5.0MoneyWise Rating

Pros

  • The welcome bonus of $200 has a low spending requirement of $500.
  • A long intro APR offer for purchases and balance transfers.
  • No annual fee.
  • Multiple bonus categories.

Cons

  • Requires planning your spending carefully.
  • A foreign transaction fee of 3% if you use your card to purchase abroad.
  • Good to excellent credit score needed.

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Chase Freedom Flex review: What we think

The Chase Freedom Flex credit card has an easy-to-earn welcome bonus of $200, bonus cash back rewards in multiple spending categories, and a long 0% intro APR offer.

The Chase Freedom Flex rewards program covers a lot of categories. First, it awards 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories that you activate each quarter by going to the Chase site or app to make selections. That's up to $75 a quarter in cash back for bonus categories alone. These categories can range anywhere from gas stations to home improvement and wholesale clubs.

For instance, the spending categories for the fourth quarter of 2021 are purchases made using PayPal and at Walmart. Things you buy with the card through those two companies would earn 5% cash back for that quarter, for up to $1,500 total in purchases across both vendors.

Outside of the quarterly categories, you earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase; 3% on dining, including food from drugstores and carryout meals; and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

You can redeem your rewards for cash back in the form of a statement credit or direct deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account. You can also spend rewards on Amazon through its Shop with Points program, or use the cash back to select gift cards or buy travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Chase Freedom Flex benefits and rewards

  • Earn a welcome bonus of $200 after you spend $500 on purchases with your card in the first three months after opening the account.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories that you activate each quarter. Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase.
  • Earn 3% cash back on dining, including takeout and drugstores.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% cash back on bookings through the Lyft ride-hailing service through March 2022.
  • Unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees with DashPass (the DoorDash food delivery subscription service) orders over $12 for at least one year.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months for purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74%.
  • There is no annual fee for this card.

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Chase Freedom Flex card fees

Annual fee

There is no annual fee for this card.

Intro APR

You’ll have a 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.

Balance transfer fees

The introductory balance transfer fee is the greater of $5 or 3% of transfers made within 60 days of opening the account. After that, the fee is $5 or 5% of the transfer, whichever is greater.

Regular APR

After the introductory period, you’ll have a variable APR that can range from 14.99% to 23.74%.

Foreign transaction fee

When you use the card internationally, you’ll pay fees of 3% of the amount of the transaction in U.S. dollars.

Chase Freedom Flex credit score

Although Chase doesn’t publish a required credit score for the Chase Freedom Flex card, you'll likely need a good to excellent score. This can mean a score in the upper 600s and higher. Approval is also based on your income level, the age of your credit accounts, and your current relationship with Chase Bank.

Chase Freedom Flex vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited

People often compare the Chase Freedom Flex credit card and the older Chase Freedom Unlimited because the cards have some similarities. Their main differences are in their reward programs.

Both cards have no annual fee with competitive and simple bonus offers for new cardholders. There's a good chance you can meet the $500 spending requirement in one month with either card, using purchases you would make anyway.

Like Freedom Unlimited, the Chase Freedom Flex features a long 0% intro offer on purchases and balance transfers, which can save you some money if you need to move over a balance from a high-interest card or make a large purchase right away. Just be sure to pay off the balance before the 15-month promotional period runs out.

On the other hand, the rewards programs are different for the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards. While the Flex card offers 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories such as grocery stores, gas and home improvement, people who have the Freedom Unlimited card have bonus categories that don't change.

The Freedom Unlimited card also offers a flat 1.5% back on purchases outside of its bonus categories, versus the 1% you get from the Flex card. You might want to get both cards if:

  • You don’t mind spreading your spending across the Flex card rotating quarterly categories for different stores and vendors.
  • You want to take advantage of either cards’ 3% fixed dining and drugstore categories.
  • You want to use the Freedom Unlimited card’s higher 1.5% rate on all other purchases.

Is Chase Freedom Flex worth it?

Because the Chase Freedom Flex credit card offers a high intro bonus offer, no annual fee and several ways to earn cashback, it could be worth carrying in your wallet.

And if you don’t mind planning your spending based on the top categories that change each quarter, there's a chance you can rack up some serious cash back. Plus, you earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase; 3% on dining, including from takeout and drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases.

However, if you prefer flat rate rewards, or you don’t want to manage the extra planning and category activation the Freedom Flex requires, you may be better off with a card that offers a flat rate that you don't have to think about. Although a flat rate is usually lower, it's typically higher than the 1% you would get if you forget to choose your bonus categories each quarter on the Chase website or app.

Also keep in mind that the Freedom Flex card is not ideal for travel, especially if you need to use your card for foreign purchases. The foreign transaction fee of 3% can get expensive if you use this card outside of the U.S.

The MoneyWise editorial team developed a grading system — taking into account fees, features and other factors — to prescribe the rating shared in this review. The opinions and writing in this article are solely my own. Other customers’ outcomes may differ.

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About the Author

Christina Majaski

Christina Majaski

Former Reporter

Christina Majaski was formerly a reporter with MoneyWise.com. Christina Majaski has written and edited for a number of popular personal finance publications. Her work has appeared on Yahoo Finance, MSN.com, CBS.com and many others. Over the last 11+ years, she has become an expert on credit cards and other financial products.

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