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How To Upgrade the Freedom Card or Freedom Unlimited Card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

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Some of the most popular credit cards from Chase include the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Freedom® card, and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. All of these credit cards offer some of the best rewards in the business, which is why they’re incredibly popular.

But what if you’re looking to upgrade either your Freedom Unlimited card or Freedom card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through all of the steps, from evaluating whether the new card suits you to the process of actually upgrading to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Let’s get down to business!

Freedom Card or Freedom Unlimited Card vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Freedom card and Freedom Unlimited card are 2 similar cash-back cards, but they’re a world of difference away from the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Here are the benefits you’ll enjoy with each of these cards, starting with the Freedom card.

Freedom Card Benefits

The Freedom card has actually been discontinued, and its refreshed version is called the Chase Freedom Flex℠. Here are the features of the Freedom card (which is no longer open for new applicants):

  • 5% cash-back on quarterly rotating categories (up to $1,500 per quarter)
  • 1% cash-back on other purchases
  • No annual fee

Freedom Flex Card Benefits

Chase Freedom Flex℠
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.

The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Powerful cash-back earner: 5% back on quarterly categories and travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fees in U.S. dollars
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Freedom Flex card offers enhanced perks:

In addition, the Freedom Flex card offers World Elite Mastercard benefits, purchase protection, extended warranty, 3 complimentary months of DoorDash DashPass, and a $0 annual fee.

Freedom Unlimited Card Benefits

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.
Up to $300 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.

Pros
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
Cons
    • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Freedom Unlimited card offers these rewards structures:

  • 5% cash-back on Lyft (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% cash-back on dining
  • 3% cash-back at drugstores
  • 1.5% cash-back on other purchases

You’ll notice that this card also has 3 complimentary months of DoorDash DashPass, purchase protection, extended warranty, and $0 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Benefits

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
U.P. Rating 
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.

A fantastic travel card with a huge welcome offer, good benefits, and perks for a moderate annual fee.
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.
75,000 points
$1,500
$95
21.49%-28.49% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card is one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. Its bonus categories include travel, dining, online grocery purchases, and streaming services, which gives you the opportunity to earn lots of bonus points on these purchases.

Additionally, it offers flexible point redemption options, no foreign transaction fees, and excellent travel insurance coverage including primary car rental insurance. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why this card is an excellent choice for any traveler.

Pros
  • 5x points on all travel booked via the Chase Travel portal
  • 5x points on select Peloton purchases over $150 (through March 31, 2025)
  • 5x points on Lyft purchases (through March 31, 2025)
Cons
  • $95 annual fee
  • No elite benefits like airport lounge access or hotel elite status
  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s over $900 when you redeem through Chase TravelSM.
  • Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase TravelSM, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase TravelSM. For example, 75,000 points are worth $937.50 toward travel.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
  • Member FDIC
Financial Snapshot
  • APR: 21.49%-28.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None
Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

In order to determine if you should upgrade your Freedom card, Freedom Flex card, or Freedom Unlimited card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll want to learn about the benefits and features of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card first.

Here are the rewards you can expect to earn:

  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 5x points on Lyft through March 31, 2025
  • 5x points on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases over $250
  • 3x points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services and takeout
  • 3x points on select streaming services
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
  • 2x points on other travel purchases
  • 1x points on other purchases

The rewards you earn are Ultimate Rewards points, which can be transferred to Chase travel partners and redeemed for some phenomenal value.

After each account anniversary, you’ll also earn a rewards bonus equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year.

Hot Tip:

If you’re interested in earning a welcome bonus worth upwards of $1,000, you should consider applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card instead of upgrading your card. Upgrading your card does not come with a new bonus while applying for a new Chase Sapphire Preferred card does.

You can also enjoy the 25% redemption bonus when you redeem points for travel through Chase Travel.

There’s also the $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit!

This credit card comes with complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership for 1 year when you activate by December 31, 2024, 6 months of complimentary Instacart+ membership when you activate by July 31, 2024, as well as up to $15 in statement credits each quarter through July 31, 2024, when you activate Instacart+.

