Final Days To Become Eligible For Sapphire Preferred’s Mega Bonus: Convert To Freedom, Freedom Flex, Or Freedom Unlimited?

DDMS IconNever Miss Another Deal - Follow DansDeals on Facebook

Many people opened a Chase Sapphire Reserve® card in 2016-2017 when it launched with a 100,000 point signup bonus. The Reserve card has never again offered a bonus of that caliber.

The Sapphire cards have a unique family rule in that you can only get a signup bonus once on any of them every 48 months. But that means many people are now eligible for another Sapphire bonus.

Until 5:59pm ET on 6/1, Chase has an excellent deal offering 80,000 points if you open a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and spend $4,000 in 3 months. Read more about that offer here.

But waiting 48 months from your last bonus isn’t enough, Chase also won’t approve you for a Sapphire card if you currently have a Sapphire card.

That means you either have to close your current Sapphire card or downgrade it to a non-Sapphire card in order to apply for the 80K offer.

By downgrading you will get a pro-rated refund of any annual fee paid on your Sapphire card.

After downgrading you should wait about 2-3 days before applying for a new Sapphire card, so you’ll want to do this ASAP if you want to be eligible for the 80K offer before it expires on 6/1!

The 3 downgrade options are:

None of those cards have an annual fee. So which should you get?

The Freedom Visa is no longer available for new applicants, but you can convert other cards to it. It earns 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 of spending in quarterly rotating categories such as gas stations, restaurants, home improvement stores, wholesale clubs, internet, streaming, Amazon, Walmart, Paypal, grocery stores, and more.

The Freedom Flex Mastercard is very similar to the Freedom Visa, but you’ll also get cell phone insurance and you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on drugstore and dining purchases and 5 points per dollar on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. One downside is that Costco and Costco gas stations don’t accept Mastercard. However there is a workaround, you can buy Costco gift cards online with a Mastercard to take advantage of quarterly bonuses like wholesale clubs. Another downside is that if you switch to a Mastercard, you’ll have to get a new card number.

The Freedom Unlimited Visa earns 1.5 points per dollar everywhere with no limit, making it an excellent card for everyday use. It also earns 3 points per dollar on drugstore and dining purchases and 5 points per dollar on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Freedom, Freedom Flex, and Freedom Unlimited alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline or hotel miles, but if you or your spouse has an Ink Preferred, Sapphire Reserveor Sapphire Preferred, then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. Those cards also allow you to redeem your points for paid travel or on Pay Yourself Back rotating categories at a value of 1.25 or 1.5 cents per point. The Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, or Ink Unlimited card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those premium cards.

The value of the points will be based on where you use them, but if you use those points for a trip worth where they are worth 2 cents each then you’ll have effectively earned 10% back on 5 point categories or 3% on 1.5 point spending. The sky is the limit of the value of airline miles as they aren’t tied to the cost of a ticket. That’s good for people in the know and bad for those who are not. 1 mile can be worth 0.25 cents or it can be worth 25 cents, it all just depends on how you use them!

So which card option is best? It’s certainly valuable to have a Freedom Unlimited card for everyday purchases. On the other hand if you max out $6K/year in quarterly spending you’ll earn 30K points on Freedom or Freedom Flex, while you would have to spend $20K/year on Freedom Unlimited to earn that many points.

In short, if you just want to focus on quarterly bonus categories, you’ll want Freedom Flex. If you want bonus earning everywhere you’ll want Freedom Unlimited.

Personally, between my wife and me, we have 1 Freedom Unlimited, and 8 Freedom/Freedom Flex cards. There’s no benefit to having multiple Freedom Unlimited cards, but with multiple Freedom/Freedom Flex cards you can earn the $1,500 quarterly bonus on each card.

After you are approved for a Sapphire Preferred, you can always upgrade the Freedom cards back to a Sapphire Reserve.

You can also read this FAQ for more information on becoming eligible for the Sapphire Preferred bonus.

Which Freedom card is your favorite?

Leave a Reply

28 Comments On "Final Days To Become Eligible For Sapphire Preferred’s Mega Bonus: Convert To Freedom, Freedom Flex, Or Freedom Unlimited?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


if you downgrade to freedom flex from the reserve and you keep the same card number, do you still have the trip protection that the reserve offers for upcoming travel that was booked on the reserve?
What about if you re-upgrade back to the reserve after approval for the preferred- will the reserve cover you for upcoming travel that was previously booked on the reserve?


I just canceled my Reserve on Monday so I could take advantage of this. How can I be sure I’m eligible for the bonus? Can I call to confirm, or will Chase tell me when I try to apply?


Is the offer till 5/31 or 6/1?


I f I have a flight booked through my chase portal using my sapphire reserve card *flight is in the summer) and then I downgrade it, does that effect the flight insurance or anything else about it?


Btw when i spoke to chase they called the freedom visa “freedom with ultimate rewards”


“However there is a workaround, you can buy Costco gift cards online with a Mastercard to take advantage of quarterly bonuses like wholesale clubs and gas stations at Costco.”

how does this help when there is a quarterly bonus for gas stations? buying online wont trigger a gas station bonus


If I have a Sapphire card and I have another Sapphire card of an authorized user with the same card number.
If I cancel or revoke my card, will I be eligible, or should I also cancel the authorized user card?


You say that between you and your wife you have eight freedom/freedom flex card. How do you get multiple cards per person? If I already have a freedom flex card in my name, I can just apply for another one?


Is there an option to downgrade online


Dan can you pls clarify the workaround?
For which quarterly bonus category could the MasterCard be used to get the 5% while shopping and filling up gas in Costco?
And buying Costco giftcards online count as which category?


+1 Dan please clarify your post it seems inaccurate. How does buying Costco GF online help take advantage of a quarterly gas category


@Dan gut voch from EY. I just downgraded my Sapphire Preferred (opened with a bonus 2016) in order to re-apply with the 80k sign-up bonus. However, I just re-read your post and now am worried that keeping my Sapphire Reserve card open will prevent me from receiving the Sapphire Preferred 80k signup bonus. Is that correct? Would I need to downgrade my Sapphire Reserve as well in order to get the bonus? If so, they would have to issue a new physical credit card and I could not continue using the Reserve card, correct? I’m in EY. Would they mail me cards to J’lem? Usually they will only mail to the address on file (my permanent US address).
We use my Reserve for daily expenses so I guess we would have to switch to another card for the next 6 weeks (until I get the card in US). Also I booked our USA tickets for July with my Reserve card so if I downgrade it now and then upgrade in July, would I keep the same physical card or would they issue a new reserve card?
–>In short, I got a signup bonus in 2016 for a Sapphire Reserve and Preferred. I just downgraded the Preferred to a F.Unlimited. Do I need to downgrade my Reserve also in order to get the 80k signup bonus on the S. Preferred now? And would downgrading my Reserve issue a new physical card? If so, what would/should I do about my TLV/USA tickets for July and the related coverage if it’s on a Reserve card that might not exist when we travel?
Thank you for all your help!


@Dan I got the Sapphire preferred when you posted it offering 100,000 bonus points.
Are there any bonuses for other chase cards?
Does the Freedom flex/Unlimited have 5x for $12,000 spent on gas or groceries for the first year?