Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card Review
The Chase Freedom Flex is the newest credit card from Chase. In this Chase Freedom Flex review, we’ll look at the card’s earning structure, its welcome offer, ongoing perks, and whether you should keep the card long term or not. We’ll also look at how you can turn this cash back card into Chase Ultimate Rewards, which are among the most versatile points currencies available.
Chase Freedom Flex – Welcome Offer
The current welcome offer on the Chase Freedom Flex is:
- $200 cash back after $500 in spend within the first 3 months from account opening
- 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- No Annual Fee
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Chase Freedom Flex – Welcome Offer Restrictions
As this is a new card, restrictions stating that you are ineligible for the welcome offer won’t apply to anyone for a while.
You cannot earn the bonus from a welcome offer if you currently have the card or have earned a new cardmember bonus in the last 24 months.
Chase 5/24 Rule
Additionally, Chase has the 5/24 rule in place across all of their cards. There is a detailed write up here, but the synopsis is this: Chase will not approve you for credit cards if you have happened more than 5 accounts in the last 24 months. This applies to accounts opened elsewhere, also.
Chase Freedom Flex – Bonus Categories
In our Chase Freedom Flex review, it’s important to understand not just what you can get from opening the card but also its earning potential. How many & how easily can you earn cash back and points with this card?
The Chase Freedom Flex comes with the following earning structure:
- 5% on Bonus Quarterly Categories – Each quarter they activate, cardmembers will receive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on bonus categories such as grocery stores, streaming services, gas stations, and many others.
- Earn 5% in Q4 2020 on qualifying purchases made at Walmart or when using PayPal.
- 5% on Travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, including vacation and car rentals.
- 3% on Dining, including take out or eligible delivery services.
- 3% on Drugstores.
- 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.
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Points or Cash Back?
This card earns cash back by default. However, the real strength of the Chase Freedom Flex is when you also hold a premium card with Chase. This includes the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or even the Ink Business Preferred Card. Having one of these premium cards enables converting your cash back into Ultimate Rewards points. In this way, you gain additional options, such as “Pay yourself back” or transferring your points to travel partners.
You can read our assessment here about deciding between the travel portal and transferring points to partners. You also have the option of cashing out your points/cash back at $0.01 each (1 cent per point). Generally it is not a good value to cash in your Ultimate Rewards points. As you can see, multiple options exist for redeeming the cash back/points at a higher value than which you are earning them.
Pro Tip: If you have any of the following cards along with Chase Freedom Flex, you can combine your points together.
- Chase Ink Business Cash – 5X bonus categories
- Chase Freedom – Rotating 5X categories
- Chase Sapphire Reserve – Premium features & travel credit
- Chase Sapphire Preferred – Travel perks that come at a low fee
- Chase Ink Business Preferred – 3X bonus categories
- Chase Ink Business Unlimited – 1.5X everywhere
- Chase Freedom Unlimited – 1.5X everywhere
Chase Freedom Flex – Cardmember Perks
The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card has no annual fee, which is always great. Even though there is no fee, the card launched with a surprising amount of value via perks that are not common on no-fee credit cards.
As a World Elite Mastercard, the Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card comes with the following perks, even without having an annual fee:
- Cell Phone Insurance – Up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against theft or damage for phones listed on cardmembers’ monthly bill.
- Lyft – $10 in credit for every five rides taken in a calendar month, automatically applied to the next ride and capped at once per month.
- Boxed – 5% cash rewards on Boxed purchases for use on future purchases.
- ShopRunner – Free membership to receive two-day shipping and free return shipping at over a hundred online retailers.
- Fandango – Double VIP+ points for movie tickets purchased via the Fandango app or Fandango.com, which can be used towards purchasing movie tickets on Fandango or towards streaming movies and TV shows on FandangoNOW.
- Priceless Experiences, offering activities both digitally and in the cities where they are.
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How Much Is the Chase Freedom Flex Welcome Offer Worth?
The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card’s welcome offer is pretty simple. On the base level, it is worth $200. However, you have the potential to unlock more value if you combine your points with premium cards and then redeem in other ways. Rather than redeeming for cash back at 1 cent per point, you can redeem for travel through the Chase portal at 1.25-1.5 cents each or transfer to travel partners for a much higher value.
If you do combine the $200 cash back welcome offer with another account, it becomes 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. In our opinion, these points are worth 1.5 cents each when redeemed for travel. That would make this bonus potentially worth $300. It gains an additional 50% of value this way, which becomes a 60% return on $500 spent to earn it.
When you include the potential to earn an additional 60,000 points with the grocery bonus this could become a 80,000 point welcome offer. That would come with a value of up to $1,200 when combined with a premium card.
Keep Long Term?
As far as our review is concerned, cards with no annual fee are typically worth keeping. As the Chase Freedom Flex has no annual fee, it’s not hard to achieve net positive value. The cell phone insurance is a good example. Lyft, Fandango & ShopRunner perks can also provide added value for those who make use of them.
Additionally, the bonus earning opportunities on a no-fee credit card are better than other similar cards. Our list of the best credit cards for each bonus category shows that this card is at the top of the pack for drug store/pharmacy earning, which is another argument in favor of keeping it long term. Unless you need to cancel a no-fee credit card to qualify for another card via a bank’s application rules, it’s worth keeping no-fee cards to boost your credit age.
Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card Review – Bottom Line
The Chase Freedom Flex is a solid product with potentially a great value in its welcome offer. For those who can take advantage of the bonus categories, the chances for lots of points/cash back are strong.
While the perks are not nearly as strong as on premium cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, those cards also have a much higher annual fee. The Freedom Flex card offers a handful of perks and opportunities for bonus earning. Earnings can be redeemed as cash back or points (if you have a premium card). All of this comes on a card with no annual fee, which sets it above its no-fee competitors.
While the Chase Freedom Flex is a new card, which typically comes with buzz, we believe the attention is deserved. The card launched with more perks than expected–more than typical on a card with no fee. In our opinion this card delivers a lucrative welcome offer, good opportunities for points/cash back earning via bonus categories, and it can be connected to one of the best points systems around.
Our Chase Freedom Flex review in sum: this is a quality card. It is good for those looking to earn bonus points via elevated categories and/or those who want decent perks without an annual fee.