Currently have CSR and thinking about downgrading to one of the Freedom cards. I currently have 150k in points. How would that effect it if I were to downgrade to a Freedom card?

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Your redemption rate will go from 1.5 cents per point to 1 cent per point. Also, your Pay Yourself Back (PYB) redemption categories will get limited - you'll go from Dining, Grocery, and Home Improvement to just Dining.

No need to cash out the points now if you’re interested in transferring them to Hyatt or an airline (which is likely a better value).

If it’s been four years since you got the CSR, downgrade it to a Freedom Unlimited and then apply for a CSP with the current 100k point signup bonus. Having the CSP will unlock being able to use your points with any CSR transfer partner at the same rate as a CSR. The only downside to CSP vs CSR from a redemption standpoint is a lower value per point when using Pay Yourself Back or redeeming for travel from the Chase portal. In a year, you can upgrade the CSP back to a CSR if you want.

Don’t downgrade the CSR to a CSP as you won’t get the large CSP signup bonus.

Good call on the travel credits, M1

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Thanks all for the advice! I will cash out my points before downgrading. I just can't justify paying $550 for a credit card fee. I didn't really use all of the features.

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Part of the value of programs like Chase UR and AMEX MR is the option value of being able to transfer the points to many different places. So, I’d keep them in Chase for now if you’re going to get a CSR or CSP now or when you want to redeem them. If you redeem them for travel directly or though the Chase portal, or through Pay Yourself Back, you’ll get either 1.25 cents (CSP) or 1.5 cents (CSR) per point. Redemptions for hotels won’t qualify for any hotel status benefits or points earning, so that’s generally a bad option. Your (often better) alternative is to transfer the points to Hyatt or an airline partner (Marriott Bonvoy is an option too, but it’s a horrible transfer rate, so don’t do it).

With Hyatt and most airlines, redemption rates are quite disconnected from cash prices, so it’s not like you have a certain dollar value or credit. Sometimes cash prices are low, so you’re better off paying cash. Other times points can be an amazing deal. You can get premium cabin flights for a lot fewer points than you’d pay redeeming miles through the Chase portal. Hotels can be great deals too, particularly at high end properties (e.g., rooms at the Park Hyatt Maldives are ~$1,000/night or 30k points/night, a value of 3.3 cents/point if you actually value a room there at $1,000/night). Some lower end properties can be great too—I stayed at the Hyatt Place Moab in April to go to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. Rooms were going for $400/night, but the property is a Hyatt category 2, so using points it was only 8,000 points/night, a value of 5 cents per point.

Some great hotel redemptions I’ve had over the years that would have been cost-prohibitive paying cash (and an insane number of points if I’d redeemed through the Chase portal or something similar): NYE in Sydney and Times Square, Oktoberfest in Munich, Carnival in Rio, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Hyatt Regency Playa del Carmen and the W Punta Mita in the week between Christmas and New Years

You don't be able to transfer the points. The better move is to downgrade to CSP.

The Freedom Unlimited card is a UR card, so you can just switch to that and keep the points. Know that you get a better redemption rate with a CSR than any other card though, so keep that in mind.

Yes AA1, that's well known. 👍

Cash them out via PYB for $2250. You can only get that value with a CSR.

Cash out the points first, then downgrade before the next fee hits. So yea basically what D1 said.

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