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Chase Freedom Flex review: Up to 5% cash back and no annual fee

Why we like this card: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card has $0 annual fee, and users can earn a hefty 5% cash back on activated bonus category purchases each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1 percent). With additional benefits like an extended introductory annual percentage rate (APR) period, cell phone protection, and car rental collision coverage, this card is packed with perks.

Pros

  • Up to 5% cash back on select spending categories
  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months 
  • Cell phone protection included 
  • $0 annual fee

Cons

  • Bonus categories have quarterly limits on cash back
  • Most reward categories require activation
  • Charges foreign transaction fees

Chase Freedom Flex Highlights

  • Welcome offer: $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within your first three months
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards:
    • Unlimited 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, including airline tickets, hotel accommodations, and car rentals 
    • Unlimited 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
    • Unlimited 3% cash back on dining (including restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services)
    • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

Overview

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card is a leading $0 annual fee credit card that offers extra benefits and higher cash-back rates on select spending categories. It’s a particularly useful card if you tend to focus spending on travel or dining out; with this card, you can earn 5% cash back on purchases made through Chase Travel and 3% cash back on restaurant meals, takeout, or delivery services. 

Even though the $0 annual fee rewards card niche is crowded, the Chase Freedom Flex card stands out with a lengthy introductory APR period and extensive credit card benefits, so it could be a solid addition to your wallet. 

Who is the Chase Freedom Flex good for?

The Freedom Flex is best for those who want to maximize their rewards. The card offers outsized rewards on travel through Ultimate Rewards, dining and drugstores in addition to the 5% quarterly categories

Who shouldn’t get the Chase Freedom Flex?

If the idea of having to register for your 5% categories every quarter gives you a headache, you’ll do better with a flat-rate card like the Wells Fargo Active Cash.

Chase Freedom Flex: Rewards

The Chase Freedom Flex has static cash-back rewards categories as well as rotating bonus categories. With this card, you’ll earn the following cash back rates: 

  • Unlimited 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, including airline tickets, hotel accommodations, and car rentals 
  • Unlimited 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • Unlimited 3% cash back on dining (including restaurants, takeout and eligible delivery services)
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

The Chase Freedom Flex card also allows you to earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides (through March 2025).

You can earn 5% cash back in certain spending categories that change throughout the year. In each category, you’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases for the quarter, but you must activate the category before you can earn the higher cash back rate.

2023 Chase Freedom Flex Bonus Category Calendar
January to March April to June July to September October to December
Grocery stores (not including Walmart or Target)

Fitness clubs and gym memberships

Amazon.com

Lowe’s

Gas stations

EV charging

Select live entertainment

Walmart, Paypal purchases, Warehouse Clubs and select charities

Does the Chase Freedom Flex card offer a bonus?

The Chase Freedom Flex card offers a new cardholder a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within your first three months of opening an account. That amount of spending should be achievable for most households.

How to redeem Chase Freedom Flex rewards

There is no minimum threshold for reward redemption, and cash-back rewards won’t expire as long as your account is open. 

When logged into your account, your cash-back rewards are displayed as points. Each point is worth one cent when you redeem your points for electronic deposits, statement credits, gift cards, or travel. When you use points to purchase products at Amazon, your point value may be less, so you’re likely better off avoiding that redemption method.

Chase Ultimate Rewards

You can use your points to book travel arrangements, such as cruises and airfare, through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. 

Redeem for gift cards

Chase’s cardholder portal allows you to redeem points for gift cards and certificates from major retailers and restaurant chains.

Transfer to another card

If you have other Chase rewards credit cards, you can transfer the points you earn with the Chase Freedom Flex card to another card. 

Transferring your points may give you more value since some cards give users a higher redemption rate for points used to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, your points are worth 25% more with the popular Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. If you transferred your Chase Freedom Flex points to the Sapphire Preferred card and redeemed them for travel arrangements, they’d be worth 1.25 cents each instead of one cent. 

Chase Freedom Flex Rates and fees

  • Intro APR: 0% intro purchase APR for 15 months from account opening (after that, the variable APR will be 20.49%–29.24%)
  • Purchase APR: 20.49%–29.24% Variable
  • Balance transfer APR: 0% for the first 15 months after account opening. After that, 20.49% to 29.24%.
  • Balance transfer fee: $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Additional benefits

The Chase Freedom Flex card offers several benefits and perks, including: 

