Chase Freedom Flex vs Freedom Unlimited | Thrifty Traveler
Chase Freedom Flex Vs Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Flex vs Freedom Unlimited: Which Is Right for You?

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Chase’s Freedom cards have long been considered some of the best no annual fee credit card options out there. And just recently, the Chase Freedom Flex was introduced, replacing the old Chase Freedom card, which is no longer available for new applications.

So now there are two Chase Freedom cards. The new Freedom Flex and the Freedom Unlimited. And if you hold either, or both with a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, they can unlock a ton of value.

And while these cards are similar, there are some stark differences that you should be aware of when deciding which version is right for you. In this post, we will break down the new Chase Freedom Flex vs Freedom Unlimited and assign a winner in each category to help you decide which version makes the most sense in your wallet.

However, it is worth noting that Chase will allow you to carry both versions of the Freedom cards at the same time, so that is certainly an option.

 

Comparing the Chase Freedom Flex vs Chase Freedom Unlimited

 

The Annual Fee

Both the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card do not have an annual fee. This is a big reason why both cards are so popular. And because they pair so well with the Chase Sapphire cards, adding one to your wallet can be an easy decision that won’t set you back any money each year in annual fees.

Because both versions of the card do not carry an annual fee, this category is a tie.

Winner: Tie

 

The Chase Welcome Bonus

The welcome bonus offer is a key component of any travel rewards card, not just the Chase Freedom Cards. And some of the bigger travel rewards credit cards have large minimum spending amounts required to earn the bonus points.

But that isn’t the case with either of the Chase Freedom Cards. Just for opening the card and spending only $500 on each card within the first three months of card membership, you’ll earn a $200 cashback bonus.

And if you hold either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, that $200 cashback bonus can be turned into Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1 cent equals 1 point. So the $200 bonus is equal to 20,000 points.

Read More: How to Transfer Points Between Your Chase Cards. 

 

Chase Freedom Flex vs Freedom Unlimited

 

So like the annual fee, there is no clear winner in this category when comparing the Chase Freedom Flex℠ vs Freedom Unlimited, as the welcome bonus offers are the exact same.

Winner: Tie

 

Bonus Spending Categories

This is where both the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® shine. Both cards offer a handful of lucrative categories that will provide bonus cashback (or points) for every dollar you spend.

And because the Chase Sapphire cards only earn bonus points on dining and travel, it makes sense to use your Chase Freedom card for most of your everyday spending and then transfer the cashback into Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

So lets take a look at what each card offers in terms of bonus spending categories.

 

Chase Freedom Flex

  • Earn 5% cashback on rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 of spending which could include:
  • Earn 5% cashback on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • Earn 5% cashback on Lyft rides through March 2022.
  • Earn 3% cashback on dining, including takeout and delivery services
  • Earn 3% cashback at drugstores

 

Chase Freedom Flex

 

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex Card. 

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited

  • Earn 5% cashback on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal starting Sept. 15, 2020.
  • Earn 5% cashback on Lyft rides starting Sept. 15 through March 2022.
  • Earn 3% cashback on dining
  • Earn 3% cashback at drugstores
  • Earn an unlimited 1.5% cashback on all other purchases.

 

Chase Freedom Unlimited

 

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited

 

As you can see, the biggest difference between the two cards in terms of bonus spending categories is the 5% rotating categories offered on the Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card and the unlimited 1.5% cashback on everything else on the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card in lieu of the rotating bonus categories.

So if you often spend money on categories that historically are not covered by the rotating bonus categories, you may be better off with the Freedom Unlimited. That being said, if you can maximize those 5% categories each quarter on the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you can earn a ton of additional cashback (or Chase Ultimate Rewards points).

Winner: The Chase Freedom Flex.

The additional rotating quarterly categories allow you to earn 5% cashback. If you can maximize these, you can earn an easy $75 cashback or 7,500 Ultimate Rewards Points each quarter.

 

Chase Freedom Flex

 

Other Chase Freedom Card Benefits

The Chase Freedom Flex, unlike the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, is not a Visa – it’s a World Elite Mastercard. This means it opens up even more benefits like Lyft credits, discounts on Postmates deliveries, and ShopRunner membership.

