*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Sep 08, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
Chase shook up its popular line of Freedom credit cards in September 2020 by closing the Chase Freedom® to new applications and rolling out the new Chase Freedom Flex℠ — a World Elite Mastercard with a $0 annual fee and a combination of rotating and ongoing rewards. What makes this card really appealing is a combination of benefits: a generous and tiered rewards earning structure, a solid sign-up bonus as well as a great 0% intro APR promotion.
- Chase Freedom Flex℠pros
- Chase Freedom Flex℠cons
- Compare it with the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
- Is the Chase Freedom Flex℠ right for you?
Cardholders with the classic Chase Freedom® can keep the card if they choose, according to a Chase spokesperson. The rotating 5% categories for that card and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ will be the same going forward. While cardholders have the option of requesting a product change, that won’t allow for earning a sign-up bonus like applying for a new Chase Freedom Flex℠ would.
We take a look at where the Chase Freedom Flex℠ excels, where it falls short and another card to consider for consumers looking to earn maximum cash back on dining out purchases.
Chase Freedom Flex℠ pros
Generous rewards. Typically, cards with rotating 5% cashback categories offer just 1% on purchases outside the current quarter’s category. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ stands out by offering rotating 5% categories alongside categories that earn 5% and 3% on an ongoing basis.
So far, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ bonus categories for 2021 include:
- Wholesale clubs, select streaming services and internet, cable and phone services (Jan. – March)
- To be announced (April – June)
- To be announced (July – Sept.)
- To be announced (Oct. – Dec.)
In addition, Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders can earn:
Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases. Dining includes takeout and eligible delivery services.
Valuable sign-up bonus. Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Intro APR on purchases. Enjoy a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months. After, a 14.99% - 23.74% variable APR applies.
No annual fee. The annual fee for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is $0. As long as you don’t incur interest charges or fees, all the rewards you earn with this card are net cash back.
DashPass membership. DashPass is a subscription service offered by DoorDash, providing unlimited deliveries for a $0 delivery fee on DoorDash orders of more than $12 (other fees may apply). With your Chase Freedom Flex℠, get a complimentary DashPass subscription for three months, then get automatically enrolled at 50% off for the next nine months. Activate by Dec. 31, 2021 to take advantage of this benefit.
Mastercard World Elite benefits. Get cellphone protection of up to $800 per claim with a $50 deductible per claim. Maximum two claims in a 12-month period and $1,000 reimbursement per year. Plus, enjoy discounts on merchants such as Boxed, ShopRunner and Fandango.
Free credit score access. View your VantageScore for free through Credit Journey.
Additional benefits, including:
- Auto rental collision damage waiver (secondary coverage)
- Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip
- Travel and emergency assistance services
- Extended warranty of additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less
- Purchase protection for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim (capped at $50,000 per account)
Chase Freedom Flex℠ cons
Foreign transaction fee. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. If you need to travel outside the United States, tuck this card safely away at home and take a card that charges no foreign transaction fees instead.
Bonus categories require activation. As is standard for cards with rotating 5% categories, you must activate a new category each quarter. If you neglect to do so, you’ll earn just 1% back in those categories.
Compare it with the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
Earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
Earn 4X points on dining, takeout and food delivery, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services and gas stations, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases.
0% for 12 billing cycles on purchases*, then 14.99% - 23.99%* (Variable) and 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles for balances transferred within 60 days from account opening, then 14.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
- Earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening That's a $250 value redeemable towards merchandise, gift cards, cash back, travel and more
- Earn 4X points on takeout, food delivery and dining
- Earn 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas stations and on streaming services
- $15 credit for annual streaming service purchases such as Netflix and Spotify
- No annual fee*
- 1X point per $1 on all other eligible purchases
- Low Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
- Points never expire
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
Whether you prefer to dine in at a restaurant and enjoy the atmosphere or order takeout so you can eat in the comfort of your own home, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card will earn a mouthwatering amount of points either way. Here’s how the two cards stack up against each other:
Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs. U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card|
|Sign-up bonus||Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.||Earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.|
|Rewards||Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.||Earn 4X points on dining, takeout and food delivery, 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, streaming services and gas stations, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases.|
|Foreign transaction fee||3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars||None|
|Purchase APR||14.99% - 23.74% variable||14.99% - 23.99%* (variable)|
|Balance transfer APR||14.99 - 23.74% variable||14.99% - 23.99%* (variable)|
If dining is one of your heavier spending categories, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card offers a higher ongoing rewards rate for that than the Chase Freedom Flex℠. And consumers who like consistency will appreciate that the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card doesn’t switch things up every few months like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ does with its rotating 5% categories.
However, for those willing to activate a new category each quarter, the Chase Freedom Flex℠’s combination of rotating and ongoing rewards offers an opportunity to earn a generous amount back.
For example, if you hit the $1,500 spending cap on the rotating categories every quarter, that’s $300 in cash back for the year — and that’s not counting what you’ll be earning on a regular basis for dining, drugstore purchases and travel booked through the Chase portal.
In short, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a distinct upgrade from the classic Chase Freedom®, which was already a good rewards credit card in its own right.
Is the Chase Freedom Flex℠ right for you?
If ongoing rewards on dining and drugstore purchases, as well as rotating categories that earn 5% back on up to $1,500 per quarter (which means $75 in cash back) sounds good to you, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a great card to add to your wallet. But before applying, ensure you understand the unwritten Chase 5/24 rule. In short, Chase will deny your application if you’ve been approved for five or more personal credit cards from any issuer within the past 24 months.
Another card to consider is the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which got an upgrade around the same time Chase rolled out the Chase Freedom Flex℠. The main difference between the two cards is that while the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers rotating 5% categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a higher base rewards rate on purchases not in a special category.
Both cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points (though they’re marketed as cashback cards), and if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Chase Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, these points can be transferred to your Sapphire card and redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for more value toward booking travel.
Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
$300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. From 6/1/20 through 6/30/21, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
- 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Earn 3x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services
See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®
For those wanting another option for a card earning 5% cash back on rotating categories, the Discover it® Cash Back is a top-of-the-line choice. 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically However, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ also offers ongoing rewards categories, which the Discover it® Cash Back doesn’t have.
The information related to Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been independently collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.