Why You Should (or Should NOT) Change Your Chase Freedom to Freedom Unlimited!

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

Million Mile Secrets reader, Sanil tweeted:

Should I upgrade my card from Chase Freedom to Chase Freedom Unlimited?

Great question, Sanil!

Both cards have no annual fee and the ability to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points which you can redeem for cash back.

Or transfer to travel partners if you also have the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available) card.

Why You Should Or Should NOT Change Your Chase Freedom To Freedom Unlimited

Transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to United Airlines for Award Flights in Lufthansa Business Class

The card that’s best for you depends on your spending habits.  And you will NOT earn a sign-up bonus if you convert your Chase Freedom to the Freedom Unlimited.  I’ll explain!

Regular Freedom vs Freedom Unlimited – Which Will Earn You More Ultimate Rewards Points?

Link:   Chase Freedom

Link:   My Review of the Chase Freedom 

Link:   Chase Freedom Unlimited

Link:   My Review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you convert your Chase Freedom card to Chase Freedom Unlimited, you will NOT be eligible for the sign-up bonus of 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($150) after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of opening your account.

However, you will get:

  • 1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (1.5% cash back) per $1 you spend on all purchases with NO limit (hence, the “Unlimited”)
  • No annual fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited does NOT have rotating 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) quarterly bonus categories like the regular Chase Freedom card.

Instead, you’ll earn 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 you spend (1.5% cash back) on ALL purchases.  With NO spending limit!

If you spend the maximum of $1,500 per quarter in popular rotating 5X bonus categories, this can make a big difference.  In the past this has included restaurants, gas stations, department stores, and Amazon.

Why You Should Or Should NOT Change Your Chase Freedom To Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Earns 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points in Rotating Quarterly Bonus Categories Which Has Included Restaurants in the Past

On the other hand, the regular Chase Freedom only earns 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1 (1% cash back) on non-bonus category purchases.  So depending on where you spend the most, the Chase Freedom Unlimited could be a better deal.

The regular Chase Freedom is the right card if you regularly spend the maximum $1,500 per quarter on rotating 5X bonus categories.

Using Ultimate Rewards with Freedom or Freedom Unlimited

Chase Ultimate Rewards is my favorite rewards program because you get so much flexibility with your points.  You can redeem them for:

Rumor 100,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Point Sign Up Bonus With New Card Coming Soon

You Can Transfer Your Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Airline and Hotel Partners for Big Travel With Small Money!

You can transfer Ultimate Rewards points earned from the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited to travel partners if you also have the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available) card.

Chase Card Approval Limit and Sign-Up Bonus Eligibility

I wrote about how Chase is limiting credit card approvals.  If you have ~5 or more new accounts on your credit report within the previous 24 months, you likely will NOT be approved for a new Chase credit card.

So you should be carefully consider when and how you apply for Chase credit cards.

Why You Should Or Should NOT Change Your Chase Freedom To Freedom Unlimited

Think About Your Recent Account History Before Applying for a New Account

Presto Change-o!  Turning Your Freedom Card Into a Freedom Unlimited

I spoke with a Chase representative to find out if I could convert my Chase Freedom to Freedom Unlimited.

He checked, and then said that it was possible.

But he also confirmed that I would NOT receive a sign-up bonus.

He also said if I change to the Freedom Unlimited:

  • I could keep the same credit card number
  • The information attached to the card would be transferred
  • It would NOT show up as a new account on my credit history

If Sanil has not had ~5 or more new accounts in the last 24 months, he’s better off keeping his Chase Freedom card and applying separately for the Freedom Unlimited.  That way he’ll get the 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus .  And he can use the card with better earning for everyday spending.

But if Sanil has had more than 5 new accounts, he likely won’t be approved for a new card with Chase.  Instead, he should convert his Chase Freedom to Freedom Unlimited only if it makes sense based on his spending.

Can You Convert Your Chase Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom Unlimited?

Update:   I sent a secure message to Chase and they responded you could change a Chase Sapphire Preferred card to a Freedom Unlimited.  So it is possible, at least through a secure message!

I also asked the Chase representative if I could change my Chase Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom Unlimited to avoid paying the annual fee.

This was NOT possible.  The representative said I would have to submit a new application for the Freedom Unlimited card.

It seems the only card that can be converted to the Freedom Unlimited without submitting a new application is the regular Chase Freedom.  All other cards like the Chase Ink Plus and Chase co-branded airline and hotel cards can NOT be converted to the Freedom Unlimited.

Bottom Line

It could make sense to convert your regular Chase Freedom card to the Chase Freedom Unlimited if you don’t do a lot of spending in rotating Chase Freedom 5X bonus categories.

