Should I replace my Chase Freedom product with a Freedom Flex? – Councilor Forbes
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On September 14, 2020, Chase launched the Chase Freedom Flex℠ to replace the Chase Freedom. Like the Chase Freedom, the Freedom Flex offers quarterly categories that earn 5 points per dollar up to $ 1,500 in spend, but the card also offers 5 points per dollar on travel purchases booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3 points per dollar. dollar on meals and medication. stores.
In addition, the Chase Freedom Flex card is a World Elite Mastercard, which includes benefits such as collision damage waiver for rental vehicles, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and cell phone protection that is not. offered by Freedom Hunting Card.
It might seem like an easy decision to replace an existing Chase Freedom card with the new Chase Freedom Flex card, but before switching products you should consider your options.
What is a product change?
A product change is an account conversion from one credit card product to another. When you request a product change, you often keep your same account number and line of credit, but you get the benefits of the credit card product you are using.
Many people will request a product change when they no longer use a premium credit card enough to justify pay an annual membership fee or when another credit card is available that better meets their needs.
Questions to answer
Before considering a product change on the Chase Freedom Flex, there are a number of questions you should answer, including:
- What are your options for getting the Chase Freedom Flex Card?
- Can you be approved for an additional Chase card?
- What is the value of the bonuses in the Chase Freedom category?
- What are your options for new cardholder welcome bonuses?
What are your options?
Before considering a product change, you should know that a product change is not the only way to get a Chase Freedom Flex card. If you have good or excellent credit, you can apply for a Chase Freedom Flex card as a new account. By requesting the Chase Freedom Flex card as a new account, you have the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus.
While Chase recommends having good or excellent credit before applying for a Chase Freedom Flex card, one of the most important factors in whether Chase will approve you for a new card is your 5/24 status.
What is your 5/24 status?
Generally, Chase will not approve new credit card applications if you have at least five new credit cards showing your credit history in the past 24 months. This is known as the 5/24 chase rule. If you are “under 5/24” (you have less than five new accounts in the past 24 months), then you can apply for a new Chase Freedom Flex account. If you are over 5/24, your only option to get the Chase Freedom Flex card is to switch products.
A note about 24 05: Since a few small business credit cards and corporate credit cards do not count towards your personal credit report, these accounts will not count towards your 5/24 status for new Chase requests.
How will you use the rotating category bonuses?
Like the Chase Freedom Card, the Chase Freedom Flex Card offers rotating categories where you earn 5 points per dollar, up to $ 1,500 in spend per quarter. Historically, Chase Freedom bonus categories have included gas stations, grocery stores, Amazon.com, home improvement stores, and wholesale clubs.
A factor in your decision to switch products for the Chase Freedom Flex card will be the amount you spend in each of these categories. Many people buy electronics from Amazon.com, buy more than $ 500 worth of groceries per month, or have other reasons for large category purchases in any given quarter.
Previously, it was possible to have more than one Chase Freedom card and many people used the Chase Freedom card as a free card downgrade option. For example, if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which has an annual fee of $ 550, but no longer uses the benefits because you travel less, downgrading the card to a Chase Freedom card can preserve your line of credit and the length of your credit history.
In contrast, the Chase Freedom Flex FAQ states that only one Chase Freedom Flex account will be authorized per customer.
How will you use the Category Bonuses?
In addition to thinking about how you will use the rotating category bonuses, think about how much you spend in restaurants and drugstores. Remember that many popular credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which offers the ability to earn 5 points per dollar on air travel and 10 points per dollar on hotels and car rentals when you purchase. a trip through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $ 300 is spent on travel purchases each year. Earn 3 points per dollar on other trips and meals and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. If you already have a credit card that offers bonus points in these categories, adding another card that offers similar benefits may have limited value. This is also true for rotating categories.
When determining how much value restaurant and drugstore category bonuses might add to you, consider your spending in each category. The average American spends about $ 3,500 in restaurants and $ 800 in drugstores each year, so you will earn 12,900 points in these expense categories.
Can you earn the welcome bonus?
The Chase Freedom Flex card currently offers a welcome bonus:.
Chase generally only offers welcome bonuses to new cardholders who have not received a welcome bonus for this product in the past 24 months. If you have already received a welcome bonus for the Chase Freedom card or Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you will be able to receive a welcome bonus for the Chase Freedom Flex card as it is a new product.
How much value do you place on simplicity?
Finally, it must be recognized that most people do not over-optimize their credit card wallets. For most people, simplicity is very valuable. The simplicity of having one less credit card can be worth it to occasionally miss the opportunity to earn extra points per dollar spent in a bonus category.
If you are looking for simplicity in your wallet and have an existing Chase Freedom card, then switching to the Chase Freedom Flex card is a good way to increase the rewards you will earn without opening an additional account and without adding complexity to the card. your life.
Conclusion: should you change the product?
Should you switch products for the Chase Freedom Flex card? Ultimately, your decision will be influenced by a combination of the above questions. For most people, the following is good advice:
If you are over 5/24 and have no other way to get this card in the near future, you should almost certainly change your Chase Freedom card to the Chase Freedom Flex card. The addition of travel, dining and pharmacy rewards and Mastercard World Elite benefits make the Chase Freedom Flex card a better option than the Chase Freedom card for almost anyone.
If you are over 5/24 years old, but have other credit cards that offer bonuses of 3 points per dollar or more for restaurants and pharmacies, it may be useful to keep your existing Freedom card and keep the option of having both a Freedom card and a Freedom Flex card in the future.
If you have less than 5/24, or will be less than 5/24 in a reasonable time, then apply directly for the Freedom Flex card. Having a Chase Freedom Flex card in addition to your existing Chase Freedom cards will allow you to have additional spending available for quarterly rotating category bonuses.
The addition of bonus categories to the Chase Freedom Flex card is a nice improvement over the original Freedom card, especially for a card with no annual fee. Anyone interested in a no-fee credit card offering bonus spending categories or invested in the Chase Ultimate Rewards ecosystem should seriously consider adding this card to their wallet.