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

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

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

Million Mile SecretsWhy You Should (or Should NOT) Change Your Chase Freedom to Freedom Unlimited!Million Mile Secrets Team

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.

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 $150 bonus (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) 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 36,000+ 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!

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!


by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

My wallet was stolen a few days ago. My freedom and Sapphire cards were among them

Are you able to convert a freedom card to a mileage explorer card? how does Chase go about bonuses when upgrading a card?

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?

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.


Load more