Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review: The Perfect Card For Frequent Travelers And Diners

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Our Bottom Line:

The Chase Freedom FlexSM offers an enticing $200 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.  Plus cash back rewards on travel, dining, drugstore and every day purchases with rewards that never expire. All for no annual fee!

Intro APR Purchases 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Intro Term Purchases 15
Intro APR Balance Transfers 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Intro Term Balance Transfers 15
Regular APR 15.74% - 24.49% Variable
Annual Fee $0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.74% - 24.49%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
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Cash back rewards cards have taken off in popularity in recent years, and credit card companies are boosting their features to get your business.

One of the most recent examples of this is Chase, which has released a new card, Chase Freedom Flex℠,  that offers impressive rewards without fees. And yes, that includes no annual fee for this card.

Plus you’ll earn extra cash back in categories that are especially great for those who dine out and frequently travel.

So if you’re shopping around for a great rewards card that even includes uber attractive cell phone protection benefits, Chase Freedom Flex℠ is well worth considering.

Overview

  • Best for – Frequent travelers and diners.
  • Sign-up bonus -$200 bonus for spending $500 in the first three months
  • Limited 5% cash back: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in bonus categories, with a limit of $1,500 per quarter each time you activate, as well as all travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Select 3% cash back: Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and drug store purchases.
  • Unlimited 1% cash back: Earn 1% cash back on every dollar spent in all other categories.
  • Introductory offer – 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months.
  • APR – 15.74% - 24.49% Variable.
  • Annual fee$0.
  • Promos – Special offers from Lyft and DoorDash.

In-depth analysis

Rewards

The big attraction for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is its rewards. You’ll get 5% cash back on travel when you book your trip through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, as well as 5% in a bonus category that you activate each quarter. You’ll also get 3% on dining and drugstore purchases and 1% on all other purchases.

Bonuses

As long as you spend $500 in the first three months of owning the card, you’ll get a $200 cash back bonus. That is one of the the easiest sign-up bonuses you can earn with a credit card.

APR

For an intro APR, you’ll receive a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months. After the introductory period is up, you’ll be charged 15.74% - 24.49% Variable.

Annual fee

There is a $0 annual fee with the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

Other fees

If you travel internationally, pay attention to the foreign transaction fees on any credit card you plan to use. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is subject to a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Other unique benefits

This is my personal favorite: get up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against covered damage or theft for phones listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay your bill with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card. There is a maximum of 2 claims in a 12 month period and note that there is a $50 deductible per claim.

Also, currently, Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders can enjoy a free three-month subscription to DoorDash. You’ll also get 5% cash back on any Lyft rides you book through March 2022.

Added to that are the same benefits you get with other Chase cards, including rewards that never expire, trip cancellation protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection.

How much can you earn with the Chase Freedom Flex℠?

As with most rewards cards, your savings with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card depends on your spending habits. Here’s how it breaks down for both budget spenders ($1,000 total in spending per month) and premium spenders ($2,000 per month).

Budget spender

 Spending per monthEarnings after 1 yearEarnings in subsequent years
Dining$150$54$54
Groceries$200$24$24
Entertainment$150$18$18
Other purchases$500$60$60
Cash rewards earnings$1,000$156$156
Annual fee--$0$0
Sign-up bonus--$200N/A
Total earnings--$356$156

Premium spender

 Spending per monthEarnings after 1 yearEarnings in subsequent years
Dining$550$198$198
Groceries$800$96$96
Entertainment$450$54$54
Other purchases$200$24$24
Cash rewards earnings$2,000$372$372
Annual fee--$0$0
Sign-up bonus--$200N/A
Total earnings--$572$372

The above formula is calculated assuming you earn 1% cash back on groceries, as well as 3% on dining and 1% on all else. However, it doesn’t include the extra 5% you can earn for travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, or the 3% on drugstore purchases. 

This card also allows you to earn 5% cash back on up to $1500 in bonus categories such as groceries, gas, or utility services each quarter you activate.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee — The Chase Freedom Flex℠ comes with no annual fee, so all of your cash back goes straight into your pocket.
  • Cash back rewards don't expire — If you want to bank your rewards and wait to use them for your dream vacation, you can.
  • Easy sign-up bonus — The $200 sign-up bonus requires just $500 of spending in the first three months
  • Cell phone protection — Up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against covered damage or theft for phones listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay your bill with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card. There is a maximum of 2 claims in a 12 month period and note that there is a $50 deductible per claim.
  • Great promotions — You'll earn a free three-month subscription to DoorDash with this card, plus you’ll get 5% cash back on any Lyft rides.

Cons

  • Relatively high APR — After the introductory period, if you don't have perfect credit, you'll likely be stuck with a high APR.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Flex℠’s cousin, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers many of the same benefits, but with one key difference. Below, I break them down side-by-side so you can see which card may be right for you.

 

 Chase Freedom Flex℠Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Cash back5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases
Intro offer$200 on $500 of purchases made within the first three monthsEarn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
APR15.74% - 24.49% Variable15.74% - 24.49% Variable
Annual fee$0$0

Apply Now On the Secure Website

As you can see, the biggest place Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® differ is in their cash back offerings. While Chase Freedom Unlimited® does offer most of the same cash back options (5% cash back on travel purchases when you book through Chase Ultimate rewards®, 3% cash back on dining, takeout, and drug store purchases), the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has an additional 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Plus Chase Freedom Flex℠ comes with cell phone protection.

The other big distinction between the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® is that with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® you’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases and with the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The card you choose depends entirely on your spending habits. If you’ve always wanted a card that rewards you for dining out (or drugstore purchases), either one is a good pick. If you think the 5% cash back up to $1,500 is going to be the bigger savings for you, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is likely the card you should choose.

Who should get the Chase Freedom Flex℠? 

Those who travel regularly

The 5% cash back on travel purchases is reason enough to consider this card. As long as you book your travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you’ll get 5% cash back on every dollar you spend. You’ll also get trip insurance and an auto rental collision waiver.

Those who spend in popular rewards categories

Some expenditures are more likely than others to pop up in those “optional” categories that you can activate for bigger rewards. With Chase Freedom Flex℠, you can activate offers each quarter to earn 5% cash back. Those categories typically include fuel, groceries, and utilities.

Those who use food delivery services

Dining out isn’t the only way you can earn 3% cash back with Chase Freedom Flex℠. You’ll also get 3% back on takeout and eligible delivery services.

Currently, you can enjoy a free three-month subscription to DoorDash, erasing the delivery fee during that time. After that, you’ll enjoy 50% off the delivery fee for the next nine months.

How do you apply for the Chase Freedom Flex℠? 

There are two major ways to apply for a Chase Freedom Flex℠ card. The easiest is to apply online. The process is quick and secure. You’ll need to input some details about yourself, including the usual contact information, as well as your total gross annual income and your primary source of income.

After that, you can sign the application using E-Sign. Once you’ve submitted your application, Chase will review it and let you know by email if you’re approved.

Summary

Chase Freedom Flex℠ is great for earning points on travel, dining out, and more. If you use your card regularly and want to avoid paying an annual fee, this will be a great card for you.

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About the author

David Weliver
Total Articles: 304
David Weliver is the founder of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues he faced during his first two decades as an adult. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.