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Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
One card is for flat rewards and the other is good for rotating categories.
Updated . What changed?
The winner: Tie
Surprise! Both Chase cards are excellent cash back picks, albeit for different types of spending. Your next step is to make the call if the Chase Freedom Flex℠ or the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is best suited for your specific spending needs. And if both sound great, consider applying for both. These cards are each part of the Chase Trifecta and can go a long ways toward pumping out value.
But if neither sounds like a fit for your wallet, move on and continue your search for plastic practicality. Keep on comparing different types and brands of credit cards until you’ve found the right one for your needs.
Who should get the Chase Freedom Flex℠?
Those looking to maximize their points through adjusting spending each quarter will do good by the Chase Freedom Flex℠. It’s a leading category card that rewards the agile cardholder for planning spending.
Who should get the Chase Freedom Unlimited®?
If you’re less interested in “gamifying” your spending for rewards but still want to earn back on your spending, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a good choice. Ultimate Rewards points are always valuable and your rewards for spending are fire-and-forget.
Who should get both?
Any consumer interested in maximizing their Chase Ultimate Rewards will want to eventually grab both of these cards. Both cards are part of the Chase trifecta, allowing you to earn the maximum rewards possible on most types of spending.
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
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and an impressive 1.5% on all other purchases.
- Get a signup bonus of $200 after you spend $500 within your first 3 months of account opening.
- You'll also earn 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year (then 1.5%).
- Don't pay an annual fee.
Best rewards: Tie
Rewards-wise, both the Chase Freedom Unlimited® by Visa and Chase Freedom Flex℠ by Mastercard are similar cards; they both earn 5% and 3% back on the same categories. The main difference between the two cards lies in one cashback feature — the first card earns 1.5% back on all purchases, while the second card earns 5% on up to $1,500 in quarterly rotating categories and 1% back after that and on all other purchases.
Because of this, these two cards actually make for an excellent team. With both cards in your wallet, you can always choose the card that will give you the best value in a given moment. The Freedom Flex can handle all purchases in that quarter’s category while the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can earn more on anything else. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is also handy if you happen to max out your spending caps on the Freedom Flex‘s categories. Hit that cap and your category earnings drop to just 1%. With Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you would earn 1.5%.
Best signup bonus: Tie
Both Chase cards have identical signup bonuses, so this isn’t a huge factor in deciding which card you choose. To maximize your signup bonus, however, consider adding the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to the mix. Without it, your maxed out signup bonus can be worth $800. Transfer your points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and your $800 are now worth $1,200 toward travel purchases at the Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
Best intro APR: Tie
Once again, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® share this feature. Both offer a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. Even the revert APRs on these cards are the same: 14.99% to 23.74% variable.
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