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Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card Review: Cash Back on Bonus Categories

Our review of the Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card looks at the rewards program and other card benefits that tailor to common everyday spending categories.
(4 out of 5) MyBankTracker Editor's Rating

Earning cash back on purchases can be a money-saving move and it pays to choose the right rewards credit card.

The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card offers a unique approach to rewards, with multiple ways to earn cash back on purchases.

In addition to earning cash back in quarterly bonus categories, you can also earn a competitive rewards rate on travel, dining and drugstore purchases.

The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card has no annual fee. And, you can enjoy a low introductory APR on purchases.

Dive into this Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card review to learn more about its features and benefits.

Chase Freedom Flex Card Pros & Cons

Pros Cons
  • Great for bonus cash back on very common spending categories
  • Earn a high amount of cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • No annual fee
  • Potentially high APR if you carry over a balance month-to-month
  • You'll need to remember to activate the quarterly bonus to qualify for the 5% cash back

Multiple Ways to Earn Cash Back

The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card is generous when it comes to earning cash back rewards.

With this card, you can earn:

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories you activate each quarter
  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% on drugstore purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases

If you spend regularly on travel and dining, this card could be a good fit for earning cash back in lieu of points or miles. You can redeem cash back for travel through Ultimate Rewards.

Other redemption options include:

  • Statement credit
  • Cash deposit into a checking or savings account
  • Shop With Points at Amazon
  • Gift cards

Quarterly bonus categories

You can also get a solid 5% cash back rewards rate on the bonus categories each quarter.

For example, for the first quarter of 2021 the bonus calendar includes wholesale clubs, internet, cable and phone services and select streaming services. The calendar is updated throughout the year.

You'll need to activate the bonus categories each quarter to get the 5% back rate.

While you're limited to earning 5% back on the first $1,500 in bonus category purchases, rewards for other categories are unlimited.

Cash back earned with the Chase Freedom Flex Card doesn't expire as long as your account remains in good standing.

There's no minimum cash back amount required to redeem rewards.

Get 5% Cash Back on Lyft Purchases for a Limited Time

Through March 2022, you can also get 5% cash back on Lyft purchases with the Chase Freedom Flex Card.

To take advantage of this bonus, you'll need to have the Lyft app. You may need to update to the latest version of the app.

Once you've done that, you'll just need to set your Freedom Flex card as your default payment in the app. If you have personal and business profiles with Lyft, you can set your card as the default payment for both.

The 5% cash back rate is unlimited so the more you ride with Lyft, the more cash back you can earn.

Other Notable Credit Card Benefits

The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card is best suited for earning cash back.

But there are a few other features and benefits worth noting.

As a cardmember, you enjoy:

  • Free credit score with Chase Credit Journey
  • Up to $1,000 per year in cellphone protection
  • Extended warranty protection and purchase protection
  • Zero liability protection
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • 24/7 fraud monitoring and fraud alerts

You also get other valuable benefits including:

  • Complimentary three-month subscription to DoorDash DashPass
  • $10 Lyft credit once per month for every five rides you take
    5% cash rewards on Boxed wholesale orders
  • Complimentary ShopRunner membership with free two-day shipping and free returns
  • $5 off movie tickets or at-home purchases for every two tickets purchased with Fandango

Since this isn't technically a travel rewards card, you don't get as many travel benefits.

But you can still use your rewards to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is a nice plus.

Card APR & Fees

The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card doesn't come with a lot of fees, including an annual fee.

But there is a 3% foreign transaction fee to be aware of.

If you plan to use the card when traveling or for purchases outside the U.S., the fee could make spending more expensive.

Overall, this card could be a good choice for earning cash back on mostly everyday purchases with no annual fee.

Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card vs. Other Chase Rewards Cards

The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card has a great cash back rewards program. But it isn't the only cash back card out there.

If you're interested in Chase credit cards, here are three more to consider.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is similar to the Chase Freedom Flex Card but not identical.

With this card, you can earn:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% back on drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

There are no quarterly bonus categories to activate and cash back rewards are unlimited. The introductory cash back bonus is the same as the Freedom Flex card.

This card has no annual fee but it does have a 3% foreign transaction fee. You also get the 5% cash back bonus for Lyft purchases through March 2022.

The biggest reason to choose this card over the Freedom Flex card is the lack of bonus categories. You might prefer this card if you don't want to have to remember to activate the bonus each quarter.

Read the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card editorial review.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is designed for travelers.

This card offers:

  • 2 points per dollar on travel and dining
  • 2 points per dollar on up to $1,000 per month in grocery store purchases through April 2021
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

You might choose this card over the Freedom Flex card if you primarily spend on travel. When you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they're worth 25% more. And you can transfer them to Chase travel partners on a 1:1 basis.

This card has no foreign transaction fee but there is a $95 annual fee.

Read the full Chase Sapphire Preferred editorial review.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is a premium travel rewards card.

With this card, you can earn:

  • 3 points per dollar on dining and travel worldwide
  • 3 points per dollar on up to $1,000 in grocery purchases each month through April 2021
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

When you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they're worth 50% more. You can also transfer them to travel partners on a 1:1 basis.

This card comes with premium travel benefits, including:

  • $300 annual travel credit
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • Complimentary airport lounge access
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection access

But there's a catch. This card has a $550 annual fee.

If you want to earn travel rewards without the annual fee, you might be better off with the Freedom Flex card instead.

Read the full Chase Sapphire Reserve editorial review.

Final Verdict: Should You Apply for the Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card?

The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card may be worth considering if you're looking for a solid cash back rewards card.

This card is best suited for people who charge travel, dining and other everyday purchases regularly.

Between the 5% bonus category rewards and the regular rewards, it's possible to rack up a decent amount of cash back.

No annual fee is a bonus, though you do have to watch out for the foreign transaction fee. And being able to redeem rewards for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards could also yield savings.

You might consider another card, however, if you'd rather earn more cash back on shopping, groceries or gas. Or if you prefer points and miles to cash.

With any rewards card you choose, remember that paying the balance in full each month is the best way to avoid interest charges while improving your credit score.

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