Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card Benefits & Review for 2023
With no annual fee, a $200 new account welcome bonus, and 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a great credit card for beginners and points experts alike. The Freedom Flex replaced the original Chase Freedom card in September of 2020, and it provides a variety of travel and dining-related benefits. Additionally, those with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can transfer Freedom Flex points and redeem at 1.25 cents or 1.50 cents per point.
Here is what you need to know about the Chase Freedom Flex.
Table of Contents
Who is the Chase Freedom Flex For?
The Freedom Flex has two target audiences — those already holding a Sapphire card and those looking for a no annual fee cash back card.
Chase Sapphire cardholders can take advantage of the Freedom Flex’s 5% cash back rotating categories to earn even more. Cash back can be pooled and transferred, where its value can be worth 25% to 50% more when redeeming via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Points can also be transferred to a variety of partner airlines and hotels where they can be worth as much as 2 cents per point. In other words, Chase Sapphire cardholders can essentially double the value of the 5% rotating categories.
Those not interested in signing up for either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve can also benefit from the Freedom Flex. Approval is easier than more premium cards, and it offers significantly more benefits than competing cards. In addition to no annual fee and a decent sign-up bonus, it also offers 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (then a variable APR of 19.74% – 28.49%)
|Benefits at a Glance|
|– Annual Fee: $0|
– APR: 0% Intro for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers; 19.74% – 28.49% variable APR after 15 months.
– Current Bonus: $200 Cash Back after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months.
– 5% Rotating Quarterly Cash Back Categories (on up to $1,500 spend per quarter). Activation Required.
– 5% on Travel Purchased via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
– 5% on Lyft (ends March 2025)
– 3% on Dining at Restaurants and Drugstore purchases
– 1% on all other purchases
– 3 Month Complimentary Instacart+ membership (enroll by 7/31/2024)
– Up to $10 per quarter in statement credits on Instacart purchases after registering for Instacart+ (through July 2024)
– Free DashPass Membership for 3 Months (activate by 12/31/2024)
– Secondary Rental Car Insurance
– Variety of Purchase Protection and Trip Protection Options
– Up to $1,000 per year in Cell Phone Protection
– Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
– Good to Excellent Credit Score Recommended (670-850)
Featured Chase Freedom Flex Benefits
The Chase Freedom Flex features numerous benefits, but here are our top picks.
$200 New Account Bonus
New cardholders are eligible for a $200 sign-up bonus when spending $500 on purchases in the first three months. You can opt to receive $200 in cash or via a statement credit. You can also redeem the bonus via the Chase Travel Portal, but points are only worth 1 cent per point. Finally, you can redeem your points for gift cards and at Amazon, but you will only receive 1 cent per point for gift cards and 0.8 cents per point at Amazon. Out of those options, we recommend taking the cash or the statement credit.
The Vacationer Tip
Before signing up for the Freedom Flex, ensure you can spend at least $500 in the next three months to qualify for the bonus. Otherwise, you are leaving a minimum of (depending on redemption) $200 on the table.
If you are a Sapphire cardholder, you can earn much more. The $200 bonus is worth 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when transferred to an eligible card. Depending on how you redeem the 20,000 points, here is how much they are worth.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Pay Yourself Back Program – $300 (Up to 50% more)
- Travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal – $300 (50% more)
- Transfer to a Chase Partner Hotel or Airline – Up to $400 (up to 2 cents per point)
Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Pay Yourself Back Program – $250 (Up to 25% more)
- Travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal – $250 (25% more)
- Transfer to a Chase Partner Hotel or Airline – Up to $400 (up to 2 cents per point)
To receive the bonus, you must not already have the Freedom Flex. You also cannot have received a bonus for the Freedom Flex in the past 24 months.
Further reading: best travel credit cards.
5% Cash Back on Rotating Categories
The Freedom Flex’s main draw is its rotating 5% cash back (or 5 points per dollar spent) categories. While the categories may vary year to year, a few to expect are gas, grocery stores, and home improvement stores. The 5% is available on the first $1,500 in spending for the category per quarter (1% after). If you redeem for cash or a statement credit, you will get $75 (7,500 points) by maxing out the category. For the entire year, you will earn $300 by maxing out the four quarterly categories (equal to 30,000 points).
