Chase has introduced the Freedom Flex as its newest credit card offering.
It ultimately will replace the Chase Freedom card, which is one of the top options in the rotating cash back category on our list of best cash back credit cards. The Freedom Flex is positioned to make that list as well.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the details we have on the new card in advance of its release.
1. The Freedom Flex Is Essentially Replacing the Chase Freedom Card
Team Clark reached out to Chase and confirmed that the Freedom Flex card is essentially a replacement for the Chase Freedom card.
New signups for the Freedom card will soon be discontinued. Current Freedom cardholders can either keep the card they have or request the new Freedom Flex card.
We’ll dive into the cash back offerings a little more in a bit, but it’s worth noting that the existing rotating 5% cash back categories for the Freedom card will continue as scheduled with the Freedom Flex.
2. Cash Back Categories Include 5% on Select Travel and Rotating Categories
Money expert Clark Howard is one of many people who have been sidelining their travel credit cards during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it’s somewhat surprising to see that the Freedom Flex is touting travel rewards as one of its top cash back categories.
You can earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. This includes vacation and car rentals.
In addition to the 5% on travel, the Flex will provide 5% cash back on grocery purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 purchased in the first year. It will also feature a rotating 5% cash back category each quarter. The 5% reward is capped at $1,500 in spending, which means you could earn up to $75 if you max out the category each quarter. This rotating rewards program is similar to that of the Chase Freedom card.
Here’s a complete rundown of the cash back percentage tiers for the Freedom Flex:
- 5% on travel purchased with Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 5% on quarterly rotating purchase categories (This is capped at $1,500 spending for the category.)
- 5% on grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) up to $12,000 purchased in the first year
- 3% on dining (This includes both takeout purchases and delivery services.)
- 3% on drug store purchases (Chase describes this as a bonus on “daily essentials,” which includes items like medicine, toiletries and diapers.)
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
It is worth noting that Chase awards cash back in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Every dollar of cash back earned is worth 100 points.
3. There Is No Annual Fee for the Freedom Flex
Just like the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards, Chase is going to offer the Freedom Flex without an annual fee.
This makes the Flex card competitive in the cash back credit card market, where unlimited 2% cash back cards like Citi Double Cash and Paypal Cashback Mastercard already operate without an annual fee.
4. Freedom Flex Will Carry An Easy-to-Achieve Welcome Bonus
In the teaser information for the new card, there is information on what appears to be a super easy-to-achieve welcome bonus opportunity.
If you spend at least $500 within the first three months of card membership, you can earn a $200 welcome bonus. That’s a pretty fantastic return on what is a spending requirement of just $167 per month for the first three cycles.
Of course, there is some fine print involved. You can’t have claimed a Freedom credit card bonus within the last 24 months to earn this welcome bonus. And the whole process will take longer than three months:
After qualifying, please allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus points to post to your account. To be eligible for this bonus offer, account must be open and not in default at the time of fulfillment.
5. Freedom Flex Will Be Branded as a Mastercard, Not a Visa
This may seem insignificant on the surface, but Flex is actually the first Chase credit card to carry the Mastercard logo in more than five years, according to the release. The other cards in the Freedom family carry a Visa logo.
While there is no significant difference in the acceptance of Mastercard vs. Visa, the Mastercard connection does open up some perks through the Mastercard World Elite benefits program. This includes access to the Priceless Experiences program as well.
6. Freedom Flex Will Include Free Cell Phone Protection
One of those Mastercard perks that you’ll want to access right away is the cell phone protection.
After all, who wouldn’t sleep a little better at night knowing that their $1,000 phone may be replaced if damaged or stolen?
Per Chase, the cell phone protection with this card will include “up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against theft or damage for phones listed on cardmembers’ monthly bill.”
To earn this benefit, you must pay your cell phone bill each month with the Freedom Flex card.
7. You’ll Get 3 Complimentary Months of DashPass
The big perk of DashPass membership is that you avoid delivery charges on orders of $12 or more from participating restaurants.
You have to activate this promotion on your own. Here are the details:
To receive the subscription benefits, the primary cardmember or authorized user(s) must first add their Chase Freedom Flex card as a payment method in the DoorDash application, and then click the activation button.
Once you activate the subscription, your complimentary three-month period begins. Note, though, that activating the trial subscription automatically signs you up for the $9.99 monthly charge when the three months end. So make sure to set yourself a reminder to cancel before your card gets charged.
8. A Monthly $10 Lyft Credit Is Within Reach
Another of the Mastercard benefits is the opportunity to earn a $10 ride credit with Lyft each month.
All you have to do is take five Lyft rides in a given month and pay using the card. An automatic credit will be applied to your next ride.
The 3% cash back on dining and drug stores is a stronger offer than the 1% that Discover gives on its non-5% category purchases. However, this card does not do a “cash back match” at the end of the first year of membership like Discover does. That’s a big promotion that effectively doubles cash back earnings in Year 1 with that card.
Money expert Clark Howard likely would opt for a cash back credit card that offers 2% cash back regardless of spending categories, but I can see how this card may appeal to some consumers.
If you dine out often, this card is competitive with the cash back returns of the Capital One Savor and SavorOne while offering bonus opportunities in other spending areas.
I could see adding this card to your wallet for dining and then capitalizing on rotating 5% spending categories as they come along.