chase freedom flex
Want to discuss these deals? Apply to join the members-only MilesTalk Facebook group.
Advertising Disclosure: Links and credit card offers on this page may earn us a small commission. They never influence what we cover but they do keep the lights on. Learn More

Chase made some big announcements today regarding it’s no-annual fee Freedom and Freedom Unlimited credit cards.

The Chase Freedom Flex, available for new applications (and product changes) starting September 14th is, I have to admit, big news.

If you are in a cash crunch, you should avoid travel rewards credit cards until you are caught up. Here are our favorite credit cards for Intro 0% APR offers and for balance transfer offers

Effectively replacing the Chase Freedom card (it’s been unclear between multiple news outlets if it officially closes for applications Sept 14th or not, but either way the Flex will be a Freedom on steroids), the Chase Freedom Flex will offer a lot for no annual fee.

Note that as a non-premium Chase card, you technically earn a % as cash back, but you earn them as points that can be traded for cash 1:1Ā or, importantly, combined into any Sapphire (Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred) or Ink card (Chase Ink Preferred) with an annual fee so, as long as you have one of those, you are earning full Ultimate Rewards points.

freedom flex

The new Chase Freedom Flex will earn as follows:

  • 5X on travel when purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal*
  • 5X on rotating quarterly bonus categories (max of $1,500 per quarter in spend; activation required – same as existing Freedom card)
  • 3X on dining (including takeout and delivery)
  • 3X at drugstores
  • 1X on everything else

* Keep in mind, booking via the portal for hotels means that you won’t, in most cases, earn any hotel points / stay credits nor have any hotel elite status honored. For airlines, the fares are generally the same or similar, however, it does mean that you have to deal with Chase for changes instead of the airline directly – and that can be a big hassle.

Meanwhile, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is getting quite a refresh as well. It used to earn a flat 1.5X on everything with no exceptions unless you applied recently to also get the 5X on groceries for one year. That’s changing.

There will be a signup bonus of $200 (20,000 Ultimate Rewards) after spending $500 in 3 months which is the same as the current Freedom and Freedom Unlimited offer.

 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Will Now Earn (from Sept 13th):

  • 5X on travel when purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal*
  • 3X on dining (including takeout and delivery)
  • 3X at drugstores
  • 1.5X on everything else

* Same disclaimer as for the Freedom Flex: Keep in mind, booking via the portal for hotels means that you won’t, in most cases, earn any hotel points / stay credits nor have any hotel elite status honored. For airlines, the fares are generally the same or similar, however, it does mean that you have to deal with Chase for changes instead of the airline directly – and that can be a big hassle.

If you already have the Chase Freedom Unlimited or apply now using the $200 bonus + 5X on groceries for one year offer, you will get the new category bonuses starting September 13th.

 

The Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited Now Rule Drugstore Purchases

You won’t find better than 3% / 3X points on drugstore purchases. The Freedom has generally had drugstores as a quarterly 5X bonus one quarter each year, but 3X year round is unbeatable. Keep in mind that you can buy all manner of gift cards at a drug store and so this card will be great for earning 3X on anything you can buy gift cards for – similar to using the Chase Ink Cash to earn 5X at office supply stores for the same.

Just also bear in mind that if you start purchasing more than is reasonably for your own use, Chase may well close all of your accounts.

 

The Chase Freedom Flex is a Mastercard

In a very unexpected move, this will be the only Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card that’s a Mastercard rather than a Visa. It is World Elite Mastercard and therefore has top tier benefits.

Like the Citi Prestige, you’ll get Cell Phone Protection benefits for up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against theft or damage for phones listed on cardmembers monthly bill. Maximum of 2 claims in a 12 month period with a $50 deductible per claim.

You’ll also get:

  • AĀ $10 credit for every 5 Lyft rides you take in a calendar month
  • 5% backĀ in Boxed rewards credits for future purchases
  • Shoprunner (free 2 day shipping)
  • Double VIP+ Fandango points when you get movie tickets through Fandango

Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited Foreign Transaction Fees

These are both no-fee cards and do NOT waive foreign transaction fees. Only the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards with annual fees waive them. (Chase Sapphire ReserveĀ /Ā Chase Sapphire Preferred) / (Chase Ink Preferred).

