Who should get the Chase Freedom Flex card? - Business Insider - Business Insider

Who should get the Chase Freedom Flex card? - Business Insider - Business Insider


Who should get the Chase Freedom Flex card? - Business Insider - Business Insider

Posted: 30 Sep 2020 08:37 AM PDT

This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on the page are from our partners like Citi and American Express, but our coverage is always independent. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page.

  • The new Chase Freedom Flex℠ card is a great option for earning cash back, with more bonus categories than the Chase Freedom, which it's replacing.
  • If you have the original Chase Freedom card, it's worth either applying for the Freedom Flex or requesting a product change to the newer card.
  • If you apply for the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you can earn $200 back after spending $500 in the first three months, plus 5% cash back on groceries (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first 12 months of account opening.
  • While the Chase Sapphire Preferred card earns more valuable points, the Freedom Flex could be a good alternative thanks to bonus cash back on similar categories.
  • See Business Insider's guide to the best cash-back credit cards »

Chase recently introduced a new card called the Chase Freedom Flex, which earns cash back with no annual fee. The Freedom Flex replaces the old Chase Freedom card for new applicants, though if you already have the Chase Freedom you can keep your card.

The Chase Freedom Flex offers the same quarterly bonus categories that came with the original Chase Freedom card. Each quarter, you will get 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent in the specified quarterly bonus categories when you activate (then 1% back). The Freedom Flex card also earns 5% back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3% on dining at restaurants, takeout and delivery, and at drugstores. You'll get 1% back on all other purchases.

So, who should consider this new card? Anyone looking for a great cash-back card should give the Freedom Flex a look, as well as the following four groups of people.

Annual Fee

None

Regular APR

14.99% – 23.74%

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Editor's Rating

Featured Reward

$200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Intro APR

0% for the first 15 billing cycles
Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
  • 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 travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants 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.
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • Generous bonus cash-back categories
  • Great welcome bonus
Cons
  • Booking through Ultimate Rewards portal can restrict outside earning potential
  • Varying percentages and rotating calendar categories require extra attention
  • 3% foreign transaction fees

Current holders of the Chase Freedom card

The Chase Freedom card is now closed to new applicants. But if you already have the original Chase Freedom card, you'll only earn more than 1% cash back on the 5% rotating quarterly bonus categories, which are capped at $1,500 in spending each quarter.

The original Chase Freedom card does not have the bonus rewards on travel, dining, or drugstores. So if you have the Chase Freedom card, you might consider getting the Freedom Flex for the additional rewards.

One option would be to do a product change, and replace your Freedom card with the Freedom Flex. This option is best for people who prefer simplicity.

There are two reasons that you might consider keeping your original Freedom card and applying for a new Chase Freedom Flex instead. First, only new applicants will get the $200 welcome bonus on the Freedom Flex. If you product change from an existing Chase credit card, you will not get the welcome bonus.

The second reason is that you are limited to 5% cash back on the rotating quarterly bonus categories only on the first $1,500 spent each quarter. If you have both the Freedom AND the Freedom Flex card, you would be able to double your bonus each quarter. You still have the option to cancel your original Freedom card later if you want to simplify your wallet — but remember, neither card has an annual fee.

People under Chase 5/24

Like other Chase credit cards, the Chase Freedom Flex is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule. That means that if you've opened five or more credit cards from any bank in the past 24 months, you will not be approved for the new Freedom Flex card.

So you'll need to be under the 5/24 threshold in order to get the Freedom Flex card. If you're over 5/24 with no hope of getting under any time soon, you could consider a product change from another Chase credit card such as the original Freedom card.

Those looking for a flexible rewards credit card with no annual fee

The Chase Freedom Flex is a really solid option for people who want a rewards credit card with no annual fee. The Freedom Flex takes the rotating quarterly bonus categories of the original Freedom card and offers bonuses on some of the most popular spending categories: travel, dining, groceries, and drugstores.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is another card that has no annual fee and earns Ultimate Rewards points. The Chase Freedom Flex and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® have the same bonuses on travel, dining, grocery, and drugstores. If you're considering one of these two cards, check out our comparison of the Chase Freedom Flex and the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Annual Fee

$95

Regular APR

15.99%-22.99% Variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent
Editor's Rating
Featured Reward
80,000 points
Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Pros
  • High sign-up bonus starts you off with lots of points
  • Strong travel coverage
Cons
  • Doesn't offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit or any other statement credit benefits
Read Our Review Read Our ReviewA looong arrow, pointing right

Some Chase Sapphire Preferred cardholders

The bonus categories on the new Chase Freedom Flex are so attractive that it could even be an alternative to Chase the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Yes, the Sapphire Preferred has some features that the Freedom Flex does not, like the ability to transfer to travel partners or redeem for 25% more through the Ultimate Rewards portal. But the Sapphire Preferred also comes with a $95 annual fee.

You'll need to examine your own spending and redemption patterns to see if keeping the Sapphire Preferred makes sense to you. If the Sapphire Preferred is your only premium Chase credit card, that alone could be a reason to keep it. The ability to transfer Ultimate Rewards to hotel and airline travel partners is super valuable, so giving it up is a big deal. But if you have another premium Chase card like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, it may make sense to downgrade your Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom Flex card.

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Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they're subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

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