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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

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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Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).
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Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

LendingTree's Review

How LendingTree Rates Credit Cards?

Our experts rate credit cards based on several factors including card benefits, bonus offers and independent research. Credit card issuers do not influence or have a say in our card ratings. Read our credit card methodology here.
4.5
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Sign-Up Bonus
Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Introductory APR
0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
20.49% - 29.24% variable
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It was not reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
Citi is an advertising partner.

Our take: If you can keep track of its rotating bonus categories, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers unbeatable value in a sea of great cash back cards. But if you’re looking for a simpler way to earn rewards, a card with a more traditional earning structure might be a better fit.

Pros and cons

  • Generous rewards
  • Easy-to-earn sign-up bonus
  • Flexible redemption options
  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Mastercard World Elite benefits
  • No annual fee
  • Bonus categories require activation
  • Spending cap on bonus categories
  • Foreign transaction fee

Is the Chase Freedom Flex℠ worth it?

The $0-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a great cash back card for rewards strategists. In addition to elevated rates on Chase Travel℠, dining and drugstore purchases, you can earn 5% cash back (on up to $1,500) on rotating bonus categories. However, you’ll need to manually activate the new categories each quarter; otherwise, you’ll only earn the standard 1% on those purchases. The effort is more than worth it, as you’ll earn an additional $75 per quarter if you max out the spending cap. Other benefits — such as intro APR periods, travel and purchase protections and a valuable sign-up bonus — only sweeten the deal.

However, if the card’s bonus categories don’t line up with your spending — or you simply want a low-maintenance approach to earning — you might want to look elsewhere. For example, the Citi Custom Cash® Card lets you automatically earn 5% cash back (on up to $500) on your top eligible spend category each month.

Quick facts

    • Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the 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.
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit scores ranges may vary. Your individual chance at approval may vary due to factors such as creditors using a particular variation at their discretion
  • 660 720 850
    Good / Excellent
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver (secondary coverage)
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Extended warranty
  • Purchase protection

Intro Purchase APR

0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months

Regular Purchase APR

20.49% - 29.24% variable

Intro BT APR

0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months

Regular BT APR

20.49% - 29.24% variable

Annual Fee

$0

Cash Advance Fee

Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fee

3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Balance Transfer Fee

Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

What we like about the Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Generous rewards

    The signature of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is its generous cash back rate, which pairs tiered rewards with rotating 5% bonus categories. You’ll earn 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.

    This cash back combo makes the Chase Freedom Flex℠ one of the highest-earning cards in its class, beating out several of its closest competitors. The table below shows how it compares to some of the best cash back credit cards:

    Rewards earned per $1 spent*
    Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express$0.026
    Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card$0.025*
    Chase Freedom Flex℠$0.022
    Chase Freedom Unlimited®$0.021
    Citi Custom Cash® Card$0.021
    Discover it® Cash Back$0.017
    *Based on LendingTree’s value methodology

  • Easy-to-earn sign-up bonus

    With the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you can earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This is among the lowest spending requirements for any credit card sign-up bonus.

  • Flexible redemption options

    While the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is billed as a cash back card, it actually earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. In addition to being the most valuable card currency around, Ultimate Reward points are known for their flexibility. You can redeem your points for any of the following:

    • Cash back (issued via a statement credit or direct deposit)
    • Chase Experiences
    • Chase Dining℠
    • Amazon.com and PayPal purchases
    • Travel
    • Gift cards
    • Merchandise
    • Transfer to travel partners

    According to our estimates, Chase Freedom Flex℠ points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for cash back, gift cards, merchandise and travel. But if you have a premium Chase card (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card), you can combine your points and double their value by transferring them to one of Chase’s 12-plus travel partners.

  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers

    If you’re planning a big purchase or trying to pay off credit card debt, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ can net you some serious savings. You’ll get a 15-month intro APR on purchases and balance transfers. In fact, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ tops our list of the best 0% APR credit cards. Check out the table below to see how much you could save:

    PurchasesBalance transfers
    Intro APR0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months
    Regular APR20.49% - 29.24% variable 20.49% - 29.24% variable
    Estimated savings$1,261*$1,082*
    *Based on LendingTree’s value methodology

  • World Elite Mastercard benefits

    As a World Elite Mastercard, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers the following benefits, discounts and credits:

    • Cellphone insurance (up to $1,000)
    • Zero liability protection
    • Purchase protection
    • Extended warranty protection
    • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance
    • Auto rental collision damage waiver
    • Travel and emergency assistance services
    • DoorDash: Get three complimentary months of DashPass
    • Lyft: Earn 5% total cash back on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025
    • Instacart: Get three complimentary months of Instacart+ and $10 quarterly statement credits
  • No annual fee

    On top of its generous rewards rate and other numerous benefits, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ comes with a $0 annual fee. This means that, as long as you avoid interest charges and other fees, all the cash back you earn will stay in your wallet.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ categories

To get the most out of your Chase Freedom Flex℠ card, you’ll need to remember to activate the quarterly 5% bonus categories before the deadline. To keep track of everything, you can follow the Chase Freedom calendar, which publishes the new categories before each quarter begins. The bonus categories for the third quarter of 2024 are gas stations, EV charging, select live entertainment and movie theaters.