  • Cell phone protection: When you use the Chase Freedom Flex card to pay your monthly cell phone bill, you’ll automatically get cell phone protection. Through this benefit, you can get reimbursed up to $800 per claim, up to a maximum of $1,000 per year, for qualifying incidents of theft or damage. You can submit up to two claims per year, with a $50 deductible per claim. 
  • Purchase protection: Purchases of items made with your card are covered for 120 days against damage or theft, up to a maximum of $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. 
  • Extended warranty protection: If you purchase an item with a warranty of three years or less, Chase will extend the manufacturer’s warranty by one year.
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance: Book your travel arrangements with your card, and you can be reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable passenger fares if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to sickness, severe weather, or other qualifying issues. 
  • Collision damage waiver on car rentals: Pay for your car rental with your card and decline the rental company’s coverage to get the auto rental damage collision waiver benefit. The waiver provides coverage against theft or damages resulting from a collision. In the United States, the waiver provides secondary coverage, meaning it supplements your personal car insurance policy. 
  • Roadside assistance: As a cardholder, you have  access to roadside assistance, so you can call for help if your car breaks down and you need a jump start, fuel delivery, tire change, or towing. You’re responsible for the cost of any services provided. 
  • Travel and emergency assistance services: If you’re traveling and have a medical or legal emergency, you can call the card benefit administrator to get referrals to emergency services. However, you’re responsible for the cost of any of the services provided. 

Additionally, the Chase Freedom Flex card provides the following benefits through partnering companies: 

  • Complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership: Cardmembers get three months of DashPass free. With DashPass, you can take advantage of unlimited deliveries with $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees. After the three-month period ends, you’re automatically enrolled in DashPass membership at 50% off the normal rate. 
  • Complimentary Instacart+ membership: If you use Instacart for grocery delivery, the Chase Freedom Flex card gives you three months of Instacart+ membership so you can enjoy deliveries without a delivery fee and reduced service fees. When you enroll, you can also qualify for up to $10 in statement credits each quarter through July 31, 2024. 

Credit cards similar to Chase Freedom Flex

If you’re not sure if the Chase Freedom Flex is right for you, find out how it stacks up to some other popular cards with no annual fees: 

Discover it Cash Back vs. Chase Freedom Flex

Like the Chase Freedom Flex card, the Discover it® Cash Back card allows you to earn up to 5% cash back on rotating spending categories, including purchases made at Amazon, restaurants, or grocery stores, up to a quarterly maximum. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. 

At the end of your first year as a cardholder, Discover will match all of the cash back you earned. Depending on your spending habits, that offer could give you a higher bonus than you’d get through the Chase Freedom Flex card.  

However, the Chase Freedom Flex card offers protections and benefits that the Discover it card does not. With the Chase Freedom Flex card, you get access to cell phone protection, travel interruption coverage, and car rental insurance. The Discover it card doesn’t offer any of those benefits, so the Chase Freedom Flex card has the edge. 

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards

If you’re a foodie and love dining out, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card from Capital One may be a better choice than the Chase Freedom Flex card. The SavorOne Rewards card doesn’t have rotating spending categories; instead, you can earn unlimited unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®). Plus, you’ll earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases. 

Although the card doesn’t offer a higher cash back rate on travel like the Chase Freedom Flex card, the SavorOne card charges 0% foreign transaction fees, making it a convenient option if you’re traveling outside the U.S. 

Is the Chase Freedom Flex right for you?

If you have good credit and want to maximize your cash-back rewards, the Chase Freedom Flex could be a good choice. You can earn up to 5% cash back in certain categories, including 5% on rotating bonus categories, and get extra benefits like cell phone protection without having to pay an annual fee. 

Plus, Chase has a strong reputation for customer satisfaction. In the 2023 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, Chase was ranked fifth overall for customer satisfaction and fifth for no-annual-fee cards. The study evaluated cards based on account management, benefits, customer service, new account setup, rewards, redemption options, and terms. 

However, the card may not be the best option for those who don’t want the hassle of activating bonus categories each quarter. If you prefer a simpler card experience, a card that offers a flat cash-back rate may be a better choice. 

The Chase Freedom Flex card does charge foreign transaction fees, so it’s not the best card to take with you when traveling to other countries

Frequently asked questions

Is the Chase Freedom Flex card hard to get?

Although Chase doesn’t disclose a minimum score requirement, it typically requires applicants to have good to excellent credit for the Chase Freedom Flex card, meaning a score between 670 and 850. If your score is below that range, you may need to wait until your score has improved before applying. 

According to Experian, 67% of consumers have a score of 670 or better, so most people will meet Chase’s credit requirements for this card. 

What is the minimum credit limit for the Chase Freedom Flex card?

The minimum credit limit for the Chase Freedom Flex card is $500. However, depending on your creditworthiness, you could qualify for a substantially higher limit; some users reported credit limits as high as $22,500. 

What are the perks of the Chase Freedom Flex card? 

The Chase Freedom Flex card provides some valuable perks for a card without an annual fee, including cell phone protection, travel interruption and cancellation insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and extended warranty protection. 

Is the Chase Freedom Flex card a Visa or Mastercard? 

There are four major credit card networks: American Express, Discover, Mastercard, and Visa. The Chase Freedom Flex card belongs to the Mastercard network. Mastercard and Visa are the industry leaders, making up 85% of general-purpose credit cards in the U.S.

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying.

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