This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on the page are from our partners like Citi and American Express, but our coverage is always independent. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page.
Chase recently announced a new addition to its lineup of no-annual-fee credit cards. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ replaces the original Chase Freedom card and is a strong alternative to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, which also has no annual fee.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ includes the same 5% cash back for rotating quarterly bonus categories (once activated) as the original Chase Freedom, and also earns bonus cash back on grocery store purchases and drugstores, among other types of purchases.
In fact, the welcome offer and ongoing value proposition of the new Freedom Flex card are so attractive that it could be a better card for you than Chase’s flagship Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
14.99% – 23.74%
Good to Excellent
$200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
0% for the first 15 billing cycles
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.
Its category bonuses are higher — and better, for most people
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers only 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on dining and travel, while the Freedom Flex gives 3% cash back on dining and 5% cash back on travel (though only when booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal). Plus, the Freedom Flex earns 3% cash back at drugstores.
Yes, the Sapphire Preferred does have a better welcome offer (currently 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months), but that is a one-time offer. You’ll need to think about whether the rewards you earn in subsequent years are enough for you to pay the card’s $95 annual fee.
The first-year bonus on groceries is tough to beat
In addition to the ongoing category bonuses in dining, travel, and at drugstores, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5% cash back spent on groceries for your first cardmember year. This bonus excludes Walmart and Target and is limited to your first $12,000 in grocery spending. This bonus on spending at grocery stores is in addition to the welcome offer of $200 (20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $500 in the first three months of having the card.
5% cash back (5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) ranks the the Freedom Flex as one of the best credit cards for groceries, at least for the first year. Both the Freedom Flex or the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offer this first-year grocery bonus, so if you’re looking at these two cards, make sure to check out our Chase Freedom Flex vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited comparison.
The Freedom Flex has no annual fee
Finally, remember that the Chase Freedom Flex comes with no annual fee. It is true that having the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card allows you to get more value from your Ultimate Rewards points, by allowing you to redeem them for 1.25 cents instead of only 1 cent per point for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel or through Chase Pay Yourself Back for grocery, dining, home-improvement, and eligible charity purchases.
However, you need to redeem a lot of Ultimate Rewards points to make up for the $95 annual fee on the Sapphire Preferred. If you prefer the cash in hand now versus the possibility of saving money on travel or other purchases later, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a better option.
It could be worth having both cards
There are compelling reasons why you might want to hold on to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. One reason is that having a premium Chase card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is valuable because it unlocks the ability to transfer your points to hotel and airline travel partners.
Without a premium Chase card, you can only redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for statement credits or travel at a rate of 1 cent per point. Having a premium Chase card not only unlocks the ability to transfer to travel partners but also lets you redeem through the travel portal for 1.25 or 1.50 cents per point, depending on which card you have.
If you do have another premium Chase card, you might take a look at what the Freedom Flex card offers and see if it could help you earn even more points on every purchase you make.
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. 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.
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.