The Freedom Unlimited Visa currently has a limited time offer for 20K Ultimate Rewards points for spending $500 and 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on up to $12K of groceries for your first cardmembership year. It makes for an ultimate combo together with a Sapphire card.
Starting on 9/15, you will also be able to earn:
- 5 points per dollar on Travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
- 3 points per dollar on Dining
- 3 points per dollar on Drugstore purchases
Plus you’ll still earn the card’s killer feature, 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar everywhere.
Chase will also launch a new card with no annual fee on 9/15, the Freedom Flex Mastercard.
The big surprise here is Chase launching a new Mastercard, as they have been tied to Visa for years after negotiating an exclusivity deal in exchange for flat interchange fees.
The Freedom Flex Mastercard will look similar to today’s Freedom card and will continue to offer 5 points per dollar for up to $1,500 of quarter spending in the same rotating categories. It will also offer the 3 new travel, dining, and drug store categories that the Freedom Unlimited Visa will offer.
The signup bonus for the Freedom Flex Mastercard will be $200 in the form of 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $500 and 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on up to $12K of groceries for your first cardmembership year.
Plus, it will have Mastercard World Elite benefits like:
- Cell Phone Insurance – Up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against theft or damage for phones listed on cardmembers’ monthly bill.
- Lyft – $10 in credit for every five rides taken in a calendar month, automatically applied to the next ride and capped at once per month.
- Boxed – 5% cash rewards on Boxed purchases for use on future purchases.
- ShopRunner – Free membership to receive two-day shipping and free return shipping at over a hundred online retailers.
- Fandango – Double VIP+ points for movie tickets purchased via the Fandango app or Fandango.com, which can be used towards purchasing movie tickets on Fandango or towards streaming movies and TV shows on FandangoNOW.
Cell phone insurance is nice, but as it’s not a bonus category on the card you’ll lose out on points compared to other cards.
Chase will discontinue the Freedom Visa, however Freedom Flex Mastercard will be considered the same product as the Freedom Visa. Update: You will be able to apply for a Freedom Flex Mastercard even if you have a Freedom Visa!
Current Freedom Visa cardholders won’t be able to apply for the new card, but they would be eligible to apply if they first convert their Freedom Visa card to another card, like to a Freedom Unlimited or a Sapphire card.
Current Freedom Visa cardholders can also call Chase to convert their card to a Freedom Flex Mastercard, though that won’t earn a signup bonus, but will allow you to take advantage of the new benefits and bonus categories. There does not appear to be any advantage in keeping the Freedom Visa over the Freedom Flex Mastercard, thought you may want a Visa to stop at stores like Costco.
Freedom Unlimited remains a separate product from Freedom Flex, so you can get the signup bonus on both cards if you haven’t received one on that particular card in the past 24 months.
I’d assume that the new Freedom Flex Mastercard will be subject to 5/24 rules, but we’ll know soon enough.
These are all positive changes, though I would have liked to see more unique categories on the card, like a permanent grocery bonus rather than just as part of the signup bonus. But still, both the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited cards will compliment your Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card quite nicely!
What do you think of these card changes?