Chase Is Launching A Game-Changing Credit Card This Spring


Last week I wrote the pre-obituary on the mileage game. But every now and then something comes up that proves rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

We don’t have reports yet of people applying for new Chase or AMEX cards under the new rules. And airlines will continue to devalue their miles. But as I wrote in that post, the banks and airlines have good reason to continue allowing exceptional mileage redemptions as otherwise they would never be able to compete with a 2% cash back card.

I always max out the $1,500 of 5x quarterly spending on the Chase Freedom Visa. That’s an easy way to pickup 30K miles per year. Last year it even offered up to 11 points per dollar in December as a special “5th quarter” promotion.

I use a United Club card for my everyday purchases as that earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent. That card has a whopping $450 annual fee, though I only pay $40/year for it as a lifetime club member and a United 1K. It’s a great card, but the miles are locked into United.

The only other card that gives 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere is the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card. That card has a $95 annual fee and if you make 30 transactions per month you’ll earn 4.5 miles per dollar at US supermarkets, 3 points per dollar at US gas stations and Uber, and 1.5 points per dollar everywhere else. That card launched together with the Amex EveryDay Credit Card which has no annual fee and if you make 20 transactions per month earns 2.4 points per dollar at US supermarkets and Uber, and 1.2 points per dollar elsewhere.
Both of those cards can directly transfer points into miles, so they each offered something unprecedented between a card offering a transferable 1.5 miles per dollar and a no annual fee card offering transferable miles.

While the banks are trying their hardest to avoid card churning, they are increasing the stakes in earning points for spending. Chase clearly smells blood in the water and hopes to offer a knockout punch with the Freedom Unlimited Visa. 

I’ve personally confirmed the following details about the Freedom Unlimited Visa with a Chase PR rep:
1. It will have no annual fee.
2. It will earn 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent everywhere without limits. It won’t have any category bonuses. You can cash the points out for 1.5% cash back or you can transfer them to cards like Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus in order to convert these points into airline miles or hotel points.
3. It will launch sometime this spring, the exact date is not yet known.
4. You will be able to convert existing Freedom or Sapphire cards to Freedom Unlimited.
5. You will be able to apply for a Freedom Unlimited card even if you have an existing Freedom card.
6. Both the Freedom card and Freedom Unlimited card will continue to be offered by Chase for new applicants.
7. The signup bonus for Freedom Unlimited will be identical to the current Freedom promotion, 15K points (marketed as $150 cash back) for spending $500 in 3 months plus 2.5K points (marketed as $25 cash back) for adding a free additional user card.

If you value Chase points at 1.7 cents each then earning 1.5 points per dollar everywhere is like earning 2.55% cash back. It shouldn’t be hard to attain a value like that between Hyatt and airlines like British Airways, Iberia, Korean, Singapore, Southwest, and United.
If you value them at 1.6 cents each you would be earning 2.4% cash back. Even if you value them at just 1.5 cents each it would still be like getting 2.25% cash back.

Of course the beauty of miles is that the sky is the limit (see the end of this post for more on that or see this post for ideas for your miles). I’ve had redemptions where my miles have been worth 50 cents each. If you’re good at the game, it’s not difficult to get a value of at least 2 cents from your miles, which would mean this card would be worth 3% cash back everywhere for you.

You can pay your federal taxes for a 1.87% fee, so it can make sense to use this card to pay your taxes as long as you value Chase points at a paltry 1.2 cents each.

It won’t be worth using the card when you can get a better bonus elsewhere. In other words dining and travel purchases will still earn more with Sapphire Preferred‘s 2 points per dollar. Office supply and telecom spending will still earn more with Ink Plus‘ 5 points per dollar. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express will still make sense for 3 points per dollar on airfare and 2 points per dollar on dining, US gas stations, US supermarkets, and Uber. But for everyday purchases, the Freedom Unlimited is a game-changer. Its’ only Achilles heel is that it requires that you, a spouse, or an authorized user on your account has a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus in order to transfer its points into hotel points or airline miles. As Chase allows you to upgrade to Sapphire Preferred and downgrade back to Freedom or Freedom Unlimited that’s a not a big deal though.

Will this launch a new wave of cards offering more miles per dollar for everyday spending?

Will you switch your everyday spending to Freedom Unlimited or will you keep it on a card like the Starwood AMEXor Amex EveryDay Preferred, or Citi Double Cash?

Hit the comments!

Leave a Reply

134 Comments on "Chase Is Launching A Game-Changing Credit Card This Spring"

Notify of
Sort by:   newest | oldest
Dan's the Man

I assume it will be including the the 5/24 rule? It’s probably not worth changing any or my Freedom cards into this new Freedom card. Would I be able to transfer a Southwest card into this new Freedome card?


