Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
For the last several months I have read some reports about changes to the benefits associated with having a Chase Freedom and a Chase checking account. I have probably even written some about the changes before. However, this week I finally got official notification from Chase about the changes to my account, so I will share the exact details of how the changes work. It seems they are very slowly working through the Freedom accounts, so if you haven’t yet been notified I’m sure you will be at some point. The good news is the changes may actual make the card more valuable for some of us.
The old reward structure if you had both a Chase Freedom and Chase checking account was to earn 10% bonus points per $1 spent, plus 10 bonus points on every purchase you made with the card. The 10% bonus points did not apply to the extra points earned via the 5x bonus categories (capped at $1,500 total per quarter) or other bonus point opportunities.
The letter I just received says that starting on or around August 1st my account would now earn a 10% annual points bonus on all points earned on purchases, including on the 5% quarterly bonus categories. They give the example that if you earned 10,000 points on your Freedom card in 2013, then you would earn a 1,000 point bonus on the 2014 January or February statement.
I am going to miss the extra 10 points per transaction, but I am not one of those who would purposefully have tons of tiny transactions just to maximize the 10 extra points. I may actually come out ahead getting a 10% bonus on all points earned on purchases including 5x and points earned via the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal than I did the old way. The only points excluded from the 10% bonus are new account bonus points, previous 10% annual bonus points awarded, or points transferred into the account. That means that this is probably the most lucrative Ultimate Rewards earning card for most Ultimate Rewards shopping portal bonuses since you are effectively getting a 10% bonus on top of whatever other points you are earning for your purchase.
Do remember that you need a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus® Business Card, or Ink Bold® Business Card in addition to the Chase Freedom card- $200 Bonus Cash Back card if you want to be able to transfer your points to hotel and airline partners. Alternatively, you could transfer the points earned on your Freedom to a spouse who had one of those cards.
Also remember that the deadline to activate the second quarter 5x bonus on restaurants, movie theaters, and Lowe’s home improvement stores is June 14th (Friday). As long as you activate it by that date it will be retroactive back to the beginning of the quarter. You will then be able to activate the third quarter 5x bonuses on gas stations, theme parks, and Kohl’s beginning on June 15th (Saturday).
Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links. As always, your support is very much appreciated!