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LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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Content was accurate at the time of publication.
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Editorial Guidelines

At LendingTree, we are committed to providing accurate and actionable content that helps you make informed decisions about your money. Our team of writers and editors follows these key guidelines:
  • We thoroughly fact-check and review all content for accuracy. We aim to make corrections on any errors as soon as we are aware of them.
  • Our partners do not commission or endorse our content.
  • Our partners do not pay us to feature any specific product in our content, but we do feature some products and offers from companies that provide compensation to LendingTree. This may impact how and where offers appear on the site (such as the order).
  • We review and interview both external and internal reputable sources for our content and disclose sourcing in our content.
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The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards have a lot in common. They both come with great sign-up bonuses, long intro APRs and no annual fees.

The rewards structure is where these cards differ. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers rotating bonus categories, while the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a more straightforward earning structure. Deciding which card is best for you comes down to your spending habits and how much work you want to put toward managing your rewards.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® comparison

Chase Freedom Flex℠Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Sign-up bonusEarn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.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.
Sign-up bonus value$200$300
Bonus categories

  • 5% cash back on Chase Travel

  • 3% cash back at restaurants including takeout and eligible delivery services

  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases


  • 5% cash back on Chase Travel

  • 3% cash back at restaurants including takeout and eligible delivery services

  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases

Rotating bonus categories

  • 5% cash back on quarterly bonus categories up to $1,500. Activation required.


  • No bonus categories

Rewards on other purchases

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases


  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

Annual fee$0$0
Regular purchase APR20.49% - 29.24% variable 20.49% – 29.24% Variable
First-year value $641*$722*
Second-year and ongoing value$441*$422*

*This estimate is based on LendingTree’s value methodology.

What we like about the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card is best for rotating 5% bonus categories.

Rewards rate: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter. Plus, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

If you can keep track of its rotating bonus categories, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card has great cash back value. You’ll get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on rotating bonus categories.

You’ll need to activate the categories each quarter to earn the 5% bonus, or you’ll only get 1% cash back on those purchases. The Chase Freedom calendar is a good way to keep track of bonus categories each quarter. Here’s a list of the 2024 categories so far:

Chase Freedom calendar for 2024

QuarterChase bonus categoriesActivation deadline
Q1: January through MarchGrocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target)
Fitness clubs and gym memberships
Self-care and spa services
March 14
Q2: April through JuneHotels
Restaurants
Amazon.com
June 14
Q3: July through SeptemberAnnouncing June 15September 14
Q4: October through DecemberAnnouncing September 15December 14

The combination of ongoing bonus categories and rotating 5% cash back categories, makes this card’s earning potential slightly higher than the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. We estimate that the average cardholder can earn around $0.022 on their spending with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ versus $0.021 with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

*Based on LendingTree’s value methodology

What we like about the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is best for a solid flat rate on all purchases.

Rewards rate: Enjoy 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; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is easier to manage than the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card because you don’t have to keep track of rotating bonus categories. You’ll get bonus rewards on restaurant and drugstore purchases. All other purchases earn a flat 1.5% cash back.

This card pairs well with other Chase credit cards. You can combine its flat rate with cards that earn a bonus on other categories like gas or airlines to maximize your reward earnings.

Understanding the Chase 5/24 rule

The unwritten Chase 5/24 rule means that you might not get approved for a Chase credit card if you’ve opened five or more credit cards over the last 24 months. This rule applies to credit cards with all issuers, not just Chase. This is something to be aware of when applying for any Chase credit card.

Earning points with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards have a few of the same cash back categories:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchases through Chase Travel℠
  • 3% cash back at restaurants including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases

The key difference is The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card offers a 5% bonus on up to $1,500 in purchases on categories that rotate each quarter. You have to activate these categories every three months, and all non-bonus categories only earn 1% back. In comparison, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers a higher rate of 1.5% on general purchases, but doesn’t have rotating quarterly cash back categories.

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What kind of rewards will I get?

Both the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® are considered cash back credit cards, but both earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are extremely valuable and known for their flexibility. You can redeem points in multiple ways including cash back.

Redeeming points with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards are both part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program, one of the most popular credit card rewards programs. Points are extremely flexible and easy to redeem. Redemption options include:

  • Cash back: There’s no minimum to redeem and you can receive cash back as a statement credit or direct deposit.
  • Amazon.com: Link either card to your Amazon.com account and instantly redeem cash back rewards to pay for all or part of eligible Amazon orders at checkout.
  • Gift cards: Redeem for a variety of gift cards and certificates for shopping, dining, entertainment and more.
  • Travel: Book travel through Chase Travel℠.

