REVIEW: Chase Freedom Flex (2021)

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The Chase Freedom Flex replaced the Chase Freedom, and it is the newest card in the Chase Ultimate Rewards family. We recommend you fulfill your Chase trifecta. As with the Freedom, which is now closed to new applications, the Freedom Flex is a cash back card, but you can combine it with the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Preferred to earn Ultimate Rewards.

Current Offer

The Freedom Flex currently offers a sign-up bonus of $200 or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards for $500 spend in the first three months.  For a limited time, it also includes 5x on groceries, up to the first $12,000 in the first 12 months. Additional bonus categories on the card include 5% on travel through the Chase portal, 3% on dining at restaurants, 3% on drugstore purchases and 1% on everything else.

The Freedom Flex also offers rotating bonus categories each quarter that earn 5% on purchases up to $1,500. The current quarter, which begins July 1 and runs through September 30, includes grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and select streaming services.  Each quarter, you have the opportunity to earn $75 or 7,500 Ultimate Rewards. Since the current quarter includes groceries as the rotation category AND the 5x groceries as part of the sign up bonus, you can earn 9x Ultimate Rewards (worth 13.5% return with a CSR or 11.25% return with a CSP).

The Freedom Flex also includes benefits that are similar to other Chase and Amex cards. The most notable benefits include three months of DoorDash's DashPass, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022, cell phone insurance and ShopRunner membership.

Earn Rate and Redemption Potential

After earning a sign-up bonus, the biggest earning potential is the 5% cash back or 5X Ultimate Rewards you can earn on up to $1,500 in rotating quarterly bonus categories. The rewards for travel, dining and drugstore purchases are also extremely competitive for a card with no annual fee. For example, the Freedom Flex and Sapphire Reserve (Chase’s premium travel card, with a hefty annual fee) now have the same earning potential on dining.

While you can earn cash back with the Freedom Flex, you can also use your points for travel. This is even more valuable if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve. Because Chase Freedom UnlimitedSapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve are all part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, you can transfer points between the accounts. Once points are in a Sapphire account, you can transfer 1:1 to a host of airline and hotel partners.

If you use points to book travel directly through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, you benefit from an additional 25% or 50% bonus with the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, respectively. For example, if you redeem the $200 or 20,000 point signup bonus in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal, it is worth $250 (Sapphire Preferred) or $300 (Sapphire Reserve). Additionally, you can transfer the points to one of the above mentioned cards and then utilize the Pay Yourself Back feature to cash points out at 1.25 cents per point (Sapphire Preferred) or 1.5 cents per point (Sapphire Reserve).

Analysis

This card can be a great addition to your lineup to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards.  Essentially, they took the best feature of the Freedom card—5% cash back in quarterly bonus categories—and added even more permanent earning categories.  The addition of 3% on drugstores is a great addition as it is not a category covered on another card (aside from Chase Freedom Unlimited). With the limited-time addition of up to 60,000 additional Ultimate Rewards from grocery spend, this card is an absolute no-brainer.

Earning potential in the first year can easily reach up to 110,000 Ultimate Rewards (worth $1,375+) if you receive the sign-up bonus, maximize the $12,000 grocery spend in 12 months, and maximize your quarterly bonus categories. You can easily increase that value by taking advantage of travel, dining or drugstore bonus categories. Any way you look at it, there is serious value here for a no annual fee card!

Final Thoughts

It is nice to see Chase responding to its customers needs and offering a very competitive no annual fee card. 5x on groceries is as good as it gets, even if the cap is $12,000. Even without the sign up bonus, this is a great card to have. So even if you are over 5/24, you should consider a product change from one of Chase's other cards, including Freedom or Freedom Unlimited.  This card continues to be a great earner to top off your Chase Ultimate Reward earning.  It's hard to imagine a better lineup of earning potential on a card with no annual fee.

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Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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