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Would you like to earn cash back rewards or perhaps are looking for more ways to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards®? Good news: Chase refreshed its Freedom rewards credit card family and the no annual fee Chase Freedom Flex℠ may be just what you need. This Mastercard issued card can help you earn up to 5% cash back, while also enjoying more rewards on common purchases.

Additionally, new Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders can earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach (Credit: Bill Rockwell)
You can use cards like the Chase Freedom Flex to earn rewards to use for travel. Visit Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach. Credit: Bill Rockwell

Chase Freedom Flex by Mastercard

The  Chase credit card lineup is the Chase Freedom Flex℠. The Freedom Flex replaced the Chase Freedom®, although the purchase rewards structure is similar.

One of the first changes you will notice is that Mastercard issues the Freedom Flex. A few years back, you could get the Freedom Card as either a Mastercard or Visa product. This card has World Elite Mastercard benefits. Note that Visa continues to issue the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, the Freedom Flex’s sister card.

Earn Up To 5% Cash Back

It’s possible to earn up to 5% cash back (5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1) on purchases.

These are the Chase Freedom Flex℠ bonus categories:

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1% back)
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases

Many who have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® also have a Freedom product to earn more bonus points. You can then transfer them to your Sapphire account for the travel redemption bonus or 1:1 point transfers.

Each Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1 cent each for cash redemptions or award travel you book through the Chase travel portal.

World Elite Mastercard Benefits

You may wish to add this card to your wallet so that you have a Mastercard product. The Chase Freedom Flex is a World Elite Mastercard (that’s the Mastercard equivalent of a Visa Signature product). The Chase Visa Freedom products are Visa Signature products.

Some of the card’s built-in benefits include:

  • $10 Lyft credit after you take 5 rides in a month (one $10 credit per month)
  • 5% cash rewards at Boxed for future purchases
  • Free ShopRunner membership
  • $5 off future movie tickets or at-home purchases with Fandango
  • 10% off onefinestay rental homes and villas
  • Exclusive PGA Tour golf offers and discounts
  • Cell phone protection (up to $1,000 per year)

The complimentary cell phone protection is an exciting benefit and saves you a small fortune. First, you will need to pay your monthly cell phone bill with the Chase Freedom Flex℠. You get up to $1,000 in yearly coverage benefits. Mastercard lets you make up to two claims per year ($800 max per claim) if your phone is stolen or needs certain repairs. There is a $50 deductible per claim.

Chase Freedom Unlimited: The Freedom Flex’s Sister Product

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has added purchase rewards yet remains a Visa product. It’s a great card if you prefer earning fixed rewards as you get at least 1.5% on all purchases.

New Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders can earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything they buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back! That means new cardholders can enjoy:

  • 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (Chase’s premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards, and more)
  • 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 4.5% on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service)
  • 3% on all other purchases

New cardholders earn this extra 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 spent in the first year.

Like the Chase Freedom Flex, there is no annual fee but foreign purchases have a 3% transaction fee.

Purchase Rewards

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is still a flat-rate cash back credit card at its core. However, a few select purchases now earn up to 5% cash back.

Cardholders earn unlimited:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

Besides the 5% and 3% bonus categories, the base rate of 1.5% cash back (1.5 Ultimate Rewards per $1) lets you earn 50% more on non-bonus purchases than most rewards credit cards. Like the Chase Freedom Flex, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards to a Chase Sapphire product to get a potentially higher redemption value.

Also, like the Chase Freedom Flex℠, each Freedom Unlimited point is worth 1 cent each for cash redemptions and award travel bookings.

Visa Signature Benefits

The built-in Visa Signature benefits are competitive with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ World Elite Mastercard benefits. One perk that the Chase Freedom Unlimited® lacks is free cell phone protection.

The two most notable benefits are secondary coverage for rental cars plus discounts at select retail and travel partners. Chase also provides purchase protection and extended warranty on select purchases.

Can Existing Chase Freedom Cardholders Upgrade?

It’s possible for existing Chase Freedom® cardholders to request an upgrade to the Chase Freedom Flex℠. This can be a good move to get exposure to Mastercard in your wallet and to enjoy some of the extra perks your current Chase Freedom Visa card doesn’t offer.

There isn’t a forced conversion from the Visa to the Mastercard version at this time.

If you already own the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you might consider the Chase Freedom Flex.

Keep in mind that either Freedom card falls under the Chase 5/24 rule. You may need to wait to apply if you have too many new credit card accounts on your credit report.

Summary

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is an exciting addition to the Chase portfolio and the overall cash rewards credit card space. The additional bonus categories for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® are nice too. Having more opportunities to maximize lifestyle purchases and the signup bonus is worth pursuing.

FAQs

What is the Chase Freedom Flex signup bonus?

New Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders can earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

This offer is open to new applicants who currently do not have the Chase Freedom and have not received its new cardmember offer in the most recent 24 months.

What are the Chase Freedom Flex bonus categories?

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns up to 5% cash back on purchases.

Cardholders earn:

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1% back)
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases

You will need to opt-in to the quarterly bonus category before you start earning 5% cashback on purchases.

What credit score do you need for the Chase Freedom Flex?

You will have the best approval odds for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ with a minimum credit score of 680.

Other factors affect your approval odds for this card too. The most notable factor is the Chase 5/24 rule. If you have opened or been added as an authorized user for 5 or more new credit cards in the most recent 24-month period, your application may be rejected.

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