@Dan’s the Man:
I would assume that would be the case.
You can’t convert an airline card into a UR card.


Great! Too bad this card will be near impossible for any churner to get…


Any chance that this card will be excluded from 5/24 During its initial launch?


Why is this game changing? It’s only an increase in .5 points per dollar and cash back opportunities.


Convert Sapphire or Freedom?

We’re not going to know until someone tries.


Definitely worth picking up for non-bonus category spend that does not take AMEX.

Shaul Morrison

Do you know if you’ll be able to get the bonus if you already have a Freedom? Or should I cancel my freedom now?


I confirmed with my chase banker; this card is launching on March 13th


@Shaul Morrison:
You will get the bonus if approved, no need to preemptively cancel your Freedom card.


Dani Klein

Seems to be a pretty decent replacement for the SPG Amex in case Marriott screws the value of SPG points (or the card).


Doesn’t BoA Virgin Atlantic also offer 1.5 points per dollar spent everywhere?


@Dani Klein:

Virgin Atlantic miles are worth less than a cent each, terrible currency in general with limited exceptions.


Dan, why don’t you like to use the every day preferred from Amex instead of United for every day purchases since it give you the flexibility to transfer to many airlines


I do use that card as well, but in general I prefer United to the AMEX transfer options.


Will you still keep open your freedom regular for use of the 5x categories?


It helps that I have a few of those :)
Still deciding how to play this one.

Happy Thanksgiving

I will be converting my CSP to this card & I’ll be using my Citi premier card for restaurants & EZ-Pass payments.


How did you get 50 cents per point? I would like to know


Dan, I am surprised at your description of this card as a game changer. Really? Because of a 1.5 point reward? I don’t see what you are excited about. Decent card for what its worth, which is very little (if any) more than what is already available.


Amex spg still king


@Happy Thanksgiving:
Do you have an Ink Plus for conversions to miles?
Or do you plan on upgrading the card back to CSP as needed for mileage transfers?

1.5 miles per dollar everywhere on a free card is huge. That’s 3% cash back if you play the game right, a full 50% better than the 2% cash back cards.

Just the federal tax payment angle alone is lucrative.

Perhaps, but we’ll see what happens with Marriott later this year.


BTW you predicted that the 10+10 bonus per swipe will end by 2016 but B”H it is still working by me.


@Dan: fyi the EVP only get 2.5pts for Uber. the pts go as 1 pt and then convert up to 1.5pts for the month. the uber pts come in separately as 1 pt so u dont get the .5pt bonus/


This is nice, but I wouldn’t think of it as a game changer. It’s not offering anything that Amex isn’t, although it doesn’t require minimum transaction thresholds, and for general MS, it still can’t compete with a 5% CB card or maxing out Inks. There are cards that offer 2% CB, which would mean that you’d be paying 1.3 cents per UR point. That’s a pretty decent rate until Hyatt makes a big devaluation (United and BA already did). How much is UR going for on the gray market already? At some point (with the transfer partner programs programs taking such heavy hits, and nothing new being introduced), it’s inevitable that people will start questioning the value of UR, and it’s spot on the pedestal as the holy grail of the points world. SQ is usually more valuable than UA, which used to be the backbone of the UR currency. They need to add more partners, or one more monster deval will blow them out of the water.
(BTW you have the United Club, not the Presidential Plus? :O ) I’d think that you’d use an SPG for everyday purchases, but I guess that one’s finished. :(


So what is the difference between this and the freedom? Meaning why would I keep my freedom if I can get this?


There’s no one line answer for that, besides for “Using them judiciously”. It’s a skill gathered with research and experience. Hop on over to DDF if you want to learn more about making the most of your points.


Do you know if a Slate card can be product changed to a UR card such as this?


Interesting, I know other guys that still had that who lost it this year.

Are you sure they don’t get bonused afterward?

You can get 1.5-1.6 on the grey market, but you can easily do better even with the devaluations.

Chase offers more valuable partners for my needs. The no annual fee and no 30 transaction business is valuable as well.

I have UA Club and PP. And several SPGs. I spread around my spending and MS.

Because Freedom offers 5x categories?

YMMV, call and try a few times and you may have luck.


I’ve been thinking recently that it isn’t such a big deal that Freedom alone can’t transfer; because, IINM, at any point one can upgrade it to SP, transfer, and then downgrade it back afterwards.


Game changer? That’s a bit exaggerated. If you play correctly with 5 point categories and other credit cards, this is no big deal. If it had no foreign transaction fees, that might be something to think about.