Sapphire cardholders earn much more on the 5% categories when redeeming via the Ultimate Rewards Portal. Here are the redemption values when maxing out a 5% category (7,500 points/$75 cash) each quarter.
- Chase Sapphire Reserve – $112.50 (50% More)
- Chase Sapphire Preferred – $93.75 (25% More)
- Transferring to an Airline or Hotel (both cards) – $150 (100% More)
For that reason, we highly recommend pairing your Freedom Flex with a Sapphire card and transferring the points.
5% Cash Back Categories for 2023
January – March: Grocery Stores (excluding Walmart), Target, Fitness Clubs & Gym Memberships
- April – June: Amazon.com and Lowes
5% Cash Back Categories for 2022
January – March: Grocery Stores and eBay (ends March 31, 2022) April – June: Amazon.com and Select Streaming Services (ends June 30, 2022) July – September: Gas Stations, Car Rental Agencies, Movie Theaters and Select Live Entertainment (Ends September 30, 2022) October – December: Walmart and PayPal Purchases (Begins October 1, 2022)
5% Cash Back Categories for 2021
January – March: Wholesale Clubs Internet, Cable, & Phone Services Select Streaming Services April – June: Gas Stations & Home Improvement Stores July – September: Grocery Stores (excluding Target and Walmart) and Select Streaming Services October – December: Walmart and PayPal (through December 31, 2021)
The Vacationer Tip
You must opt in to receive 5% cash back. This can be done via the Chase website or app. We recommend setting a reminder every three months so you do not forget. Failing to opt in means you will only receive 1% cash back.
3% Cash Back on Dining and Drugstores Purchases
In addition to the 5% cash back rotating categories, the Freedom Flex earns 3% back (or 3 points per dollar spent) at restaurants and drugstores. Restaurants include fine dining, fast food establishments, takeout, and delivery services. Eligible delivery services include DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats. The 3% cash back for dining is equal to the Sapphire Reserve’s 3x points for dining. It is also equal to the $95-annual fee Sapphire Preferred’s 3x points for dining. Examples of eligible drugstores include Walgreens and CVS. There is no limit to how much you can earn at restaurants and drugstores.
The popular Chase Freedom Unlimited® also earns 3% cash back at restaurants and drugstores, which pairs well with the Freedom Flex and one of the Sapphire cards.
No Annual Fee and 0% Intro APR
Despite offering a ton of benefits, the Freedom Flex has no annual fee. Even though it does not offer as many benefits as the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 annual fee) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee), the Freedom Flex provides more value than similar cards with annual fees. The best part about a no-annual-fee card is you will not feel compelled to use it solely to justify the yearly cost.
In addition to no annual fee, new cardholders receive a 0% Intro APR for the first 15 months after opening the account on purchases and balance transfers (variable rate of 19.74% – 28.49% after). If your minimum payment due is 60 days late, you will forfeit the 0% Intro APR.
Chase Freedom Flex Travel Benefits
In addition to the benefits discussed above, here are more Chase Freedom Flex travel benefits
5% Cash Back on Travel Purchased Via Chase
Cardholders earn 5% cash back when booking travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Unlike the 5% rotating categories, there is no earn limit and no activation is required. The following travel purchases are eligible: flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and activities.
5% Cash Back on Lyft Rides
Through March 2025, Freedom Flex cardholders earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides. This is equal to the 5x points the Sapphire Preferred earns on Lyft Rides. It is half of the 10x points the Sapphire Reserve earns on Lyft rides.
Secondary Rental Car Insurance
Like other Chase credit cards, the Freedom Flex offers rental car insurance. Unlike the Sapphire Reserve and Sapphire Preferred, which both offer primary insurance, the Freedom Flex offers secondary insurance. This means the coverage is secondary to your personal auto insurance policy. In other words, you must contact your own insurance company first if you only have secondary coverage.