Lastly, you’ll enjoy superb travel insurance, including primary rental car coverage, no foreign transaction fees, purchase protection, extended warranty, and the ability to add authorized users for no additional annual fees.

Bottom Line:

One of the biggest reasons to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is to get the ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners. Also, being able to get a 25% redemption bonus is fantastic, too, if you don’t want to worry about finding award availability using points.

Benefits Comparison

Chase Sapphire Preferred Upgraded Points LLC
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

Let’s take a look at the benefits of each of these cards head-to-head!

SCROLL FOR MORE
BenefitChase Freedom® CardChase Freedom Flex℠Chase Freedom Unlimited®Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Lyft Purchases (through March 31, 2025)5% cash-back5% cash-back5% cash-back5x points
Peloton Equipment and Accessory Purchases Over $250 (through March 31, 2025)1% cash-back1% cash-back1.5% cash-back5x points
Travel Purchased Through Chase Travel1% cash-back5% cash-back5% cash-back5x points
Other Travel Purchases1% cash-back1% cash-back1.5% cash-back2x points
Dining1% cash-back3% cash-back3% cash-back3x points
Online Grocery Purchases1% cash-back1% cash-back1% cash-back3x points
Select Streaming Services1% cash-back1% cash-back1% cash-back3x points
Drugstore Purchases1% cash-back3% cash-back3% cash-back1x points
Rotating Quarterly categories5% cash-back5% cash-backN/AN/A
Chase Travel Portal Redemption BonusNoneNoneNone25% (1.25 cents per point)
Pay Yourself Back Redemption BonusUp to 25% Up to 25% Up to 25% Up to 25%
$50 Annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel CreditX
DoorDash benefitsComplimentary DashPass membership for 3 months (activate by December 31, 2024)Complimentary DashPass membership for 3 months (activate by December 31, 2024)Complimentary DashPass membership for 3 months (activate by December 31, 2024)Complimentary DashPass membership for 1 year (activate by December 31, 2024)
Instacart+ benefitsComplimentary Instacart+ membership for 3 months (activate by July 31, 2024) plus $10 per quarter through July 31, 2024, when enrolled in Instacart+Complimentary Instacart+ membership for 3 months (activate by July 31, 2024) plus $10 per quarter through July 31, 2024, when enrolled in Instacart+Complimentary Instacart+ membership for 3 months (activate by July 31, 2024) plus $10 per quarter through July 31, 2024, when enrolled in Instacart+Complimentary Instacart+ membership for 6 months (activate by July 31, 2024) plus $15 per quarter through July 31, 2024, when enrolled in Instacart+
Rental Car InsuranceSecondarySecondarySecondaryPrimary
Trip Interruption and Cancellation InsuranceUp to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per tripUp to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per tripUp to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per tripUp to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip
Trip Delay InsuranceNoneNoneNoneUp to $500 per ticket for eligible delays of more than 12 hours (or requiring an overnight stay)
Lost Luggage ReimbursementNoneNoneNoneUp to $100 per day for up to 5 days for eligible baggage delays of over 6 hours
Travel Accident InsuranceNoneNoneNoneUp to $500,000 in coverage
Purchase ProtectionXXXX
Extended WarrantyXXXX
Foreign Transaction Fees3%3%3%None
Annual Fee$0$0$0$95
Authorized UsersNo additional annual fees for authorized usersNo additional annual fees for authorized usersNo additional annual fees for authorized usersNo additional annual fees for authorized users

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card outperforms the Freedom card, Freedom Flex card, and Freedom Unlimited card on so many fronts. Whether it’s earning up to 5x Ultimate Rewards points (10% return on spending), the 10% anniversary rewards bonus, or the impressive travel insurance, you’ll have plenty of reasons to make the change to the upgraded card.

In fact, if you spend any amount of money abroad, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has no foreign transaction fees, which saves you 3% on every foreign purchase!

Lastly, when it comes to redeeming points, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card empowers you to book luxury award travel using Chase’s transfer partners — and if award travel isn’t your cup of tea, you can get a 25% redemption bonus when you redeem points for Chase Travel bookings.