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 SeptemberGas stations
EV charging
Select live entertainment
Movie theaters
September 14
Q4: October through DecemberAnnouncing September 15December 14

What to watch out for with the Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Bonus categories require activation

    To earn 5% on the Chase Freedom Flex℠ bonus categories, you’ll need to activate the new categories each quarter. If you forget to activate or miss the deadline, you’ll only earn the standard 1% on those purchases. The easiest ways to activate are online or via the Chase mobile app, but you can also activate by phone, in person at a Chase bank or while making a withdrawal at an ATM.

    Fortunately, Chase’s activation is retroactive. This means that, as long as you activate by the deadline, you’ll earn the 5% bonus for the full quarter. This is more forgiving than the Discover cash back bonus program, which only lets you earn the bonus after you activate.

  • Spending cap for bonus categories

    While standard among similar cards, it’s important to note that the Chase Freedom Flex℠ does have a spending cap on its quarterly bonus categories. You’ll only earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent on eligible purchases. After that, the earning rate drops down to the standard 1%.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    Frequent international travelers might want to consider another cash back card, as the Chase Freedom Flex℠ charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. There are plenty of no foreign transaction fee credit cards out there, including the comparable Discover it® Cash Back.

Alternative cards to the Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

| Disclosures
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
20.49% - 29.24% Variable
$0
Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, our premier r
  • 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
660 720 850
Good / Excellent

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

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


 
Another popular $0-annual-fee card in the Chase Freedom lineup, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a simpler approach to earning rewards. It matches the Chase Freedom Flex℠‘s elevated earning rates on Chase Travel℠, dining and drugstore purchases but drops the rotating categories in favor of a higher rate on non-bonus purchases. Instead of the 1% offered by the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you’ll get 1.5% cash back on those purchases with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® also comes with a 15-month intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, travel and purchase protections and a great sign-up bonus.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Discover it® Cash Back

| Disclosures
Discover it® Cash Back
Discover it® Cash Back
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Rates & Fees
0% Intro APR for 15 months
18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR
$0
Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited 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.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 18.24% to 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
660 720 850
Good / Excellent

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

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


 
Like the Chase Freedom Flex℠, the Discover it® Cash Back lets you 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.

It also boasts a $0 annual fee, a generous sign-up bonus and a 15-month intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers. And while it can’t match the benefits of the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you won’t have to pay a foreign transaction fee when using it abroad.

But when it comes to ongoing rewards and overall value, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has the edge. It earns an elevated rate of cash back on several useful categories (including dining) and then a flat 1% on everything else. In contrast, the Discover it® Cash Back earns the base 1% rate on all non-bonus purchases.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Citi Custom Cash® Card

| Disclosures
Citi Custom Cash® Card
Citi Custom Cash® Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Citibank's secure site
Rates & Fees
0% intro APR for 15 months on Purchases
19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)
$0
Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 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.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 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.
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person.
600 660 720 850
Fair / Good / Excellent

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

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


 
If you like the idea of earning 5% cash back on everyday purchases but don’t want to keep track of rotating categories, the Citi Custom Cash® Card might be a better option. You’ll automatically 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.

Eligible categories are similar to the Chase Freedom Flex℠ categories and include:

  • Restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Drugstores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Live entertainment
  • Fitness clubs
  • Select streaming services
  • Select travel and transit purchases

The Citi Custom Cash® Card also comes with a $0 annual fee, an intro APR on purchases and balance transfers and a valuable sign-up bonus. And since it earns flexible Citi ThankYou® points, rewards are easily redeemed for cash back, gift cards, travel and more.

Is the Chase Freedom Flex℠ right for you?

Living up to its name, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a great option for anyone looking for a flexible cash back card with solid benefits and great earning potential. To get the most value from the card, though, you’ll need to keep up with the Chase Freedom cash back calendar and activate the rotating bonus categories each quarter. If you do, you could earn up to $300 in bonus cash back for the year.

However, if you like a more “automatic” approach to earning, you’ll be better off with another rewards card.

Learn More
on Chase's secure site
The information related to the Citi Custom Cash® Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

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