To activate coverage, you must charge the entire car rental to your Freedom Flex card. You must also decline the rental company’s Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Loss Damage Waiver (LDW). Coverage provides reimbursement for damage or theft for rentals within the United States. Only the cardholder and additional drivers on the rental agreement are eligible for reimbursement.
The Vacationer Tip
Coverage only provides benefits for damage or theft to your rental vehicle. Any liability claims must be processed entirely through your personal insurance policy.
Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
Cardholders are eligible for up to $6,000 per trip ($1,500 per person) for pre-paid, non-refundable fares charged to the Freedom Flex. Covered reasons include sickness, terrorism, and severe weather. Non-covered reasons include a change in plans, pre-existing conditions, and trips longer than 60 days. Cardholders and immediate family members are covered.
Further reading: best credit cards offering travel insurance.
Travel and Emergency Assistance
This service provides cardholders with referrals and assistance when away from home. Legal, medical, and other travel-related assistance are available to cardholders, dependent children under 22, and the cardholder’s partner. You are still responsible for any medical or legal fees obtained by the referral.
Other Chase Freedom Flex Benefits
Here are a few other benefits Flex Freedom cardholders can advantage of.
Complimentary Three-Month DashPass Subscription from DoorDash
Cardholders enjoy three months of DashPass, which is DoorDash’s subscription service. DashPass members receive a $0 delivery fee on eligible DoorDash and Caviar orders over $12. This service is usually $9.99 per month. After the three months, you will automatically be enrolled in nine more months for 50% off. To activate, enter your Chase Freedom Flex card information in the payment section in your DoorDash account. Register by December 31, 2024. And remember, DoorDash orders also receive 3% cash back.
$5 Off DoorDash Orders Every Month (while enrolled in DashPass)
Through September 30, 2022, DashPass members who pay with a Mastercard receive $5 off one order every month. As the Freedom Flex provides a complimentary — and then discounted — DashPass membership, this is another way to save. Must be enrolled a Mastercard DashPass free trial or Chase DashPass free trial to be eligible (more details here).
Purchase and Warranty Protection
The cardholder and recipient of gifts purchased by the cardholder are eligible for purchase and warranty protection. Purchase protection covers purchases for 120 days against theft or damage. The maximum is $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. Extended warranty protection extends the manufacturer’s warranty one extra year for eligible warranties under three years. The maximum is $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account. Your Chase Freedom Flex card must be used to qualify for purchase and/or warranty protection.
Cell Phone Protection (up to $1,000 yearly)
One of the best things about the Freedom Flex is it’s a Mastercard, which provides unique benefits (most other Chase cards are Visas). One of the best benefits is up to $1,000 (or $800 per claim) per year in cell phone protection. Cardholders must use their Freedom Flex to pay their monthly cell phone bill to qualify. Covered theft and damages are eligible for reimbursement after a $50 deductible is paid per claim.
$5 Off Fandango Tickets
Another Mastercard benefit is $5 off Fandango tickets. Cardholders must spend $20 on digital and movie tickets at Fandango to receive the $5 in rewards.
Complimentary ShopRunner Membership
ShopRunner is a service providing two-day shipping at hundreds of online retailers. Freedom Flex cardholders can sign up for a free membership.
1% Cash Back on All Other Purchases
Cardholders receive 1% cash back (1 point per dollar spent) on all other purchases. As detailed above, here is what receives more than 1% cash back.
- 5% Rotating Quarterly Cash Back Categories (up to $1,500 per quarter)
- 5% on Travel Purchased via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- 5% on Lyft (ends March 2025)
- 3% on Dining and Drugstore purchases
We rarely recommend settling for 1% on any purchase. If you do not already have it, consider signing up for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card to earn 1.5% on all purchases.
As previously detailed, there are numerous ways to redeem Chase Freedom Flex cash back and points.
Cash Back/Statement Credit
At its heart, the Chase Freedom Flex is a cash back credit card. If cash is your preferred redemption method, you will earn 1 cent per point. In other words, 10,000 points are worth $100 in cash. If you spend $100 on a 5% rotating category, you will earn $5 cash (500 points)
You can also choose to redeem your points as a statement credit. Like cash, points are worth 1 cent per point.
