Chase Freedom Flex: $200 Cash Bonus, Plus Unbeatable Cash-Back Rewards

Chase took an already great credit card and somehow made it even better

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The Chase Freedom® has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market. But on Sept. 15, it’s getting a significant upgrade, and it’ll be even harder to ignore.

Chase recently announced the Chase Freedom Flex℠, which will replace the current version of the Chase Freedom credit card. The new card will have all of the same benefits and rewards as the old one, plus more. Here’s what you should know and why you should consider the Chase Freedom Flex as your next credit card.

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Chase Freedom Flex℠ Benefits

Chase Freedom Flex Cash Back

On the rewards front, the Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent each quarter in categories that change every three months (you need to activate the offer to get it). These categories include a lot of everyday expenses like groceries, streaming services, gas and more. It also offers 1% unlimited cash back on everything else.

With the revamped Chase Freedom Flex, you’ll get access to these rotating rewards categories, plus:

  • 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash back on dining, including takeout and delivery services
  • 3% cash back at drugstores

Chase Freedom Flex Bonus

As a new cardholder, you’ll also earn a $200 sign-up bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months, plus an impressive 5% cash back on the first $12,000 you spend at grocery stores in your first 12 months with the card.

The Chase Freedom Flex is also the card issuer’s only Mastercard credit card. Additionally, it’s a Mastercard World Elite card, which means it gets the following perks:

  • Cell phone insurance: If you make your monthly phone payment with the card, all the phones listed on the account will be covered against damage and theft, up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year.
  • Lyft credits: For every five rides you take in a month, you’ll get a $10 credit applied to your next ride.
  • Boxed cash back: When you use the card to shop on Boxed.com, you’ll get 5% cash back from the retailer in addition to your card’s rewards, which you can use for future Boxed purchases.
  • ShopRunner shipping: You’ll get a complimentary ShopRunner membership, which provides free two-day shipping with more than 100 online retailers.
  • Fandango VIP+ points: When you use the card to buy movie tickets through Fandango, you’ll get double the VIP+ points, which you can use to get free or discounted movie tickets or streaming through FandangoNOW.

What Happens to the Older Chase Freedom Card?

When the Chase Freedom Flex is officially launched, the old Chase Freedom will no longer be available to new applications. If you currently have the Chase Freedom, you can choose whether or not to convert your account to the new card.

Because the Chase Freedom Flex takes everything you get from the Chase Freedom and adds a boatload more in rewards and benefits, it’s a no-brainer to make that switch.

Chase Freedom Flex vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

It’s also important to note that the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is getting some new features. In addition to its unlimited 1.5% base rewards rate, cardholders will earn:

  • 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% back on dining
  • 3% back at drugstores.

Similar to the Freedom Flex, the Freedom Unlimited also offers a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months, plus 5% back on the first $12,000 spent at grocery stores in the first year.

So, which card is better? It primarily boils down to how you plan to use them. If you’re a rewards maximizer, it’s hard to ignore the 5% rotating categories on the Chase Freedom Flex. But if you prefer a higher base rewards rate, 1.5% cash back is impressive.

Also, keep in mind that the Freedom Flex’s Mastercard World Elite benefits aren’t available with the Freedom Unlimited. So if you want those, the Freedom Flex is the winner.

Using the Chase Freedom Flex for Travel Rewards

Getting more in cash back is a clear win for anyone who currently has the Freedom or plans to get the new Freedom Flex. But cash back isn’t where the card’s value truly lies — it’s in the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

While the Freedom cards are marketed as cash-back credit cards, they actually offer points. You can use those points to book travel through Chase at a rate of 1 cent per point. But if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll get 25% and 50% more value on those travel redemptions, respectively.

What’s more, if you have a Freedom card and a Sapphire card, you can transfer points earned with your Freedom card to your Sapphire card account. In other words, if you spend $100 on 5% categories, you’d get $5 in cash back with just the Freedom Flex, $6.25 worth of travel if you transfer the points to a Sapphire Preferred account or $7.50 worth of travel if you transfer to a Sapphire Reserve.

Additionally, the Sapphire cards allow you to transfer points to several airline and hotel rewards programs, giving you a ton of flexibility. This card will be tough to beat.

Note: the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers the same bonus rate on travel redemptions as the Sapphire Preferred, so you can also use that if you’re a business owner.

Other Popular Chase Credit Cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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Ben Luthi

Ben Luthi is a personal finance and travel writer and credit card expert. He has a degree in finance from Brigham Young University and worked in financial planning, banking and auto finance before writing full-time for NerdWallet and Student Loan Hero. Ben is now a full-time freelance writer and enjoys traveling and spending time with his two kids. His work has appeared in several publications, including U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Money, Success and Slickdeals.

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