% categories for a measly extra 0.5% doesn’t make much sense to me.

Evan
Evan

*they’re

capcalhoon
capcalhoon

I downgraded my Ink Plus to Ink Cash as I started concentrating on TYP through Citi but this change will make me go back to UR points accumulation. Anyone know if I can reverse course and change the Cash back to Plus without a hard pull? I’ve never upgraded, just downgraded.

MH
MH

All Chase UR cards have a PC option attached to them, you can go up or down with an Ink, no hard pull as its not new credit. If going from Cash to Plus the AF is due on next statement same as for Freedom to CSP.

Ric
Ric

Wow will def product change my Slate into this

Leo
Leo

Anyone know if 5/24 applies to Slate?

William Charles

Yes it does

MH
MH

I have 2 Freedoms now, both have PC options for CS & CSP, one has 2 versions of Slate and the other has Freedom Unlimited listed as an option now.

Freedom 1 options CS, CSP, Slate, Slate Exclusive

Freedom 2 options CS, CSP, Freedom Unlimited

Call and ask

brett

I tried the secure message and got the response
“Thank you for contacting Chase about switching your cards
to different cards.
We’d be happy to assist you with a card that better suits
your needs.
Let me share that the Chase Freedom Unlimited card will be
available in the spring.
For now, your cards ending in XXXX and XXXX can be
switched to only the Chase Slate with Credit Score.

Dirk
Dirk

how about foreign transaction fee?

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