The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers a surprising number of ways to earn bonus cash back through everyday spending and quarterly rotating bonus categories, making it a potential game-changer for Chase Ultimate Rewards® collectors.
But with so many Chase Ultimate Rewards® members already carrying several different Chase cards, it's worth asking: Does it make sense to add the Chase Freedom Flex℠ to your portfolio? Here’s a look at the card's features to help you decide.
$0 annual fee
The flagship cards in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program — Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® — come with annual fees, $95 and $550, respectively. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ on the other hand has a $0 annual fee, which means you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points without paying an annual fee.
» Learn more: Chase Sapphire showdown: Reserve beats preferred, mostly
Valuable perks of the Chase Freedom Flex℠
Lots of ways to earn bonus cash back
Here’s where the Chase Freedom Flex℠ really shines: You earn 5% cash back on quarterly rotating bonus categories as well as bonus points on several other useful categories, including:
5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase travel portal.
5% cash back on all grocery store purchases (excluding groceries purchased at Target or Walmart) for up to the first $12,000 you spend in a calendar year (this perk not available for new customers).
5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022.
3% back for dining out, takeout, qualifying delivery services and drugstore purchases.
When you use the card to make purchases not in one of the bonus categories, you earn 1% cash back.
By comparison, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® pays only 3% back on travel and dining out, despite its high annual fee.
Chase Freedom Flex Q1 2021 bonus categories
All purchases made at wholesale clubs, internet, cable and phone services, and select streaming services from Jan. 1, 2021 through March 31, 2021, will earn 5%. You must activate the Q1 categories by March 14 to earn the bonus points.
$200 cash back welcome bonus
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. This is a stronger offer compared to another popular no-fee card, the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, which has this offer: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
You will also be eligible for a free three-month subscription to DoorDash’s premium service, DashPass, and receive a 50% discount for the next nine months after that, which should make it easier to take advantage of the 5% spending bonus for restaurant deliveries.
The card also offers an entire suite of credit protections to protect you from fraud and unauthorized transactions, including zero liability protection, real time fraud monitoring and free credit score and identity restoration services.
The bottom line
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a good addition for just about any Chase Ultimate Rewards® collector. A $0 annual fee means that there’s essentially no risk in trying the card out, and the large selection of high-earning bonus categories means this card offers tons of earning potential.
The only reason not to get the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is if you can’t fit your spending habits into the card’s bonus structure. Considering that this card offers cash back on both eating out and buying groceries, most users won’t have that problem.
All information about the American Express Cash Magnet® Card has been collected independently by NerdWallet. The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is no longer available through NerdWallet.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card