B’H. Enjoy it while it lasts. I’ve heard multiple reports of people losing that very recently, so use it every day as if it’s the last. I shouldn’t say this, but abuse the hell out of it while you can. (Yeah, yeah, thinking short term, winning the battle but losing the war, jeopardizing a valuable relationship, yata yata yata…)


Correct :)

I’d say Freedom+Freedom Unlimited+Sapphire Preferred or Ink is a very sweet trifecta.


Does applying for Chase ink/ cash count towards the 5/24?


The no AF is nice. UA is the best for you living in a UA hub in CLE, but for many, AA is adequate for domestic and SQ for many international. Of course, lifetime 1K doesn’t hurt either. :) If only we’d all have a lifetimes worth of UA from picking up (a LOT) of garbage. ;D
The gray market value is one of my favorite ways to value points. Not because that’s what they’re worth, but because of necessary, that’s what I can get them for. Of course, many would feel uncomfortable with this, and there are possible risks involved. It’s definitely not as simple as using your own miles. However, the fact that it’s an option, and that cash in hand (or generating money in the bank, as apposed to just sitting in a FF account), means that if i can get 3% CB or points that I can buy for 2.4 cpp, I’d take 3% CB. I definitely understand why someone wouldn’t want to think this way, though.


@Dan: ‘fraid so. confirmed it on ddf after i noticed a few months back. my pts section is covered in Uber pt bonus


Do you think of the CSP as worth paying the AF? If you have a UMPE, PRG, and IP, (each free (or-$200) for first year and then $95 a year), the only time you’re really gaining from the CSP is dining. You’d have to spend a lot in restaurants to justify $95 for one extra ppd.

Happy Thanksgiving

@Dan I have 3 Ink Plus cards & a Sapphire that accrue UR points. I can live without the sapphire if I have the Citi Premier. I would use this new freedom card as my everyday card over the SPG which I really like for numerous reasons already discussed on DDF


Will there be a business version of this.


I can guarantee you this, after sometime, the existing category 5% bonus earning existing freedom card holders will be converted to the the new freedom 1.5 earning card.

All in all, this is a VERY BAD NEWS!


All valid points.

Can’t get AA out of AMEX. SPG is good for now, but we’ll see if it lasts. This is a nice hedge if it doesn’t.

Thanks for the info.

If you have UMPE, PRG, and IP, then you wouldn’t need CSP.


I mean eventually every card changes. But for now they are committed to keeping both cards in their portfolio and I don’t see that changing in the near-term.


Dude, if you spend enough on Uber to care, get a c*apital one for 20% back. The triple pull is overrated. (It’s not like there are too many cards left to get approved for, anyways. :'( Chase, Amex, Citi, BoA… What’s left? )



Sure, a game changer that requires you to have a premium card for UR transfer amongst other things. While I do have a premium card, let’s be real for a moment. This card only benefits those who already pay an annual fee for a CSP/INK and if stacked properly you’ll get value as long as your UR transfer value is at or above 1.4.

There are a lot of ifs here so you’ll have to excuse me for being a bit surprised at what feels like a sensationalist title. Good news in a bleak 2016! Hell yes. Game changer? Definitely not. It’s been a sh*tty year, I get it. It just feels like this card is being highlighted with so much enthusiasm because of the overall climate. If this came out 1-2 years ago it would be a side story, not front page.

I personally prefer to put my everyday spending/MS on a new card requiring minimum spend. Keep a spot in your wallet for a new card every month or three and you’re likely to get the best bang for your buck.


That’s ending on April 30th.

False. You can easily upgrade this card to SP to transfer points and then downgrade back.

New cards are great, but as it gets harder to get new cards it’s great to have a card like this in the marketplace.

Plus I’m hopeful that it will challenge other banks to have higher miles per dollar earnings on everyday purchases as well.


I meant flying AA, using BA (IB to BA if you’re transferring from Amex) or AA from Citi.


If you’re using BA/IB then you’ll definitely want this card.

AMEX chops 25% off BA/IB transfers and SPG takes several days and offers fewer miles per dollar than this card.


@Welder, how does one upgrade from Freedom to SP?


Call or SM.


[Quote] The only other card that gives 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere is the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card.[/quote]


Virgin Atlantic miles come pre-devalued. I’d take 1 AA or United mile before taking 2 of their miles. They’re “sub-miles” as far I’m concerned and don’t enter into this equation.
You can also say that C*apital One gives 2 miles per dollar and I shall give the same response :)


When you upgrade to CSP do you pay the annual fee?
Or do you get it refunded when you downgrade back within 30 (60? more?) days?


