Chase’s newest cash back option — Chase Freedom Flex card review
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Chase Freedom Flex Overview
The Chase Freedom Flex is Chase’s newest cash back credit card, taking the old Chase Freedom card and adding new benefits and bonus categories. For a no-annual-fee credit card, it offers an impressive return across a number of spending categories, and the card becomes even more valuable when you pair it with a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card. Card Rating*: ⭐⭐⭐½
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
Chase is one of the best rewards credit card issuers, and with good reason. The bank issues several great rewards cards that offer generous bonus categories and provide excellent travel benefits. Many of these cards can also be combined to make a well-rounded credit card strategy. One of Chase’s cash back credit cards that is great for pairing with other Chase cards is the new Chase Freedom Flex.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the benefits of the Chase Freedom Flex to see if it might be a good addition to your wallet.
Who is this card for?
The Chase Freedom Flex is a great all-around card for beginners and fans of cash back. It’s easier to be approved for than many top-tier cards from Chase and Amex, and it offers a great array of benefits for a no-annual-fee card.
But this card is also great for pairing as part of a larger credit card strategy for rewards experts. If you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the rewards you earn with the Freedom Flex can be converted to full-fledged Ultimate Rewards points, which doubles their value in TPG’s eyes.
Finally, the card does come with a 0% intro APR period for 15 months on purchases (14.99%–23.74% variable APR applies after that), making it a good option for those wanting to finance a larger purchase without paying interest.
Sign up bonus
Right now, the Chase Freedom Flex is offering a two-pronged sign-up bonus. You’ll earn a $200 cash back bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months with the card. A $200 bonus after spending just $500 in three months is an easy-to-hit offer that’s pretty valuable for a no-annual-fee card — especially if you have another Chase card and can turn that $200 into 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $400 according to TPG valuations).
Main benefits and perks
As a no-annual-fee credit card, you normally shouldn’t expect much in the way of perks and benefits outside of the earning structure. However, the Chase Freedom Flex does offer a few additional benefits for cardholders:
Cell phone protection
The Chase Freedom Flex is a Mastercard, unlike most of Chase’s credit cards. As part of the Mastercard network, you have access to a solid cell phone protection plan. You’re covered for $800 per claim for theft or damage, with a maximum of two claims and $1,000 total in a 12 month period (though you may have to pay a $50 deductible). You do have to pay for your monthly phone bill with the card to receive this coverage.
Food delivery perks
As part of Chase’s partnership with DoorDash, cardholders get three months of complimentary DashPass, which gets you free delivery on eligible orders and reduced service fees. I know I have personally saved quite a bit using my Chase credit card’s complimentary DashPass access (though I get mine through the Preferred, not the Freedom Flex). Once your three months of free access are over, you’ll still get nine months of discounted access for 50% off. Cardholders must register before Dec. 31, 2021.
The card also comes with trip protections. For prepaid, non-refundable fares booked with your Chase Freedom Flex, you’re covered for $1,500 per person or $6,000 per trip if it’s canceled for a covered reason.
When Chase launched the new Chase Freedom Flex, it took the original Chase Freedom’s rotating category rewards structure and added to it. This new card is packed with earning opportunities across top spending categories, making it a compelling option for both newbies looking for their first rewards credit card and experts looking to round out their wallet.
Here’s a quick rundown of the bonus categories offered with the Chase Freedom Flex:
- 5% on the first $1,500 spent on rotating categories each quarter (activation required) — Q4 2020 categories include Walmart and PayPal
- 5% on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
- 5% on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% on dining
- 3% on drug stores
- 1% on all other purchases
That’s an impressive lineup of earning categories for any card, nonetheless a no-annual-fee credit card. While experts may prefer to book paid trips directly (especially when booking hotels), beginners can get a lot out of a card that earns 5% on travel booked through Chase’s platform, which is powered by Expedia.
Your rewards are earned in the form of points worth 1 cent each, which is why this card is considered a cash back credit card. But if you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, you can pool your points into one Chase Ultimate Rewards account, which would give you access to the full Chase Ultimate Rewards program’s redemption value.
Chase Ultimate Rewards cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred have access to Chase’s travel partners, which can help you get outsized value from your points. But beginners can also make use of Chase’s portal redemption bonuses. With the CSP and Ink Business Preferred, you get a 25% bonus on certain redemption options, and with the Reserve, you get a 50% bonus.
You can also take advantage of Chase’s Pay Yourself Back program. If you’re pooling your points, you’ll have access to the redemption categories and bonuses of the account you transfer your points to (for example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred let’s you redeem points through Pay Yourself Back at a 25% bonus for groceries, home improvement store purchases and dining). If you’re using the Pay Yourself Back program with just the Chase Freedom Flex, you’ll be able to redeem at a 25% bonus for donations made to eligible charitable organizations through Dec. 31, 2020.
Which cards compete with the Chase Freedom Flex?
The Chase Freedom Flex is new to the market, but it’s already established itself as a solid cash back credit card among the competition. Probably the most direct competitor to the card is its sister card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited. The Unlimited offers the same sign-up bonus and rewards structure, with one notable difference. Rather than earning 5% on rotating categories, you’ll get 1.5% cash back on all non-bonus spending.
For those who don’t like the prospect of activating quarterly categories or who don’t think they’d be able to maximize those categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited may be the better option. However, keep in mind that the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a Visa credit card, which means you won’t get any Mastercard benefits (including cell phone protection).
Another solid cash back contender to the Chase Freedom Flex is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card, another cash back card that technically earns points. The Wells Fargo Propel is not currently available for new applicants. However, existing cardholders can earn get 3x on travel (flights, hotels, taxis, ride-hailing, car rentals and more), dining, gas stations and popular streaming services. While the Flex’s earning potential is technically higher with 5% on certain purchases, earning across gas stations, streaming services, and a wider range of travel expenses may be more practical to your spending habits. The Wells Fargo Propel does also come with cell phone protection.
Related: Best cash back credit cards
The information for the Wells Fargo Propel has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.
2020 has been a big year for Chase, between the revamp of the Chase Sapphire Reserve and a slew of new partnerships and benefits and the updates to the Chase Freedom card family. The Chase Freedom Flex is a solid cash back card that offers an impressive rewards structure and valuable sign-up bonus — especially considering it’s a no-annual-fee credit card.
Both beginners and experts can get a lot of value out of this card, and it’s definitely worth considering adding to your wallet.
Featured image by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
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