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How much are my points worth?

Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash back gift cards, merchandise and travel.

Transferring points with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Pairing the Chase Freedom Flex℠ or Chase Freedom Unlimited® with a Chase travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, can help you get more value out of your points. You can transfer points to one of these travel cards and, depending on the card, get a higher value of 1.25 to 1.5 cents per point on Chase Travel purchases. Plus, you can transfer points at a 1:1 rate to one of Chase’s 14 travel partners for a value of around 2 cents per point.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited® benefits

Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers

Both the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® have an excellent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. This makes both of these cards a good choice if you plan to carry a balance or make a large purchase using one of these cards. You’ll get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months and a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months. After the intro period, a 20.49% - 29.24% variable APR will apply.

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How does the intro APR stack up?

This is an above-average intro APR compared to other similar cards. But, there are cards that offer an even longer intro APR. Check out all of the best 0% APR credit cards.

Travel and purchase protections

Both the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® have the following travel and purchase protections:

  • Zero liability protection: You won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges made.
  • Purchase protection: Covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft. Up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended warranty protection: Extends your U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year on warranties of three years or less.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: You’ll be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip if your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other conditions.
  • 24/7 fraud monitoring: You’ll get a text, email or call if there are unusual purchases on your card.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Secondary coverage for theft and collision damage.
  • Travel and emergency assistance services: Medical referrals or other travel and emergency assistance if you run into a problem away from home.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card also comes with cellphone protection that will get you up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cellphone protection if your phone is stolen or damaged.

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Looking for more travel perks?

Choosing a Chase travel card with an annual fee like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® card will land you more travel perks like travel credits, lounge access or more luxury travel insurance. Check out all of the best credit cards for travel.

Chase partner benefits

Both cards also come with a few Chase partner benefits:

Doordash: Get a complimentary three months of DashPass. After that, you’ll be automatically enrolled in DashPass at 50% off for the next nine months. Activate by Dec. 31, 2024.

Lyft: Earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025.

Instacart: Get a complimentary three months of Instacart+ membership. After that, you’ll be automatically enrolled as an annual Instacart+ member unless you cancel. You’ll also receive up to $10 in statement credits each quarter when you make an eligible Instacart purchase with your card. Enroll by July 31, 2024.

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Mastercard vs. Visa

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card is a Mastercard and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a Visa card. Mastercard and Visa come with many of the same benefits like zero liability insurance and purchase protection. Choosing between Mastercard and Visa won’t make much of a difference and both are typically accepted most places around the world.

Which card is better for me: Chase Freedom Flex℠ or Chase Freedom Unlimited®?

Choosing between the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card and Chase Freedom Unlimited® card depends on your spending habits and how you want to manage your rewards. If you’re willing to put in a bit of work to maximize rewards, choose the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card. You’ll get great earning potential by keeping up with the Chase Freedom cash back calendar and activating bonus categories each quarter. The 5% bonus rewards equal up to $300 extra cash back each year.

If you’re looking for good value and low maintenance, choose the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. This card offers more of an automated approach to earning rewards and requires no additional activation. You’ll get a high cash back rate in popular spending categories and general purchases.

It’s possible to get both cards if you can’t decide between the two. While these cards are often viewed as rivals, they work well together. You can use the Chase Freedom Flex℠ for its 5% categories and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to get more than 1% on everything else. You can also transfer rewards between the two cards. If you choose to get both, space out your applications by a few months so you don’t hurt your credit score. Also, be aware of the Chase 5/24 rule when applying for multiple cards.

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Tip

If you choose the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card, it’s important not to spend more than you normally would just to hit the quarterly maximum. The quarterly categories are usually popular and should naturally fit your spending habits.

Alternatives to the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Card nameSign-up bonusEarning rateAnnual fee
Wells Fargo Active Cash® CardEarn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 monthsEarn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases$0
Discover it® Cash BackUnlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically. Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.$0
Citi Custom Cash® CardEarn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Special Travel Offer: Earn an additional 4% cash back on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked on Citi Travel℠ portal through 6/30/2025.$0

The information related to the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card has been independently collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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