It looks like the Chase Freedom Unlimited is now available. It offers 1.5x ultimate rewards points on every purchase. This is equivalent to 1.5% cash back. However, if you have a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus, those points earned from the Freedom Unlimited can be transferred to travel partners like United or Southwest.
The card offers 15000 points after $500 spend in 3 months and additional 2500 points after adding an authorized user who then makes a purchase within the same time period.
Currently, you can apply for the card in branch or on the phone. One other option is that you can product change to the card. Many folks have had success product changing their Slate card to the new Freedom Unlimited by simply sending Chase a secure message.
There are a few things to consider before getting this card.
Should you apply for this card?
The true value in the Freedom Unlimited lies in the ability to transfer those points to transfer partners. In order to do that, you must have a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus. Thus, in a way, Chase is forcing you to have one of these cards to get maximum value out of your Freedom Unlimited.
If you don’t plan on transferring to travel partners, then it’s not worth getting the Freedom Unlimited as you are only earning 1.5% cash back. You’d be better off with a 2% cash back card.
Are you eligible to apply for this card with respect to the 5/24 rule?
The rule says that if you’ve had 5 or more credit card applications in the past 24 months, Chase will not approve you for a new ultimate rewards earning card.
If you are eligible, then it may make sense to wait for a better signup offer. The highest offer I’ve seen on a normal Chase Freedom is $300. So, perhaps in the future, we might see something like that, but I’m just speculating.
If you are not eligible with this 5/24 rule, then your best bet would be a product change.
Do you really need another ultimate rewards earning card?
If you already have a massive stash of ultimate rewards points that you have acquired with the normal Chase Freedom with its quarterly 5x categories, Chase Sapphire Preferred with its 2x dining and travel, and Chase Ink with its 5x on office and cable categories, you probably don’t really need another ultimate rewards earning card.
Should you product change to the Chase Freedom Unlimited?
You can product change to the Freedom Unlimited from a Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire, or Slate. If you do a product change, you would forgo the sign up bonus.
One question to ask is if you are going to do a product change, would you get more benefit out of product changing to a regular Freedom card (if you don’t have one) or a 2nd Freedom card. If you can maximize the 5x quarterly categories, you can get 30000 points a year by spending $6000. If you have 2 Freedom cards, you could get 60000 points by spending $12000.
Earning 30000 points on the Freedom Unlimited would require $20,000 worth of spending a year.
Of course, if you wouldn’t get approved for this card because you don’t meet the 5/24 rule, product change is the only way to go.
It’s only worth applying for the Freedom Unlimited card if you also plan to have a premium card like the Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink Plus and plan on transferring those points to travel partners.
If you want the card, consider waiting for a better offer in the future.
If you are going to product change, consider what your annual spending on the card will be to see if it’s worth it to you. If you are good at maximizing the normal Freedom’s 5x quarterly categories, it might be worth product changing to that instead.