How To Upgrade Your Freedom Card, Freedom Flex Card, or Freedom Unlimited Card

Chase makes it easy to upgrade your Freedom card, Freedom Flex card, or Freedom Unlimited card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

To be eligible for an upgrade, the card you’re upgrading from must have been open for at least 12 months. Also, to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, your current card must have a credit limit of at least $5,000.

Hot Tip:

If you’re upgrading from the Freedom Flex card, your card number will change due to the fact that the Freedom Flex card is a World Elite Mastercard while the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a Visa Signature card.

Once you’re ready to upgrade your card, call the number on the back of your card and speak to a live agent. Once you’re connected to a live agent, inform them that you’d like to upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

If you don’t yet have a credit limit of at least $5,000, you may be able to request a credit limit increase while upgrading your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to get everything done all in one go.

Who Should Upgrade Their Card?

Chase Freedom Flex Upgraded Points LLC 1 Large
Image Credit: Upgraded Points

You Want To Level Up From Cash-back to Travel Rewards

The Freedom card, Freedom Flex card, and Freedom Unlimited card all earn cash-back rewards. Unless you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card already, the rewards can’t be transferred to travel partners.

Once you upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can freely transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners such as United MileagePlus, World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, and more.

With travel rewards, you can typically get much more leverage from your points than cash-back.

You Feel Comfortable Paying an Annual Fee

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has an annual fee of $95.

If you’re comfortable paying an annual fee to get access to key benefits and rewards, you’ll probably come out way ahead with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

You Want Travel Benefits and Protections

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the best beginner travel rewards credit cards out there. Unfortunately, the Freedom card, Freedom Flex card, and Freedom Unlimited card all lag behind when it comes to major travel benefits and protections.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll get a much stronger trip interruption and cancellation coverage policy, primary rental car insurance, trip delay coverage, baggage insurance, travel accident insurance, and even no foreign transaction fees.

There’s also the $50 annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit, too.

You Want To Get Better Value on Your Points Through Chase Ultimate Rewards

If you have the Freedom card, Freedom Flex card, or Freedom Unlimited card, your rewards are more or less earned as cash-back. That means every point you redeem is equal to 1 cent, even if you redeem them for travel through Chase Travel.

With the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you’ll get a 25% redemption bonus on travel bookings made through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

For example, if you decide to book a flight to Mexico that would otherwise cost $500, you can redeem 40,000 points through the Chase Sapphire Preferred card instead of 50,000 points through the Freedom card, Freedom Flex card, or Freedom Unlimited card.

These points savings can add up quickly, especially if you routinely book family travel. In this sense, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card can pay for itself just by enabling you to save a bunch of points on Chase Travel portal bookings!

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is almost a must-have card. If you have the Freedom card, Freedom Flex card, or Freedom Unlimited card, you can easily upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and start earning Ultimate Rewards points!

Just make sure your existing credit card has a minimum credit limit of $5,000 and has been open for at least 12 months. Then, call the number on the back of your card and request a card upgrade to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card once you get connected to a live representative.

This is one of the best ways you can level up your travel rewards and benefits — all for a mild annual fee!

The information regarding the Chase Freedom® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Slate Edge℠ Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Slate® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I upgrade my Freedom Unlimited card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

Yes! As long as your card has been open for at least 12 months, you can call Chase to upgrade your Freedom Unlimited card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

Is Chase Sapphire Preferred card worth it over the Freedom Unlimited card?

For the most part, yes. When you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you have the ability to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners, as well as earn up to 5x points on purchases. Also, you get some notable travel insurance with the card, too.

Can I upgrade my Chase credit card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

In general, you can upgrade these cards to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card:

  • Freedom card
  • Freedom Flex card
  • Freedom Unlimited card
  • Chase Slate Edge℠
  • Chase Slate® (no longer available for new applications)

Can I upgrade my Chase Freedom card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

Yes, you can upgrade your Freedom card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card as long as you’ve had it open for at least 12 months and have a minimum credit limit of $5,000.

Can I transfer Freedom Unlimited card points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

If you have both cards, you can easily combine points from your Freedom Unlimited card with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card in your online account.

Stephen Au's image

About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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