 

Can you Convert a Chase Freedom to a new Chase Freedom Flex?

Yes, Chase has confirmed you can do a “product change” (and there’s no reason you couldn’t PC an Unlimited, either). However, a product change from a Visa to a Mastercard inherently means a new card number and new account and I’m waiting to see what that means in terms of the card history. Meaning, if you have a Chase Freedom from 1995 and PC to a Freedom Flex, will that card show in your credit file post-Product Change as 1995 or 2020 for the date of account opening? I wouldn’t PC until we know for sure.

 

Do you even need a Chase Sapphire ReserveĀ orĀ Chase Sapphire Preferred now??

Well, if you have a Chase Ink Preferred, then you can already transfer to travel partners and redeem at 1.25 cpp (cents per point). You still need the Reserve if you like to redeem for a 1.5 cpp yield on the Reserve, be it to redeem for travel via the portal or to Pay Yourself Back.

It certainly seems a bit silly for Chase to have the $95 annual fee Sapphire Preferred only earn 2x on travel and dining while these cads earn 5x (granted only in the portal) on travel and 3X on dining. At least the Reserve earns 3X on all travel, portal or not, and 3X on dining – but now that dining is a pure point of parity.

I would *think* that Chase plans to refresh the Sapphires soon. I have no idea, but it would sure appear that these new no-fee offerings could cannibalize the fee-based cards if they don’t.

So my money is on a fresh for the Sapphires.

There’s also been a long-standing rumor of Chase effectively replicating the Reserve as a Business (Ink) card – with nuances catering to business owners – Ā and I’d love to see that happen.

 

5/24

Sadly, we know that 5/24 will apply to the new Flex card. I personally have to wait a few months still before I could apply. However, I’d convert my Freedom if it doesn’t have “new card’ implications as I wrote about above.

 

Implications on the Chase Trifecta

This only improves the Trifecta, which includes one of the Sapphire cards, the Freedom Unlimited and the Freedom. Now, you’ll add 3X to dining and 3X to drugstores on top of what you had before. That said, for non-bonused spend, I’m still partial to my Citi Double Cash to earn 2X on everything over a Chase Freedom Unlimited at 1.5X.

 

DoorDash Benefits

Both the Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited come with a 3 month free trial of DashPass, which waives delivery fees and reduces service fees on Door Dash and Caviar orders.

 

Lyft Benefits

Both theĀ Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited also earn 5X points (or 5% cash back) on Lyft rides through March 2022.

 

How to apply for a Chase Freedom FlexĀ (starting September 15th!) 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.

 

Have any other questions about the Chase Freedom Flex?

Let me know below in the comments, on Twitter, or in theĀ privateĀ MilesTalk Facebook group.

You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.Ā 

New to all of this? My ā€œintroduction to miles and pointsā€ book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

I got "in the game" in 2003 and since then I've collected literally millions and millions of frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I've flown around the world in first class seats that would cost $29,000 using frequent flyer miles and a few bucks in tax. And I've stayed in some of the finest hotels - all for free! A few years ago I realized many of my friends actually thought I was paying for these!! So I started sharing my tips. It's long been a passion, but when I hosted a session on Miles and Points at this year's South by Southwest festival, my love of the game intensified and this blog was born.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder if you will need to have your Freedom card open for a year before Chase will allow you to product change to a Freedom Flex. As a data point, I opened my $49 IHG card in 2011. It was initially a Visa and then around 2013 or 2014 Chase changed it to a MasterCard with a new card number. Despite the change from Visa to MasterCard with a new card number, my credit reports still have 2011 as my card opening date.

    • Great question about a PC before one year. I have a hunch it will actually be possible, only because there is no fee on either card and because they want people to migrate to Flex. That said, Iā€™m far from certain so weā€™ll need a data point in a couple of weeks…

      Speaking of which, thanks for the DP on that previous card conversion. That gives me hope that a PC will, in fact, preserve the credit history.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here