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I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the differences between the Chase Freedom and the new Chase Freedom Flex (which launched September 14th, 2020).
You can no longer apply for the old Chase Freedom card. You’ll have to get a Freedom Flex. But that’s a good thing.
Note that these cards both earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, but they will effectively be cash back unless you also have a Chase Sapphire Reserve, Preferred, or Ink Preferred to transfer the points to.
In this article
Here is a chart showing the differences between the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom
|Chase Freedom Flex||Chase Freedom|
|Bonus Offer||$200 (20,000 Ultimate Rewards) after spending $500 in 3 months + 5X points on grocery spend for one year||$200 until September 13th, 2020, then the card will no longer be available for new applicants|
|Earn rate on general spend||1X||1X|
|Earn rate on rotating quarterly bonus categories (limit $1,500 per quarter n spend)||5X||5X|
|Earn rate on on travel when purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal||5X||1X|
|Earn rate on dining including takeout||3X||1X|
|Earn rate at drugstores||3X||1X|
|Earn rate on Lyft rides (through March 2022)||5X||5X|
|Mastercard World Elite benefits ($10 credit per 5 Lyft rides, 5% in Boxed credits, Free Shoprunner)||Yes||No|
|Foreign Transaction Fees Charged?||Yes||Yes|
|Can points be transferred to a Sapphire card for transfer to travel partners?||Yes||Yes|
|Cell Phone Protection Benefit: up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year (see full details)||Yes!||No|
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I convert (product change) another Chase card into a Chase Freedom Flex?
Only the legacy Chase Freedom card can be converted to a Chase Freedom Flex beginning September 14th, 2020. You cannot convert a Sapphire card nor a Freedom Unlimited. Note that as of September 14th, some people have reported being able to product change other cards into a Flex, despite Chase officially saying this would not be possible.)
Can I have more than one Chase Freedom Flex credit card?
No. While you’ve been allowed multiple Chase Freedom cards, you will only be allowed one Chase Freedom Flex per person.
Can I convert my Chase Freedom to a Chase Freedom Flex?
Yes, this is possible now. Note that it will change your account from a Visa to a Mastercard; however we expect that credit history on the account will be maintained.
Does the Freedom Flex earn cash back or Chase Ultimate Rewards points?
Like all Chase Freedom family cards, it earns cash back. However, the cash back is in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. If you also have a premium Chase card (Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred) or Ink card (Chase Ink Preferred), then you can combine your Chase points into the premium card and transfer out to travel partners.
Can I have both a Chase Freedom and a Chase Freedom Flex card?
Yes. You can keep any Chase Freedom cards you currently have and also have one Freedom Flex card. This would allow you to get the rotating 5X quarterly bonus categories on more than $1,500 in quarterly spend ($1,500 per Freedom + $1,500 on the Freedom Flex).
Is the Chase Freedom Flex a Visa or Mastercard?
Unlike all of the other current Chase offerings, including the Freedom, which are Visa branded, the Freedom Flex is a World Elite Mastercard, which confers all benefits listed in the chart above.
Does the Chase Freedom Flex offer Cell Phone Protection?
Yes, as a World Elite Mastercard, it does! You’ll get up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for phones listed on your monthly cell phone bill when you pay it with your eligible credit card. Maximum of 2 claims in a 12 month period with a $50 deductible per claim.
The legacy Freedom Visa does not get this benefit.
Do Freedom Flex or Freedom points expire?
No. As long as you have the card they do not expire. And if you were to close the card, simply combine your Ultimate Rewards to another card first.
If you convert your Freedom to a Freedom Flex, you will keep all of your points.
Does either the Freedom Flex or Freedom have foreign transaction fees?
How does the 5X points work on travel purchases work for the Freedom Flex? (Freedom does not have this benefit)
When you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and pay with your Freedom Flex, you will earn 5X points. Note the downsides: If you book air via the portal, you have to deal with Chase rather than the airline on changes or cancellations. If you book hotels, they are prepaid bookings ineligible for elite night credits, hotel points earning, or hotel elite benefits, if applicable.
Is there any reason to care about it being a Mastercard instead of a Visa?
The main one I can think of is that Costco doesn’t take Mastercard – only Visa. So if you have a Freedom and it’s your primary card and you shop at Costco, that would affect you. Still, I’d think most people have another Visa card (like the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi) and Freedom would only earn 1X at Costco anyway.
Is the Freedom Flex a good credit card?
I think so! It’s got a ton of bonus categories and features in a no-annual-fee credit card and as long as you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Preferred, you can combine those points and transfer to travel partners.
Is the Chase Freedom Flex Subject to the Chase 5/24 Rule?
How can I apply for a Chase Freedom Flex?
See how to apply for a Chase Freedom Flex now with a bonus offer of $200 (in the form of 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) when you spend $500 in your first 3 months as well as 5X points on groceries (up to $12,000).
Related: Looking for a comparison of the Chase Freedom Flex vs. the Chase Freedom Unlimited?
Any other questions?
You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.