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Credit Cards

The Chase Freedom credit card is discontinued—here's what that means for existing Freedom cardholders

With the Chase Freedom credit card no longer open to new applicants, cardholders have these options.

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Chase Freedom® is not currently available to new cardholders. Please visit our list of the best cash-back cards for alternative options.

When you open a new credit card, you probably aren't worried about what could happen if it’s discontinued. But card issuers continually come out with new products for consumers, and old favorites can either be discontinued, rolled into a new card or closed off from accepting new applications.

The latest example is the Chase Freedom® credit card. Effective September 15, 2020, the Freedom card is closed for new applicants. If you have the Freedom card, your card won't be canceled, but you do have a few options about what you want to do.

Current Freedom cardholders can continue to use their cards without any changes, or they can request a product change to another Chase card. Below, Select reviews these two options so you can decide what's best for your needs.

What happens to your Chase Freedom credit card

If you are an existing Chase Freedom cardholder, you won’t receive any notification from Chase about this change. You will, however, have two options on how to proceed:

  1. Do nothing and continue to use your card with no changes.
  2. Contact Chase and ask for a product change.

If you choose the first option and don’t take any action, your Freedom card will continue to be serviced with all benefits and there won’t be any difference. There is no forced migration to the new Chase Freedom Flex℠.

On the other hand, if you opt for the second option, you can choose to switch your Chase Freedom card to either the new Chase Freedom Flex℠ or the Chase Freedom Unlimited® at any time. If you ask for a product change, your old Freedom card will be deactivated after you activate your new Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited card.

Here are a few things to consider when deciding if you should keep your Freedom card or request a product change:

Which card fits your spending habits?

The Chase Freedom card is known for 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%) and 1% on all other eligible purchases. You may still like this rewards program, but you should consider what the Flex and Unlimited cards offer.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on drugstore purchases and on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services), 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    17.24% - 25.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

The Freedom Flex card offers the same base rewards of 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), but it also offers 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on drugstore purchases and on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The added rewards allow you to earn more cash back with the Flex.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

On Chase's secure site
  • Rewards

    Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    17.24% - 25.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

Terms apply.

The Freedom Unlimited scraps the quarterly bonus categories and instead offers a more straightforward 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and 1.5% on all other purchases. New Unlimited cardholders can earn an extra 1.5% on everything they buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year), which is worth up to $300 cash back. These are great rates if you’re looking for a passive rewards program that doesn’t require any activation.

Do you want to earn a welcome bonus or take advantage of special financing?

The only way to get a sign-up bonus is to apply for a new card, be approved and reach certain spending requirements if there are any. Since a product change is not considered a new application, you’ll miss out the welcome bonus and intro 0% APR offers currently running on the Freedom Flex and Unlimited cards.

The Freedom Flex currently offers a welcome bonus of $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. The Freedom Unlimited is offering a bonus of an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year), which is worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores and 3% on all other purchases.

Plus, both cards offer no interest on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months your account is open (after, 17.24% - 25.99% variable APR). There's an intro balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater in the first 60 days. After that, the ongoing fee will be either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

If you want to take advantage of new card member offers, such as the welcome bonus or intro 0% APR period, your best option is to keep the Freedom card and separately apply for the Flex or Unlimited card.

What are the fees?

You should verify the annual fee and APR of the new card you plan on switching to. Thankfully, all of the Freedom cards have the same no-annual-fee structure and interest rates, so no changes there.

Will your credit report be pulled?

Sometimes card issuers review your credit report prior to switching you to a new card to see if you qualify. This may cause your credit score to temporarily drop a few points. Ask the customer service representative if a credit report will be pulled before requesting a product change. If it will be pulled and you’re in the middle of applying for new credit such as a mortgage, you may want to hold off on changing cards until after you close.

Bottom line

Despite the Chase Freedom card being closed to new applicants, existing cardholders can still take advantage of the full card benefits. But if you're interested in switching to a different Freedom card and don't mind missing out on a bonus, either the Chase Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited are an excellent choice.

With Flex, you'll benefit from many of the same signature features of Freedom, like up to 5% cash back on rotating categories and no annual fee, plus new bonus rewards on travel, dining and at drugstores. And Unlimited provides nearly all of the same features, except the 5% rotating bonus category rewards, though you can benefit from 1.5% cash back on purchases outside of elevated rewards on travel, dining and drugstores.

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Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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