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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.

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These $0-annual-fee cards have a key difference: The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in quarterly rotating categories when activated, then 1%, while the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers a flat-rate on all purchases. Of course, Chase cardholders are often more than happy to pick up both. Here’s why!

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Rates & Fees

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Rates & Fees

finder.com's rating
finder.com's rating

★★★★★

4.7 / 5.0

★★★★★

4.7 / 5.0
Best for
Best for
  • Long intro APR period and cash back in rotating categories
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Welcome offer
Welcome offer

$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year

$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year

Rewards
Rewards

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

5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases

Purchase APR
Purchase APR

0% intro APR for 15 months, and then 14.99% to 23.74% variable

0% intro APR for 15 months, and then 14.99% to 23.74% variable

Annual fee
Annual fee $0 $0
Balance transfer APR
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable

14.99% to 23.74% variable

Cash advance
Cash advance

APR: 24.99% variable

Fee: $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater

APR: 24.99% variable

Fee: $10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater

Foreign transaction fee
Foreign transaction fee 3% of each transaction 3% of each transaction
Late payment fee
Late payment fee Up to $39 Up to $39
Additional cardholder fee
Additional cardholder fee $0 $0
Interest-free period
Interest-free period 21 days 21 days
Minimum interest
Minimum interest $0 $0
Minimum credit score
Minimum credit score 670 670
Card type
Card type Credit Credit
Learn more
Learn more

Read review

Read review

Summary of card features

Chase Freedom Flex℠

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®

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 Flexcan 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.

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.

Compare cashback credit cards

Curious about cashback cards from other providers? Choose your credit score below and click Show Cards to start comparing your options.

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)
$95
Perfect for families: Get up to 6% on everyday purchases and a welcome offer worth $250. 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.
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