Existing Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders should’ve recently received a secure message detailing the loss of certain benefits. For those of you who’ve not yet checked your secure message account, here is the core of the message:
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance is changing. Starting August 26, you can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable passenger fares if your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations.
Price Protection, Return Protection, Lost Luggage Reimbursement and Travel Accident Insurance will no longer be available.
If you’re a current cardholder and you login to your account, then click on “Card Benefits” you can see these changes listed there as well. Note: These changes will go into effect on August 26, 2018.
In short, while the earning structure won’t be changing for the Freedom Unlimited, it is losing some of its ancillary benefits. These include price protection, return protection, trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance, travel accidents insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement. On a recent podcast we discussed similar Chase Sapphire Reserve changes and how they affect that card. In the case of the Sapphire Reserve, the only benefit we’re losing from this list is that of price protection. That makes sense for a lot of reasons as folks seemed to be “abusing” the benefit by using automated services to watch for price changes after making purchases with the card. The Reserve however will retain the rest of its coverages which include lost luggage reimbursement, travel accident insurance, and trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance.
Should I keep my Freedom Unlimited?
The Freedom Unlimited is a solid member of the Chase Trifecta club, and its 1.5x earning potential is the primary reason that I have it in my wallet. For me, I never put travel purchases on the card because thats what the Sapphire Reserve is for. In my case, these changes will do little to dissuade me from keeping the card in my wallet. If your situation is different and you’re not a Sapphire Preferred or Reserve cardholder, then you may want to reconsider. Without these added protections I would no longer consider booking travel with the Freedom Unlimited, though I consider it fine for all other purchases.
If you’ve been on the fence about the Sapphire Preferred or the Reserve, and are using the Freedom Unlimited for travel purchases then now seems like the time to make the switch. While the Freedom Unlimited still has a place in your wallet, you’re going to want to put travel purchases on something with better protections, and ideally something which earns more than 1.5x per $1 spent.
If you have a specific question about your card portfolio before/after these changes, please feel free to contact us to chat.
What does this mean for you and your Freedom Unlimited? Does it still have a place in your wallet? Let us know in the comments below.