Should You Sign Up For The Old Freedom Card Before It’s Discontinued?

We wrote on our original post on the Chase Freedom changes (and has since been confirmed) that the old-school Chase Freedom 5% will no longer be available for new applications after September 14th in favor of the new Freedom Flex cards. Existing Freedom cardholders can keep their card or can change it over to become a Freedom Flex card.

Earlier today we confirmed that existing Freedom cardholders can sign up for the new Freedom Flex card, and even get the signup bonus too. It’s considered a separate product from the old card, and you can get the signup bonus even if you recently got the bonus on the old Freedom card.

Some are wondering if they should sign up for the old-style Freedom card now or wait until the new Flex card is released. The signup bonus on all Freedom cards is currently a sweet $200 + 5% on grocery for a year up to $12,000. The upcoming Freedom Flex is slated to have the same signup bonus offer as well. We don’t know how long the signup offer will last, but it should be there at least during the initial launch of the Freedom Flex card.

Before we start it’s worth noting that for most of this question is irrelevant due to the 5/24 restriction which presumably will be in effect on the Freedom Flex card. However, if you are under 5/24 and are interested in adding the Freedom card to your arsenal, there are a few angles to consider:

  • If you want to get as many Freedom card bonuses as you can, some have suggested signing up now for the old Freedom card, and then signing up again in a few weeks for the new one. In theory that would work since we’ve confirmed that the two cards are separate, and you can get the bonus on the Flex even soon after getting the bonus on the Freedom.
    However, from a practical standpoint, I don’t think this is too relevant since Chase is not likely to approve you for two new personal cards in quick succession, especially when the two cards are so similar.Theoretically, it could still make sense to apply now for the old Freedom, and then try for the Flex in 6 months. However, we have no idea if the enticing $200+5% signup offer will be around for that long, so I wouldn’t plan on that.
  • If you don’t have any Freedom 5% cards, and you want to get as many Freedoms as you can for the long-term ability to max out the rotating 5% categories, you’ll want to sign up now for the old Freedom card, and then in 6 months or a year sign up for the new Flex card with whatever signup bonus is around then. This way you’ll have two 5% Freedom cards long-term.
  • Which leads to the next question…if I’m signing up for one Freedom card, should I do it now or wait until the Freedom Flex is released to save myself the product change phone call?
    Initially I wrote here to apply now for the added referral bonus. But readers pointed out that Freedom is no longer available via referral. So I’d recommend waiting until the Flex is released with the hopes that – as part of the revamp – they’ll make the signup offer available via referral. I wouldn’t wait too long, however, since we don’t know how long the $200+5% signup offer will be around.

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Kona (@guest_1064932)
September 29, 2020 23:10

Like the DP below, I just changed my CSP to Freedom. Was asked which Freedom and I said the old one not unlimited or flex, and was able to get it downgraded

Sun (@guest_1064730)
September 29, 2020 16:51

I just product changed into the Freedom card from Reserve today.

Sun (@guest_1064912)
September 29, 2020 22:01

Yup the rep asked me if I wanted “the 5% Freedom card or the Unlimited card” I asked back “You mean the Freedom Flex or the Freedom Unlimited?” She went “well the Flex card is a MasterCard so you will get a new card number”. So I guess perhaps it is for people who want to product change into a 5% card but keep their Visa card number. My Chase portal reflected the change to Freedom immediately.

Mark (@guest_1065487)
September 30, 2020 23:38

I appreciate that input. I applied on 9/9 for the freedom, got a rejection letter a week later, sent in some info, just called and saw I was approved today. I was wondering whether I would get the old card or the new one. Seems like I’ll be getting the card I applied for if that’s the case!

Viv (@guest_1050258)
September 7, 2020 22:04

Is the freedom flex eligible for CSP/CSR upgrade ?

raekwon (@guest_1049514)
September 5, 2020 20:47

Got my first Chase cards back in March (Freedom and CIC), and just got under 5/24 at the beginning of this month. Wonder if there would be a real difference between getting another Freedom now and then PC-ing my existing one to Flex or just getting a new Flex.

