Chase Bank is one of the largest providers of financial services across the U.S. It has some of the best credit cards for either business or consumer use. And in this review, we’re going to compare Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Chase Freedom Flex to see which would be more worthwhile to own.
Even so, deciding between the two isn’t an easy choice. They’re both cash-back credit cards and also happen to share a lot of features and perks. That includes the introductory bonus amount, interest rate, applicable fees, and some of the partner benefits.
Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Freedom Flex: A Summary on the Credit Cards
|Feature||Chase Freedom Unlimited||Chase Freedom Flex|
|Launch Date||March 2016||September 2020|
|Type of Credit Card||Cash Back||Cash Back|
|Credit Card Network||Visa||MasterCard|
|Required Credit Score||Good to Perfect||Good to Perfect|
|Annual Percentage Rate||14.99%–23.74% (Variable)||14.99%–23.74% (Variable)|
|Introductory Bonus Offer||$200 Cash Back||$200 Cash Back|
|Rotating Cash Back Bonus||NO||YES (At 5%)|
|All Purchases cash Back||YES (At 1.5%)||YES (At 1%)|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||YES (At 3% of total amount)||YES (At 3% of Total Amount)|
|Shop with Points at Amazon||YES||YES|
|Grace Period||21 days||21 Days|
|Applicable Penalty Fees||Late & Return Payments||Late & Return Payment|
|Protection||Zero liability, fraud, new purchases, extended warranty, & Trip Cancellation||Zero liability, fraud, new purchases, cell phone, extended warranty, & Trip Cancellation|
Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited Any Good?
Overall, all Chase credit cards are great since it depends on what you want. Of course, the issuer isn’t the best if you want to get approved for a credit card with no credit, but they do have student options to try.
As for our Chase Freedom Unlimited here, it’s not very old but qualifies as one of the best-rated credit cards out there. It’s primarily for applicants with good to perfect credit scores, whereby it offers cash back rewards on the ongoing bonus categories.
More on that, you can get approved for a Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card on a Signature account with a limit of at least $5000. Or else a Platinum account where you’ll have a credit access line of at least $500.
Is the Chase Freedom Flex Any Good?
The Chase Freedom Flex is also a great credit card, but, of course, it all depends on your spending habits. Chase launched the card just recently as an upgrade of the original Chase Freedom, which, by the way, is no longer available for new cardholders.
The Chase Freedom Flex has various cashback rewards, starting with the rotating bonus categories. It also does offer cash back rewards on the ongoing bonus categories and from other six different partners.
Another thing, Chase provides the Freedom Flex credit card with up to 29.99% variable APR. However, that only applies after completing the 0% intro APR that you get for the first 15 months from opening your account.
Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Freedom Flex: Comparing Features & Perks of the Cash Back Credit Cards
Here are the ten main similarities and differences between Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex.
Basically, the eligibility of both Chase Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex is pretty much the same. You must be at least 18 years old to apply, plus the company will need details on your employment, income, and credit bureau reports.
Sadly, both Chase Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex are unsecured credit cards. So, unlike Guaranteed approval credit cards like First Progress Platinum, you’ll need to have a good/ perfect credit score (670+ points) to qualify.
Nonetheless, some people have claimed to get approved with a credit score of as low as 640 points. So, you can also with a fair credit score, considering you have a stable source of income.
Credit Card Network
Usually, different credit cards use different communication networks to facilitate their transactions. You can think of it as a major carrier like T-Mobile or Verizon that backs cellular service for small providers like Mint or Visible.
Anyway, in our case, the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card “operates” on the Visa network. So, you can use it in most places within and outside the U.S. However, “most” doesn’t mean all as retailers like Costco Canada don’t accept VISA payments.
On the other hand, MasterCard backs transactions for the Chase Freedom Flex credit cards. And similar to Visa, most merchants inside and outside the U.S. accept the MasterCard payment option. However, it’s not all service providers as U.S. Costco warehouses and gas stations accept Visa cards, but not MasterCard.
Annual Percentage Rate (%APR)
When you compare Chase Freedom Flex vs Freedom Unlimited on the yearly interest rate, they’re pretty much similar. That’s the APR for purchases and balance transfers is at 0% for the first 15 months after opening the account. Then, after that, the rate will vary by your creditworthiness and the Prime Rate in the market at the time.
Also, these interest rates will vary with the type of transaction. If it’s the Purchases and Balance Transfer, the variable APR can be 14.99% to 23.74%. Then, the Cash advance APR can be up to 24.99%, whereas the Penalty interest charges can go up to 29.99%.
FYI: Chase charges the Penalty APR if you fail to make the minimum payment of your Freedom Unlimited or Flex by the due date.
