Chase unveils new Freedom Flex card and updates Freedom Unlimited

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Chase has announced a new addition to their credit card lineup, the Chase Freedom Flex® by Mastercard, as well as updates to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Both the Freedom Flex and updates to the Freedom Unlimited go live Sept. 15, 2020, with applications for the Freedom Flex opening Sept. 14, 2020.

“Flex and Unlimited are the next evolution of the Chase Freedom credit card suite and challenge the status quo for what consumers expect from a no annual fee, cash back card,” said BJ Mahoney, general manager of Chase Freedom, in a news release.

The Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card: More details

This new, no annual fee credit card offers World Elite Mastercard benefits — such as cellphone insurance and a variety of bonus rewards and perks on Lyft, Boxed, ShopRunner and Fandango purchases — as well as Priceless Experiences from Mastercard. As for rewards, you’ll earn:

  • 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined bonus category purchases, like grocery store (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) and select streaming service purchases each quarter you activate (then 1 percent)
  • 5 percent on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards (including car rentals and vacation bookings)
  • 3 percent on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services)
  • 3 percent on drugstore purchases
  • 1 percent on all other purchases

New cardmembers also have the opportunity to earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening — the same bonus offered by the Freedom Unlimited.

According to Chase, the Freedom Flex is the “first new Chase branded consumer credit card with Mastercard in over five years.” You can read more about the card’s various World Elite Mastercard benefits, here.

Updates to the Chase Freedom Unlimited card

The Chase Freedom Unlimited traditionally offers 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, but now you can earn additional rewards. Along with the card’s base rate on general purchases, you can earn:

  • 5 percent cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3 percent on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services)
  • 3 percent on drugstore purchases

Keep in mind that new Freedom Unlimited cardmembers also receive 5 percent cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Existing cardmembers don’t need to opt into anything — the new rewards offerings are automatically rolled out Sept. 15, 2020.

What these Chase card changes mean for you

“I think a big part of Chase’s motivation behind the Freedom Flex is to give these affluent, creditworthy travel lovers something to get excited about,” says Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate.

Rossman points out that avid travelers who pair Chase credit cards earning cash back, such as the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited, with more premium Chase travel cards are the real winners.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers, for example, already get a 50 percent boost to points redeemed for travel, and owners of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card get a 25 percent boost. Additionally, cardmembers holding the Sapphire Reserve and Preferred can increase their point’s value when redeeming for statement credit against eligible grocery store, dining and home improvement store purchases through September 2020.

“With the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited promotions, they can earn more points now on takeout/delivery and at grocery stores,” Rossman says. “They can eventually use them on travel and earn even more travel points when they book trips through Chase. A free ShopRunner membership and cellphone insurance are other examples of COVID-era value that can also pay off in the future.”

The future of the Chase Freedom

With the introduction of Freedom Flex, the Chase Freedom® will no longer be open to new applicants.

“For someone who already has the Freedom, they could technically continue with it, but because the Freedom Flex has so many extra perks, they should call to request an upgrade once the window opens,” Rossman says.

If you already own the Chase Freedom and are interested in requesting a product change to the Freedom Flex, consider reading Bankrate’s guide to upgrading or downgrading a Chase credit card.

Information about the Chase Freedom®  has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.