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Chase Freedom Flex® vs. Freedom Unlimited®: A Guide

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    Quick insights

    • Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited could both be very good “everyday” credit cards that earn rewards on purchases. 
    • Both cards offer opportunities to earn rewards on purchases, and cardmembers enjoy the benefits of a versatile rewards program in Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
    • While one credit card may earn rewards points faster on bonus categories, the other offers consistent rates, so you always know what to expect. 

    Cash back credit cards are often popular for their obvious namesake feature: You can earn cash back on your purchases. With Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited, cash back is awarded as points at different rates depending on the category of each purchase. That offers some flexibility in how you earn and can redeem rewards. 

    Cash back rates tend to vary from card to card, but that’s only one way to compare credit cards. In this article, we’ll review several differences between Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited

    How should I pick between Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited?

    Even if it’s not your first credit card, there are many factors to consider before applying. When comparing two specific cards, these features are important to consider carefully:

    Review the new cardmember bonus offers

    Exact bonuses can vary depending on when you apply. In general, new cardmember bonus offers can be worth several thousand points and a considerable amount of cash back when redeemed. If you believe you could more easily meet the requirements for one card’s bonus, that could help you pick the card that’s right for you. 

    Consider any annual fees

    Not all cards have annual fees, but for those that do, it’s a yearly expense for owning a credit card. People might weigh the annual fee against the rewards and benefits of a credit card and consider whether those are worth a card’s annual fee. 

    Check for additional benefits and perks

    Explore cards’ various perks and benefits, such as travel protections and partner benefits. Depending on which benefits are valuable to you, the differences may help you decide which is a better fit. 

    Compare rewards programs

    Earning rewards can be a valuable feature of cash back credit cards. Below, we’ll detail how you can earn rewards with Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited, including their respective cash back categories and earning rates. You might be able to tell whether one card’s rewards opportunities align more with your spending habits than the other’s. 

    Chase Freedom Flex vs. Freedom Unlimited rewards

    With most Chase credit cards, you earn Ultimate Rewards points. These can prove to be a versatile rewards currency given the ways you can redeem them. Let’s start with the ways you earn points with Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited, which are similar but distinct.

    Earning points with Chase Freedom Flex vs. Freedom Unlimited

    Cardmembers earn a different number of points per dollar spent on purchases. The exact rate of points earned per dollar depends on the category of the purchase. Certain categories earn points at accelerated rates, such as three points per dollar spent. When reflected as a percent, that’s 3%. 

    Here’s how earning rewards points works with both cards (subject to change).

    Freedom Flex

    • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • Earn 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
    • Earn 3% on drugstore purchases.
    • Earn 5% on different categories that rotate each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores (excluding Target® and Walmart®) and select online merchants on up to $1,500 in total combined purchases each quarter you activate. 
    • Earn 1% on all other purchases. 

    One thing you might notice is the additional 5% bonus earned on different categories each quarter. This rate could result in significant rewards for people who are looking to maximize their points by activating the bonuses. Learn more about Chase Freedom Flex and check out the latest calendar of bonus categories. 

    Freedom Unlimited

    • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • Earn 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
    • Earn 3% on drugstore purchases.
    • Earn 1.5% on all other purchases. 

    While these rates are consistent and comparable to those of Freedom Flex, the Freedom Unlimited card offers a slightly higher base earn rate of 1.5% on all purchases that are not included in an accelerated earning category. Learn more about Chase Freedom Unlimited and its current benefits. 

    Redeeming rewards with Chase Freedom Flex vs. Freedom Unlimited

    Your options for redeeming Ultimate Rewards points are similar whether you have a Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited card. One popular redemption option is cash back. You can redeem points for a statement credit to your credit card or a direct deposit to a bank account. 

    Ultimate Rewards points can also be redeemed in a variety of other ways: 

    • Redeem points for gift cards and Apple® products through the Ultimate Rewards portal. 
    • Use your points to pay for Amazon purchases or when checking out with PayPal. 
    • Use points to book travel through Chase Travel.

    Explore all the ways you can use your rewards with Ultimate Rewards

    Chase Freedom Flex vs. Freedom Unlimited benefits

    Several benefits are available for both cards but are subject to change: 

    • Contactless cards: For fast, easy and secure checkout, simply tap to pay where you see the contactless symbol. 
    • Partner benefits: Both Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited cardmembers can enjoy benefits with DoorDash, Instacart, Lyft and others. 

    Can I switch from Chase Freedom Flex to Freedom Unlimited?

    In general, consumer credit card accounts must be open for at least 12 months to potentially qualify for product change. The eligibility depends on a variety of factors, namely the card type. Switching credit cards also affects all the terms and conditions you might be used to. Consult your card issuer for more information about switching credit cards. 

    Plus, you could apply for another Chase card and keep your Chase Freedom Flex card account open. You might find several reasons to have multiple credit cards from the same bank, especially if you’re interested in earning rewards. 

    In summary

    Chase Freedom Flex could suit you better if you find its bonus categories align with your spending patterns. However, if you want to earn as many rewards as possible, you’ll have to track the bonus categories and use your card accordingly. In that respect, Chase Freedom Unlimited is a bit distinct because the card offers consistent rates for earning points on purchases. 

    Both Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited can reward everyday spending through Chase Ultimate Rewards, from grocery store to gas station purchases. Overall, comparing the specific rewards structures and the additional benefits can help you pick between Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited.  

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