Chase Freedom Flex Card Review

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Chase Freedom Flex℠ Chase Freedom Flex℠
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
Learn more externa link icon At our partner’s secure site
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Editor’s Score: (4.7/5)
  • Intro bonus:
    $200
  • Annual fee:
    $0
  • Regular APR:
    14.99 – 23.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit score:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
Rewards rate:

Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. 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 Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®. Earn 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores. Earn 1% on all other purchases.

NextAdvisor’s Take

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 some other cash back cards
The Bottom Line
The Chase Freedom Flex card offers cash back rewards in rotating rewards categories that will let you save where you spend the most. Plus, you’ll earn rewards in ongoing bonus categories year-round.

Additional Card Details

  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases (14.99%-23.74% variable APR thereafter)
  • 5% cash back on qualifying Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in your top spending category (among eligible categories) through Dec. 2021
  • 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

Chase Freedom Flex Full Review

Card Type

The Chase Freedom Flex is a cash-back rewards card that offers rotating, quarterly bonus rewards categories. It also offers tiered bonus rewards in select ongoing categories.

Annual Fee

This card has a $0 annual fee.

Welcome Offer

There’s a welcome bonus offer of $200 after you spend $500 in the first three months from account opening.

Rewards

Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% in a few different categories. First, you’ll get 5% cash back on cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in your first year. You can also get 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and in rotating bonus categories each quarter (up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases, with activation).

Through the fourth quarter of 2021, you can also earn 5% back (up to $1,500 spent) in your top spending category, among travel (including transit), dining, home improvement stores, grocery stores (not including Target or Walmart), drug stores, gas stations, select live entertainment, select streaming services, and fitness clubs. 

Additionally, you’ll get 3% cash back on dining at restaurants including takeout and eligible delivery services, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Fees 

This card offers a 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, with a 14.99%-23.74% variable APR after that.

If you pay late, you may incur a penalty APR of up to 29.99% and a late payment or returned payment fee up to $40.

Benefits of Chase Freedom Flex

The best feature of the Chase Freedom Flex is the opportunity you have to maximize rewards on your everyday spending in a wide variety of bonus categories. Not only will you benefit from the rotating quarterly categories, but you can also earn great rewards on travel booked through Chase, drugstores, dining, and — for the first year — groceries.

In addition to rewards, you can get a complimentary 3 months DashPass from DoorDash membership, and after that, a 50% discount on DashPass for the next 9 months (activate by 12/31/21). You’ll also get 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022, and a few more added benefits like purchase and travel protections.

Drawbacks of Chase Freedom Flex

Unlike cash back cards that offer a flat rate on every purchase or tiered bonus categories that don’t change, the Chase Freedom Flex has a more complex cash back structure. At 5%, its highest rewards category is more than you’ll typically earn on other types of cash back cards, but you’ll need to spend a bit more time strategizing your spending to maximize the value.

Mostly, that requires keeping up with Chase’s calendar of rotating cash back categories. Chase doesn’t announce quarterly categories far in advance (typically they are revealed a few weeks before the quarter begins), so it can also be difficult to plan your spending based on upcoming categories.  

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.

Here’s how 2020 bonus categories compare to 2021:

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 MarketGrocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart), select streaming services
Q4: October – DecemberWalmart, PayPalWalmart, 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 (5% on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, then 1%)$4,000$200$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$638$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

  • 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.
  • Intro bonus:
    N/A
  • 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.
  • 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.

Is Chase Freedom Flex Right for You?

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.

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?

For the current quarter (Oct. through Dec.), the 5% rotating cash back category includes Walmart and PayPal, when you activate by Dec. 14, 2021.