Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review [2023]: A Worthy Addition to the Chase Family

CREDIT CARDS - CASHBACK CREDIT CARDS
The Chase Freedom Flex offers loads of value with its combination of cashback rewards and high-quality benefits.
Updated Sept. 15, 2023

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

With Chase, you have options for some of the best travel credit cards and best cash back credit cards currently available. And with the addition of the Chase Freedom Flex℠, the value of Chase credit cards continues to increase.

In this Chase Freedom Flex review, we’ll cover who should get the Freedom Flex, its benefits and drawbacks, and how you can earn and redeem cash back. This should help you compare credit cards and decide whether the Freedom Flex is the right choice for you.

Seriously Powerful Cashback Card

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Current Offer

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories you activate (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service); and 1% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

In this Chase Freedom Flex review

Key takeaways

  • The Chase Freedom Flex is a cash back credit card that offers a useful combination of cashback rewards and benefits.
  • With the Chase Freedom Flex, you can earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Cardholders can earn 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories you activate (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service); and 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • The Chase Freedom Flex has a $0 annual fee.
  • The card comes with benefits such as purchase protection, extended warranty protection, cell phone protection, auto rental coverage, and trip cancellation or interruption insurance.
  • The Chase Freedom Flex earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be redeemed for travel, cash deposits, statement credits, gift cards, and purchases with shopping partners.

Who should get the Chase Freedom Flex?

Everyday spending on common purchases can easily make up a large portion of your personal budget, which is why it’s important to earn cash back or rewards on these purchases. Because cash back credit cards earn you money back on every purchase, you’re basically getting a nice discount whenever you use one of these cards. This is why the Chase Freedom Flex in particular, can be so valuable.

What can you earn with the Chase Freedom Flex?

There are plenty of cashback cards to choose from, but the Freedom Flex has unique earning potential and superior benefits. With this card, you can earn 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories you activate (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service); and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

For everyday purchases, it’s hard to beat the return you can get when you use the Freedom Flex on common expenses like drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service). You may not always get value from the rotating categories, but some of them will likely be useful. In the past, rotating categories have included purchases from Amazon.com, grocery stores, gas stations, streaming services, and more.

Using the Chase Freedom Flex for travel

The Freedom Flex doesn’t come with luxury travel benefits, so it may not be the right fit for you if that’s what you’re looking for. However, you can use it to earn extra cash back when you book travel, such as hotel stays, flights, and car rentals, through the Chase travel portal. This makes the Freedom Flex a viable option both for everyday spending and making travel purchases through Chase.

Overall, the benefits greatly outweigh the cost of this card, especially because it has a $0 annual fee.

Card basics

Card type Cash back
Credit card issuer Chase
Credit card network Mastercard
Annual fee $0
Welcome offer Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
Reward rate 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories you activate (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service); and 1% cash back on all other purchases
Recommended credit score Excellent, Good
Intro APR 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 20.49%-29.24% Variable APR

0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months, then 20.49%-29.24% Variable APR

Why we like the Chase Freedom Flex: benefits and perks

  • Generous sign-up offer: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Rewards earning: Earn 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories you activate (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service); and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • $0 annual fee: With a $0 annual fee, there’s no annual cost to offset as you earn cashback rewards.
  • Introductory APR on purchases: You’ll receive a 0% intro APR on your purchases for 15 months after account opening, then 20.49%-29.24% Variable APR. During the time period of the introductory offer, you can avoid accruing credit card interest on any purchases you make.
  • Coverages and insurance: The Freedom Flex comes with purchase protection, extended warranty protection, cell phone protection, auto rental coverage, and trip cancellation or interruption insurance.
  • DoorDash and Lyft: Earn 5% total cash back on Lyft rides. Also, receive three complimentary months of DashPass from DoorDash. This service provides unlimited DoorDash deliveries with $0 delivery fees on orders over $12.
  • Instacart benefits: Receive three free months of Instacart+ and $10 per quarter in statement credits toward Instacart purchases. You must join Instacart+ with your eligible card to receive these benefits.

What we don't like about this card: Drawbacks

  • Low unlimited rate: Bonus categories are nice when you have the opportunity to take advantage of them, but that won’t always be the case and they need activation. Aside from the bonus categories, the Freedom Flex earns just 1% cash back on all other purchases. Compared to other cashback cards with higher unlimited rates on all purchases, this rate doesn’t compete.
  • Foreign transaction fee: The Freedom Flex may have some travel benefits, but it wouldn’t be wise to use this card on purchases while you’re abroad. The foreign transaction fee is 3%.
  • No luxury benefits: Don’t expect to find any luxury travel benefits on the Freedom Flex. For Priority Pass airport lounge access or annual travel credit, you’d need to look into a card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Although, it could make a lot of sense for frequent travelers to pair Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire cards to utilize the rewards and benefits of both cards.

Earning and redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards

With the Chase Freedom Flex, you’re able to earn cash back in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. These points are among the most valuable of any credit card rewards available, which is one of the reasons Chase credit cards are so popular.

Here, we’ll show you how much cash back you can potentially earn in your first two years with the Freedom Flex card. We’ll also help you understand the best ways to earn and redeem cash back with this card.

Potential earnings in years one and two

Here's a look how your cash back can add up with the Chase Freedom Flex. To calculate these values, we used a point valuation of 1 cent per Ultimate Rewards point.

Remember, this is an estimation. The actual value will be determined by how much you spend and in which categories you spend.

Year one earnings: $807

Year two earnings: $607

These values are based on the FinanceBuzz Credit Card Rewards Valuation Model, which looks at points earned via spending, the welcome offer, and the annual fee. These numbers do not take into account the rotating bonus spending categories since we can't predict what it will be or how much you will spend in that area. So your earnings have the potential to be much higher than what is indicated here.

