Chase just did a major update to their free credit card line-up. If you have either the Chase Freedom Card, or the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, this is helpful!
Basically, they did 2 big things. They increased the reward earning capabilities of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card. They also released a new Card called the Chase Freedom Flex card, which is basically an updated version of the Chase Freedom Card.
Let’s start with the Chase Freedom Flex replacing the Chase Freedom card because it’s the big one.
What it does. It has 5% bonus categories, released quarterly, just like the Chase Freedom card did. It also gives you 5% earnings back on money spent on travel through the Chase Portal. 3% on dining (including delivery!). And 3% at drugstores. It gives 1% on everything else, like the Chase Freedom. So the new earnings include the 5% back on travel, and 3% on dining and drugstores. Huge!
It also has 2 great opening bonuses you should be aware. $200 back (or 20,000 chase points) if you spend $500 in the first three months. ALSO, 5% cash back on groceries for the first year (up to $12,000 of spending). WOOHOO.
So you are probably thinking, Dave, I already have the old Chase Freedom Card, what should I do?
Good question. You have three options.
- Easy Level–If you don’t want to deal with another card, just stick with the Chase Freedom. You will still earn your 5% on bonus categories, plus 1% on everything else. And hopefully you paired it with the Chase Sapphire (or Chase Reserve) card so you can transfer your points to that card and get bonuses on travel redemptions or transfer your points to travel parties.
- Expert Level– Open up the new Chase Freedom Flex card and close your Chase Freedom card. They basically do the same thing, but the Flex card has some extra perks. Both cards are free, so it won’t change much and you’ll get access to all the new perks and sign up bonuses Flex offers! And I checked, the 5% categories are the same (at least for the next quarter, and my guess is they will continue to be the same).
Chase Freedom Unlimited. Not as much changed with this card. Chase just updated the rewards, so just like the Chase Flex card, you can earn 5% on travel booked through the Chase portal, and 3% on drugstores and dining. Everything else still earns 1.5% like the old Freedom Unlimited card did. So no need to do anything with this card other than being aware of the new rewards. If you don’t have this card yet, it also offers a $200 sign up bonus plus the 5% cash back on groceries for one year that the Chase Flex does.
One last question. Should I keep my Chase Sapphire card with all these new benefits available on the free cards? It looks like I can earn 3% on dining with the Chase Flex/Unlimited card now, so why do I need the Sapphire which only earned 2% and still makes me pay a $95 fee?
YES YOU SHOULD! First, the best part of the Chase Sapphire card is that you can buy flights through the Chase portal with your points and get a 25% rewards bonus OR transfer chase points to various airlines. PLUS, Chase Sapphire offers some exceptional travel perks, like travel insurance, and no international charge fees, which Chase Flex and Unlimited still do not offer. So just use your Flex/Unlimited card at dining to earn 3% and then transfer those points to your Sapphire card and go crazy (once travel becomes feasible again!). Despite the 5% travel rewards with Flex and Unlimited, buying travel with your Sapphire card is still going to be the best bet in most cases, because you get perks like the 25% points bonus redemption and travel insurance.