It would take some time before it’s charged, so it would be easily doable.



Umm where did I challenge that you couldn’t upgrade/ downgrade the card? That was no where near the point of my post.

I know you’re a busy guy trying to please a lot of people but I’d rather receive no response than one that totally missed the point, which is that this is (maybe) only a game changer for some people and that there’s no need to over hype the card.


I understood your point perfectly. You said that this isn’t a big deal as it requires also having a card with an annual fee.

It may require that, but that can be done without paying any fee via upgrade/downgrade as needed.



What’s the question. Amex EDP gives a base rate of 1 point peer dollar, and a 50% earning bonus of you make 30+ transactions a billing cycle.
Even without the UMPE, the CSP is hard to justify if you have an ink (which everyone should). If I’d have to choose between the PRG and CSP, PRG wins hands down. 3x airfare, 2x groceries, arguably better primary insurance than CSP ;), and amex offers, if you like them. The one advantage the CSP has is coverage in Israel, but a WMC or ink should cover that.


How does the upgrade-then-downgrade work? Do you downgrade back immediately, before the annual fee shows up? How often can you do that?



That United Club card that you said you got for $40 / year. Does it give access to the Turkish airlines lounge (the really nice one) in Istanbul? If so how many entries per card?


-Call or SM.
-Correct. Fee doesn’t post that quickly anyway.
-I’m not aware of a limit.

It does. You can bring one guest with you into most Star Alliance lounges and 2 guests or your whole family into United lounges.


A bit off-topic, I’m experiencing the following with my Freedom:
on purchases where i earned 5 percent cash-back, when i make a return it only deducts 1 point per $ returned, not the full 5 (or 10 for Q5) that i earned.

have you ever heard something like this?


Shhh… ;)


Personal experience with the Turkish lounge? Others have been turned away.


No, but it’s clear from the Star Alliance lounge rules and FT reports are that it works in IST as well.

Be sure to show the United Club membership card, not the credit card. It’s considered a paid lounge membership.

And print or show this if there are issues:

High end hobo

This doesn’t really change much for the big guys who don’t have every day spend but rather are always working on Thresholds.

Also please delete Abe’s comment, for the sake of the greater good ;)

PS virgin points have some good used for delta and VX domestic. Or Dl J to south America.
It’s the cheapest way to get to London in the summer in Y


Which card is better Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card/Chase Freedom Visa? And Why? What’s the pros and cons between the two?
Thank You!


Can the American Express Platinum Business also be used to enter the United airline lounges? Does it have to be your card or you just have to be a card carrier?


Will this card allow me to transfer my points to a Marriott rewards? I have both the Sapphire preferred and Marriott card .


Is there a foreign transaction fee?


Dan- are you positive this card will offer UR points and not cash back?


@High end hobo:
Delta domestic saver space? Delta SA J saver space? Good luck.
And I don’t play the mileage game to fly to London in coach and pay fuel surcharges+UK passenger duty…

Depends on which points you can use more. The Everyday Preferred has more bonus opportunities but requires 30x transaction/month.

Chase UR points are more valuable, but Freedom Unlimited doesn’t have bonus opportunities.

You can earn points that Sapphire Preferred can transfer to Marriott. But that’s not the best use of Chase points.


I personally confirmed that, yes. It will work the same as with the regular Freedom card.


Any idea on when Chase burns churning?
Is it worth it to wait to churn the SP with an MBM when this card comes out or is it risky to wait to churn nowadays?



False. My point had everything to do with value and nothing to do with whether or not you were able to get a premium card for UR transfer.

Maybe I could’ve worded it diffidently but you’re definitely reading too much into the ability to get a CSP/INK when the crux of the matter is that the value gained, at best, is incremental and is far from a game changer. I have the INK Plus and I still won’t be using this card for aforementioned reasons.


@High end hobo:

Exactly. For those of us savvy enough (or care enough) to play the game optimally, we’re going to be looking to put spend on other cards to meet bigger goals. “Everyday spend” gets put on the card of the month. The Unlimited card becomes a worst case default card in the interim for meeting spend or if for example they don’t accept an amex card that you’re meeting min spend on. It’s just not a big deal at 1.5%, with or without having a UR transfer card.


The exact dates for co-brand cards aren’t known.

Now you’re trolling me.

Your first paragraph mentioned the issue of premium cards and annual fees several times as to why it’s not a great card. I answered you. And you snapped back that I didn’t answer you. Give me a break.

I think that having Freedom+Freedom Unlimited+Ink Plus+AMEX PRG is a killer combo.

