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 $200 bonus 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).
Multiple cash-back rewards categories
Foreign transaction fee
- 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.
- Money-saving perks: You’ll get a free three-month subscription to DoorDash, $10 credit for every five Lyft rides you take per month and ShopRunner, Boxed, and Fandango discounts.
- 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.
- 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 and 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 Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards
- 3% cash back on restaurant and drug store purchases
- 1% cash back on everything else
- First year only: 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) on up to $12,000
The Flex's rotating rewards categories for Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2021 are 5% cash back at Walmart and purchases made via PayPal. To earn the 5%, you'll need to log into your Chase account and activate the rewards rate. In addition, Chase is offering an extra 5% cash back this quarter on up to $1,500 in spending in your top category. Eligible categories include travel, dining, grocery stores, and more. You can "stack" these offers, too. If you make your top category purchases using PayPal, you will earn 9% back (1% base earning, plus 4% for your top category and 4% for PayPal).
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.
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 canceled 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
Chase is ranked about average in customer satisfaction among the major credit card issuers. In the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study, it ranked fourth among 11 issuers, with a score just below the industry average. It fared better in a different J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Credit Card Mobile App Satisfaction Survey, where it placed third and well above the industry average.
Chase offers some helpful features like complimentary access to your credit score, and a credit-tracking feature called “Chase Credit Journey.”
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.