Chase Freedom Eliminating 10% Bonus and Other Changes

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Last month I wrote about some changes to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.  Now there are more changes coming, this time to the Chase Freedom card and they aren’t for the better!

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Chase Freedom Is Making Some Changes

What’s Changing?

Chase is phasing in several changes to the Chase Freedom card starting in October 2014.

The biggest change is that Chase is removing the 10% annual bonus on points earned from card spending after December 2015.  This benefit is only available to folks who have a Chase checking account.

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You Will NOT Get an Annual 10% Bonus on Points Earned With the Chase Freedom Card After 2015

You can see the full list of changes on the Chase Freedom site, but here are a few:

  • No more cash back in the form of paper checks (you can still use direct deposit) after November 15, 2014
  • No more 2X points when you book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards’ portal after December 31, 2015

No Added Benefits

Unlike the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which added primary rental car insurance when it announced it was removing the 7% annual bonus, the changes to the Chase Freedom card do NOT include any new benefits.

Is This Card Still a Good Deal?

Link:   Chase Freedom

The annual 10% percent bonus on all Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned through spending on Chase Freedom card is a nice perk.  So this isn’t good news!  However, the Chase Freedom is still a fantastic card!

And all the best benefits of the Chase Freedom card aren’t going anywhere.

You Still Get 5X Points

The most rewarding perk of the Chase Freedom card is NOT changing.  You can still earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on rotating categories each quarter.

If you spend the limit of $1,500 in the 5X points categories, you will earn 30,000 points per year ($1,500 spent x 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar x 4 quarters).  This benefit is much more valuable than the 10% bonus.

With 10% bonus on your earnings would get 3,000 points (30,000 points per year x 10% yearly bonus).  Most folks value Chase Ultimate Rewards points between 1 and 2 points per dollar, so the 3,000 points you lose in 2016 are worth ~$30 to ~$60.

You Can Still Transfer Points to Airlines & Hotels

You can indirectly transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Freedom card to airline and hotel partners, if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus card.

This gives you access to partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.  Transferring your points to airlines and hotels gives you the highest redemptions value for your Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

You Still Pay NO Annual Fee

You can earn lots of Big Travel with Small Money with 5X points on rotating categories and you don’t have to pay an annual fee!  So you never have to cancel this card, which helps you establish a good relationship with Chase.

Chase has some of the most rewarding travel cards, so it’s important to have a good relationship with this bank.

Bottom Line

After December 2015, you will no longer get the 10% bonus on points earned with the Chase Freedom card.  Other benefits will be phased out starting October 2014.

Losing the 10% bonus is disappointing news.  But you still earn 5X points on rotating categories, you can still (indirectly) transfer points to airline and hotel partners, and you still do NOT pay an annual fee!

Even without the 10% annual bonus, this is still 1 of my favorite cards and I plan on keeping it in my wallet.

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10 responses to “Chase Freedom Eliminating 10% Bonus and Other Changes

  1. The 10% bonus was only if you had the Chase checking account correct? Is there any reason to have a Chase checking account now?

  2. Actually, no. It’s better to churn Chase checking accounts now and keep getting multiple cash bonuses in the process.

  3. Man, Chase is ripping apart its credit card perks. With respect to the Freedom card, the bonus categories have become less relevant, the 10 points per purchase was taken away, and now they are removing the 10% bonus. Chase Sapphire is going the same way. I am not impressed.

    We’ll see how much further Chase destroys their own reputation by the end of 2015… and then decide if its worth keeping these cards.

  4. Hi Darius,

    I love my CSP/Freedom/ink combo which i used your links for :-). Do you see a trend with airline devaluations, and changed to CC sign ups/ rewards to make cards like the Arrival more appealing and possible are the future for less expensive traveling? For example AMEX one life time bonus sign up and chase taking away some benefits, hilton needing a million points for a free night. Chase removing benefits is not deal breakers for me but I can see thing eventfully being very difficult for redemptions on airlines and with points in general in the next couple of years.

  5. First they took away the 10 points per swipe in addition to base earnings (which was awesome for cheap stuff like a coffee), now the 10% bonus? This card used to my go to, everyday card for stuff <$15, but now looks like will be left to a boring existence of 5% category uses.

    • @Andrew – I like the customer service from Chase and want to keep a good relationship with them because they have all the good cards!

      @ Dustin – It depends. For domestic travel, spending on the Arrival card is usually worth it. But for international travel (especially in first or business), I’d consider the Sapphire Preferred or Starwood hotel card (where you can transfer points to other airlines).

  6. I wish Chase would make its 5% categories more relevant than the crappy places like Kohls, movie theatres, starbucks and gas 2x as categories. I wish Chase would put some relevant categories like drugstores, supermarkets, office supply stores that people would actually use. I love what Chase did with adding restaurants to the mix. But Chase throwing in categories like movie theatres, starbucks, kohls and gas basically ensures you won’t be able to max out and spend $1500/month in spending.

  7. Correct me if I’m wrong, @Million Mile Secrets, but @Eric, if you want to max the freedom card’s rotating bonus categories, you can go to kohls or a gas station and just buy gift cards for other places that you’ll actually shop at and still get the 5x rewards points.

  8. Check out the Barclaycard Sallie Mae Mastercard 5% on Gas up to $250/month, 5% on Groceries 250/month, and 5% on Bookstores 750/month (includes amazon).

    Also the Citi Doublecash for 2% back on everything.

  9. If you have the choice to redeem for cash to your chase checking for 10% bonus or to transfer to CSP, Ink Plus or Ink Bold and then redeem for airline miles, don’t you earn more value to redeem for airline miles anyway? If US Airways miles are valued at 1.9 cents each and an UR point is 1.1 cents each when redeeming for cash to checking….why is it such a bad thing that they are doing away with the 10% bonus to redeem for cash to checking?