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Chase Freedom Flex℠ review

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Get up to 5% cash back on purchases without paying an annual fee.

finder.com’s rating: 4.4 / 5.0

★★★★★

  • Get this card if you want to earn as much cash back as possible on everyday categories.
  • Pick something else if you want a cashback card with a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers.
  • Apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

$200

Welcome offer

Up to 5%

Cash back

$0

Annual fee

0%

Intro purchase APR

for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)

Details

Product NameChase Freedom Flex℠
Card typeMastercard
Annual fee$0
Purchase APR0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR14.99% to 23.74% variable
Balance transfer fee$5 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash advance rate24.99% variable
Cash advance fee$10 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign transaction fee3% of the transaction value
Interest free periodUp to 21 days
Late payment feeUp to $39
Returned payment feeUp to $39
Additional cardholder fee$0
Rates & feesrates & fees

Expert review

Kliment Dukovski

Review by


Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.

Expert review

Formerly known as the Chase Freedom card, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has updated more than just the name. For starters, you get to earn one of the highest rewards rates at grocery stores during your first year of card membership. The same cashback rate applies to other categories including Lyft rides and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

The card still has rotating cashback categories that can be activated each quarter. A surprising addition to the rewards categories is now you get unlimited 3% cash back for purchases made at restaurants — including takeout and delivery — and for purchases made at drugstores. This makes this card a rewards powerhouse for everyday purchases.

How to apply for the Chase Freedom Flex℠

  1. Click Apply now.
  2. Complete the application with details like your name, address, annual income and Social Security number.
  3. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take for me to be approved?

Because approval is automated on the Chase website, you’ll likely get a decision within minutes. If there are issues with your application, it could take up to a few weeks to hear back.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ changes

On September 15th, this card got a new name: Chase Freedom Flex℠. It now offers the following rewards:

  • $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate, 1% after reaching the cap.
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 3% Cash back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

With this card, you’ll also get cell phone protection of up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year against theft or damage. But you have to pay your monthly cell phone bill with this card to be eligible. Also, you are limited to two claims in a 12-month period, with a $50 deductible per claim.

Card benefits

  • Signup bonus. Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months of account opening. During your first year of card membership, earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000. After that, earn 1% back on this category. If you reach the cap at grocery stores and clear the signup bonus, you’re looking at an $800 reward value — a rarity among no-annual-fee credit cards.
  • Cash back. Earn 5% back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022 and 5% back on up to $1,500 on rotating categories each quarter. You’ll earn 1% back after reaching the cap. You also earn 3% back at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, and on drugstore purchases. Everything else you buy earns 1% back.
  • Intro APR period. Get 0% intro APR period on purchases for 15 months. This is basically an interest-free loan for large purchases. But after the intro period expires, a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74% applies.
  • Cell phone protection. Pay your phone bill with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and get up to $800 protection per claim and $1,000 per year against theft or damage. You can have a maximum of two claims in a 12-month period, with a $50 deductible per claim.
  • DoorDash benefits. Get three months of DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. This comes with an unlimited $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on orders of $12 or more. DashPass typically costs $9.99 per month, which makes this benefit worth $29.97.
  • No annual fee. This card has no annual fee at all.

You’ll also like …

  • Purchase protection.
    When you make eligible purchases with your card, they’re covered for 120 days against damage or theft. Protection is limited to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Extended warranties.
    When you make an eligible purchase with your card, Chase will extended its warranty by an additional year. The original warranty must be three years or less.

Does the Chase Freedom Flex℠ earn cash back or points?

Even though Chase markets the card as a cashback card, it actually earns Chase Ultimate Reward points. You can redeem these points for cash or other rewards like gift cards and travel.

This makes the card ideal for pairing with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Because once you pair them, you earn the same currency on all cards, which you can move between cards and maximize the points’ value.

A Chase credit card with 5% cash back

To get the most out of Chase Freedom Flex℠, you’ll want to time your purchases to match each 5% reward period. If you can do this, you’ll earn fantastic rewards.

Let’s see how much cash back you could earn based on this sample spending:

  • $350 per month in 5% categories = $210 cash back over a year
  • $200 per month in 1% categories = $24 cash back over a year
  • $100 per month in 5% Lyft categories = $60 cash back over a year

Over a year, you’d earn $294 cash back.

How cash back redemption works

Chase advertises its Chase Freedom Flex℠ rewards as cash back. However, you’ll actually earn points when you use your card.

It takes 100 points to earn $1 in cash back. So, each point is worth 1 cent, which fits the industry standard.

You can redeem your points for various rewards using your Chase online account, including:

  • Cash back
  • Gift cards
  • Travel
  • Products and services from third-party merchants

Points may be worth less than 1 cent apiece if you redeem them for rewards other than cash back. That said, it’s a good idea to check the redemption rate before using your points.

How the Chase Freedom Flex℠ fits with the Chase trifecta

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is often considered part of the Chase trifecta, alongside the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® are both technically pay points for spending. You can transfer those points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, allowing you to pool all your rewards.

Finally, you can use your combined points for high-value options like travel redemptions through the Chase portal or transfers to the issuer’s airline and hotel travel partners.

See our comprehensive guide to learn more about the Chase trifecta.

Survey data on Chase Freedom Flex℠

What credit score did you have when you were approved for this credit card?

survey question 2
Based on a survey of 23 people on finder.com
Answer choicesResponses
740-85043.48%
670-73939.13%
580-66917.39%
300-5790.00%

What interests you most about this credit card?

survey question 3
Based on a survey of 57 people on finder.com
Answer choicesResponses
Rewards54.39%
Signup bonus12.28%
Features and benefits22.81%
APR10.53%
Apply now

Case study: Steven’s experience

profile pic

Steven Dashiell
Writer

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ credit card came recommended from a friend who enjoyed the varied, yet reliable, cashback rate it offered. Since my credit score wasn’t great, I wanted to start over with a reputable company and take advantage of the rewards associated with proper credit card usage.

