Update: New Chase Freedom Flex Mastercard & more cashback opportunities for Freedom Unlimited

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Change. Change. Change. Lots of changes with the Chase Freedom cards – one of my favorite credit cards with its great opportunity in maximizing cash back or bonus points. We will cover the variation of Chase Freedom cards, the cards with NO ANNUAL FEES:

  • The new Chase Freedom Flex
  • New and improved benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • How you could earn up to 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards with the new Freedom Flex or a new Chase Freedom Unlimited
  • What are your available options if you have one or more of these cards
  • Suggestions how to decide which credit card to get
    • Do I get a Chase Sapphire first before any of the Chase Freedom cards?
  • Benefits of Product Change (when available)
Kalapa Resort Bali – 2019

NEW Chase Freedom Flex

According to Chase’s media release, the new Chase Freedom Flex:

  • Available starting September 15, 2020
  • No Annual Fee credit card
  • Cash back opportunities:
    • Rotating 5% cash back bonus categories -activate each quarter to receive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on bonus categories such as grocery stores, select streaming services and many others.
    • Earn 3% at drug store purchases – purchases on daily essentials like medicine, toiletries, diapers and other items.
    • Earn 3% when dining out or with takeout and eligible delivery services
    • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, including vacation and car rentals.
    • 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases
  • Access to Priceless Experiences ‘offering activities both digitally and in the cities where they are.
Chase Freedom Flex (Image courtesy of Chase)

This new credit card is a Mastercard, and Freedom Flex cardmembers will receive Mastercard’s leading World Elite Benefits including:

  • 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.

Improved benefits with Chase Freedom Unlimited (CFU)

This is really NOT a new credit card, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited has been revamped, and is a credit card worth carrying along especially when you’re faced with a purchase, and the purchase would typically get you 1% cash babk, but with the CFU, you “enjoy unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and Visa benefits.” Best of all, this card also has NO ANNUAL FEE.

Image courtesy of Chase

Here’s what’s exciting with the changes with Chase Freedom Unlimited. Just like the Freedom Flex, the CFU will also earn cash back in the following new categories:

  • 5% on Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% on Dining
  • 3% on Drugstore purchases
Iceland 2017

What else do Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited cardmembers get?

  • Lyft – 5% total cash back on all Lyft rides through March 2022.
  • Doordash – receive complimentary DoorDash DashPass for the first three months, followed by a 50% discount price at the current rate for the next nine months. This is on top of earning 3% on all dining purchases.

Don’t have the Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited?

When you apply for a new Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited

  • New cardmembers will receive $200 cash back
    • after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases for the first year (on up to $12,000).

How to earn up to 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards when you open a new Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • $200 cashback bonus for opening a new Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited card = 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Maximizing $12,000 of grocery purchases at 5% for one year = 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards
Malaysia 2017

I have the Chase Freedom, what do I do?

Your options:

  1. Keep your card as-is, don’t make any changes
  2. Or, apply for a Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited(take advantage of the bonus offer
  3. Or, you could do a product change, you will need to call Chase to change your Chase Freedom to Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited this gives you access to the improved benefits. Just remember, you are going from a Visa to a Mastercard with this change. A product change DOES NOT result to a credit inquiry.

Note: Read all the way down when product change could makes sense

What if you already have both Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited?

If you are under 5/24, applying for the new Flex card could be your way to go. Why? By applying for the Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, you get the $200 bonus, plus the chance of getting 5% cash back on grocery store purchases for the first year (on up to $12,000). As shown above, this could give you up to 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards once you’ve met the criteria.

You can product change from Freedom to Flex BUT remember, doing a product change does not give you access to signup bonus and sign-up promotions (possible earnings of up to 80K Chase Ultimate Rewards (as described above).

Paris Eiffel Tower – April 2015

I don’t know what Chase 5/24 means

Read this. It’s good to know your Chase 5/24 status when you’re looking to strategize and apply for travel rewards cards. Missing this information could lead you to getting denied if you are unaware that you are over 5/24:

The Chase 5/24 Rule: 9 Things You Need to Know

Do I get a Chase Freedom card, or should I get one of the Chase premium cards first

If you’re in the process of getting your ducks in a row, by making sure you get the best bang for your buck, (especially in today’s crisis with the pandemic where not many of us could travel the way we used to), I would lean on suggesting the following route:

  1. Apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred – get the 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus, pay the $95 annual fee and begin earning points, and take advantage of all the benefits that come along with it.
  2. After one year of  owning the Chase Sapphire Preferred, you could decide then if you want to upgrade or do a product change to a Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR). This move will:
    • Not result to another credit inquiry
    • No new sign-up bonus by doing a product change. If you choose to apply for a new CSR vs doing a product change, you will NOT get the 50K sign-up bonus because there’s a Chase rule that states you have to wait 48 months from the last time you received a bonus with a Sapphire card. So you’re better off doing a product change, or simply waiting to get to your 48 months.
  3. Or, if the Chase Sapphire Preferred does not work out for you during the 1st year owning it, you can:
Osaka, Japan 2019

Benefits of Product Change (whether you upgrade or downgrade)

First of all, NOT all cards have an option for you to do product change. Only way to know is ask. And when it works out, here are the benefits of a product change.

    1. You keep your existing account (get a new card – usually same card #)
    2. Enjoy the benefits of the new card you changed to
    3. No credit inquiry, you don’t need to reapply
    4. You might get some of the paid annual fee credit back, possibly a prorate

How about you? Do you use have a Chase Freedom card? How do you use it? What do you plan on doing? If you don’t have a Chase Sapphire card yet, do you plan on getting that first before the Freedom card/s?

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Author: Jason

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