 

Chase Freedom Flex Benefits

 

But perhaps the best World Elite Mastercard benefit is the complimentary cell phone insurance it provides. You’ll get $1,000 in yearly coverage ($800 max per claim, 2 claims per year) should your cell phone get stolen or need certain repairs.

All you need to do to take advantage is simply pay for your cell phone bill with your Chase Freedom Flex℠ World Elite Mastercard to activate coverage.

Read more about the full World Elite Mastercard benefits.

 

Chase Freedom Flex Benefits

 

Both Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex provide trip cancellation and interruption service and secondary car rental insurance. But because the Flex has all of the benefits that come with being a Mastercard, it is the clear winner.

Winner: Chase Freedom Flex Card. 

 

Chase Freedom

 

Why You Should Pair a Chase Freedom with a Sapphire Card

The one-two punch of holding a Chase Freedom card with a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve credit card is undeniable.

When you’ve got a Chase Sapphire card, the cashback your Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited card earns can be turned into Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Every cent you earn equals 1 Chase point. Earning 5% cashback could also mean 5x Chase points.

Let’s say I hold the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Just for spending $500 in the first three months of card membership on the Freedom Unlimited, I’ll earn a $200 cash back bonus. And since I hold the Sapphire Preferred Card, that $200 can be turned into 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to use towards travel.

Both The Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited cards will earn more points (3% back or 3x points) on dining than you would earn with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card on its own. Holding one of the Freedom cards is a great way to make sure you squeeze the most value out of your everyday spending.

And if you don’t already have a Sapphire Card, you can earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of card membership.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred

 

Learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

 

Is Chase Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex Better?

Both the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® have no annual fee and earn $200 after spending $500 in the first three months. The Freedom Flex has bonus categories that you can earn more points on and World Elite Mastercard benefits, but the Freedom Unlimited earns more (1.5% back) on everyday spending. So how do you decide which Chase Freedom card is better for you?

When comparing the Chase Freedom Flex vs Freedom Unlimited, take a look at what you spend most of your money on. If you think you will be able to take advantage of the rotating bonus categories, and the additional World Elite Mastercard benefits, the Freedom Flex is going to be the right card for you.

 

Full Benefits of the Chase Freedom Flex Card

  • Welcome bonus of $200 after spending $500 within three months of opening the card.
  • Earn 5% cashback on rotating quarterly categories
  • Earn 5% cashback on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • Earn 5% cashback on Lyft rides through March 2022.
  • Earn 3% cashback on dining, including takeout and delivery services
  • Earn 3% cashback at drugstores
  • Earn 1% cashback on all other spending
  • Affected By The Chase 5/24 Rule: This card is subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so you won’t get approved for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ if you’ve opened five or more credit cards (from any bank, not just Chase) in the last 24 months.
  • World Elite Mastercard Benefits
  • No Annual Fee!

 

Chase Freedom Flex

 

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex Card. 

 

If your spending falls more in an “other” category. The Chase Freedom Unlimited, earning 1.5% on all other spending, is going to be the best card for you.

 

Full Benefits of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

  • Sign-up Bonus: Earn a $200 bonus (or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 in the first three months of card membership.
  • Earn 5% cashback on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • Earn 5% cashback on Lyft rides starting Sept. 15 through March 2022.
  • Earn 3% cashback on dining, including takeout and delivery services
  • Earn 3% cashback at drugstores
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cashback on all other purchases
  • Subject to the Chase 5/24 rule, so you won’t get approved for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® if you’ve opened five or more credit cards (from any bank, not just Chase) in the last 24 months. It’s called the 5/24 rule.
  • No Annual Fee!

 

chase freedom unlimited

 

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited

 

Chase Freedom Flex Vs Freedom Unlimited: The Bottom Line

Both of these cards offer great value and should have a place in your wallet. Especially if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

And if you don’t have a Freedom or a Sapphire Card, check out our post on how you can quickly and easily earn 80,000 points with just two cards.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

5 Responses

    • Only the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cover car rental insurance. To my knowledge, the Freedom cards have never offered auto insurance being no annual fee cards.

  • After reading the response about Chase Freedom Unlimited having rental auto insurance, I checked and it does have rental auto insurance which is secondary to your regular Auto insurance in the US. I provides full coverage overseas.
    The same is true for the Freedom Flex Mastercard.

    • You are correct Jerry! After some more digging, we found that yes they both do! Thank you for pointing out our error.

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