Business_news Chase Freedom Flex versus the Chase Freedom Unlimited: Which cash-back card is right for you?

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  • Chase just launched theChase Freedom Flex℠and revamped itsChase Freedom Unlimited®.
  • Both cards have no annual fee, let you earn more rewards than ever on dining, drugstore purchases, and travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • The newChase Freedom Flex℠is a World Elite Mastercard as well, which means it will come with a new set of unique benefits you can look forward to.
  • See business Insider’s list of the best no-annual-fee credit cards »
Regular APR

14.99% – 23.74%

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Featured Reward

$200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Intro APR

0% for the first 15 billing cycles


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It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
    • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each Quarter!
    • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee.
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
    Pros
    • No annual fee
    • Generous bonus cash-back categories
    • Great welcome bonus
    Cons
    • Booking through Ultimate Rewards portal can restrict outside earning potential
    • Varying percentages and rotating calendar categories require extra attention
    • 3% foreign transaction fees

    Regular APR

    14.99%–23.74% variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    $200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening


    Chevron icon
    It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
    • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
    Pros
    • Solid flat cash-back rate
    • You can combine cash-back rewards with Ultimate Rewards points if you have an eligible card
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • Some other cards offer a higher rate of cash back on certain types of purchases


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    Read Our Review
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    Chase offers some of thebest rewards credit cardson the market, including theChase Sapphire Reserve® for travel as well as co-branded credit cards with programs like Southwest Rapid Rewards and Marriott Bonvoy.

    The card issuer’scash-back credit cardofferings have also remained popular with consumers thanks to their lucrative rewards schemes and lack of annual fees — and these cards just got even better.

    As of September 15,consumers can sign up for a new cash-back cardcalled theChase Freedom Flex℠, which has replaced theChase Freedomfor new cardholders but includes the samerotating quarterly bonus categories for earning up to 5% cash backon up to $1,500 per quarter after activation. Chase has also revamped theChase Freedom Unlimited®,and both new offerings rack up bonus rewards in categories like dining and travel booked through Chase, as well as drugstore purchases.

     If you’reconsidering a new cash-back credit card, you’ll want to compare theChase Freedom Flex℠and theChase Freedom Unlimited® to see how they stack up.

    We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

     Chase Freedom Flex℠Chase Freedom Unlimited®
    Annual fee$0$0
    Welcome bonus

    $200 back after you spend $500 in the first 3 months from account opening

    5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent on grocery-store purchases in your first account year*

    $200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening

    5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent on grocery-store purchases in your first account year*

    Cash-back earning rate

    5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in quarterly bonus categories (then 1%)

    5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards

    3% back on dining and drugstore purchases

    1% back on everything else

    5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards

    3% back on dining and drugstore purchases

    1.5% back on everything else

    Redemption optionsRedeem rewards for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, travel through Chase, and moreRedeem rewards for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, travel through Chase, and more 
    Intro APR offer0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from account opening, then a variable rate of14.99% – 23.74%0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from account opening, then a variable rate of14.99% – 23.74%
     Learn moreLearn more

    *not including grocery-store purchases at Target and Walmart

    Both theChase Freedom Flex℠and theChase Freedom Unlimited® will start new cardmembers off with a $200 cash bonus when they spend $500 on their cards within three months of account opening.

    This bonus is very generous compared to what you’ll get with manycash-back credit cardsfrom other issuers. It’s also easy for most people to earn considering you only have to spend $167 per month for three months in a row to reach the bonus threshold.

    Both cards also let you rack up 5% cash back on purchases made with Lyft through March of 2022. Separately, you’ll also earn 5% back in the grocery store category (excluding Walmart and Target) during your first cardholder year, on up to $12,000 spent.

    The earning rates on each card are where they really set themselves apart.

    TheChase Freedom Flex℠ is unique because you get 5% back on up to $1,500 spent inquarterly bonus categories(then 1% back) once activated like you did with theold Chase Freedom card, but you also get 5% back on travel booked through Chase, 3% back on dining, 3% back on drugstore purchases and 1% back on everything else you buy.

