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That Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a cash back credit card with no annual fee and a unique feature. Every three months, the card changes bonus categories, giving new opportunities to earn extra money back. When you activate the categories, you will earn 5% cash back whenever you make a purchase during the quarter in one of the selected categories, up to $ 1,500 in purchases each quarter.
On Wednesday, Chase unveiled the latest set of Chase Freedom Flex bonus categories. The new categories, which will be launched on 1 January and run until 31 March 2022, are:
Most Chase Freedom Flex Cardholders will find these categories easy to maximize, as almost everyone regularly trades in grocery stores, and eBay is a popular online place to buy both regular and unique items.
Remember that to earn 5% bonus cash back on Chase Freedom Flex, activate the categories every quarter by phone or online at chase.com/freedomflex. You can activate these categories for the first quarter from December 15, but you do not have to activate them until you have made a purchase – you can do it afterwards and still get bonus money back retroactively. However, the last day to activate these categories is March 14, 2022.
Also keep in mind that you will only earn 5% back in these categories of up to $ 1,500 in purchases each quarter. For any purchase beyond this ceiling, you will earn 1% cash back, which is the same rate that you get on all purchases made outside the bonus categories. And the same categories are also available on the original Chase Freedom credit card, which is no longer open to new applicants but is still used by many Chase customers.
In addition to earning 5% cash back on the rotating categories Chase Freedom Flex also comes with a trio of fixed bonus categories. You will earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining (including qualified delivery services) and 3% cash back on pharmacies. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
Additionally, there is a way to increase the value of your Chase Freedom Flex rewards. When you also have one of Chase’s premium travel credit cards – that Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, that Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Cards – you have the option to convert your Chase Freedom Flex money back to Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1 cent per. point.
You can then redeem these points at a higher value for travel purchases – either at 1.5 cents apiece Chase Sapphire Reserve or 1.25 øre each on Chase Sapphire is preferred or Preferred ink shop. Additionally, you can use Chase’s Pay yourself back tools on these cards too.
The current pay-back categories for the Sapphire cards are Airbnb and Away through awaytravel.com, and also eateries (including delivery and takeaway) specifically with the Sapphire Reserve. From now until 31 December 2021, you will receive the same redemption rates in these categories – 1.5 cents for Sapphire Reserve and 1.25 cents for Sapphire Preferred – as you receive for travel redemptions.
Finally, you can potentially increase the value of your Ultimate Rewards points even further by transferring them to one of Chase’s 14 airlines and hotel partners. This option requires some time and research to understand how these partner loyalty programs work, but as airlines return to the skies, it is possible to use these points to travel to exotic first-class destinations for very little money.
Of course, if you prefer cash over travel rewards, you can just redeem the money back you are earning Chase Freedom Flex for a bank statement or direct deposit to most US checking and savings accounts. Other redemption options include gift cards and Amazon’s “Shop With Points” program, though you may not get as much value for your points when you use these methods.
Whether you are interested in cash back or travel rewards, Chase Freedom Flex is a useful credit card to have in your wallet or purse. You just want to make sure you have another credit card to pair it with as this is where it is most valuable.
If you are interested in traveling, get one Chase Sapphire is preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve to go with Chase Freedom Flex and convert your Freedom Flex money back into travel points, increasing their value and opening up more additional redemption options.
If you prefer cash back, pair Chase Freedom Flex with another credit card earning a higher rate on purchases outside the bonus categories. CNN stressed benchmark credit cards, that Citi® Dual prepaid card, is such an option as it earns 2% cash back on everything you buy – 1% when you make a purchase and an additional 1% when you pay for it. Then use Freedom Flex when making a purchase in the bonus categories, and Citi Double Cash on everything else.
And if you do not already have one Chase Freedom Flex credit card, you can consider getting one and using it to earn extra money back. The card even comes in at the moment with a sign-up bonus on $ 200 in cash back after spending $ 500 on purchases for the first three months after opening the account, plus 5% cash back on the purchase of a grocery store (not including Target or Walmart) during the first 12 months you have the card, up to $ 12,000 in total in purchases.
Are you considering getting a new credit card? Read the CNN Underscored guide to best credit card in 2021.