THIS ARTICLE IS NOT UPDATED WITH CURRENT OFFERS. TO REVIEW THE UPDATE ARTICLE, CLICK HERE.
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 Ultimate Rewards for $500 spend in the first three 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 ends on March 31, includes Wholesale Clubs, Internet, Cable & phone services, and Select Streaming Services. Each quarter, you have the opportunity to earn $75 or 7,500 Ultimate 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 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 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 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).
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).
Earning potential in the first year could easily reach $500 or 50,000 Ultimate Rewards if you receive the sign-up bonus and maximize your quarterly bonus categories. 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 for a no annual fee card!
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. While it is a bummer that they took away the 5% on all grocery spend, 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.