Chase Freedom Flex Card Review

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Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site
Rewards rate:

Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter! Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase. Earn 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores. Earn 1% on all other purchases.

  • Intro bonus: $200
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 14.99 – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score: 670-850 (Good to Excellent)

The Chase Freedom Flex card offers cash back rewards in a plethora of bonus rewards categories that will let you save where you spend the most.

At a Glance

  • Welcome bonus offer of $200 after you spend $500 in the first three months from account opening
  • 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories each quarter (up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases, with activation)
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining at restaurants including takeout and eligible delivery services, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases, 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, 14.99%-23.74% variable APR after that 
  • No annual fee

Pros

  • Extensive tiered rewards structure

  • Rotating bonus rewards categories every quarter

  • Valuable welcome bonus offer

  • 0% introductory APR for purchases

  • No annual fee

Cons

  • High ongoing APR after intro period

  •  Rotating quarterly bonus categories capped after $1,500 in spending

  • Keeping track of rewards categories may be more complex than other cash back cards

Additional Card Details

There is no shortage of ways to earn cash back with the Chase Freedom Flex. Here’s a full rundown of each rewards category:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, including available airline tickets, hotel accommodations, car rentals, activities, and cruises
  • 5% cash back in a quarterly bonus category on combined purchases up to $1,500 in that category— if you activate the bonus each quarter by the deadline. 
  • 5% cash back on qualifying Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Other benefits include:

  • A complimentary 3 months DashPass from DoorDash, after that, a 50% discount on DashPass for the next 9 months (activate by 12/31/21)
  • Cell phone protection 
  • Free credit score and monitoring
  • Access to Chase Offers savings, plus up to 15% cash back at select merchants when you use Shop with Chase via Chase Ultimate Rewards

Should You Get this Card?

If you want to get the most bang for every buck and you’re willing to keep track of both rotating categories and tiered ongoing rewards , you should get this card. The extensive rewards offer some of the highest bonus rewards value of any cash back card at no annual fee. 

On top of a large array of cash back categories, you’ll also benefit from a 0% APR introductory period on purchases for 15 months from account opening (14.99% – 23.74% variable APR after that). While there are other cards with longer intro periods, 15 months can still give you a nice window to pay off a larger purchase.

How to Use Chase Freedom Flex

Chase Freedom Flex is a powerful spending tool thanks to the flexibility offered by Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can choose whether to redeem rewards in the form of straight cash back, or convert them into points for potentially greater value (especially when paired with other Chase rewards cards). 

Cash back rewards are tracked as points: each $1 in cash back rewards will earn you 100 points. These points can be redeemed for cash, or applied directly to purchases or travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. 

To maximize your spending with the Freedom Flex, you should stay on top of rotating quarterly bonus categories. Don’t forget to activate before the deadline each quarter, and complete all your spending within eligible categories using this card until you reach the $1,500 spending cap.

Chase typically announces bonus categories a few weeks before a new quarter begins (rather than at the start of each year), so maximizing your bonus spending each quarter may take a bit of last-minute planning. Here’s how 2020 bonus categories compare to the categories announced for 2021 so far:

2020 Bonus Categories2021 Bonus Categories
Q1: January – MarchSelect streaming services, gas stations, phone, cable, and internet servicesSelect streaming services, wholesale clubs, phone, cable, and internet services
Q2: April – JuneGym memberships, fitness clubs, grocery stores, select streaming servicesGas stations, home improvement stores
Q3: July – SeptemberAmazon, Whole Foods Market
Q4: October – DecemberWalmart, PayPal

Chase Freedom Flex Rewards

Here’s what you could theoretically earn with your Chase Freedom Flex Card if you spend an average of $15,000 per year, or $1,250 each month on your credit card. Let’s say you spend $4,000 on groceries, $3,000 on dining out, $1,200 on travel, and $1,000 at drugstores annually. Here’s what you could earn with Chase Freedom Flex over time:

SpendFirst-year rewardsSubsequent-year rewards
Grocery Stores (1%)$4,000$40$40
Travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (5%) $1,200$60$60
Dining (3%) $3,000$90$90
Drugstores (3%)$1,000$30$30
Other (1%, but potentially more if falls under another earning category + $200 cash welcome bonus*) $5,800$258$58
Total$15,000$478$278

Note: These spending values are based on average consumer expenditure data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Totals are not exact and not all potential spending categories are accounted for. Your individual rewards earned may vary.

*$200 welcome bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.99 – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site
Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Intro bonus:
    No current offer
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site

All information about the Citi Double Cash Card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Bottom Line

Editorial Independence

As with all of our credit card reviews, our analysis is not influenced by any partnerships or advertising relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Chase Freedom Flex changing cash back categories?

Not all Chase Freedom Flex categories have been announced  for 2021. For the current quarter (Jan. through March), the 5% rotating cash back category includes select streaming services, wholesale clubs, and phone, cable, and internet services.