Applicable Annual Fees
Similarly, Chase Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex split the point here as neither of them charges an annual membership fee.
Thus, making both Chase credit cards easier to maintain, as well as ensuring the cash back rewards are totally yours.
Introductory Bonus Offer
Again, this is a win for both Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited. As a new cardholder for either credit card, you’ll get 20,000 bonus points that you can redeem for $200 cash back. But again, the bonus offer requires you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Also, both Chase Freedom Unlimited and Flex cards have cash back rewards on the purchases you make in the gas station. I’ve included the cashback rewards under the introductory bonus offer since they’re only available for new cardholders.
Furthermore, the intro rewards in this gas station category provide you a 5% cash back bonus on the purchases made within the first 12 months from account opening. But then, the bonus offer is also capped at $6,000 spent.
So, your cashback rewards on gas station purchases will revert to the normal rate after whichever comes first (12-mount purchases or $6,000 spent).
Limited-time Cash Back Offers
On this one, all the two Chase credit cards have limited-time cashback rewards. This include 5% cashback on Lyft rides through March 2022 and three months of $0 delivery fee on eligible orders over $12 on DoorDash.
However, the Chase Freedom Flex has four additional perks through the MasterCard World Elite Benefits. They include:
- 5% cashback when you purchase the HelloFresh meal kit delivery plan
- $5 Lyft credit when you use your card for three rides in one calendar month
- $5 Fandango reward when you spend $20 at Fandango or Fandango’s streaming service
- One-Year ShopRunner membership with free two-day shipping and free returns from your favorite stores
So, Chase Freedom Flex takes the points for the limited-time cashback offers.
Rotating Quarterly Cash Back Offers
Similarly, Chase Freedom Flex credit card takes the whole points here as you can earn 5% cash back through its quarterly calendar offers. Similar to the grandfathered Chase Freedom card, the bonus category of each calendar quarter varies with each year.
For instance, the 5% quarterly cashback categories of the 2022 calendar are as follows
|2022 Calendar Quarters||Quarterly Bonus Categories|
|January to March||Grocery stores (except Target & Walmart)eBay|
|April to June||To Be Announced (on March 15, 2022) In 2021: Gas stations & home improvement stores|
|July to September||To Be Announced (on June 15, 2022) In 2021: Grocery stores & select streaming services|
|October to December||To Be Announced (on September 15, 2022) In 2021: Walmart & PayPal|
It’s worth noting the 5% quarterly cash back on the Chase Freedom Flex card is capped up to $1,500 in combined purchases. Once you hit the limit, the other purchases you make will earn you the standard (1%) cashback.
Note: Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card doesn’t have the quarterly cashback bonus.
Travel, Dining & Drugstore Cash Back Offers
On this one, Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex will share the point. They not only offer the three bonus categories but also similar cashback rewards.
If we start with the travel bonuses, you can get 5% cashback rewards for each dollar spent. That includes an expense on bookings, such as air tickets, accommodations, cruises, activities, and car rentals.
On the other hand, the two Chase credit cards do offer 3% cash back rewards on the purchases you make at accepted drugstores.
You’ll also get 3% cashback rewards when you use either card to pay for your dining expense at restaurants, takeout, and eligible delivery services.
All Purchases Cash Back Offers
On the cashback rewards for all other purchases, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is the winner. It offers 1.5% cashback rewards, which is 0.5% higher than what the Chase Freedom Flex card will give you.
However, you can only notice a significant deal on the Freedom Unlimited card if you’re a heavy shopper of at least $4000.
Service & Protection Benefits
Last but not least, Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom unlimited share several protection benefits. That includes protection on zero liability, new purchases, fraud, trip cancellation, and extended warranty of the eligible U.S. manufactured products.
Even so, the Chase Freedom Flex does offer cell phone protection, which is unavailable on the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. According to the company, you can get up to $1000 in case your cellphone is stolen or damaged. But of course, you must have paid for the device with your credit card, plus also there’s a limit of two claims in 12 months.
At this point, we can say both Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited are great credit cards to have if approved. They have multiple ways to win cash back rewards that you can redeem to your checking/ saving accounts, shop on Amazon, use as gift cards, or for travel bookings.
In my opinion, however, Chase Freedom Flex is a much better option to have. Of course, Chase Freedom Unlimited will give you more rewards when you spend about $5,000 per month with your card, but it’s not all the time you’ll spend that much.
On its end, Chase Freedom Flex has a guaranteed $300 cashback rewards when you spend only $6,000 in a year. However, you’ll need to keep track of the quarterly calendar to make sure you spend your card in the appropriate bonus category.