Greg wrote this morning about whether or not you should consider applying for the Chase Freedom (Visa) card right now given that applications for this card will no longer be available after September 14th — in fact, in our most recent email, it was worded that Chase would stop accepting applications on September 14th (no idea what time of day). One of the key points in Greg’s post was considering whether you would like to have more than one card with rotating categories in the future. We’ve since received another pertinent update from Chase: according to what we’ve been told by Chase, not only will it be impossible to have more than one Freedom Flex card (even via product change), but crucially important: the Freedom Flex will only be available via product change from an existing Chase Freedom Visa. That second part is hugely important: we are told that it will not be possible to product change from a Sapphire or Freedom Unlimited card.
It’s worth noting that official information does not always match what is actually possible in the real world. It is possible that the information we’ve received is incorrect and that it will indeed be possible to product change to the Freedom Flex from other personal cards that earn Ultimate Rewards.
However, with the new Freedom Flex being a Mastercard rather than a Visa (as all of the other currently available Ultimate Rewards cards are), I think it is more conceivable that Chase will in fact limit product changes to existing Freedom cardholders. Again, we asked directly whether it would be possible to product change to the Freedom Flex from a Sapphire or Freedom Unlimited card and we were told in no uncertain terms that it would only be possible to product change to the Freedom Flex from an existing Chase Freedom card.
Furthermore, we were told that it will not be possible to product change from the Freedom Flex back to the Chase Freedom Visa.
The specific wording on product changes said that the Freedom Flex would be available as a product change to existing Freedom customers only. We don’t know for sure whether Chase will still allow product changes to the Freedom Visa after 9/14, but based on the way this is worded and the clarity with which they’ve said that customers will not be able to have two or more Freedom Flex cards, my instinct is that the Freedom Visa won’t be available for product change after 9/14. I hope I’m wrong, but I recommend preparing as if it won’t be possible to get the Freedom Visa from that date onward.
The two important takeaways here are:
- If you want to have a product change avenue to the Freedom Flex when it debuts, you should make sure you have a Freedom card by 9/14 (whether by new application or product change). For those over 5/24, the only path to a Freedom Flex will be to secure a Freedom card now via product change.
- If you want to have more than one card with rotating bonus categories, you probably need to product change to Freedom Visa cards now
Again, keep in mind that it’s possible for real world experience to differ from written terms, but it is worth taking this information into consideration as you plan your approach.