(Or maybe Sapphire Preferred would be a better move…)

anonymous (@guest_1049301)
September 5, 2020 12:40

I just got approved for the Freedom card, and it’s my first ever UR card, having been highly skeptical of all the affiliate blogs praising the Chase cards. I’ve never even been above 5/24, but please know that DoC’s thorough analysis is extremely beneficial even for people like me. I don’t engage in manufactured spending, and am only interested in the highest return on my organic spending, plus accumulating points for future travel. I started by building a portfolio of good cashback cards that I knew I would continue to spend on after the bonuses posted, then expanded into Amex Membership Rewards points (although I haven’t had a chance to use those to full effect yet). I’ll probably add the CSP at some point for the ability to transfer or to get the extra boost from the Chase portal. We Chase novices are out there! 🙂

Sam (@guest_1049000)
September 4, 2020 19:05

never giving up my 5% freedom, it’s just better.

ieatdogfood (@guest_1049361)
September 5, 2020 14:55

Freedom Flex also has 5% and more lol.

Your comment is extremely vague but I’m keeping my original Freedoms and applying for Freedom Flex when I can.

Betelgeuse ㊙️
Betelgeuse ㊙️ (@guest_1048978)
September 4, 2020 18:08

I don’t see the freedom card on Chase website any more. Did they remove it already?

WGU (@guest_1048985)
September 4, 2020 18:19

I see it, scared me for a sec. I’m gonna apply next Friday.

George (@guest_1048570)
September 3, 2020 23:22

Call me cynical, but I think this is the beginning of Chase following in the footsteps of Citi with regards to nerfing the value of their points. They’re increasing earn rates across the board starting with Freedom, but this will be offset by ending the portal redemption bonuses for CSP/CSR cardholders. They have already learned from AMEX by boosting annual fees in return for bonuses that require forced spending (Lyft, DoorDash).

Those of us who have a lot of UR points banked up will be screaming bloody murder next year. By killing the portal redemption value of their points, they’ll reduce their financial liabilities on the books. It does the most damage to those of us who have saved up, which is likely during this pandemic.

CtownBin (@guest_1048678)
September 4, 2020 08:23

What do you mean when you say “portal redemption”?

G (@guest_1048722)
September 4, 2020 10:10

Chase cards earn points. Those points are redeemed through Chase’s website for various things. This redemption area is referred to as “portal.”

I’m not convinced Chase will remove Sapphire bonus rates though. Not without making other changes first. Otherwise the bank is going to have a lot of people downgrading to the no-fee Freedom cards, and they’ll probably lose even more money that way.

Sara (@guest_1049271)
September 5, 2020 11:56

Time to spend all that point savings on the 1.5x CPP “pay yourself back” feature in CSR. I doubt the CF/ CFU point transfer to Sapphire will be around much longer, anyways.

Now that CFU will be 3% dining, and I’m not going to be a big travel spending for the next year or two, the big question for me is: is the CSR even worth it?

J roam
J roam (@guest_1048456)
September 3, 2020 20:15

I have no freedoms. Have csr and cip, just approved for unlimited (mostly for 0apr, but also UR are hard to come by for me with just these 2). I’m thinking i should pc the reserve to freedom now, as AF (yr2) should’ve hit 3 days ago. I know I’d be giving up cdw and trip delay, but any other downsides to this I’m missing?

learningtowander (@guest_1049397)
September 5, 2020 16:01

How recently were you approved for CIU? SP? (I’ve been waiting…)

George (@guest_1048450)
September 3, 2020 20:04

Seems like people are overthinking this. First of all almost nobody here is under 5/24 but let’s say they are. Lot bigger bonuses to spend on a 5/24 slot than the current Freedom offer. So for those of us above 4/24 this is all about product changes. I guess if MS then more than one Freedom makes sense. But not much sense worrying about it since the new Flex will be same as current Freedom so can get two Freedom/Flex cards. If you wanna play with three okay but then you might be playing with fire with Chase abuse. No doubt plenty of change opportunities for all of us to a Flex in future years, I’m sure we’ll all hit the CSP/CSR as soon as we can. Downgrade to Flex and you have your second 5% category. Unless you’re a gung-ho MSer who thinks there Freedom cards is worth the trouble, don’t see what the fuss is about here. 1/100 people reading this are under 5/24 and if you are, sign up for Hyatt, Southwest, Marriott, or half a dozen other cards.

