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Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Incredible value whether you want flat-rewards or rotating categories.

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. Both Freedom cards have benefited from several reward additions made in September 2020, greatly increasing the value of both cards. Which card is best for you ultimately comes down to your spending habits. Here’s a breakdown of how to choose.

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.

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.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Terms apply, see rates & fees

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Terms apply, see rates & fees

Finder rating
Finder 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 (not including Target® or Walmart®) 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 (not including Target® or Walmart®) on up to $12,000 in the first year

Rewards
Rewards

5% cash back on up to $1,500 combined in quarterly categories you activate, 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 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 $40
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

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. Both cards also received three new flat-rate categories in September 2020: 5% back on travel booked through Chase, and 3% back on restaurants and drugstores.

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. To maximize your signup bonus further, consider adding the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to the mix. Without it, your signup bonus can be worth $200. Transfer your points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® and your $200 is now worth $300 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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