Chase Freedom Eliminating 10% Bonus For Checking Customers

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Last month Chase announced changes to the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which were both positive and negative.

As far as I’m concerned, the biggest negative change was the elimination of the 7% annual points dividend as of 2016. The good news is that they introduced primary auto collision damage waiver coverage and also increased trip cancellation/insurance coverage. The card is still my all around favorite credit car. Whether or not the changes were a net positive or negative depends on which benefits you value most.

Now Chase has also announced some changes to the benefits of the Chase Freedom®. This is one of Chase’s best no annual fee credit cards, which offers 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories. Best of all, the points it earns can be converted into “premium” Ultimate Rewards points if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, or Ink Bold® Business Charge Card).


Anyway, the biggest change happening to the Chase Freedom® is that they’re eliminating the 10% annual points bonus which they currently offer to Chase checking customers:

For Chase Checking Customers

After the closing date on your December 2015 billing statement, you will no longer earn the extra 10% annual bonus that you get on the cash back you’ve already received for new purchases. If you have an open Chase checking account on that date, you will receive your final 10% annual bonus award in early 2016.

This is certainly a nice bonus, so it’s disappointing to see that go.

There are some other minor changes, though none that are signficant, in my opinion:

  • You won’t be able to redeem points for paper checks after November 15, 2014
  • Starting in 2016, you will no longer earn an extra point per dollar of travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards Mall
  • The option to redeem points for auctions will be eliminated
  • Ultimate Rewards points will no longer be available for sale

Bottom line

The big change here is the elimination of the 10% annual bonus for Chase checking customers. That’s definitely disappointing news, though I guess they crunched the numbers and decided they weren’t getting much “return” on offering that benefit. At least they’re giving plenty of notice of these changes.

Ultimately this doesn’t alter the fundamental value proposition of the card for me. It’s a card I have and a card I’ll continue to keep, because keeping some cards open for a long time is good for your credit score. I take advantage of the 5% rotating quarterly categories best I can, as those are extremely lucrative for a no annual fee card. Combined with other cards, I can convert those points into “premium” Ultimate Rewards points, which are extremely valuable to me.

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  1. Chase is cheaping out on so many benefits. Between the “London whale” losses and the $13 billion fine for the mortgage securities, it wouldn’t surprise me for them to do more. I have banked with them for 37 years. Chase has almost all my families’ banking. Chase pioneered “relationship banking”. Makes me wonder why I’m still in “relationship” with Chase.

  2. I currently get:
    – 1pt/$1 on all spending
    – 10% extra points per $1 spent
    – 10 points extra per purchase

    Is the 10% annual bonus something separate?

  3. Yes, it’s disappointing, but at the end of the day not a deal-breaker for me. Card remains a keeper in as much as virtually the only spend I put on it are the 5% quarterly targeted categories (so max spend is $6K/year and often much less), and for the reasons you noted Ben. Chase Sapphire gets the other general spend not targeted to other cards to leverage the current “deal d’jour”.

  4. @Brent – I believe it’s the 10% extra points per $1 spent. Those post each month with the close of each statement.

  5. What a downer. Also, based on comments I’m confused: didn’t realize people were still getting the 10 extra points per transaction — I’ve had my chase accounts for a decade, and they definitely cut my 10 points per transaction off last year.

  6. @ shaky02dd

    I definitely still get the 10 points per purchase. Not sure if I read it on FT or Dan’s Deals, but it seems that it did not hit everyone’s account. I remember reading that it was hitting people’s accounts at different times and that some still had not seen any change. It was some time ago that I stopped reading the comments.

  7. The “to meet the evolving needs of our customers” line pissed me off. Apparently they determined their customers needed to have less money. Make whatever changes you want to your program, but at least man up to it.

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