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Because of the uncertainty of the pandemic, more people are turning to no annual fee credit cards. Some have downgraded their premium travel credit cards while still maintaining a relationship with leading card issuers. Others have turned to no annual fee credit cards to earn rewards on purchases without having to worry about extra fees. Plus, many no annual fee cards have gotten upgrades over the past few years, making it easier to earn rewards.
One of the credit cards you might consider going for is the Chase Freedom Flex℠. You can earn up to 5% back on purchases, but there are other reasons to get this card, including complimentary cell phone protection and several benefits you may not be aware of. Let’s look a closer look at why you should get the Chase Freedom Flex.
Earn Up to 5% Back on Purchases
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has one of the highest rewards rates for a cashback credit card.
First, you earn 5% back on the first $1,500 in qualifying purchases each calendar quarter (once activated). The bonus categories change each quarter.
The Chase Freedom Flex earns:
- 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
All non-bonus purchases earn 1% back, which is the standard base rate for most cards.
It is one of the best Chase credit cards.
There’s also a $200 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.
It’s also one of the largest bonuses for a cashback credit card.
Be sure you’re under the 5/24 rule and only consider the Freedom Flex if you have opened fewer than 5 new credit cards in the last 24 months.
Flexible Redemption Options
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has flexible point redemption options as you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. If you don’t know, Ultimate Rewards are some of the most valuable credit card points you can earn.
While Chase bills the Freedom Flex as a cash rewards card, there are other ways to redeem your points:
- Award travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Cash redemptions (statement credit or bank deposit)
- Gift cards
- Amazon.com purchase credits
- Apple Store purchase credits
Your points have the highest redemption value for award travel, cash redemptions, and gift card redemptions. Each point is worth 1 cent each (20,000 points equals $200) for these redemptions.
Each point is only worth 0.8 cents each for shopping credits, but it can help reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
There isn’t a redemption minimum, so you can redeem your points monthly. Your points don’t expire as long as you keep your card account open and in good standing.
The Freedom Flex doesn’t offer point transfers directly to airlines and hotels. However, you can first transfer your points to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve® card. Once the points are in your Sapphire account, you can transfer them to a travel partner or redeem them for a travel redemption bonus.
Mastercard World Elite Benefits
There are few Mastercard rewards cards in the US. You can enjoy a suite of card benefits you Visa Signature may not offer.
- $10 Lyft credit once per month for every 5 rides you take in a month
- 5% Cash Rewards at Boxed (to be used for a future Boxed purchase)
- Complimentary ShopRunner membership
- $5 off Fandango movie tickets and at-home purchases (for every 2 tickets purchased)
Free Cellphone Protection
You get up to $1,000 in cell phone protection per year (up to $800 per claim) compliments of Mastercard. The Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa Signature doesn’t offer this perk.
Qualifying theft and damage events can qualify for this protection when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the Chase Freedom Flex℠.
You can make up to two claims in a 12-month period and there is a $50 deductible per claim.
Chase provides purchase protection on new purchases for up to 120 days against theft and damages up to $500 and $50,000 per account.
You can also get extended warranty protection of an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less.
Trip Protection Benefits
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers some of these travel protection benefits as well:
- Trip cancellation and reimbursement (up to $1,500 per person/$6,000 per trip)
- Secondary auto rental collision damage waiver
No Annual Fee
One of the best reasons to get the Chase Freedom Flex is that you don’t pay an annual fee. Not having an annual fee means the Freedom Flex can be your primary credit card or one that you only use for its bonus categories when your go-to card earns the base rate of 1 point per $1.
Upgrading to the Chase Freedom Flex
If you already hold the Chase Freedom®, you can upgrade to the Chase Freedom Flex℠. You might go this route if you don’t want to consider a new credit card but want to keep your current account open and active. However, you forfeit the signup bonus.
You can call Chase or send a secure message in the online member dashboard to request an upgrade.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ increases the competition for cashback credit cards. Its attractive signup bonus, purchase rewards, and no annual fee can be the best reasons to consider this card.
Does the Chase Freedom Flex have an annual fee?
No, there is no annual fee for the Chase Freedom Flex. There is a 3% foreign transaction fee though, so you will want to use another card for international travel.
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.
What credit score is needed for the Chase Freedom Flex?
You should consider the Chase Freedom Flex℠ when your credit score is at least 700. A score above 700 places you firmly in the “good credit” range and a score above 740 means you have “excellent credit.”
In addition to having a high score, make sure you consider the Chase Freedom Flex only if you have opened four or fewer new credit cards in the last 24 months. Too many recent credit card account openings can be an automatic disqualification, even if you have a high credit score.
Can you upgrade a Chase Freedom to a Chase Freedom Flex?
Yes, existing Chase Freedom® cardholders can request an upgrade to the Chase Freedom Flex℠. Upgrading instead of considering a new account helps you avoid a hard credit check. While you keep your existing credit line to continue building credit, you won’t qualify for the Freedom Flex signup bonus.
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 03/31/22.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.