Chase Shakes Up Freedom Cards: New ‘Flex’ Option, New Categories for Unlimited
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Chase has made further changes to the rewards, features and benefits of its Freedom-branded credit cards since this article was published. See our reviews of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® for details about the current offers.
Chase is adding to its Freedom family of credit cards with the new Chase Freedom Flex℠.
The $0-annual-fee card debuted on Sept. 15, 2020. It combines some of the benefits offered by the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® — including rotating 5% cash-back categories — and adds some bonus categories of its own.
But unlike the existing Freedom cards, which run on the Visa payment network, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a Mastercard, offering Mastercard World Elite benefits to all cardholders.
Chase is also adding new ways for Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders to earn more cash back.
The "original" Chase Freedom®, meanwhile, will be closing to new applicants.
Meet the Chase Freedom Flex℠
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ starts out with a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Here's what else it offers:
5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in rotating bonus categories each quarter you activate. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ will offer the same bonus categories as the Chase Freedom®, which, for the third quarter of 2020, include Amazon.com and Whole Foods.
5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3% back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, like GrubHub, DoorDash and Uber Eats.
3% back at drugstores.
1% back on all other purchases.
» MORE: What is the 'Chase trifecta'?
All of the Freedom cards technically earn their rewards as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed for cash back in the form of a statement credit. But you can also transfer your points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, where each point is worth 25% to 50% more when redeemed for travel through Chase.
Cell phone protection
Pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Chase Freedom Flex℠ to get protection against covered theft of, or damage to, your phone. You can get up to $800 per claim and up to $1,000 per year, with a maximum of two claims in a 12-month period. There is a $50 deductible per claim.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ also matches these benefits from the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®:
Get 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025.
Get three months of DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service offering unlimited $0 delivery fees and lower service fees on food delivery orders of $12 or more. DashPass typically costs $9.99 per month.
Changes to Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® currently offers 1.5% cash back on purchases.
That benefit will remain in place, but new and existing Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders will also earn:
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3% back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
3% back at drugstores.
The new benefits kick in for cardholders on Sept. 13, according to an email to cardholders from Chase. Cardholders don't have to do anything to get them — the new rewards rates will apply automatically.
It continues to offer the following sign-up bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
No changes on original Freedom
The Chase Freedom® will be closed to new applicants, but current cardholders can keep their accounts open and will notice no change to how their card earns rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 per quarter on rotating bonus categories (activation required), and 1% back on all other purchases.
Rewards and bonus offers in effect starting Sept. 15, 2020:
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Offer for new cardholders:
Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
None — card is no longer accepting applications
Rotating bonus categories:
• 5% back on quarterly bonus categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending.
Ongoing bonus categories:
• 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
• 3% cash back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
• 3% cash back on drugstore purchases.
Rewards on other purchases:
1.5% cash back
1% cash back
1% cash back
Can you switch from one product to another?
You can request a product change from the Chase Freedom® and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® to the Chase Freedom Flex℠, but you won’t qualify for the sign-up bonus.
However, if you apply for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ as a brand-new applicant, even if you already have other Chase cards, you would be eligible for the bonus and promotion, assuming you are under the Chase 5/24 rule.
Information about the Chase Freedom® has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been provided or reviewed by the issuer of this card.
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