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Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card Review

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Earning Rewards

First-year aproximate rewards value: $342
First-year bonus cash back value: $200
First-year rewards value: $542

You’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 each quarter in rotating bonus categories you activate. Historically, bonus categories for the Chase Freedom credit card have included gas stations, home improvement stores, tolls, wholesale clubs, purchases with Chase Pay – Chase’s digital wallet – and more.

Other earnings include 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.

This rewards structure can be great if you spend a lot in different categories and like the challenge of figuring out ways to maximize your rewards. Also, with no annual fee, the card lets you keep all the cash back you earn, provided that you don’t carry a balance and incur interest charges.

Based on average spending data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the 2019 cash back calendar from Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Flex users can earn about $542.

Expenditure Annual cost Cash back earning rate Annual cash back earned
Dining $3,400 3% $102
Apparel and services $1,800 5% one quarter, 1% three quarters $36
Flights and hotels $1,000 5% when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards $50
Gas $2,000 5% two quarters, 1% two quarters $60
Entertainment $3,000 1% $30
Personal care products and services $800 3% at drugstores $24
All other expenditures $2,000 1% $20
Total first-year cash back $342 $542
Bonus cash back $200 $200
Total first-year value $542 $742

Values for each spending category are based on average data from the 2017 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey. Each category is rounded to the nearest $100.

You can earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Chase Offers, a program that allows you to activate deals from your favorite brands, can help you pick up extra cash back. Simply sign into the Chase Mobile app to browse and activate deals from participating retailers and restaurants.

Redeeming Rewards

Chase Freedom Flex users can redeem rewards in a handful of ways.

Options include cash back as statement credits or direct deposits, gift cards, travel rewards, or shopping with points on Amazon. You can redeem your points for cash back or travel rewards and gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per point; shopping with points gives you a value of just 0.8 cent per point.

One popular strategy to make the most of your rewards is to pair Chase Freedom Flex with Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve. You can transfer points you’ve earned with Chase Freedom Flex to one of these cards, giving you more value when you redeem points.

You can also get more value from your points by transferring them to a Chase Sapphire card and then redeeming them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You will capture 25% more value with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and 50% more value with Chase Sapphire Reserve.

The two Chase Sapphire cards also permit users to transfer points to many Chase airline and hotel partners, which could squeeze even more value out of rewards. Here’s the average value you can get with some of these partners, according to U.S. News research:

Chase travel partner Average value of points or miles
British Airways Executive Club 2.51 cents
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards 1.37 cents
United Airlines MileagePlus 1.69 cents
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club 5.29 cents
World of Hyatt 1.99 cents

Benefits

Chase Freedom Flex offers several valuable World Elite Mastercard benefits.

One of these premium benefits is purchase protection, which insures card purchases of up to $500 from theft or damage. Another is an extra year on your warranty when you use your card to buy an item with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less.

The card comes equipped with contactless technology for tap-and-go payment instead of swiping or inserting your card. This is the same technology that Apple Pay and other digital wallets use.

Cardholders also receive many other benefits. These include access to cellphone protection of up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year, plus travel and emergency assistance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and trip cancellation or interruption insurance.

APR

Chase Freedom Flex offers a 0% introductory APR promotion. You’ll pay no interest on purchases for 15 months and then an APR of 14.99% – 23.74% Variable, depending on your creditworthiness.

If you’re looking to finance a big-ticket item, you will have plenty of time to do it interest-free with this card. That said, the ongoing APR can be high, so set a goal to have a zero balance when the promotional period ends.

Annual Fee

Chase Freedom Flex doesn’t charge an annual fee, which can be a priority for some credit card holders. Depending on your spending habits, though, you could net more value from a card with this fee.

Other card fees include the balance transfer fee, which is either 5% or a $5 minimum. The card also charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Take some time to compare your options to determine which card is the best for you.

Should You Get Chase Freedom Flex

  • Prefer to pay no annual fee
  • Need an introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases
  • Want a wide range of rewards

FAQs About Chase Freedom Flex

Q: How Does Chase Freedom Flex Work?
A: Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 each quarter in rotating bonus categories the cardholder activates. The card also earns 5% back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022; 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases; and 1% back on all other eligible purchases. Cardholders receive a 15-month 0% APR on purchases and pay no annual fee.

Q: What Credit Score Do You Need for Chase Freedom Flex?
A: You need good or excellent credit to qualify for Chase Freedom Flex. That’s a FICO score of at least 670.

Q: What Is the Difference Between Chase Freedom Flex and the Chase Freedom Unlimited?
A: Chase Freedom Flex earns bonus cash back on quarterly rotating bonus categories, and Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t offer rotating bonus categories.

Q: Is Chase Freedom Flex a Good Card?
A: Chase Freedom Flex is a good choice for consumers who want a broad choice of rewards or a 0% introductory APR on purchases without an annual fee. But the rewards structure may be too complicated for some people, and the sign-up bonus isn’t particularly valuable.

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