Apply Now: Incredible New Chase Freedom Flex Card

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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5% back
rotating categories
3% back
drugstores
3% back
dining
Annual Fee: $0

A couple of weeks ago, Chase announced some major changes to its lineup of Freedom cards, including the introduction of the Chase Freedom FlexSM Credit Card, the discontinuation of the Freedom Card, and improvements to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

As BJ Mahoney, the General Manager of Chase Freedom, described these changes:

“Flex and Unlimited are the next evolution of the Chase Freedom credit card suite and challenge the status quo for what consumers expect from a no fee, cash back card. Earning cash back on dining, including takeout and delivery, drug stores and travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards provides immense value for customers in both the immediate and long term.”

Well, these changes are all now live, and the new Freedom Flex Card is also open to new applicants, so I wanted to go over everything you need to know about these cards.

Details of the new Chase Freedom Flex Card

Chase has now introduced the new Freedom Flex Card. This is essentially a rebranded version of the Freedom Card, with some significant improvements.

Chase Freedom Flex

Chase Freedom Flex Card sign-up bonus

The Chase Freedom Flex is offering the following sign-up bonus:

  • $200 cash back (or 20,000 points) after spending $500 within the first three months
  • 5% cash back (or 5x points) on grocery store purchases for the first year, on up to $12,000 of spending not including Target® or Walmart® purchases
  • You are eligible for this card if you currently have the Freedom and/or Freedom Unlimited, which is great news

Chase Freedom Flex Card cash back earning rates

The no annual fee Chase Freedom Flex Card offers:

In other words, in comparison to the Chase Freedom Card, the Chase Freedom Flex Card offers a 5% bonus for travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and a 3% bonus for dining and drugstores, which is an awesome improvement.

Earn 3% cash back or 3x points on dining with the Freedom Flex

Chase Freedom Flex Mastercard World Elite benefits

Not only does the Chase Freedom Flex Card offer new bonus categories, but it also goes from being a Visa to being a Mastercard. This means that the card offers Mastercard World Elite benefits, which include the following:

  • Cell phone insurance — up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against theft or damage for phones listed on cardmembers’ monthly bills
  • Lyft — $10 in credit for every five rides taken in a calendar month, automatically applied to the next ride and capped at once per month
  • Boxed — 5% cash rewards on Boxed purchases for use on future purchases
  • ShopRunner — free membership to receive two-day shipping and free return shipping at over a hundred online retailers
  • Fandango — double VIP+ points for movie tickets purchased via the Fandango app or Fandango.com, which can be used towards purchasing movie tickets on Fandango or towards streaming movies and TV shows on FandangoNOW

Earn bonus rewards for Lyft rides with the Freedom Flex

Chase Freedom Card closed to new cardmembers

To coincide with the launch of the Chase Freedom Flex, Chase has stopped accepting applications for the Chase Freedom:

  • Existing cardmembers can choose whether to keep their Chase Freedom or product change to the Chase Freedom Flex
  • The welcome bonus on the Chase Freedom Flex is available to those who have the Chase Freedom and/or the Chase Freedom Unlimited, as it will be considered a separate product
  • Unless there’s some compelling reason to keep a Visa over a Mastercard, it definitely makes sense to get the Freedom Flex over the Freedom, though you can choose whether to apply outright (so you get the bonus) or product change
  • If you product change you won’t receive the new cardmember bonus

Chase Freedom Unlimited Card improvements

The Chase Freedom Unlimited also has an improved bonus structure. In the past the card offered a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Now the card offers the following bonus structure:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash back on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstores
  • 1.5% cash back on everything else

This doesn’t factor in the 5% back on groceries the first year if you apply for the card now.

Here’s a full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Using Chase Freedom cards to earn Ultimate Rewards points

There’s often confusion about the fact that the rewards on Chase Freedom cards (including the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited) are marketed as offering cash back, as you can also convert these into Ultimate Rewards points.

Freedom cards earn points, with each one point getting you one cent cash back. However, these rewards can also be converted into Chase Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio, assuming you have this card in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review).

It has been confirmed that nothing is changing here, so Freedom Flex Card rewards can still be converted into Ultimate Rewards points.