    TheChase Freedom Unlimited® maintains the same 1.5% back on regular purchases as it did before, but now you’ll also earn 5% back on travel booked through Chase, 3% back on dining and 3% back on drugstore purchases.

    Both of theseChase credit cardslet you access the valuable and flexibleChase Ultimate Rewards program, which lets you redeem your rewards for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and travel through the Chase portal. You’ll get 1 cent per point in value for each of these options.

    Also note that, if you pair either of these cards with a Chase travel credit card like theChase Sapphire Preferred® CardorChase Sapphire Reserve®, you canpool your points in your premium card accountand get more value for travel when you book through the Chase portal, or transfer your points to Chase airline and hotel partners like United MileagePlus or Marriott Bonvoy.

    Another interesting detail about the newChase Freedom Flex℠ is that, unlike the old Chase Freedom card, this new card will be offered as a World Elite Mastercard rather than a Visa card. This means you’ll get a whole range of new benefits, including:

    • Cell phone insurance —The Chase Freedom Flex comes withcell phone insuranceworth up to $800 per claim and up to $1,000 per year. This coverage is good for damage or theft when you pay your cell phone bill with your credit card.
    • Lyft credits— With the Chase Freedom Flex, you’ll get a $10 credit for every 5 rides you take with Lyft when you pay with your credit card. This credit is capped at one per month and automatically applied to your next ride.
    • 5% back on Boxed.com— Qualify for 5% back on purchases made with Boxed.com with the Chase Freedom Flex, which you can use toward your next Boxed.com purchase.
    • ShopRunner membership— Qualify for a ShopRunner membership with the Chase Freedom Flex, which helps you qualify for free two-day shipping and free returns at more than 100 retailers.
    • Fandango perks— Earn Double VIP points when you purchase movie tickets through Fandango or the Fandango app using the Chase Freedom Flex.

    Several major benefits apply to both theChase Freedom Flex℠and theChase Freedom Unlimited®. These include:

    Complimentary three months of DashPass

    Both cards come withthree months of free DashPass membership. After that, you’ll receive 50% off membership for the following nine months.

    Purchase protection

    Getcoverage for new purchasesagainst damage or theft for 120 days. Coverage is good for up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account.

    Extended warranties

    Eligible items with a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less can receive an additional year of extended warranty coverage.

    Auto rental collision damage waiver

    Qualify for auto rental coverage when you pay for your rental car with your credit card. Coverage is secondary,rather than primary, to your personal insurance policy.

    Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

    Receive reimbursement for up to $1,500 per person and up to $6,000 per covered trip when your travel plans are cancelled or interrupted for a covered reason. Coverage is good for prepaid and nonrefundable travel expenses you pay with your credit card.

    Travel and emergency assistance services

    Call into a hotline for emergency help when you’re traveling and need medical or legal referrals or travel and emergency assistance.

    Free credit score

    Both cards let youaccess your credit score for freeat any time with Chase credit Journey.

    Both theChase Freedom Flex℠and the newly upgradedChase Freedom Unlimited® are worth considering if you want to earn cash back on every dollar you spend, but it really boils down tohowyou want to earn rewards.

    TheChase Freedom Flex℠lets you earn 5% back on up to $1,500 spent in quarterly bonus categories (then 1%) as well as 1% back on regular purchases. Meanwhile, the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers a flat 1.5% back on all purchases that don’t fall into the upgraded bonus categories.

    Both of these cards can let you rack up a ton of cash back, or even rewards you can pool in aChase Sapphire accountfor better travel redemptions. However, the newChase Freedom Flex℠does come with some new World Elite Mastercard benefits that can boost its overall value if you use them.

    Make sure to think long and hard about how much you would earn in rewards with either card, and also check out somecash-back credit cards from other issuersbefore you decide.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

    Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

    Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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