Chase Reveals New Freedom Flex Card, Enhances Freedom Unlimited Card
Like most industries, the credit card industry has been disrupted by the current pandemic. In recent months, issuers have been sending some mixed messages, with several cards adding bonus benefits to quell cardholders canceling, while also slashing credit limits for some customers. With that in mind, it might not seem like the ideal time to launch an updated credit card product, yet that’s exactly what one bank is doing. This week, Chase not only announced the impending debut of a new card option but also revealed a refresh for one of its other popular cards.
First, the bank unveiled what it’s calling the Freedom Flex card, which will officially premiere on September 15th. This new offering will replace the current Freedom card in Chase’s line up, although Freedom cardholders will be able to choose whether they’d like to keep their existing card or update to the Flex. In terms of perks, the Freedom Flex card will feature a 5% cashback bonus category that will rotate quarterly. Cardholders will need to activate this offer each quarter and the 5% perk is limited to $1,500 in spend. Elsewhere, the card will also boast 5% back on travel booked through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal, 3% back on dining (including eligible delivery services), 3% back at drugstores, and 1% back on everything else.
Another notable aspect of the Freedom Flex card is that it’s a Mastercard. whereas the previous Freedom card was a Visa. This makes it the first Mastercard-branded card Chase has debuted in five years. As a result, the Flex will also carry World Elite Mastercard benefits including cell phone insurance, complimentary ShopRunner membership, and more.
Meanwhile, in addition to introducing the Flex card, Chase is also revamping their Freedom Unlimited. Not only will the card retain its 1.5% back on everything but will add 5% back on travel booked through Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining, and 3% back at drugstores. Thus, the main difference between the updated Unlimited and Flex is that is that the former will offer a 1.5% back base whereas the latter will have a 1% but adds a 5% rotating bonus category. Also, the Freedom Unlimited will remain a Visa card for the time being.
In a press release about the card refreshes, Chase Freedom’s general manager BJ Mahoney explained, “Earning cash back on dining, including takeout and delivery, drug stores and travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards provides immense value for customers in both the immediate and long term.” While that partially explains Chase’s strategy with this move, there are those who wonder what these changes mean for some other Chase products such as the Sapphire Preferred. Surely in due time more of Chase’s masterplan will be revealed. In the meantime, those interested in the new Chase Freedom Flex can apply for the card starting September 15th.