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Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Sign-up Bonus
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
Introductory APR
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Regular APR
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
Edited by
Julie Sherrier
Reviewed by
Glen Luke Flanagan
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Who is the Chase Freedom Flex℠ best for?

Chase shook up its popular line of Freedom credit cards in September 2020 by closing the Chase Freedom® to new applications and rolling out the new Chase Freedom Flex℠ — a World Elite Mastercard with a $0 annual fee and a combination of rotating and ongoing rewards. What makes this card really appealing is a combination of benefits: a generous and tiered rewards earning structure, a solid sign-up bonus as well as a great 0% intro APR promotion.

Cardholders with the classic Chase Freedom® can keep the card if they choose, according to a Chase spokesperson. The rotating 5% categories for that card and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ will be the same going forward. While cardholders have the option of requesting a product change, that won’t allow for earning a sign-up bonus like applying for a new Chase Freedom Flex℠ would.

In short, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a great choice for consumers who want to earn cash back on dining and drugstore purchases and are willing to pay attention and activate a new bonus category each quarter.

We’ll take a look at where the Chase Freedom Flex℠ excels, where it falls short and another card to consider for consumers looking to earn maximum cash back on dining out purchases.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ overview

    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
    • 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!
    • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee.
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • Credit needed:
    680 850
    Excellent/Good
  • 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

Intro BT APR

N/A

Annual Fee

$0

Regular Purchase APR

14.99% - 23.74% Variable

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.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Generous rewards
  • Easy-to-earn sign-up bonus
  • Intro APR on purchases
  • $0 annual fee
  • DashPass membership
  • Mastercard World Elite benefits
  • Free credit score access

Cons

  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Bonus categories require activation
  • Spending cap for bonus categories

What we like about the Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Generous rewards

    Typically, cards with rotating 5% cashback categories offer just 1% on purchases outside the current quarter’s category. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ stands out by offering rotating 5% categories alongside categories that earn 5% and 3% on an ongoing basis. Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Dining includes takeout and eligible delivery services.

  • Easy-to-earn sign-up bonus

    Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

  • Intro APR on purchases

    Enjoy a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months. After, a 14.99% - 23.74% variable APR applies.

  • $0 annual fee

    The annual fee for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is $0. As long as you don’t incur interest charges or fees, all the rewards you earn with this card are net cash back.

  • DashPass membership

    DashPass is a subscription service offered by DoorDash, providing unlimited deliveries for a $0 delivery fee on DoorDash orders of more than $12 (other fees may apply). With your Chase Freedom Flex℠, get a complimentary DashPass subscription for three months, then get automatically enrolled at 50% off for the next nine months. Activate by Dec. 31, 2021 to take advantage of this benefit.

  • Mastercard World Elite benefits

    Get cellphone protection of up to $800 per claim with a $50 deductible per claim. Maximum two claims in a 12-month period and $1,000 reimbursement per year. Plus, enjoy discounts on merchants such as Boxed, ShopRunner and Fandango.

  • Free credit score access

    View your VantageScore for free through Credit Journey.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ 5% bonus categories

Remember that you must activate the new category each quarter or you’ll earn just 1% cash back. Also be aware that the 5% cashback rate is only for the first $1,500 you spend in the bonus categories, after which you’ll earn 1% on all purchases until the next quarter. This means the maximum you can earn at the higher rate is $75 cash back per quarter. Here are the bonus categories announced for 2021 so far:

  • Wholesale clubs, select streaming services and internet, cable and phone services (Jan–March)
  • Gas stations and home improvement stores (April-June)
  • Grocery stores, excluding Target and Walmart, and select streaming services (July – Sept.)
  • Walmart and purchases made with PayPal (Oct. – Dec.)

What to watch out for with the Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Foreign transaction fee

    The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. If you need to travel outside the United States, tuck this card safely away at home and take a card that charges no foreign transaction fees instead.

  • Bonus categories require activation

    As is standard for cards with rotating 5% categories, you must activate a new category each quarter. If you neglect to do so, you’ll earn just 1% back in those categories.

