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Is the Chase Freedom Flex worth it?

If you don't mind tracking changing bonus categories, this card can be well worth your while

Summary

The Chase Freedom Flex credit card is an attractive option if you spend heavily at wholesale clubs, supermarkets, gas stations or home improvement stores.

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The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card comes with plenty of rewards. You can earn 5% cash back when you use the card to make purchases in rotating categories throughout the year. You’ll also earn higher cash back rates when you use your card for restaurant meals, takeout and delivery, and at drugstores, plus 1% on everything else.

The Freedom Flex also comes with an introductory APR offer and an easy-to-reach welcome bonus, as well as various cardholder perks, such as cellphone protection and Lyft credits.

But is the Chase Freedom Flex the right card for you? That all depends on your spending habits.

Why the Chase Freedom Flex might be worth it for you

If you’re considering adding the Freedom Flex card to your wallet, here are some of the pluses that come with this cash back card.

Cash back rewards

You can earn cash back quickly with this card. First, you’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in rotating bonus categories each quarter (then it’s 1%), upon activation. These categories vary, but in 2021, you could earn the 5% cash back rate as follows:

QuarterCategory
January through March
  • Wholesale clubs
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Select streaming services
April through June
  • Gas stations
  • Home improvement stores
July through September
  • Grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart)
  • Select streaming services
October through December
  • Walmart
  • Purchases made with PayPal

You’ll also earn 5% cash back on any travel purchases you make through the Chase Ultimate Rewards online portal.

There are more ways to earn cash back with this card. You’ll earn 3% cash back when you use your Freedom Flex to make purchases at restaurants and for takeout and delivery. That same 3% rate holds for purchases made at drugstores, too.

If you are a frequent user of Lyft, you’ll earn 5% cash back on all your Lyft rides through March 2022.

You’ll earn 1% cash back for all other purchases, so you never swipe or tap your card without earning rewards.

Easy to redeem your cash back

Redeeming your cash back is simple. First, your cash back rewards never expire and there is no minimum amount you need to earn before redeeming. Secondly, Chase provides several ways for you to redeem your cash.

You can receive your cash back as a statement credit or a direct deposit into your checking or savings account. You can also use your points to shop at Amazon.com or turn your points into gift cards.

Additionally, you can use your cash back to make travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards online portal.

A welcome bonus that’s easy to earn

The Freedom Flex provides a $200 cash back welcome bonus if you spend $500 on purchases with the card in the first three months of opening your account. This is a relatively easy welcome bonus to reach, one that doesn’t require you to rack up too many purchases.

A 0% interest intro offer

You can also enjoy 15 months of 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers as part of your intro offer. Be aware, though, that after 15 months, your card’s variable APR of 15.24% to 23.99% (depending on your credit) will kick in and apply to carried balances.

No annual fee

The Freedom Flex charges no annual fee. You won’t have to worry about earning enough cash back each year, then, to cover any cardholder fees.

Plenty of other perks

The Freedom Flex offers purchase protection. If an item you buy is damaged or stolen within 120 days of your purchase, you can file a claim for up to $500 per claim or up to $50,000 per account.

It also offers trip cancellation/interruption insurance. You’ll be reimbursed up to $1,500 a person and $6,000 a trip for prepaid, non-refundable fares if your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather or other covered reasons.

Why the Freedom Flex card might not be worth it for you

Despite its many benefits, the Chase Freedom Flex card isn’t right for all consumers. Here are some potential drawbacks to this card.

What if you don’t spend much in Chase’s rotating categories?

The biggest perk of the Freedom Flex card is the 5% cash back it offers each quarter in rotating categories. If you don’t spend much in these categories – whether it be at home improvement stores, on streaming services or at wholesale clubs – you might not earn as much cash back as you would with other cards.

If you spend in a wider variety of categories, you might earn more with a cash back card that offers unlimited 1.5% or 2% cash back on all purchases.

There are spending limits

The 5% cash back categories do come with a limit: You’ll only earn 5% back on the first $1,500 you charge in these categories each quarter. Once you get past that amount, you’ll only earn 1% cash back on those purchases.

If you are a big spender, then, you might not earn quite as much as you’d think from these 5% cash back categories. Again, a card with unlimited cash back on all purchases might make more sense.

This card can be expensive when traveling overseas

The Freedom Flex charges a 3% foreign transaction fee. This might not be a problem if you don’t travel overseas often. But if you do, using this card can get expensive. If you frequently travel out of the country, you might search for a card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

You must remember to activate your rotating 5% categories

You won’t automatically earn 5% back on your rotating categories each quarter. You must first log in to your Chase account and activate these categories. This doesn’t take much work, but it is possible to forget to turn your rotating categories on and that could cost you cash back.

Should you get the Chase Freedom Flex card?

Is the Chase Freedom Flex card the right choice for you? It might be, if you spend heavily at home improvement stores, wholesale clubs, gas stations and grocery stores. The card might pay off, too, if you spend a lot each month on streaming services or Lyft rides. If you do rack up purchases in these 5% cash back categories, you can earn a steady stream of cash back.

But if you don’t spend as much in these rotating categories? Then a credit card that offers a higher cash back rate on all purchases – such as a card that offers unlimited 2% back on all spending categories – might prove more valuable.

Bottom line

The Chase Freedom Flex isn’t right for everyone, but it does offer attractive 5% bonus categories that might make the Freedom Flex right for you.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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