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The Chase Freedom Flex credit card is our favorite cash back card to hit the market in years. Offering up to 5% cash back on select fixed categories, 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories, and no annual fee, this card immediately joins the ranks of the best cash back credit cards on the market.
As if the awesome earnings structure wasn’t enough, the new Freedom Flex also offers a $200 signup bonus when you spend just $500 during the first 3 months your account is open. With no interest on purchases for the first 15 months, the card also doubles as a very good 0% APR card. Plus, there are no minimums to redeem your cash back, and it never expires for as long as your account stays open.
Here’s the best part: We’ve barely scratched the surface! Let’s take a closer look at how the card works and how you can maximize its benefits to get the most value.
Chase Freedom Flex Highlights
- $200 Signup Bonus – Earn a $200 bonus when you spend $500 during the first 3 months your account is open. That is up to 40% back on your spending!
- 5% Cash Back at Grocery Stores – For the first year you have the card, you’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 in grocery store purchases (Target and Walmart excluded).
- 5% Cash Back on Rotating Categories – Earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 of combined purchases in bonus categories that rotate each calendar quarter.
- 5% Cash Back on Travel – Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase travel portal.
- 5% Cash Back on Lyft – Earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022.
- 3% Cash Back at Restaurants and Drugstores – Earn 3% cash back on purchases at drugstores and restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services).
- 1% Cash Back on Purchases – Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Introductory 0% APR – Enjoy no interest on purchases for the first 15 months after opening your account.
- Annual Fee – $0
- Learn How to Apply
Where This Card Shines
The credit card landscape has looked remarkably similar for years, so it’s not often that we get to write about brand new products. Finding a new card which is worth writing about is even more of a rarity. Thankfully, the new Chase Freedom Flex has us all kinds of excited.
Chase is sunsetting the original Chase Freedom Card for new users, although current cardmembers can continue using it for as long as they wish. With that said, the new Freedom Flex is effectively taking its place.
If you’re a fan of the original Freedom Card, however, fear not. The Freedom Flex offers the same 5% cash back bonus categories you’ve grown to love PLUS it offers a host of other benefits and bonus categories not found on the original – including 3% cash back at drugstores and restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
New cardmembers will earn a $200 bonus after spending only $500 during the first 3 months. That is an extremely short bar to clear, so there isn’t any reason to miss out on this bonus. If you already have a Chase Freedom card but are under the Chase 5/24 rule, you can apply for the new card (rather upgrade) and also claim the bonus.
Additionally, you can earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases for the first year you have the card. That is huge! Keep in mind, however, this benefit is limited to a generous $12,000 in spending. It also excludes Walmart and Target.
As with other cards in the Chase Freedom family, this card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months. There is no annual fee, and your cash back will not expire as long as your account remains open.
Here is another big change to note: The Freedom Flex comes with a ton of additional benefits not found on the original Freedom Card. With the Freedom Flex, you will enjoy 5% off Lyft rides until March 2022 plus a complimentary 3-month membership to DoorDash Dashpass. The card also comes with some travel insurance coverage when you use it to book travel arrangements.
Chase Freedom Flex Quarterly Bonus Categories for 2021
As we mentioned, the Chase Freedom Flex offers 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in combined spending in certain bonus categories. These categories rotate each quarter, and both the Freedom Flex and the original Freedom Card share the same categories.
In the past, categories have included purchases at Walmart, Paypal, grocery stores, and more. Here’s what we know so far about the Chase Freedom Flex rotating categories for 2021:
|Q1 (January-March 2021)||– Wholesale clubs|
– Internet, cable, and phone
– Select streaming services
|Q2 (April-June 2021)||– Gas stations|
– Home improvement stores
|Q3 (July-September 2021)||– Grocery stores (excludes Target/Walmart)|
– Select streaming services
|Q4 (October-December 2021)||– TBA|
Remember, the 5% cash back bonus is only good on the first $1,500 in combined purchases across all categories during the quarter. You will also need to “activate” the categories each quarter to be credited with the bonus.
How to Get the Most from Your Card
Want to get the maximum amount of value from your new Chase Freedom Flex card? For starters, be sure to take advantage of the $200 signup bonus. By spending just $500 during the first three months you have the card, you’ll earn $200 cash back. That’s up to 40% back on your initial spend!