  • Spending cap for bonus categories

    This card offers a generous cashback rate, but there’s a catch. In the rotating 5% bonus categories, after you spend $1,500, your earning rate will decrease to 1% for the remainder of the quarter. This means you can earn up to $75 in cash back each quarter at the higher rate.

Alternate dining card

Compare it to the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

Disclosures |
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
on U.S. Bank's secure site
0% for 12 billing cycles on purchases*
14.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
$0*
Earn 4X points on dining, takeout and food delivery, 2X points at
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. That's a $200 value redeemable towards merchandise, gift cards, cash back, travel and more
  • Earn 4X points on takeout, food delivery and dining
  • Earn 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas stations and on streaming services
  • $15 credit for annual streaming service purchases such as Netflix and Spotify
  • No annual fee*
  • 1X point per $1 on all other eligible purchases
  • Low Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Points never expire
680 850

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.

 
Whether you prefer to dine in at a restaurant and enjoy the atmosphere or order takeout so you can eat in the comfort of your own home, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card will earn a mouthwatering amount of points either way for a $0* annual fee. Earn 4X points on dining, takeout and food delivery, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services and gas stations, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases.

If dining is one of your heavier spending categories, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card offers a higher ongoing rewards rate for that than the Chase Freedom Flex℠. And consumers who like consistency will appreciate that the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card doesn’t switch things up every few months like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ does with its rotating 5% categories.

However, for those willing to activate a new category each quarter, the Chase Freedom Flex℠’s combination of rotating and ongoing rewards offers an opportunity to earn a generous amount back.

For example, if you hit the $1,500 spending cap on the rotating categories every quarter, that’s $300 in cash back for the year — and that’s not counting what you’ll be earning on a regular basis for dining, drugstore purchases and travel booked through the Chase portal.

Compare the Chase Freedom Flex℠ to similar cards

Comparison of four different credit cards
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Discover it<sup>®</sup> Cash Back U.S. Bank Altitude<sup>®</sup> Go Visa Signature<sup>®</sup> Card Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Discover it® Cash Back U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Apply Now
on U.S. Bank's secure site
Apply Now
on Wells Fargo's secure site
Annual Fee
$0 $0 $0* $0
Welcome Offer
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. Unlimited Cashback Match – 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 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically Earn 4X points on dining, takeout and food delivery, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services and gas stations, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases. Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months 0% for 14 months 0% for 12 billing cycles on purchases* 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
Regular APR
14.99% - 23.74% Variable 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR 14.99% - 23.99%* (Variable) 14.99%-24.99% (Variable)
Intro Balance Transfer Rate
N/A 0% for 14 months 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles for balances transferred within 60 days from account opening 0% intro APR for 15 months on qualifying balance transfers
Regular Balance Transfer Rate
14.99 - 23.74% Variable 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR 14.99% - 23.99%* (Variable) 14.99%-24.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)* Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater. 3% intro for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5%; min: $5
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good Excellent/Good Excellent/Good Excellent/Good
Card Details
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Discover it® Cash Back U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

Is the Chase Freedom Flex℠ right for you?

If ongoing rewards on dining and drugstore purchases, as well as rotating categories that earn 5% back on up to $1,500 per quarter (which means $75 in cash back) sounds good to you, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a great card to add to your wallet. But before applying, ensure you understand the unwritten Chase 5/24 rule. In short, Chase will deny your application if you’ve been approved for five or more personal credit cards from any issuer within the past 24 months.

Another card to consider is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which got an upgrade around the same time Chase rolled out the Chase Freedom Flex℠. The main difference between the two cards is that while the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers rotating 5% categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a higher base rewards rate on purchases not in a special category.

Both cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points (though they’re marketed as cashback cards), and if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, these points can be transferred to your Sapphire card and redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for more value toward booking travel.

For those wanting another option for a card earning 5% cash back on rotating categories, the Discover it® Cash Back is a top-of-the-line choice. Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically However, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ also offers ongoing rewards categories, which the Discover it® Cash Back doesn’t have.

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site