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With either card, you'll earn valuable and flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards® points that are worth a penny each when you redeem for cash. The primary difference is how you rack up those points based on spending.
Here are the benefits of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
Points for spending
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in rotating bonus categories each quarter you activate. It also earns 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases, and 1% on all other purchases.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and purchases at drugstores, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
Main difference? Quarterly rotating 5% categories vs. an extra 0.5% on the “everything else” spending.
Bonus cash back for new cardholders: As part of a promotional offer, new cardholders with either card will earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
Rewards never expire as long as your account is open, which means you can take as long as you like to accumulate a splurge-worthy stash.
Multiple redemption options
Rewards earned on the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can be redeemed for straight cash back — the most flexible reward of all — at a rate of a penny per point. You can take your earnings as a statement credit, or choose a direct deposit into most U.S. checking or savings accounts.
There's no minimum to redeem for cash back, so you can help yourself to your rewards whenever you like.
You can also redeem points for gift cards, travel or Apple purchases through the Chase portal, or redeem them on Amazon.com to pay for all or part of your purchase. Point values may vary depending on how you spend them.
Transfers to other Chase cards
If you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or a Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can transfer the Chase Ultimate Rewards you earn from your Freedom card to one of those Sapphire cards and get a higher value per point for travel redemptions made through Chase.
Points transferred from either Freedom card to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel through the Chase travel portal. Points transferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are worth 50% more when used for travel that way.
Getting something extra for your spending is always nice, and these cards come with a bonus offer for new cardholders:
Chase Freedom Flex℠: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
0% intro APR offer
When you need a little extra breathing room to pay off a big purchase, a 0% introductory APR offer could help.
Chase Freedom Flex℠: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR.
Both cards give you:
DoorDash: Three months of DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service that offers unlimited $0 delivery fees and reduced service fees on orders of $12 or more.
Lyft: For new and existing cardholders through March 31, 2022, both cards will also earn 5% back on qualifying Lyft services purchased through the Lyft app.
Shopping portal: Earn 1% to 15% cash back at select merchants when you purchase through the Chase online bonus mall.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® also come with some peace-of-mind benefits when you use them to make a purchase or buy travel services.
Purchase protection: Your new purchase is covered for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
Extended warranty protection: On eligible warranties of three years or less, you'll get an additional year of coverage on the manufacturer's warranty.
Rental car insurance: Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S., coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.
Trip cancellation insurance: Get reimbursed up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for prepaid, nonrefundable passenger fares if your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations.
Credit score/ID theft: Access your credit score any time and get free identity restoration services with the online account tool called Chase Credit Journey.
Visa or Mastercard perks
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® runs on the Visa payment network, while the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a Mastercard. In terms of acceptance, it doesn't matter much if you carry a Visa or a Mastercard.
But Visa and Mastercard do offer some differing side perks. Of particular interest for holders of the Chase Freedom Flex℠, which is an upper-tier World Elite Mastercard:
Cell phone protection: Get up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for phones listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay it with your Chase Freedom Flex℠. You can make a maximum of two claims in a 12-month period with a $50 deductible per claim.
Discounts on services like Lyft, Boxed, Postmates, Shoprunner, Fandango and more.
Hotel benefits via the Mastercard Luxury Hotel and Resorts program.
Remember that you don't necessarily have to choose between the Chase Freedom Flex℠or the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. If you have both, you can use them in tandem to punch up your earning potential.
True, there’s overlap in some of the bonus categories, but you can turn to the Chase Freedom Flex℠ for spending in the 5% bonus categories and cell phone protection, and use the Chase Freedom Unlimited® for its 1.5% “everything else” rewards.