Multiple sources including Doctor of Credit (H/T), Lucky from One Mile At A Time (H/T), and Miles to Memories (H/T) have reported that Chase making some major changes to the Chase Freedom card family. The biggest change is a new card called the Chase Freedom Flex Card and the discontinuation of the Chase Freedom Card. This post will detail the major changes coming on September 15, 2020.
I am surprised that the Bank of Morgan is introducing the Chase Freedom Flex Card and discontinuing the “classic” Chase Freedom. But Chase’s executives thought that some changes are needed to the Freedom card family.
Earning Structure & Sign-Up Bonus
The Chase Freedom currently has a promotional sign-up bonus worth 20,000 Ultimate Rewards (UR) points (worth $200). This bonus can be earned after spending just $500. There is also a promotional bonus on this card where you can earn 5x UR points on Groceries for the first year of having the card. There is a spend limit of $12,000 for this offer. Fortunately, the current sign-up bonus will remain the same as this is one of the few aspects that will not change.
However, the Freedom Flex Card’s earning structure is a huge positive change. In addition to the “classic” Freedom Card’s rotating 5x categories, the Freedom Flex will earn with the following earning structure:
- 5x on Travel purchased through the Chase Travel Portal
- 3x on Dining
- 3x on Drugstore and Pharmacy purchases
- One point per dollar on all other purchases.
This earning structure is a bonanza, especially during the current pandemic! However, the Dining category devalues the Chase Sapphire Reserve because both cards earn 3x UR points. It also makes the Chase Sapphire Preferred inferior compared to the other UR-earning cards.
Other highlights include the 3x points at Pharmacies and 5x points on Travel purchased through the Chase Travel Portal. The former category is unique with the exception of the occasional 5% rotating category from the Discover It.
The Freedom Flex Card will have the same redemption options as the Freedom Unlimited. This includes the ability to transfer rewards to either Sapphire Card or the Ink Business Preferred for travel.
Surprisingly, the Chase Freedom Flex Card is going to be a MasterCard. Most of Chase’s credit card lineup are Visas. This means that the Freedom Flex Card will have MasterCard network benefits. Plus, the Freedom Flex is also going to have the same benefits as the “classic” Freedom card.
Other Chase Freedom Family Changes
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is going to have the same bonus and almost the same earning structure as the Freedom Flex. The only difference between the cards is the 5x rotating categories still being present on the Freedom Flex.
Current Chase Freedom cardholders can decide whether to keep the “classic” version or upgrade to the Freedom Flex. Also, the new categories will automatically become available for current Freedom Unlimited cardholders on September 15. There is no need to call in or go online for the changes to go into effect.
The Chase Freedom being replaced by the Freedom Flex is an interesting turn of events. It is also something out of left field for me. Chase’s current product lineup appeared to be doing fine. But executives must have found evidence showing otherwise.
Furthermore, the Freedom Flex’s earning structure is lucrative, especially for a no annual fee credit card. I am impressed that Chase has added a unique Pharmacy category to the Flex and the Freedom Unlimited.
Unfortunately, these changes also mean the demise of the “classic” Chase Freedom, which has been available to cardholders since 2006. The Freedom survived 14 years as a fixture in Chase’s card lineup. But times are changing quickly as 2020 rages on.