How to Get the Most From the New Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card

Maximizing your rewards means staying on top of the rotating bonus categories.

Dan MillerSeptember 15, 2020
How to get the most from the new Chase Freedom Flex card

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Chase recently announced a change to its credit card lineup with the addition of the Chase Freedom Flex℠. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ will be Chase’s replacement for the Chase Freedom® card, which will close to new applicants. Here’s an overview of this new card and how to get it, followed by a quick look at some ways to get the most out of it.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ card summary

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ combines the rotating 5% bonus categories that have historically been offered by the Chase Freedom® with the new bonus categories that are being offered on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ will earn:

  • 5% back on up to $1,500 in bonus categories each quarter you activate.

  • 5% back spent on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.

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

  • 3% back spent at drugstores.

  • 1% back spent on all other purchases.

Chase refers to the earnings for this card as cash back (i.e., calling it 5% cash back instead of 5 Ultimate Rewards® points per dollar spent) but the cash back is actually tracked as points, as Chase explains: "Cash Back rewards are tracked as points and each $1 in Cash Back rewards earned is equal to 100 points." The points that you earn with the Chase Freedom Flex℠ can be combined with the Chase Ultimate Rewards® points that you earn with other Chase cards.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a Mastercard, a rarity among Chase cards. So if you’re looking for a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® but that you can also use to pay your mortgage through Plastiq, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ would be a great option for that.

How to get a Chase Freedom Flex℠ if you’re over 5/24

Chase has an informal rule for how many credit cards you can open in a year and still be eligible for a new card from Chase: Open five credit card accounts in a 24-month period from any issuer, and Chase likely won’t approve your application for a new card during that time. It’s a safe bet the Chase Freedom Flex℠ will also be subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule.

So if you’re already over 5/24, are you locked out of getting the new Chase Freedom Flex℠? Not necessarily. It may be possible to do a product change from the existing Chase Freedom® card to the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card. It is not clear whether Chase will let you upgrade an existing Chase Freedom® card to a Chase Freedom Flex℠, but it can’t hurt to call Chase and ask.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is an upgrade to the original Chase Freedom® card. They both have rotating quarterly 5% bonus categories, but the Chase Freedom Flex℠ also offers cell phone insurance and bonus earning for travel, dining and drugstore purchases.

If you haven’t already opened five credit cards in the last 24 months, it may make more sense to keep your Chase Freedom® card and apply for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ separately. That way you would get the welcome bonus on your new Chase Freedom Flex℠ and be able to double your spending cap in the rotating quarterly bonus categories. Instead of earning 5% on a maximum of $1,500 each quarter, you would be able to earn it on $3,000.

Make it your go-to grocery card

The current welcome bonus for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. In addition, you earn 5% back on grocery store purchases up to $12,000 spent in the first year. This grocery bonus excludes purchases at Target and Walmart, but 5% would be near the top of our best cards for groceries.

Use it to pay your cell phone bill

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ also offers cell phone protection, but only if you are paying your cell phone bill with the card. You’ll get up to $800 per claim for theft or damage, with a maximum of two claims and $1,000 total in a 12 month period. There is a $50 deductible per claim.

Paying for your cell phone with your Chase Freedom Flex℠ will only earn you 1 point per dollar spent. So consider whether the insurance protection from the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is more valuable to you than the 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards® per dollar you could be earning by paying your cell phone bill with a card like the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card.

Sign up for your complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card comes with three months of a complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription. That’s not as long as the two years of DashPass that come with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but you should still activate the feature to maximize the value from the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card.

Max out the rotating quarterly bonus categories

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ gives 5% back on the first $1,500 in purchases in the bonus categories that are active each quarter. But you need to stay up-to-date on these changing categories and how to activate them. Keep an eye on our current credit card bonus categories page to stay on top of this earning opportunity.

The bottom line

If you’re under Chase 5/24, then the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is definitely worth considering. If you’re over Chase 5/24 and you already have a Chase Freedom® card, consider calling Chase to ask if they will convert your account. Make the Chase Freedom Flex℠ your default card for grocery spending and maximize your bonus categories each quarter. Transferring your cell phone payment over to the Chase Freedom Flex℠ will also provide insurance with a minimal deductible, and complimentary DashPass should get you discounts on food delivery for three months. When used properly, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ can provide great value.

The information related to the Chase Freedom® and Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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