Freedom cards can be part of the Ultimate Rewards ecosystem

These Chase Freedom changes are awesome

These Freedom changes are simply phenomenal:

  • There aren’t many cards offering bonus rewards on drugstore spending, so it’s great that both the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited offer this as a bonus category (those of us maximizing rewards can earn 3x Ultimate Rewards points at drugstores)
  • Bonus rewards on dining, takeout, and delivery, is great as well, and this now matches the Chase Sapphire Reserve return on dining; if you had the Sapphire Preferred and Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited, you’d actually earn more Ultimate Rewards points putting your dining spending on one of the Freedom cards, which seems backwards, but is ultimately great

Bottom line

Chase has made some awesome changes to its Freedom product portfolio. The Freedom Card is no longer open to new applicants, but rather has been replaced by the Freedom Flex Card, which is a Mastercard, and offers additional bonus categories for travel, dining, and drugstores.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited, one of the most well-rounded cards for everyday spending, now also has new bonus categories.

I definitely plan on applying for the Freedom Flex Card soon.

What do you make of the new Chase Freedom Flex and the Chase Freedom Unlimited changes? Do you plan on picking up the Freedom Flex Card?

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Comments
  1. This is quite a weird move since it’s calling death on their own Chase Sapphire Reserve. With Freedom and Ink Preferred, these two are strictly better than CSR itself. Good for me us anyway, just felt it’s a stupid move by Chase.

  2. That should lead to an important question – when will CSR and CS bonus categories be revamped? Does not make sense to have no annual fee cards earn same or more in bonus categories.

  3. @Bill I’m hoping that means some permanent changes are coming to those cards to increase the value proposition, otherwise a lot of card cancelations are coming.

  4. I have had the Freedom for a long time. Would I be eligible to apply for Flex and receive sign up bonus?

  5. So it seems like one big question here is whether travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards is priced the same as travel purchased in other ways. How do flight prices compare to purchasing direct from airlines, hotels to purchasing direct from hotels, etc. Because 5x UR on travel purchases would be absolutely fantastic, but not if you’re paying a markup to get it.

  6. @ david — It generally is priced the same, but there are a few considerations:
    — Keep in mind the Freedom cards don’t offer travel coverage/insurance, unlike other cards
    — Flights are usually priced the same, but booking through a third party can complicate things if you need to make changes
    — Hotels are trickier, because you’re typically not going to get elite benefits and points when booking through a third party

  7. @ BenA — My assumption would be that the rules for the bonus would be the same as they currently are on the Freedom. If that’s the case, the Freedom Flex wouldn’t be available to those who currently have the Freedom/Freedom Flex, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on the Freedom/Freedom Flex in the past 24 months.

  8. Really the only downside I see is that the Flex can no longer be used at Costco.

    Aside from that, the CSP is officially dead.

  9. @ cov — As of now, yes. I suppose something could change in the future, but if so, that hasn’t been revealed yet.

  10. Few thoughts:
    -Is the CSP (which was already lackluster) gonna die or heading for some brand new upgrades? These upgrades completely invalidates CSP, even with its 1.25x UR boost
    -And what of the CSR? The 1.5x on travel still makes CFF/CFU better, and it has other travel benefits too, but I’m wondering if the $550 AF is a bit too hard to swallow at this point…

    They should just do 6x dining 6x travel on CSR!

  11. @Matt. You still need a UR cards to turn the Freedom cash back into UR points. So that is not accurate.

  12. Freedom Flex going MC opens up a lot more MS opportunities using Plastiq, including paying residential mortgage – an MC-only category from which UR was previously shut out.

  13. Will the rotating categories be the same between Flex and regular Freedom? I have two, so I’m wondering if I should keep 1+1 or convert both over.

  14. For many, the 4 year anniversary is coming on the CSR. I downgraded to the freedom card so that I could potentially apply for csr again and presumably get another sign up bonus. I think I’m not the only one.

  15. What will be the sign-up bonus on the Chase Freedom Flex?

    I wonder if we should just apply to the Freedom card while we can and get that 5X on groceries on up to $12K in the first 12 months and then decide whether or not to product change — unless the sign-up bonus for the new CFF is way better than current offer for the CF (or CFU), though I doubt it will be.

  16. So, if a current Chase Freedom card holder who has had her/his card for more than 2 years cancels her/his card now, will s/he be able to get the signup bonus for the Chase Freedom Flex card in September?

  17. Hmm. A lot of Chase Sapphire Reserve holders historically use UR to book travel at 1.5 cents per point in the portal…

    However, assuming you can still redeem UR for 1.5 cents per point for various purposes with Pay Yourself Back, doesn’t it now make more sense to purchase travel via the portal using cash and earning 5 UR points for that travel?

    I feel like there are more shoes to drop with earnings and redemptions through the whole UR universe.

  18. @ hanchicago — The bonus will be the same that it currently is on the Freedom, so $200 plus 5% on groceries. 🙂

  19. @ Jim F. — Generally speaking there’s some gap needed between canceling and applying (I’d give it at least a month or so), but if you don’t currently have it and haven’t gotten a new cardmember bonus in the past 24 months, you’re typically eligible.