Pay Yourself Back – 25% More Value (through 12/31/23)
Purchases made with your Freedom Flex card at select charitable donations are eligible for the Pay Yourself Back program. Points redeemed using the Pay Yourself Back program are worth 25% more. This means 1,000 points equals 1,250 points in redemption value ($12.50 in cash).
Travel Booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards
Travel booked via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal can be redeemed at 1 cent per point. This is equal to cash/statement credit, so there is not a huge benefit in redeeming this way. Book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and activities using the portal.
Gift Cards, Chase Dining, and Amazon
You can also redeem your points for a variety of gift cards, Chase Dining, and at Amazon. Here is how much points are worth using those methods
- Gift Cards – 1 Cent Per Point
- Chase Dining – 1 Cent Per Point
- Amazon – 0.8 Cent Per Point
Clearly, you do not want to redeem points with Amazon. Gift cards and Chase Dining offer the same value as cash, so there is no added benefit redeeming using those methods either.
Transfer Points to a Chase Sapphire Card (best method)
The Freedom Flex’s true value is in transferring points to a Chase Sapphire Card. This allows you to earn much more from your points. As discussed above, the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns up to 50% more when redeeming via the Pay Yourself Back Program, Chase Dining, and booking travel via the Ultimate Rewards Portal. The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns up to 25% when redeeming using those methods. Additionally, you can transfer points to a variety of partner airlines and hotels to earn as high as 2 cents per point.
No, the Chase Freedom Flex does not currently have an annual fee.
The Freedom Flex has quarterly 5% bonus categories. While the categories change every quarter, some to expect are gas, home improvement stores, and wholesale clubs. You must opt-in to receive the 5% bonus rate. You will only earn 5% on the first $1,500 spent every quarter (then 1%)
Cardholders earn 3% cash back on restaurant purchases
Cardholders earn 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
Rotating Categories – 5% Cash Back or 5 Points Per Dollar Spent
Dining and Drugstores – 3% Cash Back or 3 Points Per Dollar Spent
Other Purchases – 1% Cash Back or 1 Point Per Dollar Spent
Yes. Like all Chase cards, if you have opened five new credit cards in the past 24 months, you will get denied for the Chase Freedom Flex.
The foreign transaction fee is 3% for international charges.
Yes, you can.
The current bonus is $200 (or 20,000 points) after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months.
No, points do not expire as long as the card remains open.
This does not affect your ability to transfer points to other Chase cards. Being a Mastercard, you will receive unique benefits, however. Enjoy cell phone protection, a free ShopRunner membership, and perks from Lyft, DoorDash, Fandango, and HelloFresh.
1 point is worth 1 cent when redeemed for cash or a statement credit. Transferring points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred allows you to earn much more per point.
You should have Good to Excellent credit with a score of at least 670.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
The Chase Freedom Flex is a must-have for maximizing Chase points. Despite being a great card on its own, the true value is transferring to a Sapphire card and redeeming for as much as 2 cents per point. The $200 bonus, 5% cash back rotating categories, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores, and numerous travel-related benefits makes this one of the best no-annual-fee credit cards available today.
I regularly use my Freedom Flex card to take advantage of the 5% bonus categories. I then transfer all of the points to my Chase Sapphire Reserve card to redeem at 50% more value. I also use my Chase Freedom Unlimited to earn 1.5% cash back on all other purchases. The Freedom Flex, Sapphire Reserve, and Freedom Unlimited is a great trifecta to maximize Chase rewards.
Don’t have a cash back credit card yet? Check out The Vacationer’s Recommended Cash Back Card Picks for the best offers from Chase, Capital One, American Express, and other top issuers. You can also check out the CardMatch tool (Read More: Learn How to Use CardMatch) to see what cards and offers you may already be prequalified for.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
Get The Vacationer Newsletter
Get highlights of the most important news delivered to your email inbox