The Chase Freedom Flex credit card can help you earn some solid cash back rewards in a variety of spending categories. To be approved for this card, you’ll typically need a credit score of 670 or higher.
If you love to travel and eat good food, you’ll find the Chase Freedom Flex℠ credit card can help you earn some solid cash back rewards with its bonus categories on groceries, dining and travel. Because the Chase Freedom Flex card doesn’t charge an annual fee, it won’t cost you anything to start earning cash back (as long as you pay your full bill on time each month).
With a mix of rotating and year-round cash back categories, this card offers a lot of opportunities to earn cash from your purchases. You also get 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3% on dining. At the very least, if you spend $500 using this card in the first three months, you’ll earn $200 in cash back as an introductory bonus.
Ready to start racking up that cash back? First, you need to apply. Read on to learn what credit score you’ll need, what to do if you’re denied and how you can improve your credit score if you’re not quite there yet.
What credit score is needed for the Chase Freedom Flex card?
You’ll need a good to excellent FICO score – 670 or higher – to qualify for the Chase Freedom Flex card. If you’re unsure of whether you’ll qualify, you can apply to prequalify for this card by using the Chase prequalification tools hosted on the Chase website. By prequalifying first, you’ll get an idea of whether or not it’s worth applying for the card. As a bonus, you won’t impact your credit score during the prequalification process.
Additionally, if you’ve applied for a lot of cards in the last two years, your chances of approval go down. In what’s commonly referred to as the Chase 5/24 rule, if you’ve applied for five or more cards from any issuer in the last 24 months, you’re not likely to be approved for a new Chase credit card.
What can I do if my application is denied?
If you choose to apply for the Chase Freedom Flex card and are denied, Chase is required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act to provide you with the reason for the rejection. If it used your credit score during the application process, the lender is required to provide you with the score it used. You don’t need to take action here – legally, the lender must automatically send the score to you, inform you of which credit bureau it used and instruct you on how to get a free copy of your credit report.
Normally, you can only access your credit report for free with each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) once a year. To help lessen pandemic-related financial stress, consumers are currently allowed to request a copy of their credit report from each bureau on a weekly basis until April 2022.
If rejected, it’s important to review the credit report the credit card issuer used carefully to make sure there are no errors that harmed your credit score. If you come across a mistake, you can work with the credit bureau that issued the report to remedy the error by filing a dispute.
How can I improve my score to get the Chase Freedom Flex?
If you find no mistakes on your credit report and were denied for a low score (or know before you apply that your score likely isn’t high enough), you can focus on improving your credit score. Here are a few steps you can take:
Decrease your credit utilization ratio
Your credit utilization ratio represents how much of your available credit you’re currently using. The lower your credit utilization ratio is, the better your credit score will be. To lower your credit utilization ratio, all you have to do is pay off part or all of the credit you’re using.
Become an authorized user
If you need help building your credit history, you can become an authorized user on a credit card account of a friend or family member. The primary account holder will be responsible for making all the payments, so it’s important you only pursue this path if you can trust the account holder to pay on time. If the primary cardholder uses the card responsibly, your credit score should improve.
It’s common for parents to add their children as authorized users to their credit cards to help them establish a strong credit history.
Make on-time payments
The best way to improve your credit score is to pay all credit bills (such as personal loans or credit cards) on time. Paying a credit bill just 30 days past the due date can cause your credit score to drop by 100 or more points.
Limit credit inquiries
When you apply for a credit product and a lender initiates a hard credit inquiry, your credit score will take a temporary hit of about five points. If you apply for multiple credit products in a short period of time, the loss of points can really start to add up. Spread out your credit applications so your score has time to bounce back in between hard inquiries. Also, make sure you’re only applying for a card that you are fairly confident you’ll be approved for.
Open a credit-builder loan or secured credit card
It can take time to secure a high enough credit score to qualify for the credit products that can actually help you improve your credit score. Frustrating, right? You can apply for credit-builder loans and secured credit cards, which are easier to come by than unsecured credit products. By making on-time payments with these types of accounts, you can boost your credit score.
The Chase Freedom Flex credit card comes with some decent perks, which is probably why Chase is looking for a credit score of 670 or higher from applicants. If you don’t qualify for this specific card because of your current credit score, you can take steps to improve it and your chances of qualifying.