Which Chase Freedom Credit Card Should You Get?

The right Chase Freedom card for you depends on your spending habits and credit score.
Melissa Lambarena
By Melissa Lambarena 
Published
Edited by Kenley Young

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The Chase Freedom Rise℠, Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom Flex℠ are all worthy options in the Chase portfolio, but the right one for you will depend on how you spend and where you are in your credit journey.

While the Chase Freedom Rise℠ is ideal for those new to credit, the other two Freedom cards can offer value to those with seasoned credit histories.

Here’s what you need to know to figure out the best one for you.

How the cards compare
Chase Freedom Rise℠
Chase Freedom Rise℠
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Flex
Chase Freedom Flex℠
NerdWallet Rating
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee
$0
$0
$0
Sign-up offer

Earn a $25 statement credit after signing up for automatic payments within the first three months of opening your account.

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.

APR

The ongoing APR is 26.99% Variable APR.

0% intro APR on purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 20.49%-29.24% Variable APR.

0% intro APR on purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 20.49%-29.24%, Variable APR.

Rewards
  • 1.5% cash back on all qualifying purchases.

  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase.

  • 3% back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.

  • 3% back on drugstore purchases.

  • 1.5% cash back on everything else.

  • 5% cash back in quarterly bonus categories on up to $1,500 in combined spending each quarter. Activation of bonus categories is required. (See the quarterly 5% bonus calendar below.)

  • 5% back on travel booked through Chase.

  • 3% back on dining, including takeout and delivery services.

  • 3% back on drugstore purchases.

  • 1% on all other purchases.

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🤓Nerdy Tip

A fourth Freedom credit card — the original Chase Freedom® — still exists but is no longer accepting new applications. This card also allows existing cardholders to earn rewards in rotating quarterly bonus categories, but it doesn't pack the fixed bonus categories you'll find on the Chase Freedom Flex℠, which has essentially replaced the Chase Freedom®.

Chase Freedom Rise℠

The Chase Freedom Rise℠ is ideal for beginners to credit because you don't necessarily need an existing credit history to qualify for it, although you can increase your approval odds by opening a Chase checking or savings account that has a balance of at least $250. It offers solid ongoing rewards for a card in its class, and you'll get some credit-friendly perks, too.

The card offers a $25 statement credit when you sign up for automatic payments within the first three months of opening the card account, which can help you avoid late payments as you’re learning to manage credit. Another feature that sets this card apart from some others is that you'll be evaluated for a credit line increase in as soon as six months, which can help your credit score by decreasing your credit utilization ratio (aka the amount of credit in use compared with the amount of credit available).

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is an ideal option for those who prefer a minimalist approach to managing credit cards. With a decent base rewards rate of 1.5% and elevated rates in specific categories, it’s a solid go-to card for a large chunk of your spending. If you make it an all-purpose card, you don’t have to bother remembering the categories that earn bonus rewards. And unlike with the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you won’t have to worry about activating or tracking rewards categories.

You'll need good to excellent credit (credit scores of 690 or higher) to qualify.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

The fixed bonus categories and quarterly changing categories on the Chase Freedom Flex℠ can provide a lot of value, especially for those who prefer to maximize rewards. Good to excellent credit is required to qualify.

It’s not the best match for the forgetful since it requires tracking and activating categories every three months to make the most of rewards. If you don't opt in, then the card defaults to earning 1% back in those rotating categories.

Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Flex℠ bonus rewards categories for 2024

Q1 (Jan. 1-March 31)

  • Grocery stores.

  • Fitness clubs and gym memberships.

  • Self-care and spa services.

Q2 (April 1-June 30)

  • Select hotel bookings.*

  • Restaurants.

  • Amazon.com.

Q3 (July 1-Sept. 30)

  • TBD (In 2023: gas stations and electric vehicle charging; select live entertainment).

Q4 (Oct. 1-Dec. 31)

  • TBD (In 2023: PayPal; wholesale clubs; select charities).

*Includes bookings made directly with the hotel and prepaid bookings through Chase's travel portal.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Though the Chase Freedom products above are all marketed as "cash-back" credit cards, technically they earn points in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® system. Those points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed as cash back — unless you also have other Chase travel cards that offer higher redemption values for those points. More on that below.

Branching out can offer more value

If your spending needs change, you may get more value by not being loyal to just one Chase card. Some options to consider include:

The Chase trifecta

If you're a Chase cardholder with big travel goals, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the Chase trifecta — a strategic combination of Chase-issued credit cards that can both boost your rewards-earning capability and supercharge your redemption options.

In short, if you have multiple cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, it's possible to combine those points into one pool, which can be especially helpful if you also have a Chase travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. That's because those cards offer higher redemption values for your reward points when you use them to book travel through Chase's online portal. Those travel cards also boast multiple travel partners, allowing you to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards® into a variety of different rewards currencies — often for outsize value.

The ability to product change

Over time, a credit card can become less valuable if your lifestyle or spending needs change. When that happens with a Chase Freedom credit card, you’re eligible to product change to a qualifying credit card in the Chase family if the issuer approves it. This means you could potentially get a new card without having to submit an application and open a new account, thus avoiding a hard pull on your credit and any temporary ding to your credit scores that it might cause.

A product change might make sense if, for example, you started off with the Chase Freedom Rise℠ and then worked your way up to good credit. In that case, you could potentially request a switch to a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Chase Cards from our Partners
Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1.5%-5%

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Cashback

Intro offer

Up to $300

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!

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1x-5x

5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

Points

Intro offer

75,000

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Points
Chase Freedom Flex

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Flex℠
5.0
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate

1%-5%

Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

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

See more Chase cards

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