If you’re new to Chase Freedom cards, this is super simple. Just apply for a new Freedom Flex card and meet the minimum spending requirement.
Of course, you’ll also want to use your card to earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 in grocery store purchases during the first year. Again, this earnings boost excludes purchases at Target and Walmart.
For those who already have the original Freedom Card, you can earn the bonus by applying for a new card and qualifying under the Chase 5/24 rule. However, if you’re over, you can still upgrade your old card to the new Freedom Flex. You won’t be eligible for the bonus, but you’ll still get to take advantage of all other benefits the card offers – including 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back at restaurants and drugstores, 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022, and more.
In addition to grabbing the signup bonus, maxing out the quarterly bonus categories can really add up. So, if the bonus includes gas stations, be sure to use your card and earn 5% cash back every time you fill up. Once you hit the $1,500 in combined spending for the quarter, simply switch to another card which offers a higher percentage of cash back.
As with the other Chase Freedom cards, your cash back goes even further when you pair the Freedom Flex with one of Chase’s premium rewards cards. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card allows you to transfer points to over a dozen travel loyalty programs. This often results in a better “per point” value, stretching your cash back even further.
Other Sapphire Preferred Card benefits include 5x points on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points at restaurants, no foreign transaction fees, and a 100,000 point signup bonus (worth $1,250 toward travel) when you spend $4,000 during the first three months.
Where the Card Falls Short
There is a lot to like about the Chase Freedom Flex Card, but it isn’t perfect for every situation. Here are a few things you may not like about the card:
- Charges Foreign Transaction Fees – Although the travel benefits of the Chase Freedom Flex are far superior to its predecessor, it isn’t a great card to take with you overseas. The card still charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%. So, while you can use your card to earn cash back on travel purchases prior to leaving, it’s best to use a different card for spending while your actually on the trip.
- 1% Cash Back for Everyday Spending – The Freedom Flex is a great card to use when making purchases covered by its bonus categories – and there are a lot of them. Outside of that, however, the card only earns 1% cash back on other purchases. While not bad, there are several other cards which earn more on everyday spending.
Alternatives to the Chase Freedom Flex
The newly revamped Chase Freedom Unlimited Card serves as an excellent alternative or compliment to the Freedom Flex Card.
Like the Freedom Flex Card, the Freedom Unlimited offers 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase portal and 3% cash back at restaurants and drugstores. Although the Freedom Unlimited does not offer rotating bonus categories, the card does offer 1.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.
You’ll still get a 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months, there is no annual fee, and the signup bonus remains the same – $200 for spending $500 during the first 3 months.
If you love simplicity, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is another great option. Offering a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases, you’ll never have to worry about tracking bonus categories. Just use the card for everything and earn some nice cash back.
The Quicksilver also offers a $200 bonus when you spend just $500 during the first 3 months. You’ll pay 0% interest on purchases for the first 15 months (14.99%-24.99% variable APR after that), and there is no annual fee so it costs you nothing to try it out.
If you’re looking for a good cash back card and a great alternative to the Chase brand, this card is it.
Chase Freedom Flex Card: Final Thoughts
If you were worried that the Chase Freedom Flex Card wouldn’t measure up to the original, worry no more. The Chase Freedom Flex knocks it out of the park.
When compared to other top cash back credit cards, the Freedom Flex easily holds it’s own. Offering up to 5% cash back on select categories, no annual fee, and 0% APR for the first 15 months, this card provides the same great benefits you expect from the Chase Freedom product line…and much more!
Chase Freedom Flex Card Review Summary
Cash Back Value
Chase Freedom Flex Card Summary
The new Chase Freedom Flex credit card is easily one of the best cash back credit cards available.
With this card, you’ll earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back at drugstores and restaurants, and 1% cash back on everyday spending. The card also allows you to earn a 5% cash back bonus on the first $1,500 you spend each quarter in categories that rotate. There is no annual fee and a $200 bonus available if you spend $500 the first 3 months you have the card.
If you’re looking for a great way to maximize your cash back benefits, the Chase Freedom Flex is it. Learn how to apply here.