April 11, 2021

Why you should upgrade your Chase Freedom card to the new Freedom Flex

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Chase recently launched a new cash-back credit card, the Chase Freedom Flex℠. This card replaces the Chase Freedom as an option for new cardholders, although existing Chase Freedom customers can keep their old card.

If you have the Chase Freedom already and you like the way it works, you may be wondering if you should keep the card you have or call or message Chase to request an “upgrade” to the Freedom Flex.

By and large, there’s really no reason not to upgrade to the Chase Freedom Flex. You’ll maintain the bonus cash-back categories you already have, and you’ll also get access to a few more ways to earn bonus rewards — plus the card still charges no annual fee. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to use a new selection of benefits because unlike other Chase cards, the Chase Freedom Flex is a World Elite Mastercard, not a Visa. 

Regular APR

14.99% – 23.74%

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Featured Reward

$200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Intro APR

0% for the first 15 billing cycles

Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
    • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
    • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee.
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
    Pros
    • No annual fee
    • Generous bonus cash-back categories
    • Great welcome bonus
    Cons
    • Booking through Ultimate Rewards portal can restrict outside earning potential
    • Varying percentages and rotating calendar categories require extra attention
    • 3% foreign transaction fees

    We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

    Upgrade for more bonus cash back

    The old Chase Freedom card has long offered 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in quarterly bonus categories (then 1%) as well as 1% back on all other purchases. The old card (and the new card) also offer 5% back on Lyft rides through March of 2022.

    The new Chase Freedom Flex offers all of this — plus 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases. As a new cardholder, you’ll also get 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (excluding Walmart and Target) on up to $12,000 spent in your first 12 months from account opening.

    Why wouldn’t you want to have more bonus rewards categories than before? It should be fairly easy to rack up a ton more rewards on dining and drugstore purchases, which are areas most people spend in every month.

    New benefits can help you get more value from your card

    The new Chase Freedom Flex℠ comes with World Elite Mastercard benefits. You’ll get cell phone insurance, $10 in Lyft credit every month you take at least five rides, a ShopRunner membership that gives you free two-day shipping with select stores, 5% in cash rewards when you shop at Boxed.com, and double rewards when you shop on Fandango or purchase movie tickets on the Fandango app.

    The new Chase Freedom Flex also comes with a few other benefits the old Chase Freedom card didn’t have. These include secondary auto rental coverage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance and travel and emergency assistance services.

    You won’t pay an annual fee

    Best of all, you still won’t pay an annual fee when you upgrade to the Chase Freedom Flex. You’ll get a ton of new earning categories and credit card perks, but you won’t have to pay for the privilege.

    One reason not to upgrade

    There’s really only one reason you wouldn’t want to upgrade your Chase Freedom card to the Chase Freedom Flex, and that’s if you believe you could apply for it separately and get approved.

    According to the terms and conditions of this new credit card, you are not eligible if you are a current cardmember of this card or a previous cardmember of this card who has received a cardmember bonus for this card within the last 24 months. Considering this is a brand new credit card product from Chase, neither of these should apply to you.

    However, Chase does have a pesky 5/24 rule that says you cannot qualify for a new credit card from them if you’ve opened five or more credit cards from any card issuer within the last 24 months. This means you have to be fairly free of new hard inquiries on your credit reports to get approved for this card, but it’s still possible.

    If you haven’t had five new credit cards in the last two years, you’re probably better off just applying for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and hoping you’ll get approved. If you do, you’ll be eligible for a $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on your card within three months of account opening.

    If you apply and you’re denied, you can always call Chase and ask to upgrade your existing Chase Freedom card instead.

    Another option: Consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited

    As if adding a new credit card to its lineup isn’t exciting enough, Chase also upgraded the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, its other no-annual-fee cash-back card.

    The Freedom Unlimited will continue to earn 1.5% cash back on all regular purchases, but you can now earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining, and 3% back on drugstore purchases.

    New cardholders can also earn 5% back on grocery purchases (excluding Walmart and Target) on up to $12,000 in purchases in the first 12 months from account opening. You’ll also rack up 5% back on Lyft rides with this card through March of 2022, just like you would with the Chase Freedom Flex. 

    If you don’t like dealing with rotating bonus categories and would rather rack up 1.5% back on all non-bonus purchases, give this newly revamped credit card a hard look as well.

    Regular APR

    14.99%–23.74% variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    $200 after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening

    Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
    • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
    Pros
    • Solid flat cash-back rate
    • You can combine cash-back rewards with Ultimate Rewards points if you have an eligible card
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • Some other cards offer a higher rate of cash back on certain types of purchases


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    Business Insider may receive a commission from The Points Guy Affiliate Network, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

    Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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