Best ways to earn

The best way to earn rewards with the Chase Freedom Flex is by taking advantage of its bonus categories. You’ll earn the most cashback rewards if you often make purchases in categories in which the Freedom Flex earns increased cash back.

Categories Rewards rate
Rotating quarterly categories you activate (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal 5%
Drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service) 3%
All other purchases 1%

Each quarter (four times per year), Chase launches a new 5% bonus category. To earn rewards at the 5% cashback rate, be sure to monitor the Chase Freedom bonus category calendar and activate each category as it becomes available. 

Here are the current bonus categories as well as the categories from the previous schedule so you can get an idea of what might come back around:

Chase Freedom bonus categories for 2023
January-March Grocery stores (excluding Walmart), Target, and fitness clubs & gym memberships
April-June Amazon.com and Lowe's
July-September Gas stations, electric vehicle charging, and select live entertainment
October-December PayPal, wholesale clubs, and select charities (qualifying PayPal purchases in other categories will only earn a total of 5%)

Maximizing your redemptions

The Chase Freedom Flex has the potential to earn a lot of cash back if you’re using it on purchases that give bonus rewards. In addition, you also have multiple redemption options. You can redeem your cash back for travel, a cash deposit, a statement credit, gift cards, and for purchases with shopping partners. You can also pay for certain purchases with the Pay with Points feature.

You can increase the value of your rewards if you also have another Chase card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve.

Chase Ultimate Rewards can be freely transferred between different Chase cards, and their value increases with specific cards. For instance, your travel redemptions are worth 25% more with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and 50% more with the Chase Sapphire Reserve when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

It’s easy to get more value from your points when you combine them between Chase cards. You can spend with the card that earns the most bonus rewards in that category and then transfer the points to the card with the best redemption value.

One popular strategy called the Chase trifecta, uses three Chase cards to combine points together and get the most value from your redemptions. Another option is to combine a travel rewards card with a cashback card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Chase Freedom Flex cards.

Chase Freedom Flex FAQs

What credit score is needed for the Chase Freedom Flex card?

You likely need an above-average credit score to qualify for the Chase Freedom Flex card. For Chase cards, this would typically mean a good or excellent score. Good credit starts around 670, and excellent credit is around 800 and above.

How do I activate the Chase Freedom Flex 5% bonus categories?

It’s easy to activate your Chase Freedom Flex 5% bonus categories through your online account on a computer or mobile device. Simply navigate to your Freedom Flex card in your account and click the “Activate” button.

Or you can head to the Chase Bonus website and input your card information to activate your 5% bonus categories. If you have multiple Freedom cards, you’ll need to activate each one separately.

Which Chase Freedom card is better?

The Chase Freedom card has been closed to new applicants with the arrival of the Chase Freedom Flex. The Freedom Flex has better benefits and earning potential than the Freedom anyway, so there’s no real comparison between the two. However, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has new benefits and provides healthy competition to the newest member of the Freedom family.

Both the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited offer similar rewards rates, but there are some slight differences. The Freedom Flex has rotating bonus categories whereas the Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

One card isn’t necessarily better than the other, as it depends on your spending habits. If you’d rather have a higher unlimited cashback rate for any purchase, the Freedom Unlimited is better. If you’d rather earn increased cash back on rotating categories like gas and groceries, the Freedom Flex is better. 

When you directly compare Chase Freedom Unlimited vs. Chase Freedom Flex, you might find that having both cards best fits your needs.

Can I have more than one Chase card?

Yes, you can have more than one Chase card. Chase doesn’t specify a limit on how many of its cards you can have, but there are unofficial guidelines in place. For example, you won’t qualify for a new Chase card if you’ve already opened five or more cards from any issuer in the past 24 months. This is called the 5/24 rule.

You can also have only one Chase Sapphire product at a time, whether it’s the Sapphire, Sapphire Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve. Otherwise, the number of Chase cards you’re allowed depends on a number of factors, including your creditworthiness and whether Chase approves you for more cards.

Other cards to consider

The Chase Freedom Flex provides heaps of earning potential and benefits — all with a $0 annual fee. However, it’s not an all-encompassing card that will earn the most rewards on every purchase you make. 

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you can earn cash back on 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. That 1.5% on all other purchases is more than the 1% cash back offered by the Freedom Flex on all other purchases apart from its bonus categories.

Additionally, a card like the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card can provide more rewards than the Freedom Flex if you often spend in specific categories. With this card, you can earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats (through 11/14/2024); 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment; 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and select streaming services; 3% at grocery stores (excluding superstores such as Walmart® and Target®), and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

The earning rates are similar between the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards and the Freedom Flex, but the categories are a bit different. Remember to consider how you typically spend your money when looking for the next card for your wallet.

Chase Freedom Flex: bottom line

The Chase Freedom Flex offers excellent cashback rewards and benefits, making it a valuable choice for everyday spending. With rotating quarterly bonus categories and bonus rates on dining and drugstore purchases, the card provides significant earning potential. While it lacks luxury travel benefits and has a low base cashback rate, the card's $0 annual fee makes it a worthwhile option for those seeking flexibility and rewards. Consider pairing it with other Chase cards to maximize the value of your rewards.

Seriously Powerful Cashback Card

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Why We Like It

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

See how these cards compare:

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back
  • Bonus rewards on eligible travel, dining, and drugstores
  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn a $300 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and select streaming services
  • No foreign transaction fees

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF Ben Walker, CEPF, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.