-Freedom for 5x rotating
-Ink Plus for 5x office suuplies/5x telecom/2x hotels.
-PRG for 3x airfare/2x dining, gas, groceries, and Uber.
-Freedom Unlimited for everything else at 1.5x.
Nod bad at all for a grand total of $190 in annual fees.

Throw in a United card for greatly expanded award space, free bags, and free primary car rental insurance.

These are better ways of meeting threshold spend for cards that you don’t plan on using after the threshold is met.

There’s a lot of value in everyday spend cards and this smokes the competition.


I currently use spg as every day card, but will probably split spend with freedom unlimited. I do a lot of ad buys and put it all on Amex gold for 3x and I max out bonus on two 250k ink cards every year.


You mean for those not experienced enough in the game that they’re still having a hard time meeting minimum spend. Your ineptitude doesn’t make this a bad card. I’m not saying that there anything wrong with using whatever card you’re working on for everyday spend, but don’t make it sound like you’re more experienced than everyone else, and you know what you’re doing best.


Thank You for your response. The 30x transactions is there a minimum? If you do the 30x this card is the best of all?


Churning with the SP is burnt already, for the most part. 5/24 is a kicker for most of us, and chase is denying people that have gotten the bonus in the past 24 months. If you apply, don’t call until you’re rejected.


@High end hobo:
The medium guys, not the big guys. The big guys don’t have a hard time with that.


If you do 30 transactions, the card earns 1.5 MR everywhere. This new Freedom card will earn 1.5 UR everywhere, which is superior to MR according to most, and has no minimum transaction threshold and no annual fee. For non bonus spend, this card will be better by most counts than the EDP.


Whats MR and UR?


Dan I have 2 freedems
1 I still have the 10+10
The other one which I converted from a CSP last year , I never recived any 10+10 .
Chase told me last year that they don’t offer it for new cards .


Capital one is ending the 20% bonus on March 30


Game changer seems way overdone when you can do 2.2 with barclays arrival. 50 cents per point sound great but how much would you really be willing to pay out of pocket for that flight. probably a fraction of that, except in the rare situation when you desperately need that last minute flight and nothing else will do. Its fun to think of how many cents per mile of “value” you are getting but when you think of the cash you’d be willing to fork over for that experience its not quite so exciting…..


1. It no longer gives 2.2, it’s 2.1 now.
2. It has an $89 annual fee, this can be done for free.
3. 50 cents may be an outlier, but 3 cents would be easy. That’s 43% better on a card with no fee. Good enough for game changing in my book.


I am turning 18 in a couple of months. I am reading up and preparing carefully. I have already been added as AU on a chase card, and plan to get a Redcard when I turn 18, followed by a real card 2 months later. First of all, is the Redcard as good as the Gap card for a starter card (do they pull from more bureaus)? Secondly, would the Ultimate Freedom be a better first card than the Amex Everyday? (I know, I know, I already read all of your guides to this)
Thanks in advance!


@Dan: “-Freedom Unlimited for everything else at 1.5x.”

Wouldn’t there be one step before this?

– Gift cards, preferably discounted, for everything that doesn’t need credit card protections at 5X?

For example, buying discounted gasoline gift cards using Ink+ at a place that codes as 5X.


Reecard is dead.
My first card was from Gap. Any no annual fee card is a good first card.
Good luck!

That’s included in office supply store purchases.


@Dan: Are there any cards that a 17 yr. old can get to build some credit? Thanks.


Gap as in gap store? I’m also looking to get my 1st card, is that good? And do you need a credit history?


In NY. National Grid lets you pay up to $600 with a credit card for a fee of $3.35 and Con Ed lets you pay $1500 for a similar fee.


Is it still worth getting a United Card now? I was just approved for one, and after reading your posts about it – I was about to apply.

I already have a regular Freedom Card. Or should I wait and just upgrade my Freedom card?


@Anonymous: try the capital one quicksilver which is easy to get approved and btw has a great unlimited 1.5% cash back and free credit tracking.


Get added as an additional user.

It’s easy to get.

Depends on your needs, but having a United card is very useful for expanded award space.

Crazy to burn 3 hard pulls for that. And who says that they would approve a 17 year old?


@Yoyo1: No need to be 18?


@Dan: Thanks for the reply. Already done AU. I thought it’s kedai to have a primary too. Do you disagree?


Not going to happen until you’re 18.


@dan can this new Chase card points be transferred to Marriot points?


@Dan: Got it. Thanks.


BOA Travel Rewards (1.5% x 1.75 multiplier) = 2.625% is still my go to card for everyday spend as it would be like paying 1.75 cents per UR point. You can easily buy UR points for 0.6 cents in your pjs.


“Game-Changing” Lets get real here.