  20. @ Anthony — It does in theory, except all the general challenges of booking travel through Chase, like not earning points for hotel stays, the complications of dealing with a third party if there are changes, and the lack of travel coverage.

  21. Do you think they will let people convert Chase Freedom over to the flex? I don’t care about the sign-up bonus. Rather keep the length of open account and get these new categories bonuses. Drug stores is very nice!

  22. Let’s say I have a CSP and mrs snic applies for a Freedom Flex (and that’s the only Chase card she has, i.e., no CSP or CSR). I’ll be a cardholder on her Flex, and she’s a cardholder on my CSP. Will she be able to transfer the points she earns on the Flex to me?

  23. Ben – I agree – but those challenges are all there when booking travel through Chase with UR points as well. Yet many people still did that.

    As a Chase Sapphire Reserve holder, I now only need to use the card when purchasing travel directly with travel providers (which I do rarely as I generally use Amex or cobrand cards), when booking transit like Lyft and Uber, and internationally. The Chase Sapphire Preferred is devalued even further. I guess the only reason to pay for either card is really for travel transfer and other travel benefits.

  24. Just recently changed from unlimited to freedom. Will I be able to change to the Flex again soon? Or I am stuck with the old Freedom for the next 12 month..?

  25. @Anthony, related to what Ben suggested in his reply to me earlier, wouldn’t there be a travel coverage difference between using the portal with your CFU/CFF and using the portal with UR points from your CSR? That is, CFU/CFF don’t have travel coverage, but my understanding is that if you use CSR UR points to book via the portal, your booking has the same travel coverage as it would if you paid with the CSR directly.
    You’re right that the dealing with a third party and the lack of hotel points issues would be the same, but the travel coverage, I think, would not. Unless I’m missing something.

  26. @Joshua Sills The value of the CSP is paying $95 for the privilege of transferring UR. There’s no value in spending on it, and it’s essentially a sock drawer card now.

  27. “generally derogatory towards any individual or group”

    I’m wondering if this will apply to derogatory comments about DJT, Republicans, or Americans in general? Cause there have been a lot of those lately…

    Also “against science” worries me, because contrary to mass media propaganda, science is NEVER settled: that’s what makes it science. Galileo was nearly burned at the stake for “denying” the settled science that the sun revolved around the earth; Giordano Bruno was in fact burned at the stake for that.

    Although Al Gore and Greta will tell you that AGW alarmism is settled science, 31,072 American scientists have risked their jobs to sign a petition saying that premise is totally unproven.

    So will this site use the new Facebook standard of banning anything that goes against the MSM political consensus? Questioning Jessie Smollett’s claim of having been attacked by racist MAGA supporters was universally deemed a “racist conspiracy theory”, right up to the point that the Chicago police proved that Smollett faked the whole thing.

    So yeah, over the last few years there have been a lot of just plain disgusting comments with no “socially redeeming value” posted here. And the vast majority of us will applaud removing them. As long as the new policy doesn’t become don’t post anything that the snowflakes will call “politically incorrect” (sic).

  28. Guess I should have said that my comment was in response to reading the new “commenting guidelines” for the first time.

  29. Does this also include the $5 off every $25 postmates benefit?

    This is really great, it definitely necessitates changes to the CSR though, there is too much overlap.

    With things as they currently stand, I would probably downgrade to CSP and shift travel spend where I need insurance over to Amex.

  30. Great post, Lucky. I’ve been thinking about this card already based on your posts.

    Can one downgrade a co-brand card (Ritz Carlton card in particular) to this or only a Chase Sapphire product (or from Freedom Unlimited to Freedom)?

  31. Seems like CSR is becoming almost useless, except that it (or another card) is required to transfer UR out. So what’s the least expensive way to be able to transfer UR to airlines? Downgrade the CSR to CSP?

  32. @Joe I am anxious to see what announcements they make or CSR or CSP. It’s just funny if they leave them as is and have their 2, no AF cards be superior to their premium travel cards in terms of earning. CSP by itself was already poop in terms of earning UR.

  33. My guess for the CSP and CSR:

    CSP will get 4x for Dining/Travel AF to $150, some useless perk will be added.
    CSR will get 5x for Dining/Travel

    No more transfer from CF/CFU to UR.

  34. So if I already have a CF and a CFU, is the only benefit to product changing the CF to the CFF gaining the World Elite benefits? Because otherwise all the other new bonus categories are captured in the CFU upgrades.

  35. If you have the Ink Preferred, can you open the CFF or CFU and earn/convert to UR points that way if you’ve linked your business and normal account? Or do you specifically need the CSR or CSP?

