Chase Freedom Flex Review

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The Chase Freedom Flex is the newest Chase offering on the market, replacing the Chase Freedom card with a wider range of cash-back opportunities and a host of new features. The card boasts impressive rewards rates along with several perks and benefits uncommon for cash-back cards.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card

Overall Rating
4.3
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.99% - 23.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate, 5% cash back on travel purchases through Chase, 3% on dining including takeout and drugstores, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
INTRO PURCHASE APR 0% for 15 Months
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
3.2
for Fees
3.1
for Rewards
2.5
for Credit
3.7
Current Offer

Earn $200 after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

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If you’re looking to earn rewards, normally you have to choose: a high-yield rotating-category card, or a low-maintenance flat-rate card without bonus rates. The Chase Freedom Flex seeks to blend those two categories a little closer together while throwing in a hefty dose of money-saving perks as well.

The card is a great fit for a wide range of cardholders because of its 5% first-year bonus on grocery purchases and 3% cash back on dining purchases. It’s a good option if you own a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, too, because the Preferred and Reserve give you additional redemption options you don’t get with the Flex (more on that in the Redeeming Rewards section).

Pros
  • Multiple cash-back rewards categories

  • Money-saving perks

  • Cellphone coverage

Cons
  • Foreign transaction fee

Pros Explained

  • Multiple cash-back rewards categories: Aside from the 5% rotating quarterly cash-back opportunities, you’ll earn 3% cash back at restaurants and drug stores, and 5% cash back on Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchases at all times. For a limited time and on a limited amount of purchases, you’ll also get 5% cash back on groceries and Lyft rides. 
  • Money-saving perks: You’ll get a free three-month subscription to DoorDash, $10 credit for every five Lyft rides you take per month, ShopRunner and Boxed discounts, and double VIP+ points for Fandango purchases.
  • Priceless experiences: This Mastercard-sponsored perk offers master classes and fun activities online and in various cities throughout the world. You can learn how to bake sourdough bread, mix tracks for DJing, or keep your kids occupied with fitness classes from major-league sports teams.
  • Cellphone coverage: If your cell phone is damaged or stolen and you use this card to pay your monthly bill, you can file for up to $800 in reimbursement per claim.

Cons Explained

  • Foreign transaction fee: A lot of Chase cards eschew foreign transaction fees. This one doesn’t, so leave it at home and take another when you travel.

Chase Freedom Flex Bonus for New Cardholders

Often, credit card issuers come out with substantial bonuses when they first launch a card. That’s not quite the case here, although the bonus is among the best for a cash-rewards card. If you spend at least $500 within the first three months of owning this card, you’ll earn a $200 bonus. That’s as good as or better than most cash-back cards.  

Earning Points & Rewards

One of the things you won’t be lacking with this card is ways to earn rewards. Here’s the rundown of the cash-back rates for different purchases:

  • 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent on quarterly rotating-category purchases
  • 5% cash back on Chase Ultimate Rewards purchases
  • 5% cash back on the first $12,000 spent on groceries in your first 12 months
  • 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 3% cash back on restaurant and drug store purchases
  • 1% cash back on everything else

The grocery bonus does not apply to purchases made at Target or Walmart.

The Flex's rotating rewards categories for October through December 2020 are 5% cash back on Walmart and PayPal purchases. To earn the 5%, you'll need to log into your Chase account and activate the rewards rate.

Redeeming Rewards

Chase offers multiple ways to redeem the rewards but not all redemption options have the same value.

Any points you redeem for a statement credit are worth 1 cent each, which means 10,000 points are valued at $100. You get the same redemption value for points you use to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Chase offers other redemption options like using points to make purchases on Amazon, but the redemption rate is less than 1 cent per point if you go that route. 

The general rule of thumb with rewards cards is that you should choose redemption options that are worth at least 1 cent per point. That’s the standard value for cash-back points across the industry; travel points and miles can be worth a lot more. There may be times when you want to ignore the rule of thumb, but it’s good to be aware of.

If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can transfer your points to one of those accounts and redeem them at a higher rate. Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth 1.25 cents each when you use them to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Chase Sapphire Reserve’s points are worth 1.50 cents when used that way.

And both of those cards allow you to transfer your points to airline or hotel loyalty programs, where you may be able to redeem them at an even higher rate. 

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Aside from the plethora of cash-earning opportunities, one of the standout features of this card is the additional perks it comes with (more about these in the two perks sections below). You’ll want to read up on these and make sure you understand them and can take full advantage of them to get the most from this card.

Also, be sure to use your card for all your non-Target and non-Walmart grocery purchases to take advantage of the first-year 5% rewards rate.

And when it comes to redeeming rewards, consider moving your points to a Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card if you can to get more value from your points on travel redemptions. 

Chase Freedom Flex’s Excellent Perks

This card comes with perks galore, but some are better than others. 

  • Insurance coverage for trip cancellation and interruption: Receive reimbursement for up to $1,500 worth of damages per person if your trip is cancelled or interrupted.
  • Cellphone coverage: Receive reimbursement for up to $800 toward theft or damages per claim (max coverage of $1,000 per year). 

Chase Freedom Flex’s Other Perks

  • Extended warranties
  • Free shipping through ShopRunner membership
  • Insurance for stolen or damaged purchases
  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)
  • Three months of free DashPass from DoorDash and 50% off the next nine months
  • 5% back on Boxed purchases that you can put toward future Boxed purchases
  • $10 Lyft credit any time you take at least five Lyft rides in one month
  • Travel and emergency assistance hotline

Customer Experience

Chase is ranked about average in customer satisfaction among the major credit card issuers. In a 2020 J.D. Power survey, it ranked fourth among 11 issuers for customer satisfaction, with a score just below the industry average. It fared better in a different J.D. Power survey where it placed third and well above the industry average for its credit card mobile app.

Chase offers some helpful features like complimentary access to your VantageScore credit score, and a credit-tracking feature called “Chase Credit Journey.” 

Security Features

Chase offers industry-standard security features, such as multi-factor authentication, encryption technology, and fraud alerts. You can also lock your card through the app if you lose it or if it’s stolen. Beyond that, Chase doesn’t offer as many features as some other card issuers, but you can still rest assured that Chase is a safe bank to work with. 

Chase Freedom Flex’s Fees to Watch Out For

This card’s fees are relatively low. However, you’ll want to watch out for the foreign transaction fee and the balance transfer fee, both of which are higher than many cash-back cards.

Next Steps
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CURRENT CARD
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Credit Card
overall rating
4.3
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Good - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 14.99% - 23.74% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate, 5% cash back on travel purchases through Chase, 3% on dining including takeout and drugstores, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

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  1. Chase. "Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card." Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.

  2. Chase. "Chase Freedom Calendar." Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.

  3. World Elite Mastercard. "Premium Travel and Lifestyle Perks." Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.

  4. J.D. Power. "2020 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study." Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.

  5. J.D. Power. "2020 U.S. Banking and Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Study." Accessed Sept. 15, 2020.