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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!
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.
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 more fixed rate redemptions of 25,000 points for flights up to $335. After October 25, 2014, all flights redemptions will be based on the cost of the flight.
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.
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.