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Changes to Freedom and Unlimited, new Freedom Flex card & strategies

Changes to Freedom and Unlimited, new Freedom Flex card & strategies

Old Aug 31, 20, 8:48 am
  #1  
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Changes to Freedom and Unlimited, new Freedom Flex card & strategies

Bloggers seem to be reporting on changes to Freedom and FU so I figured I should share it for the FT masses:

https://onemileatatime.com/chase-freedom-flex-card/
https://thepointsguy.com/news/chase-freedom-flex-intro/

FU changes giving you 3x on restaurants seems like it would be the death of the "regular" Sapphire IMHO.

Last edited by christianj; Aug 31, 20 at 8:54 am
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Old Aug 31, 20, 9:15 am
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I'm thinking keep the Freedom if you have it already, mainly so that it can continue to be used at Costco (in the event they have "warehouse stores" as a 5% category at some point in the future).

Anyway, like you, my bigger concern is that this will trigger negative changes on CSP/CSR (for instance, getting rid of the dining category). I guess we'll see what happens with those.
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Old Aug 31, 20, 9:22 am
  #3  
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If you already hold both Freedom and Unlimited there does not seem to be any reason to change Freedom to Flex. Both blog articles assert that Freedom Flex will be a World Elite MasterCard, but the accompanying graphic does not seem to support this. However, I assume Chase provided this information, and that MasterCard has made Chase an offer to chip away at VISA's market share.
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Old Aug 31, 20, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
I'm thinking keep the Freedom if you have it already, mainly so that it can continue to be used at Costco (in the event they have "warehouse stores" as a 5% category at some point in the future).

Anyway, like you, my bigger concern is that this will trigger negative changes on CSP/CSR (for instance, getting rid of the dining category). I guess we'll see what happens with those.
It is odd that these cards earn 3% on dining (the same as Sapphire Reserve, higher than Sapphire Preferred) and 5% of travel purchased those Chase UR (a bonus category not available on either Sapphire card).
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Old Aug 31, 20, 9:36 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
....5% of travel purchased those Chase UR (a bonus category not available on either Sapphire card).
People who booked travel through any agency have experienced difficulty obtaining refunds during pandemic disruptions. I image this "bonus" is funded by Expedia and will be added to other Chase cards, because they need to rebuild their business.
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Old Aug 31, 20, 9:41 am
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
Bloggers seem to be reporting on changes to Freedom and FU so I figured I should share it for the FT masses:

https://onemileatatime.com/chase-freedom-flex-card/
https://thepointsguy.com/news/chase-freedom-flex-intro/

FU changes giving you 3x on restaurants seems like it would be the death of the "regular" Sapphire IMHO.
There's also information on awardwallet. I think this may actually make the Sapphire more "needed". Its only with Sapphire that you would be able to transfer these points so for the folks who are into UR points, they will have to hold one of the Sapphires and pay the annual fee (even if they don't put any spend on it) and for those just interested in cashback, the Freedom just got more interesting. I don't know if Chase would care if consumers spend more on the Sapphire portfolio vs Freedom as long as they can attract more spend on Chase cards.

But this might also be setting up to revamp the Sapphire earning potential. Chase was the trailblazer there 5 years ago but now others have caught up (and overdone Chase).
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Old Aug 31, 20, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by christianj View Post
.... the death of the "regular" Sapphire IMHO.
Do you mean the free Sapphire card?
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Old Aug 31, 20, 9:45 am
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This is very odd. You have to think changes are coming to the CSR/CSP. The CSP is basically useless now except for the ability to transfer to UR partners. Otherwise I have 0 reason to carry the CSP now.
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Old Aug 31, 20, 9:46 am
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Originally Posted by arshi007 View Post
There's also information on awardwallet. I think this may actually make the Sapphire more "needed". Its only with Sapphire that you would be able to transfer these points so for the folks who are into UR points, they will have to hold one of the Sapphires and pay the annual fee (even if they don't put any spend on it) and for those just interested in cashback, the Freedom just got more interesting. I don't know if Chase would care if consumers spend more on the Sapphire portfolio vs Freedom as long as they can attract more spend on Chase cards.

But this might also be setting up to revamp the Sapphire earning potential. Chase was the trailblazer there 5 years ago but now others have caught up (and overdone Chase).
Not exactly. One may transfer points if one holds an INK Preferred business card.

- and -

Chase: "Check out our new credit card!"

Also Chase: "We're not approving new accounts during the pandemic."
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Last edited by Diplomatico; Aug 31, 20 at 11:31 am
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Old Aug 31, 20, 10:05 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
People who booked travel through any agency have experienced difficulty obtaining refunds during pandemic disruptions. I image this "bonus" is funded by Expedia and will be added to other Chase cards, because they need to rebuild their business.
This. I got burned by Expedia and had to fight tooth and nail to finally get a refund. I swore I would never again use an OTA for any booking, be it Chase Travel (Expedia) or Amex Travel (Orbitz nee Expedia). While 5x UR for booking through Chase Travel is nice (and weird, considering CSR is only 3x), I will not bite. The potential rewards are not worth the hassle of dealing with Expedia.
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Old Aug 31, 20, 10:06 am
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You'd think there would need to be changes to the CSR otherwise I don't know why anyone would keep it if they have or can get their hands on an Ink Preferred. I suppose if you really like the 1.5cpp redemption you might want to keep it, but the US Bank AR is superior to the CSR if that is your intended redemption.
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Old Aug 31, 20, 10:10 am
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Well, it's no doubt a very appealing card now.

Can one downgrade a co-branded card (Ritz-Carlton) to a Freedom or only one of the Sapphire (or FU) products?

If I can downgrade, perfect timing for me.
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Old Aug 31, 20, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by zorbachs View Post
This is very odd. You have to think changes are coming to the CSR/CSP. The CSP is basically useless now except for the ability to transfer to UR partners. Otherwise I have 0 reason to carry the CSP now.
Agreed...sort of curious what Chase has up their sleeve to make the CSP stand out. Besides transfer partners, there really is no good argument for the CSP card now that the Freedom gives 3% on dining. Weird times...
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Old Aug 31, 20, 10:25 am
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Thanks. This looks like a good switch from my CSR. I was definitely not going to pay the increased AF on the CSR but I'm not convinced that its benefits are even worth the $450 AF ($150 after getting travel credit benefits) since I just don't know what's going to happen to my travel patterns in 2021.
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Old Aug 31, 20, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
Do you mean the free Sapphire card?
Sorry...I meant the Sapphire Preferred. Others too have now pointed out it would be pretty much useless unless it's your only option to earn UR and transfer in points from the Freedom cards.

I also think we will see changes in the CSP and CSR in the near future. Honestly improvements are needed on the CSR side since AMEX revamped their Gold cards (and even their Green cards) earnings potential. For me all the dining spend that used to go on the CSR now goes to AMEX Gold along with grocery spend.
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