It’s not often you see a new credit card release, and you might not expect Chase to introduce a new product during the financial upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic — but here we are (and we’re not complaining).
The Chase Freedom cards are about to get another addition to their ranks and the Chase Freedom Unlimited is getting some upgrades at the same time.
The new credit card: Chase Freedom Flex
UPDATE: The Chase Freedom Flex is now available. You can read our full Chase Freedom Flex review here.
Chase has announced the newest member of their Freedom family: The Chase Freedom Flex. Due to be open for applications on September 15, 2020, the Freedom Flex is a cashback credit card that offers these rewards benefits:
5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
3% cash back on restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores
1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases
- Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
In addition, while Chase credit cards have typically been Visa cards, the new Freedom Flex is a Mastercard. This could be exciting to you because of the benefits that come with Mastercard credit cards. With the new Freedom Flex, you may be able to take advantage of Mastercard benefits, such as:
- Cell phone protection: Receive up to $800 per claim and up to $1,000 per year for covered theft and damage when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with this card (maximum of two claims per year).
- ShopRunner: Free membership for complimentary two-day shipping and returns at over 100 online retailers.
- Lyft: Earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides (through March, 2022).
- Fandango: Receive double VIP+ points for movie tickets purchased via Fandango.
- Boxed: Earn 5% rewards on Boxed orders that can be redeemed for future Boxed purchases.
The new Chase Freedom Unlimited updates
While the Freedom Flex is the new card on the block, let’s not forget about the new benefits on the Freedom Unlimited. Already one of the best cashback credit cards available, these new updates will set the Freedom Unlimited apart from its competition even more.
Here are the benefits being added to the Chase Freedom Unlimited starting September 15, 2020:
- 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% dining and drugstore purchases
As you can see, these are a few of the same features found on the Freedom Flex, and this will greatly increase the value of the Freedom Unlimited.
Chase Freedom Flex vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited
With a new card release and new benefits on the Freedom Unlimited, which one is the better choice for you? Check out this table to see how the two Freedom cards compare:
|Chase Freedom Flex||Chase Freedom Unlimited|
|Earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards||Earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards|
|Earn 3% cash back on dining (including takeout and delivery)||Earn 3% cash back on dining (including takeout and delivery)|
|Earn 3% cash back at drugstores||Earn 3% cash back at drugstores|
|Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter (when activated)||Earn 1.5% cash back on all other purchases|
|Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases|
Overall, the better card for you will depend on your spending habits. If you can take advantage of the Freedom Flex’s 5% rotating bonus categories, you may be able to earn more cash back compared to the Freedom Unlimited.
However, the Freedom Unlimited’s 1.5% cash back on all other purchases is useful for simple and straightforward rewards earning.
What the math says: New benefits means more value
If you were previously on the fence about how a Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited card might bring you value, these new benefits available on the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited could push you over the edge.
The Chase Freedom has been around for a long time, but it was never the best option for everyday spending unless the quarterly bonus category lined up correctly. Now, the Freedom Flex has the same earning potential as the Freedom, but you also get permanent bonus categories for dining and drugstore purchases. With these added benefits, the new Freedom Flex blows the Chase Freedom out of the water with its earning potential.
And if you’re trying to compare credit cards from different issuers, the Freedom Unlimited may now be a true competitor for the best overall cashback credit card on the market. The Citi Double Cash has a better unlimited cashback rate — up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay — but it doesn’t have any bonus categories. Now, the Freedom Unlimited seems like the better option, especially if you factor in the Chase trifecta and use it with other Chase credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The news of the Chase Freedom Flex and the Freedom Unlimited’s updates is exciting and very much welcomed. If you’re interested in applying for either of these cards, be sure to read up on the Chase 5/24 rule so you can better understand the Chase application process. Once you know how to check your Chase 5/24 number, you can do so quickly and easily on Credit Karma.