Chase Adds New Categories To Freedom Unlimited, Will Launch Freedom Flex Mastercard!

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Chase announced that starting on 9/15 they will add new spending categories to the already fantastic no annual fee Freedom Unlimited Visa!

This comes as Citi continues to improve their no annual fee cards.

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?

HT: JuryDuty, via TPG

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81 Comments On "Chase Adds New Categories To Freedom Unlimited, Will Launch Freedom Flex Mastercard!"

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Yitz

The 5x travel and 3x dining take away spending from the reserve if you have both?

Don’t see it helping chase gain spend, just reorganization. Only the 3x drugstore helps.

Mo Mo

It’s not 5× on regular travel purchases, it’s only when you purchase from their travel portal (spending your points towards travel), to get 5% boost (vs 25% boost on preferred and 50% boost on reserve). At least that’s how I understood it.

Mo Mo

Will the Freedom and Freedom Flex have the same 5× categories? Or is it worth it to carry both to get best of both worlds?

DoB

Wait. The 5 points per dollar through Chase Ultimate Rewards refers to cash purchases through the Chase portal? Or to purchases using Chase UR points (at 1 cent per point)?

I currently have two Freedom accounts (and one Freedom Unlimited). I assume I would need to convert both Freedoms to Freedom Unlimited before I’d be able to apply for a new Freedom Flex? And then I suppose I’d be able to convert two of the three FU’s to FF? I’m well below 5/24. Is there any advantage whatsoever to keeping an old school Freedom?

Eric

Why use sapphire preferred which gives 2 points on dinning when I can use freedom unlimited and pay zero for an annual fee

John Macinfire

If its almost been 48 months since I received a sapphire bonus, will converting the freedom visa unlimited to a sapphire card inhibit my ability to get a bonus on the sapphire card once I hit my 48 months (if I cancel the card prior to applying for a new sapphire card)?

CtownBin

Won’t inhibit the ability at all, since the 48 month rule is regarding the time since you last got a bonus on a sapphire card, not the time since you HAD a sapphire card.
Also, you shouldn’t need to cancel the current sapphire before re-applying- you’d only need to product change it again to something else, so you don’t have a sapphire card at time of the new application. Remember to leave a few days, though, from when you product change out of sapphire to when you re-apply for a new one, so the system can update that you no longer have one.

Mo Mo

I already have Ink Unlimited for 1.5. Should I product change my Freedom Unlimited to:
1) a second Freedom (to take advantage of 5× up to $3,000 a quarter) because it’ll soon be discontinued, or
2) Freedom Flex (to get separate 5× categories plus 3× on dining), because I can’t straight out apply for it (over 5/24 and recently got bonus for Freedom)?

MArkus

Waiting for them to drop the international transaction fee….

Mo Mo

On a no-annual fee card? Don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

DJ

Why not? Capital one does it

moe8555

And Discover,, Amazon Visa, Delta Blue, Hilton no-fee card, among others

CtownBin

It’s true that there aren’t a lot of no-AF, no FTF cards. But there are a handful- all Discover cards jump to mind first. But I agree, I don’t see Chase jumping into that small pool.

Lovehacks

So in summary what are the remaining perks of holding onto the reserve?

ehad

are they trying to lure back the people they savagely shut down these past 12 months by offering a lower game product? remember redemption if any without the CSR would be only at 1 not 1.5 or 1.25 with the ink product…

David

What about old freedom unlimited cards that was downgraded while ago will that also get 3 points per dollar on Drugstore purchases ?

Dav

What will happen with my visa freedom after its discontinued? Will it be automaticlly converted to the flex ?

Juryduty

I’d love a post updating uses of freedom unlimited and sapphire preferred, and the cost/benefit analysis of paying for the preferred annual fee with these changes

J

Wouldnt the benefits of Travel Insurance on the CSR outweigh the 5 points for travel on the Freedom Flex?

Mo Mo

Yep. That’s absolutely correct.

Pricepro

Dan, what do you think of Chase United visa card dropping price protection? Seems like all cards are phasing it out. What card would you recommend with no/small annual fee with price protection?

DJ

Capital one quicksilver

Pricepro

Ty

Pricepro

I know this is a late response, but it doesn’t seem like Capital One offers price protection any longer. I’m gearing up for Prime day and black friday. I need a card with price protection AND an Amex that will link to amazon so I can redeem for the targeted 20% off discounts. Any suggestions/links to cards that would work? The lower the membership fees the better!

farmbochur

Unlimited 3x at drug stores? I think the clerks at my local CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens will grow tired of me very fast 🙂

Joe

Does the cellphone insurance include tablets (LTE)

dave

i have 2 freedoms (regular visa) and one freedom unlimited, will i have any issue converting one of the freedoms to the freedom flex and then i’ll have one of each?

if i understand correctly, the visa freedom will stay as is but the freedom flex will have all the same benefits and the 3 new bonuses above? so i might as well try get both my freedoms converted?!

Mastercard man

Didn’t MasterCard remove the verbiage from their logo a year ago? why do these new cards have it ?

MikeB

They removed it from inside the two interconnecting circles. It’s now below the logo.

james

I wonder if Chase’s phase-out of the other remaining
MasterCard (legacy IHG) has anything to do with the release of this new one…

jonny

So for dining, it would be 6.75 points per dollar if used in the CSR travel portal? (ie 3 points for dining x 1.5 points for FU x 1.5 for the CSR UR rate?)

jonny

If I change my Freedom (got orig in 2014) to a sapphire, then I get the new flex (with signup bonus), can I cancel that new flex after a few months, and then change the sapphire back to Flex, will I retain that orig Freedom credit card’s age (2014)?

exShoYoGuy

Will I still be able to downgrade to Chase Freedom is they are getting rid of it?

Dave

will the UR have the ability to be combined with reserve points if it’s the same account holder?

SB

Are the new categories permanent or only for the first card membership year?

Moshe

A little confused. Does having an open Freedom Unlimited card precludes getting the 20,000 Flex bonus?

Berl

Can we still apply for the current Chase Freedom card for the next two weeks or is it no longer available?

Ploni

I already have the Chase Freedom now for a few years and I just recently got the Freedom Unlimited (I’m actually waiting for the bonus to post to my account). If I convert my Freedom to Unlimited would I be able to apply for the new Flex and get the bonus?

Nate

Dan, any chance chase is looking to police gift card purchases, etc. and sees MasterCard as a better partner in doing so?

S

I was thinking of renewing my Ink Preferred for $95 solely for the phone insurance, but now this is free.
Is this the first free card with phone insurance?

yy

You say current Freedom cardholders won’t be able to apply for the Freedom Flex but the FAQ says “you can have both the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom credit cards.”

jonny

Meaning existing Freedom holders can also get the signup bonus?

David Addison

if I never received a signup bonus for the freedom unlimited card I changed from my sapphire reserve , can i receive it now?

rxgeek

Will the 3x at drugstores include mail service like CVS/Caremark?

Chaim

Hey Dan looking for the best primary rental car insurance credit card?

MG

If I convert my current Freedom to the Freedom Flex, would I still be able to get the 5 UR points / dollar spent on groceries in the first year? Sounds like I would definitely not get the 20,000 bonus points, but would I not get the other perk by converting either?

JJ1

Dan, I am a little confused by the points structure. Beginning on 9/15, will I get 5 points per dollar, whenever I, for instance, use the Chase Freedom Unlimited on a train ticket, just as I would typically get 3 points per dollar with the chase sapphire reserve?

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