Chase Freedom Card Switches to Rewards Points

I have been using Chase Freedom Card for a while and like it quite a lot because its 3% cashback rewards program. Though I don’t use the card for every purchase, I do charge the card at gas stations and grocery stores to make sure that they are in the top three categories so I can earn the maximum 3% rebate. Another reason I like the card is that it’s a cash rewards card, not a rewards point card. Somehow I don’t like rewards points, though rewards points work in the same way as cashback: You earn 1 point for every dollar spent, which is equivalent to 1% cashback and you can redeem rewards points you earned for such things as gift cards, cash, etc. I’d rather have the rewards credited right to my account instead of having to redeem it.

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Anyway, it seems that Chase decided to change the Freedom card rewards program. I received a mail from Chase tonight and it seems that Chase has already switched Freedom Card’s cashback rewards to rewards points :( While I can still earn triple points in the top 3 out of 15 categories as before, the way the points are redeemed has changed, especially for cardholders with small balance in their rewards program. According to new rules, you can start to redeem your rewards points when you have as less as 200 points in your account. However, that 200 points can only be exchanged for $1 statement credit, instead of $2 under the old program. From there, redemptions can be made at 200-point increments to up to 4,800 points, which is equivalent to $24 statement credits, not $48. If you choose to keep accumulating your rewards points, then after reaching the 5,000 points mark, then 100 points is worth $1 again.

Chase Freedom Rewards

In addition to statement credits, you can also redeem your points for gift cards, such as 5,000 points for a $50 Target gift card or 3,000 points for a $25 Shell gift card.

And the worst part of the new changes is that you can no longer request a $250 check for every $200 cashback earned :(

Personally, I don’t like this new program at all. And it seems that every time they announced an exciting change, the change is never exciting to the customers.

Update: Check out the latest update on Chase Freedom Card and other signup bonus offers.

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5 Responses to “Chase Freedom Card Switches to Rewards Points”

  1. Ari |  Jul 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Is this only for the Visa? What about the MasterCard?

  2. Diana |  Jul 23, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    I got the notice too, but I think you have to opt-in to switch to the points program, which I’m not going to because I’m aiming for the $250 check.

  3. Mickey Blue Eyes |  Jul 24, 2008 at 11:03 am

    I agree with Diana. I received this card yesterday. Although I don’t have it in front of me, I interpreted it as IF you are on the points program, as opposed to the cash program, you can redeem points for a statement credit to pay for Travel and Entertainment category purchases. The Travel and Entertainment category requirement was in the 4-point type at the bottom.

    Looking at the website, maybe they changed the rules for new cardholders? Maybe they only have the points program now? I try to avoid commercials so I can’t say if I’ve seen the Chase Freedom commercial where they say you can accumulate cash or points rewards.

  4. x |  Jul 24, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    i have had this card for about three months, after having my sharebuilder visa convert to this card. i did not receive this notice, in fact, about 3 weeks ago or so i switched from points to cash. while looking at my accout online i have a “switch how i earn rewards” link. i did, and it seems as if i could switch back if i want to.

    not sure if this helps in any way, just my experience.

  5. Sun |  Jul 25, 2008 at 1:04 am

    I went to their website when I got the card, but only found that the points option is available, not the cashback. So I assume that they switched the program entirely to rewards points. I don’t see the option that you opt-out points and stay with cashback. It could be that I missed it somewhere.