Do you have a Chase checking account and the Chase Freedom credit card? If so, you get a nice little 10% annual bonus on all your points earned throughout the year.
So if you earn 100,000 points throughout the year, you’ll get another 10,000 on the house, just for being a Chase checking customer. That’s another $100 for doing nothing.
It’s a nice little perk for an already decent credit card. But I’ve got some bad news. Chase informed me today that they’re making some “changes.” And by changes, I mean giving me less.
The Change Goes Into Effect in 2016
As it stands now, I will get the 10% bonus for points earned in 2014 and 2015, but after that the program is being phased out.
In other words, I’ll receive the final 10% annual bonus award in early 2016 because they’re paid out on your January or February billing statements for preceding years.
After that, no more 10% bonus. The 7% points dividend on the Chase Sapphire card is also being discontinued. It’s certainly a bummer, but it shouldn’t make or break the decision to hang onto the Chase Freedom card.
For one, the 10% bonus might not amount to much for most cardholders. For example, if you only spend say $2,000 a month with the card, you’ll earn 24,000 points throughout the year.
That would result in 2,400 bonus points, which only works out to a mere $24. Sure, every little bit helps, but it’s not the end of the world.
And the Chase Freedom card has no annual fee, so there’s no problem keeping it open even if you don’t use it much.
For the record, you don’t earn 10% bonus points on the new account opening bonus or the previous 10% bonus, or points transferred into your account, for obvious reasons.
Chase also said that they’re discontinuing the issuance of paper checks as a redemption option on November 15th of this year, though you’ll still be able to get a statement credit or a direct deposit.
No More Discounted Airline Tickets Either?
It looks like they’re also getting rid of their discounted airline tickets. In their notice, they also said all options to redeem airline tickets based on a fixed amount of points will be discontinued.
Beginning October 25th, 2014, all travel redemptions will be calculated based on the actual cost of the ticket.
I believe this is in reference to their little-known program that allows cardholders to book flights as expensive as $335 for just 25,000 points.
And finally some good news. They’re re-launching the Ultimate Rewards website at the end of October so it’s easier to use (especially on mobile devices).
The Ultimate Rewards Mall will also be referred to as Shop through Chase℠.