Or if it’s unlikely you’ll be approved if you apply directly because you’ve opened more than ~5 credit cards in the past 24 months.

That said, if you haven’t opened a lot of cards, you’re better off keeping your Chase Freedom and applying for a new Chase Freedom Unlimited account.  That way, you’ll earn the sign-up bonus.

You can have both cards because they’re considered different card products.  And keep them forever because neither have an annual fee.

Please share your experience in the comments if you’ve changed an existing Chase card to the Freedom Unlimited!

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 20,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

12 responses to “Why You Should (or Should NOT) Change Your Chase Freedom to Freedom Unlimited!

  1. My husband and I each had a Sapphire Preferred card. We converted his Sapphire Preferred to the Freedom Unlimited card with no issues through secure messaging on his account page. This was done in mid March. Maybe they’ve changed the rules since then. We now have what I like to call the “quadfecta’ of Sapphire Preferred-Ink Bold-Freedom-Freedom Unlimited

  2. You an always downgrade the Sapphire Preferred to a no annual fee Sapphire card and then convert to Freedom Unlimited. Not sure if they offer or allow the downgrade to the Sapphire anymore, but that’s what I was able to do!

  3. I just recently did this. I had the Sapphire Preferred and an Ink Bold. I went back and forth between which I should downgrade/convert. I could have converted the Ink Bold to an Ink Cash. I kept wavering and not liking the fact that I was losing my 2x on dining. 1.5x on dining with the Freedom Unlimited isn’t that much lower, but it still bothered me.

    Then I realized: Since the Ink Bold is no longer available, it doesn’t prevent me from getting another sign up bonus by keeping it. The points I will lose getting 1.5x instead of 2x on dining will be dwarfed by the possibility of getting a 55k signup bonus on the Sapphire Preferred in the future. Since I no longer have a Sapphire Preferred (and I’ve had this one for several years), I can now get a new one whenever I want for a nice big bonus again. That made the decision pretty easy for me once I figured it out.

  4. Hi guys, may I ask you what are the approval odds for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card with a recent credit history (8 months, 1 card, no loans) and a Fico score around 770? And for the Freedom Unlimited? I am undecided whether to apply for both cards now, or just for the Freedom Unlimited. I would appreciate your advice! Thank you very much.

  5. Two weeks ago i asked through sm to product change my csp. My options were freedom, cfu, regular sapphire, and slate. I just got my cfu in the mail.

  6. i converted my chase saphire to chase unlimited freedom and had no problem.

  7. This game we play has changed, we now have to really think about how we are going to travel for the next 24 months with Chase, but I think keeping your Freedom Card for the X5 bonus and getting the new Freedom Unlimited card for the sign up bonus and the 1,5% cash back. Is anyone else keeping both cards?

  8. Thanks for the reminder about being able to transfer points from Freedom to Ink.
    I finally figured it out. It was easier with the Sapphire card.

  9. Emmanuel S Ruiz

    I can’t see myself exchanging my 5x Freedom for this card. Just NO WAY.

  10. I NEED A CARD WITH 0 APR AND 0 BALANCE TRASFER FOR AT LEAST 15 MONTHS OR MORE BESIDES THE SLATE WHICH I GOT APPROVED FOR WHAT OTHERS R GOOD TO APPLY FOR

  11. The problem I’m running into is Chase just has too many desirable cards! I’ve got the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Cash (downgraded from Plus), Freedom, Amazon, and MileagePlus Explorer. I got declined on the Marriott with well over 5 apps in the past 24 mths but also no credit room with Chase and probably too many cards from them to boot. I didn’t even bother with an IHG app, though that’s a card I’d want and would keep. I don’t want to lose any of them! Chase needs to stop being so greedy and let BofA, USBank, and Barclays in on the action.

  12. I have CSP and Chase Freedom. My hubby has CSP and is an authorized user on my Chase Freedom. I just got the Chase Freedom last fall. I didn’t max out the 2015 Q4 category but we have been this year. It takes us both spending to max out the $1500 quarterly. For example, gas category, $500 per month is more than what we spend for 3 cars per month because I drive a lot, he does not. Our gas stations don’t have gift cards worth buying or none at all so we bought gas cards for future spending. Having 2 Chase Freedom might pose a spending issue. We do not carry balances on our cards.

    We used to have the Southwest Premier and Plus cards (both of us). Late summer will be 2 years since I got it. I cancelled it a year after getting it to avoid the annual fee again. We would like to apply for them again so we can get the southwest bonus points and companion pass at the beginning of 2017.

    Should I apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card as well? Should my hubby apply for it?
    Would that hurt our chances of getting the Southwest cards later this year?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *