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It is not every day Chase releases a new card, and it is certainly not every day when Chase releases a card with powerhouse benefits and no annual fee. The new Chase Freedom Flex deserves your attention and a potential spot in your wallet.
The Chase Freedom Flex is replacing the Chase Freedom, and it is the new card we recommend to 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 Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Preferred to earn Ultimate Rewards.
The new Freedom Flex currently offers a sign-up bonus of $200 or 20,000 Unlimited Rewards for $500 spend in the first three months. On top of that, the card earns 5% cash back or 5x Unlimited Rewards on grocery store purchases of up to $12,000 in the first year. 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 ends on September 30, includes Amazon and Whole Foods. Bonus categories for October 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020 are Walmart and PayPal. Each quarter, you have the opportunity to earn $75 or 7,500 Unlimited Rewards.
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 Unlimited 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 Unlimited, Sapphire 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 Unlimited 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).
This is a fantastic new offer from Chase. 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 first-year bonus of 5% cash back on grocery stores purchases of up to $12,000 further sweetens the offer.
Earning potential in the first year could easily reach $1,100 or 110,000 Unlimited Rewards (!!!) if you receive the sign-up bonus and maximize your quarterly bonus categories and grocery spend. You can easily increase that amount by taking advantage of travel, dining or drugstore bonus categories. Any way you look at it, there is serious value here!
My spending habits have changed, and my travel has greatly decreased as a result of COVID-19. It is nice to see Chase responding to its customers needs and offering a competitive new card. Since I am currently back under 5/24, I anticipate adding the Freedom Flex to my portfolio very soon. If you are over 5/24, you can consider a product change from one of Chase's other cards, including Freedom or Freedom Unlimited. It's hard to imagine a better lineup of earning potential on a card with no annual fee.