Chase Freedom Flex℠ review: No annual fee and 5% cash back in popular categories
Chase Freedom Flex℠
CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons
- New cardholders can earn $200 cash back once spending $500 within the first three months of opening and account.
- There are so many bonus categories here that racking up rewards should be a breeze.
- Enjoy up to $1,000 a year in cell phone insurance just for paying your cell phone bill with your FlexSM card.
- There's a ton of rewards-earning potential here, but there are several categories to keep up with. If you'd rather not think about when and where you use your credit card, a flat-rate card may be a better fit for you.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
As the newest cash-back credit card from Chase, the CardName comes with an impressive package of benefits and rewards. Rather than having a flat rate, CardName is a unique tiered/rotating-category hybrid, offering:
- 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in rotating quarterly bonus categories
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases
- 1% unlimited cash back on other purchases
Plus, the card has a number of other perks, including Mastercard World Elite benefits, allowing cardholders access to:
- No annual fee
- Intro 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months, then RegAPR
- Complimentary ShopRunner membership for free two-day shipping from more than a hundred online retailers
- Complimentary three-month DoorDash DashPass, followed by a 50% discount for the following nine months
- 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022, plus a $10 credit for every five rides taken in a calendar month
- 5% cash rewards on Boxed purchases for use on future purchases
- Double VIP+ points at Fandango for movie ticket purchases
Additionally, the card comes with a valuable sign-up bonus and cell phone insurance.
New CardName cardholders can receive $200 cash back after spending $500 within the first three months of opening an account. As far as welcome bonuses go, that's a solid offer for no-annual-fee credit card. Not only is the spending requirement low, but the bonus reward equals out to 40% cash back on the required purchases.
Cell phone insurance is another valuable perk offered by CardName. Cardholders are insured for up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year against covered theft or damage. There's a maximum of two claims per 12-month period and each claim has a $50 deductible.
To receive this coverage, cardholders simply need to pay their monthly wireless bill using the CardName card. Insurance coverage is automatically extended to phones listed on a bill's plan.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
- Earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
While CardName offers robust benefits and cash-back offers, it's not perfect.
For one thing, it comes with a foreign transaction fee. Although the CardName offers 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, it's not actually what we would consider a travel rewards card. As a result, it doesn't offer all the same perks as some travel cards, such as no foreign transaction fees, which is often waived with many true travel cards. The foreign transaction fee means this isn't a card you'd want to use while traveling overseas and may be a better choice for everyday spending close to home.
Finally, if you are an existing Chase Freedom® customer and request to change your card to the CardName, you won't be eligible for the $200 welcome cash-back bonus. That offer is only available to cardholders opening a new account.
Chase will no longer accept applications for Chase Freedom®, meaning the CardName will be the only Chase option for new cardholders who want 5% cash back on rotating categories.
However, Chase Freedom® cash-back offers and benefits will continue to be available to existing cardholders. The company says people won't be forced to transfer their card to the new CardName unless they want to make the switch.
CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results:
|Current Scores||Past Scores|
|Rewards Program Satisfaction||8.1||8.4|
|Likelihood of Continuing to Use||8.7||9.0|
|Recommend to a Friend/Colleague||8.0||8.1|
Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
While Chase Freedom® will be discontinued to new cardholders in favor of CardName, you can still apply for the CardName card. With the launch of the CardName card, Freedom Unlimited® received some updates too.
The main difference between CardName and Freedom Unlimited® are their cash-back structures. While the Flex℠ card offers enhanced rewards in rotating quarterly categories, the Unlimited® card will not earn rewards in rotating categories. Instead, it earns a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases, in addition to 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, and 3% on restaurants and drugstore purchases.
Both cards are solid choices for everyday expenses, and one strategic option to consider would be to get both cards and use the CardName for spending in bonus rotating categories while paying with the Freedom Unlimited® for all other purchases to earn that 1.5% cash-back rate on everything not falling in a bonus category.
Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Both CardName and the CardName are rewarding credit cards, but they have different strengths. CardName is a good card for everyday use while the Sapphire Preferred® card offers plenty of perks for travelers.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, you can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account. Those points are worth $750 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. The card also offers 5X total points on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal; 3X points on dining, including eligible delivery services and takeout; 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 3X points on select streaming services; 2X points on travel purchases; and 1X point on all other purchases. However, while the CardName doesn't have an annual fee, the Sapphire Preferred® charges AnnualFees a year.
You can have both the CardName and Chase Sapphire Preferred®, and if you end up with both cards, be aware that rewards can be combined under your Chase Sapphire Preferred® card. Then, when you redeem for travel, you can access the Sapphire card's 25% bonus on points when booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Blue Cash Everyday®
Both these cards are good for everyday spending. Neither charges an annual fee, and both offer tiered cash-back categories. However, the CardName has different reward categories. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.
Blue Cash Everyday® cardholders earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and on U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 spent in each category per year, then 1%). All other eligible purchases earn 1% cash back. As a welcome offer, the Blue Cash Everyday® is offering a $200 statement credit to new cardholders who spend at least $2,000 with the card in the first six months of opening an account.
Both cards have strong cash-back programs; however, since the CardName offers 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories, we think it has a slight edge over Blue Cash Everyday®.
Yes, we think so. It's rare to see a new cash-back card that really excites us. However, by offering 5% cash back on multiple categories, an achievable sign-on bonus and plenty of extras, we think the CardName could be a great addition to any wallet.
Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2021 to conduct surveys among 1,524 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2021-Aug. 31, 2021 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted. "Current Scores" reflect scores from the most recent survey; "Past Scores (avg.)" are the scores averaged over each prior year the card has been surveyed. "Past Scores" indicates a card has only been surveyed in one prior year.
See Rates and Fees for the CardName
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Compared to Other Travel rewards Cards
Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.
This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.