Categories

Credit Card Reviews

Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review: A Top Rotating Category Rewards Card

At Experian, one of our priorities is consumer credit and finance education. This post may contain links and references to one or more of our partners, but we provide an objective view to help you make the best decisions. For more information, see our Editorial Policy.

The new Chase Freedom Flex℠ is the latest addition to Chase's lineup of Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. It lives up to its name with a flexible variety of rewards opportunities, cardholder perks and redemption options. And, without an annual fee to worry about, it could be a good card on its own or when used in combination with other Ultimate Rewards credit cards.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Apply

on Chase's website

Recommended FICO® Score*
Good - Exceptional

Chase Freedom Flex℠

APR

14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Intro APR

0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Rewards

5% cash back on Rotating Categories

5% cash back on Travel

3% cash back on Dining

1% cash back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
ProsCons
No annual feeForeign transaction fee
Bonus rewards on rotating categoriesYou need to activate the bonus each quarter and don't get to pick the categories
Bonus rewards on dining, drugstores and travel purchases through Chase Ultimate RewardsTiered and rotating rewards can be more difficult to manage than flat-rate rewards
Two intro offers for new cardholders
Chase Customer Service
Card Services
800-432-3117P.O. Box 15298
Wilmington, DE 19850

Experian Review

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers two intro bonuses to eligible new cardholders and multiple bonus rewards rates for ongoing purchases. Considering there's no annual fee and flexible redemption opportunities, it's a welcome addition to the short list of rotating rewards credit cards.

Three Cash Back Rewards Rates

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card combines tiered rewards rates with rotating category bonuses to expand cash back earning opportunities for cardholders. Using the card, you can earn:

  • 5% on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in designated bonus categories each quarter when you activate.
  • 5% when making travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 3% on dining, including purchases at restaurants, takeout and orders from eligible delivery services.
  • 3% on purchases from drugstores.
  • 1% on other eligible purchases.

With rotating rewards cards the card issuer chooses the available bonus categories and there's often a cap on how much you can earn each quarter. You also may need to remember to enroll in the new bonus categories each quarter to earn the bonus rate. It can be a lot to keep track of, and some people prefer the simplicity of earning the same rewards on every purchase or having bonus categories that don't change throughout the year.

For the most part, these critiques apply to the Chase Freedom Flex℠, but the card does offer Chase Freedom Unlimited® bonus rewards in several fixed categories. Even without its 5% rotating bonus, the 3% rewards rate on dining and drugstore purchases is in line with what other no-annual-fee rewards cards offer.

If you'd prefer a more simplistic flat-rate rewards card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers nearly identical intro bonuses, rewards and benefits. However, it has a 1.5% rewards rate on all non-bonus category purchases rather than rotating bonus categories. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® also doesn't offer Mastercard World Elite® perks.

Two Intro Bonuses for New Cardholders

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is especially appealing right now because of the two intro offers that new cardholders can receive. You can earn:

  • A $200 bonus if you make $500 worth of purchases during your first 3 months with the card.
  • 5% rewards on up to $12,000 spent at grocery stores (not including Target or Walmart) during your first year with the card.

To be eligible, you can't already have the card, and you can't have received a new cardmember bonus for the card within the past 24 months. (In other words, you can't receive the intro bonus multiple times if you apply for the card more than once.)

On its own, the $200 intro bonus is a nice perk considering there's no annual fee for the card and there's a low spending requirement. The addition of the 5% rewards on grocery store purchases is particularly enticing as it's a high rewards rate in a common purchase category. While the intro bonus has time- and purchase-limit constraints, this bonus makes the Chase Freedom Flex℠ a contender for best grocery store rewards card during the first year.

Flexible Redemption Options

While the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is often called a cash back card, you'll earn rewards as Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You can redeem these for cash back and get 1 cent per point. Or, you can choose from other redemption options, such as getting gift cards or booking travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Using Chase's Pay Yourself Back program, you can also use your points to offset part or all of previous eligible transactions. With the Chase Freedom Flex℠ you can use this to offset charitable contributions, and your points will be worth 1.25 cents each if you choose to redeem them this way.

You can also combine the points you earn with your Chase Freedom Flex℠ and other Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards to potentially increase their value.

For example, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can receive a 25% or 50% bonus, respectively, when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards or using Pay Yourself Back. With those cards, you can also use Pay Yourself Back to offset grocery, dining and home improvement purchases, in addition to charitable donations.

You'll receive this higher redemption rate on all the Ultimate Rewards points in your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card® and Chase Sapphire Reserve® accounts, even if you've transferred in points from a Chase Freedom Flex℠. Additionally, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points from either Sapphire card to partner frequent traveler programs. Sometimes you can get a great deal by redeeming miles or points for reward flights and hotel stays.

Partner Perks and Benefits

Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders also receive a variety of perks and benefits from Chase and Mastercard. The current partnership perks from Chase include:

  • After activation before the end of the 2021 calendar year, receive a three-month complimentary DashPass membership to avoid delivery fees on eligible DashPass and Caviar orders. You'll also get 50% off a nine-month membership, which you'll be automatically enrolled in after the three months.
  • Earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022.

The Mastercard World Elite® benefits include:

  • A $10 Lyft credit (once per month) if you pay for five rides during the month.
  • 5% cash rewards on Boxed Wholesale purchases for use on future purchases.
  • A ShopRunner membership, which gives you two-day shipping at select retailers.
  • As long as you pay your cellphone bill with your card, you can get up to $1,000 in annual coverage ($800 maximum per claim, up to two claims each year) if your cellphone is stolen or damaged. This coverage carries a $50 deductible per claim.

Additionally, the card has several purchase and travel protections, including purchase protection, extended warranties and trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

You'll also be able to manage your account from Chase's mobile app, which is available on iPhone and Android phones. From the app, you can check your balance, review transactions, lock your card, add travel notifications, make a payment and add savings offers to your account. You can also activate and review the current bonus rewards categories.

Additional Info

Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months, then 14.99% - 23.74% VariableGrace period: 21 days
Transfer APR: 14.99% - 23.74% VariableAnnual fee: $0
Cash advance APR: 24.99% VariableBalance transfer fee: 5% ($5 minimum)
Minimum interest charge: NoneCash advance fee: 5% ($10 minimum)
Foreign transaction fee: 3%
Late payment fee: Up to $39
Returned payment fee: Up to $39

Authorized-User Policy

There's no fee to add an authorized user to your Chase Freedom Flex℠ account. The authorized user will receive a credit card that's tied to your account and you'll be responsible for the entire bill from both credit cards' transactions. But you'll also get all the rewards points from those transactions.

The authorized user's card will receive many of the same benefits as the primary cardholder's card. However, the free three-month DashPass membership can only be activated once. Whoever activates the offer first locks in the DashPass membership under their name.

Is This Card Right for You?

If you're looking for a rewards card that doesn't have an annual fee, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is certainly a top contender. The rotating and tiered bonus rewards, intro offers and redemption options help the card live up to the "flex" name. However, it's not perfect for everyone. You'll pay a foreign transaction fee on international purchases, and you'll need to activate and remember the changing bonus categories each quarter to make the most of the card, which some might find complicated.