Well, that did not take long. Earlier this month, I covered a few of the significant modifications that were concerning the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, one of the more popular travel rewards credit cards. Just recently, I got an email notification that my Chase Flexibility card will certainly be experiencing some modifications too … and they are bad modifications.

Chase Freedom Changes How You Earn Bonus Points: Keep It or Toss It?

Here are the Chase Freedom modifications and the effects that they’ll carry cardholders’ accounts:

No more Chase checking bonus

One of the cool benefits of having a Chase checking account along with the Chase Flexibility card is the extra 10 % Ultimate Gifts points that I get every year on all my points profits, consisting of the points made on 5x points classifications.

Previously, Chase checking consumers earned 10 % additional points on base spending (efficiently, 0.1 x points per dollar spent) plus 10 points per purchase – I stopped getting this bonus in August 2013. I believe the current 10 % incentive is in fact much better because I do benefit from the 5x points classifications.

Unfortunately, starting Jan. 1, 2016, Chase checking clients won’t make the 10 % perk points on their Chase Flexibility points.

What I think about it: Without a doubt, this is a significant downgrade on the money back-earnings potential for loyal Chase customers who’ve a Chase bank account connected to their Chase Liberty cards.

If I am building up 20,000 in Ultimate Gifts points per year, I ‘d be losing out on the extra 2,000 points. As cash back, that’s worth $20. In the grand scheme of things, it’s very little, however I ‘d rather have it than not.

I am definitely miserable that this perk is going away because I signed up for my Chase Flexibility card years ago understanding that this was among the benefits of offering Chase even more of my company. Otherwise, I could’ve went with the Discover it ® card, which has a comparable cash money back program but with much better perks. This Chase checking benefit assisted sway my choice back then. You might think about switching cards if this incentive was a major reason for joining Chase Liberty.

No more paper check cashouts

The Ultimate Benefits program provides a few means for cardmembers to redeem their points as cash back, however it’s about to have one less.

Starting Nov. 16, 2014, cardmembers will certainly not be able to redeem their money back with paper checks.

Do not fear, you’ll still be able to get that money back as statement credits or deposits into a checking or cost savings account (does not have to be with Chase).

What I think about it: It’s not a huge deal. I think Chase simply wants to eliminate the expenses of dealing with paper checks (it’s most likely the least popular cash redemption approach anyway). You’ve to wait for it to be sent by mail to you then you’ve to wait a few more days for the check to clear. It’s sluggish and bothersome.

I have always deposited the cash money back into my Chase bank account so this modification has no significant result on me. You most likely will not notice much of a change, as well. If you utilize your Chase Freedom card frequently, then the statement credit’s a fantastic money redemption choice for you because you’ll have a balance that can be reduced with the statement credit.

Chase Freedom Changes How You Earn Bonus Points: Keep It or Toss It?

Less points on Ultimate Gifts travel

The reward for Chase cardmembers to utilize the Ultimate Gifts travel-booking website is the extra 1 point per dollar that you get on the booking.

But, beginning Jan. 1, 2016, that perk is disappearing. After that date, you are just getting the base 1 point per dollar invested. “We could periodically offer you ways to earn bonus points through the program,” Chase says.

What I think about it: Another blow to Chase cardmembers. The perk, even though it isn’t much, makes a case for me to use the Ultimate Benefits reserving portal over other online travel websites (e.g., Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, and so on), a few of which might’ve their own loyalty programs.

Once this reward disappears, I’d be more inclined to in fact reserve travel with the Ultimate Gifts shopping portal, which offers additional points at Chase’s travel partners. You are most likely believing the very same thing already. For example, you could book airfare through Expedia (1 points/dollar reward) and hotel stays through Hotwire (3 points/dollar benefit) instead.

Phone reserved round-trip ticket redemption

Under the existing Ultimate Rewards terms and conditions for Chase Liberty, Chase Freedom consumers might redeem 25,000 points for one round-trip flight valued at approximately $335 when reserved through Chases’s toll-free number (1-866-951-6592). This puts each Ultimate Benefits point at a value of 1.34 cents if you redeem for an air travel worth precisely $335. You ‘d have the front the expense distinction if the ticket value is higher than $335.

But, starting Oct. 26, 2014, airline tickets will certainly not redeemable for a dealt with variety of points with this method. Rather, all travel redemptions will certainly be determined based on the real expense.

What I think about it: This is one of those lesser-known benefits that you may not have heard of. It’s an easy way to stretch your Ultimate Gifts points if you’ll reserve a round-trip air travel that deserves $335 or less.

I don’t see myself using it enough to obtain upset about this loss. However, any Chase Freedom cardmember who’s used this perk prior to is clearly not pleased about it. That’s the equivalent of losing 8,500 totally free points for every time you reserve a flight.

Final thoughts

Overall, these changes are frustrating. I understand, it doesn’t have a yearly charge. But, the Chase Liberty changes still lessen the value of the card – they make me wish to use the card less.

At least with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, there declared changes that came alongside the negative changes. Exactly what’re we Chase Flexibility users entering return for the changes? Nothing.

At the moment, there are no statements that the Chase Freedom is getting upgrades in other areas to make up for these loss of advantages. So, I am truly wishing that Chase will make up for the advantages cuts in the future.

Chase states that the Ultimate Gifts website relaunch with a new design will make it easy to gain access to and manage our rewards. However, I am truly trying to find more (or much better) ways to make those rewards.

Am I going to close this card? Most likely not now. After all, my Chase Flexibility is one of my oldest charge card so I am hanging onto it to keep my credit scores.

But, these modifications are actually going to have an impact on how everyone will take a look at the Discover it ® card, a close competitor to Chase Liberty since both cards have a very similar 5 % cash money back program. If I did not currently have Chase Freedom, an I was deciding in between the two cards, I ‘d highly think about the Discover it ® card.

Here’s a list of the major card benefits that Discover it ® has that isn’t provided by Chase Liberty:

  • No penalty APR
  • No first-time late payment fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free monthly FICO scores

Do not let it stop there. Discover it ® has a lower APR variety (10.99 % – 22.99 %) compared with Chase Freedom (13.99 % to 22.99 %). I ‘d likewise state that Discover’s online shopping portal supplies far more bonus offer money back than Chase’s Ultimate Benefits portal.

If you are thinking about in between Chase Liberty and Discover it ®, choose Discover it ®.

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