  36. Chase has confirmed to CNN that the combining points feature remains on the Freedom family, for now at least.

  37. @ DL — Nope, if you have the Chase Freedom you can’t get the bonus on the Chase Freedom Flex (however, you could get it if you only have the Chase Freedom Unlimited).

  38. As far as the sign up bonus for Freedom Flex, I am the account holder for Freedom and my husband is an authorized user. If he apply for Freedom Flex, would he be eligible for the sign up bonus since he is just an authorized user of my regular Freedom card?

  39. On your point…how does using one of the Freedom cards (3%) on dining earn more than the Reserve, which also earn 3%? Thanks.

  40. Since gas is often a quarterly category on the Freedom (1-2x per year), and I buy gas at Costco 95% of the time (since it is usually the cheapest), switching from CF to CFF does not seem like a great idea.

    Everybody is going to have their own situation, but I already have the CFU (for the drugstore bonus), and Citi Premier which gets me the MC World Elite benefits.

  41. @Ben…. to point “snic” made. I never knew you could transfer UR points between relatives if you are authorized users on each card. Is it the same with CitI? A post with screenshots if possible would be great. Never knew about being able to transfer UR points.

  42. Quick heads up that Chase reached out to correct one part of the story, which I wanted to call out. Those with the Chase Freedom *will* allegedly be eligible for the bonus on the Chase Freedom Flex, so that’s pretty awesome (and contradicts what I previously believed).

  43. So, if I book a flight with Chase Ultimate Rewards site, I’ll earn 5% in UR points. Then, if I transfer those points to my Sapphire Reserve account, I can take advantage of the 1.5x multiplier when used for booking travel on Ultimate Rewards site. So, that’s a net of 7.5% for travel, as long as I book my paid travel with Freedom Flex or Unl, then use my Sapphire Reserve account to book reward travel!

  44. Ben says:
    August 31, 2020 at 5:40 pm
    Quick heads up that Chase reached out to correct one part of the story, which I wanted to call out. Those with the Chase Freedom *will* allegedly be eligible for the bonus on the Chase Freedom Flex, so that’s pretty awesome (and contradicts what I previously believed).

    @Ben,
    Is that true for all Freedom cards, or only for those that more than a year old? I got my Freedom in March 2020, so I’m wondering if it would qualify for the bonus if I made the product change to the Freedom Flex.

  45. @Charlie:

    Here is the official website: https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/freedom/comingsoon?jp_cmp=cc/freedom-teaser-vanity/ext/CID/PID. Under offer terms it is just for those that have the Flex card or have had the flex card. We should be good for those that have the regular Freedom card.

    Freedom Flex Offer Details**
    $200 Cash Back After You Spend $500 On Purchases In The First 3 Months From Account Opening:
    This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. You will receive 20,000 bonus points with this bonus offer, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back. To qualify and receive your bonus, you must make Purchases totaling $500 or more during the first 3 months from account opening. (“Purchases” do not include balance transfers, cash advances, travelers checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers or similar cash-like transactions, lottery tickets, casino gaming chips, race track wagers or similar betting transactions, any checks that access your account, interest, unauthorized or fraudulent charges, and fees of any kind, including an annual fee, if applicable.) After qualifying, please allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus points to post to your account. To be eligible for this bonus offer, account must be open and not in default at the time of fulfillment.

  46. @ Ben – the Freedom Unlimited also offers the 0% intro APR for 15 months, will this continue after 9/15 with the revamp? Also, will the Freedom Flex have the same APR intro rate when released?

  47. @Ben – also, when you product change, from the Freedom to Freedom Flex, is this looked at as a closure and opening of a new account for credit purposes or does the original account remain open and tied to the new card? My Freedom is my longest-standing card, so would like to maintain that history.

  48. I currently have the freedom. If I do a product change to freedom flex, would I get the sign up bonus? or would I actually have to apply for the freedom flex? Does a product change count against the 5/24 rule?

  49. Today I went back under 5/24. When is too soon to apply? I actually don’t have any chase cards and am looking to get the CFU to start. Is tomorrow to soon to apply?

  50. I’m in a similar situation as some posters when deciding to close or keep their CSR open. It’s either downgrade/PC to a CF before the 15th and hope Chase keeps the UR transfer ability or keep my CSR in hopes that they will revamp it.

    Do I risk having all my of 250k points sitting on my CFU/CF and not being unable to transfer back to the CSR if I ever do apply for it again in the future?

  51. @Brandi you may want to downgrade to CSP. If you want the ability to transfer to airline and hotel partners, you need and UR card open.