Activating my earning bonuses each quarter only takes responding to a quick email confirmation sent to my registered account. For someone who had never managed a credit card properly before, I was happy to find that Chase made the process painless.

Since then, I’ve earned plenty of Ultimate Rewards points without trying too hard. Earning the welcome offer was a snap and, while not every earning category in a quarter is a winner, I’ve found most quarters have at least one category that can help me reach the 5% cap.

For new cardholders, Chase could stand to make the importance of coupling this card with a premium Chase card clearer. I imagine more than one consumer picked up the Chase Freedom Flex℠ based on Chase’s Ultimate Rewards reputation, only to find that their card can’t transfer points to reap the full benefits of the program.

Earn more with Shop Through Chase

With Shop Through Chase, you can click through to select Chase partners and earn even more cash back through your Chase Freedom Flex℠. For example, you might earn 6% extra cash back at Neiman Marcus, 8% extra cash back at Under Armour and more.

Earnings and offers vary by time period and cardholder, so log in to your Chase account to see your offers.

What to watch out for

  • You don’t get 5% cash back automatically.
    To earn 5% cash back, you need to activate it every quarter. You can do so online, by email, over the phone, at an ATM or at a Chase branch. Chase will let you know when to activate your cashback bonus categories when you opt in for email reminders.
  • Foreign transaction fees.
    A 3% fee per transaction is applied to all international purchases.
  • Hidden rotating 5% categories.
    Unfortunately, you won’t know what your 5% rotating categories will be at the start of the year. Chase only reveals them as each quarter draws near.

Is Chase Freedom Flex℠ a Visa or Mastercard? What’s the Chase Freedom Flex℠ annual fee?

Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a Mastercard. It comes with perks like purchase protection and extended warranties.

The card also has no annual fee, which is great news for your rewards.

Compare similar cashback cards

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0
Get 3% cash back on groceries on up to $6,000 annually (then 1%) with no annual fee. This is a simple and effective rewards card. Rates & fees
Chase Freedom Flex℠
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Perfect for families: Get up to 6% on everyday purchases and a welcome offer worth $300. This heavy-hitter rewards card has uncontested value. Rates & fees
Citi® Double Cash Card
Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
13.99% to 23.99% variable
$0
Earn up to 2% on every purchase with no annual fee. This is the highest flat-rate cashback card on the market.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
This solid 1.5% cashback card gets even better with the addition of up to 5% back in categories like travel, drug stores and dining.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
4% at gas stations on up to $7,000 annually (then 1%), 3% at restaurants and on travel, 2% at Costco and 1% on all other purchases
15.24% variable
$0
An impressive cashback card that offers up to 4% back on everyday purchases like gas, travel and dining all for the cost of a Costco membership.
American Express Cash Magnet® Card
1.5% cash back on all purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0
With 1.5% back on everything and a 15 months intro APR on purchases, this no-annual-fee rewards card makes it simple to earn more rewards. Rates & fees
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Chase Freedom Flex℠ cashback rewards calendar

What should I know before I apply?

Eligibility criteria

  • You’re at least 18 years old
  • You’re at least 19 years old if you live in Alabama or Nebraska
  • You’re at least 21 years old if you live in Puerto Rico

Required documents and information

  • Your name, residential status and residential address
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your email address, phone number and date of birth
  • Financial information like your annual income, source of income and employment information

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of being approved for the card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 670 or higher.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ reviews and complaints

Cardholders are generally thrilled with the Chase Freedom Flex℠‘s bonus categories and 1% cash back. However, some customers say they’ve had trouble with Chase autopay.

Chase earns a Trustpilot score of 5 out of 10 at the time of this writing. Most negative reviews cite slow responses to fraud complaints and less-than-helpful customer service. Positive reviews cite the bank’s great mobile app and quick resolutions to their issues. Overall, your mileage may vary with Chase customer support.

The JPMorgan Chase Credit Card division earns an overall A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, yet it has almost 2,000 customer complaints lodged against it. Billing issues and problems with the product and service were among the chief reasons for complaints.

Apply now

I got the card. Now what?

  • Manage your account online. Register with the Chase website to keep an eye on your spending and payments.
  • Activate your 1% cash back. To get the 1% cashback premium, activate your bonus every quarter. If you don’t take this step, you’ll earn only 1% cash back.
  • Steer clear of penalties. Late payments and returned checks can attract fees of up to $39.
  • Consider using the card less often overseas. You pay foreign transaction fees each time you use this card outside the US. Learn more about cards that have no foreign transaction fees.
  • Contact customer service. Contact Chase Credit Cards support with any questions you have at 1-800-432-3117.

Bottom line

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is currently one of the best credit cards for earning rewards you can get. It comes with a generous signup bonus and massive cashback rates on everyday categories. Consider pairing this card with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to maximize your rewards.

Top 5% cashback credit cards

Common questions about the Chase Freedom Flex℠

Image: chase.com

Cashback card ratings

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★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

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2 Comments

  1. Default Gravatar
    Beverly
    August 17, 2019

    How do I cancel Chase freedom credit card?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Charisse
      August 17, 2019

      Hi Beverly,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder.

      You can refer to this guide page we have for the step-by-step instructions (with screenshots) on how to cancel a Chase Credit Card without calling.

      If that does not work for you, you will have to contact Chase directly using the number found at the back of your credit card.

      I hope that helps.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

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