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Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Discover it® Cash Back
Two excellent category credit cards with a few feature differences.
Updated . What changed?
In terms of rewards, both of these credit cards are excellent. They offer 5% cash back in rotating categories — up to the typical maximum of $1,500 in combined spending each quarter, then 1%. The main difference here is the cashback rate on all other purchases. Discover earns 1% back on everything else, while Chase earns 5% back on two more categories: Lyft rides through March 2022 and travel purchase via Chase Ultimate Rewards. It also earns 3% back at drugstores and restaurants, and 1% back on everything else.
These cards also have different features. Their signup bonuses are quite different, for example. While you can earn an easy $200 for meeting the spending requirements, plus earn 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year with the Chase Freedom Flex℠, the Discover it® Cash Back will instead match any cash back you earn at the end of your first year. Depending on your spending, you could end up with substantially more value with the Discover card. The Discover it® Cash Back also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases AND balance transfers, while the Chase Freedom Flex℠ only offers an intro APR on purchases.
Summary of card features
Chase Freedom Flex℠
- Huge potential signup bonus worth up to $800
- 5% back in rotating categories on up to $1,500 quarterly, then 1%
- 5% on travel purchased through Chase
- 3% on dining and drugstores
- 1% on all other purchases
- Intro APR on purchases
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has an easy-to-meet signup bonus — spend $500 in the first 3 months of card membership and pocket $200. Another money grab for cardholders is the referral program. Every friend you invite to apply who gets the card scores you an extra $100 with the ability to earn up to $500. It's also equipped with purchase protection and extended warranty service to safeguard your everyday purchases.
Discover it® Cash Back
- No annual fee
- Excellent rewards in rotating categories
- Solid intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
- Cashback Match on all rewards earned during the first card year
The Discover it® Cash Back is designed for the frequent credit card user who can align their spending to rotating bonus categories — this will make the juice worth the squeeze when it comes to rewards. A huge draw is the cashback match at the end of the first year, especially if you can hit the rewards cap each quarter. This travel-friendly card comes with no foreign transaction fees, plus it'll waive your first late payment fee.
The winner: Chase Freedom Flex℠
Although the Discover it® Cash Back card lets you see the entire year’s 5% rotating categories all at once and it kept its 0% intro APR period on balance transfers during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not a match for the revamped Chase Freedom Flex℠.
With two additional 5% cashback categories and two 3% cashback categories of everyday purchases, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ dwarfs all no-annual-fee competitor cards. Thanks to the Chase Ultimate Rewards ecosystem, the entire cashback you earn can be worth 50% more. But you’ll have to pair it with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and transfer your points there. You can also add the Chase Freedom Unlimited® by Visa to the mix and you’ll get a powerful rewards-earning combo known as the Chase trifecta.
Of course, everyone spends differently, and these cards may not quite meet what you’re looking for in benefits and features. So, if neither was in sync with the way you swipe, continue to compare cashback cards and keep your eyes peeled for your perfect plastic.
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