  52. @Joshua

    Right, I understand that aspect but I’m not currently traveling so wouldn’t it make more sense to downgrade to a non-AF card for now and reapply for a CSR/CSP later one when I want to use those UR points again via transferring to partners at a higher rate?

  53. I think the only worthwhile benefit on CSP now to keep it for $95, is the PRIMARY rental car coverage for personal travel.

    Before I got the CSP, I was in a fender bender in Puerto Rico and my State Farm paid the $500 bill, but my insurance rates went up for several years.

  54. I just spoke with a chase rep who stated that the Flex CANNOT be apart of a product change from the Freedom or any other card as of now.

  55. Hi Ben, I have 3 freedom cards. 1 will be for unlimited, but for the other 2, is it worth converting both to the Freedom Flex? Or is there any compelling reason to keep one old Freedom 5% category card?

  56. The Downside of keeping the old Freedom 5% vs new Freedom Flex:
    1. You won’t have any benefits with Visa Signature, it will be converted to MC
    2. You won’t be able to use the new Freedom Flex on your Samsung Pay or Android Pay wallet.

  57. Where did the info on Q4 categories being paypal/walmart come from?
    The linked-to article only mentions Q3.

  58. Ben! This seems kind of wild.

    Theoretically if I signed up for the flex and earned the bonus, the grocery store bonus AND the bonus for maxing out the $1500 per quarter I would earn 110k!!!! points on a no fee card! Does that math seem correct ?

  59. A previous commenter asked about product change from a co-brand card, whether it was possible (Ritz card). I think not, but would like confirmation if you know, Ben.

    My other strategy is to take out a second CSP for my wife and then product change that to CFF as the signup bonus may not be worth a 5/24 slot.

  60. @Ben, can one get both CFF and CFU welcome bonuses? Assuming the 5/24 rule allows two applications, and no other recent applications.

  61. @Lucky, in your article, you mentioned, “The welcome bonus on the Chase Freedom Flex is available to those who have the Chase Freedom and/or the Chase Freedom Unlimited, as it will be considered a separate product.” But then when replying to BenA, you stated: “@ BenA — My assumption would be that the rules for the bonus would be the same as they currently are on the Freedom. If that’s the case, the Freedom Flex wouldn’t be available to those who currently have the Freedom/Freedom Flex, or those who have received a new cardmember bonus on the Freedom/Freedom Flex in the past 24 months.” I thought they are considred separate products, thus welcome bonus is good?

  62. @Lucky – I just checked my Sapphire Unlimited full terms and conditions. There are still travel protections (trip delay/cancellation insurance up to $1.5K), but it is much less expansive than the CSR protections. However, for short domestic trips, the ability to earn an extra 2 pts/dollar is very enticing by booking cash through the chase portal. I also hold the CSR, so all my points are transferred to that card for maximum redemption opportunities. I’ll probably still book hotels directly, but are there other downsides I’m missing about booking domestic itineraries through the Chase portal?

  63. If we product change from Freedom to Freedom Flex, do we get the 5X on groceries for the first 12 months? I know we don’t get the sign up bonus, but this part is not clear.

  64. I downgraded my Sapphire Preferred to Freedom Unlimited and I’m still getting earning Ultimate Rewards points, without having any other Chase cards.

  65. If you hold the three cards by Chase either the CSR or Sapphire card and the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards, then changing to Flex is not that necessary at the moment. The same perks as flex are now being offered on the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card. When that card stops offering the perks, then it would make sense to change your 5% rotating category Freedom card to a Freedom Flex.

  66. Random basic question – I froze all of my credit reports. If I apply for CFF, does anyone know which credit report I should unfreeze? All 3?

  67. @Ryan: Same here, on the “review in process” boat.

    I called Chase and they said the holdback/ review could be due to high income factor (apparently it’s common). It’ll take a few extra days to verify, and then clear.

  68. worldtraveler303 says:
    August 31, 2020 at 11:18 am
    Do you think they will let people convert Chase Freedom over to the flex? I don’t care about the sign-up bonus. Rather keep the length of open account and get these new categories bonuses. Drug stores is very nice!

    @worldtraveler303 @lucky
    Having led product development / partnership work on a couple of card issuers you frequently blog about including UR inception, I think if it’s a product change from Visa to MC (network change), then it will be considered a new credit entry on your credit history. If that is the case, then you will lose the length of open account with your (previous) Freedom Visa.

  69. @Ben What would be the advantage of applying for the CFF if you already have the CF vs. a product swap? You mentioned at the end of the post that you plan on applying for it soon (and you also have the CF), so I’m wondering what your thinking is. Thanks!

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