Fred (@guest_1048461)
September 3, 2020 20:20

The grocery SUB (+$200) is tempting, but I haven’t run the numbers to calculate the value of that. But I have yet to invest the time to learn how to best take advantage of the hotel/airline cards (since I don’t routinely use hotels or airlines).

tobago_88 (@guest_1048529)
September 3, 2020 22:11

That is through Chase’s portal only though. Sometimes you can find better deals outside the portal so I’m not sure how consistently valuable that would be.

Hustler13 (@guest_1048710)
September 4, 2020 09:58

I am one of the 1/100 under 5/24. I applied for the freedom before its gone. My theory was its an easy $800 cash bonus, even more if using for travel redemption, and this card and ability for a bonus on it will be gone forever. Can product change, or keep it for rotating categories in the future, or something else, but I think the key was grabbing the SUB option before its gone forever unless I am missing something.

George (@guest_1048713)
September 4, 2020 10:00

How are you getting to $800 for the current Freedom bonus?

G (@guest_1048727)
September 4, 2020 10:19

$200 SUB plus the full grocery bonus (5% on $12k spend is $600). It’s technically not a $800 bonus though, because the grocery bonus should be compared with whatever card was being used for groceries before. If you had a 3% card, then 5% nets an extra 2% ($240) in comparison (for a grand total of $440 bonus). Assuming the full $12k maximum is met in 12 months. Most people aren’t spending $1000 every month at the grocery store.

George (@guest_1048757)
September 4, 2020 11:05

There should be a disclaimer on all posts about whether or not you’re an MSer. I’ve never thought it was worth buying thousands of dollars in visa gift cards hoping nothing goes wrong and having it look a heckuva lot like money laundering, so never got into that. But some people are really cool with that, so they can pound out $12,000 in a day.

So if you’re not someone who is willing to buy visa gift cards for $12,000 and dozens of money orders (which doesn’t look shady at all right?) then these offers are quite different.

Unless you’re a family chowing through a lot of food, don’t see how $12k on groceries is gonna happen. And if you are, not sure how much time you have for churning.

Then there are the folks who claim Ultimate Rewards are the bomb even though Chase nuked the portal because you can’t use the points on budget airlines, often times the prices are inflated there compared to other OTAs, not as many options, and the general pain in the rear there is anytime something goes wrong since you’re dealing with Expedia as their back-end partner. So then it’s the travel partners to get value from Ultimate Rewards and the only one is Hyatt that make sense. So when it’s all said and done it’s really only Hyatt and Hyatt has limitations too like really small footprint and not all their properties are ideal.

So then all of this conversation because these UR fans insist on locking themselves into that ecosystem when you could just take CA$H out at 2% and do whatever the heck you want, to say nothing of how much simpler your life will be rather than trying to constantly whip out one of four-five cards and remembering if I’m dining, traveling, buying groceries, visiting a drug store, and on and on.

Hey I’ve been there, trying to maximize every last dollar and point. Life’s short folks. Take the bonuses but why people are chasing these thin margins I’ll never understand, at least after you’ve been in the game for a while.

Hustler13 (@guest_1048798)
September 4, 2020 11:54

Fair point about the other cards earning potential. Baseline would be 2% DC for any purchase so an extra 3%($360+$200=$560) would be a more fair comparison. I still think it makes sense to go after a $560 bonus that you will never be able to get again. With 4 kids that a eat a ton of food, organic spend will cover at least half if not more of the $12k and then sprinkle some MS to finish it off. Everyone has their opinions. I see the CC bonuses as a game and like to earn as many as I can, any way I can. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but sharing my point of view for thinking applying for this card before its gone is a no brainer.