Published on March 1st, 2016 | by Chuck24
Coming in April: Chase Freedom Unlimited with 1.5 UR Points Per Dollar
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):
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.
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.