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The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a popular cash back credit card offering up to 5% back in bonus categories that rotate quarterly, as well as an ongoing 3% back on purchases at restaurants and the pharmacy. The card’s rewards are a little more complex than many other cash back cards, but with no annual fee and a host of credit card perks, the Flex is a reasonable choice for many households.
Here’s an in-depth look at the benefits of the Chase Freedom Flex to help you decide if it deserves a place in your portfolio.
Chase Freedom Flex Welcome Offer
When opening a new account, you can earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Many people could reasonably achieve this spending goal simply by putting everyday expenses such as groceries on the card.
The issuer’s site also mentions a second part of the welcome bonus: 5% back on gas station purchases up to $6,000 spent in your first year with the card. (Available only during a direct request via the issuer’s site).
If you maximize the value of both offers, you could earn $500 cash back as a new cardholder.
Chase Freedom Flex Win Rate
The card comes with a solid rewards package that exceeds what you can earn with many other cashback cards with no annual fee. Here is a breakdown of what you earn on an ongoing basis:
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 3% cashback on restaurants, food delivery and pharmacy purchases
- 1% everywhere else
In addition to this cashback program, cardholders also have access to the 5% rotating bonus categories. These categories change every three months and require a quick quarterly registration process to activate the 5% rate. You can earn 5% on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases.
In recent months and years, 5% bonus categories have included gas stations, grocery stores, and shopping on Amazon or via PayPal. Categories are announced shortly before the start of each calendar quarter. While you never know what the next few quarters may bring, experience shows that the map generally focuses on popular shopping categories.
Chase Freedom Flex Trading Options
The cash back you earn with the Chase Freedom Flex comes in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, with each point usually worth 1 cent. Redeeming your rewards is simple – the best way for most people to redeem is by direct deposit to a linked account at most banks in the US or as statement credit which reduces the your credit card balance.
You can also use points for gift cards and purchases on Amazon.com, or redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Booking through Chase works the same as well-known travel booking sites like Expedia or Priceline.
Pro tip: If you link the Chase Freedom Flex card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Ink Business Preferred® card, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to redeem through the other card’s program, giving you will earn more value per point when booking travel through the portal.
Purchase and travel insurance coverage
Many cards with annual fees of around $100 or more come with insurance protections when you book travel or purchase with the card. Although there is no annual fee here, the card still includes a list of useful protections.
New purchase protections
- Purchase Protection of this card covers new purchases for 120 days against accidental damage or theft up to $500 per claim.
- Extended warranty provides you with an additional year of protection under the manufacturer’s warranty terms, if any.
- Mobile phone protection covers your mobile phone in the event of accidental theft or damage up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year with a $50 deductible. You must pay the phone bill using the card to receive coverage.
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance reimburses you up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip if your trips are canceled or cut short due to illness, extreme weather and other covered situations.
- Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver is a fancy way of talking about rental car insurance. If you rent a car, pay with this card and avoid the expensive daily insurance from the car company, the card includes theft and collision damage insurance. Just note that coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
All insurance protection benefits have strict limits and guidelines, so it’s important to read the fine print if you plan to use them.
Other Valuable Benefits
Like all credit cards in the United States, this card protects you against fraud with a $0 liability protection guarantee. You should only pay charges that you have authorized or incurred yourself. It also includes automatic fraud monitoring to detect unauthorized transactions before the wrongdoers get away with it.
The card also includes access to a Travel and Emergency Assistance Services program that can help you obtain legal, medical, travel or emergency assistance while you are away from home.
Regular buyers of Lyft, Fandango, and HelloFresh are eligible for credits in certain situations. Additionally, the card also offers a free one-year membership to ShopRunner, which gives you free two-day shipping to many popular online stores.
Is the Chase Freedom Flex worth it?
With no annual fees, high reimbursement rates on travel, dining and drugstore purchases, and a nice welcome bonus, the Freedom Flex will be a rewarding choice for many people. If you don’t like complicated rotation categories, consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited® – you’ll earn the same high rates the Flex offers on travel, restaurant and drugstore purchases and 1.5% cash back on other purchases. The Freedom Unlimited also offers a similar benefits package as the Flex.
If you want more premium perks and more flexibility in using your rewards for travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred would probably be the next card to consider.
But even if you have another card to complement the Freedom Flex, because of the Flex’s low costs and significant benefits, this could be an ideal option for your unique spending needs.