Chase Freedom Unlimited vs Flex [UPDATED Dec 2020]


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Chase has a wide array of personal credit card options. Here, we’ll breakdown the Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex cards for you!

(note: details subject to change by Chase without notice)


Chase Freedom Unlimited: Best Chase straightforward earnings & non-bonus spending

Chase Freedom Flex: Best for rotating category bonuses

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Flex

Chase freedom unlimited credit card

Best Chase straightforward earnings & non-bonus spending

This card is perfect for straight-forward earnings on travel, dining, and drugstore, with a flat 1.5% back on all other purchases.

Chase freedom flex credit card

Best for rotating category bonuses

The Flex is ideal for beginner travelers, those are looking for straightforward cash back, and are flexible in their spending to take advantage of changing bonuses. 

Sign-Up Bonus

$200 after spending $500 within the first 3 months

Annual Fee & APR

NO Annual Fee

0% Variable APR for 15 months after account opening (Afterwards, 14.99%-23.74%)

Earning Rate

5% on travel (purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards)

3% on dining 

3% on drugstore purchases 

1.5% on all other purchases


5% on travel (purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards)

3% on dining 

3% on drugstore purchases

1% on all other purchases

5% on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate

Note that Rotating Category Bonuses change each quarter and require reactivation with each quarter. Based on the Quarterly Calendar for October-December 2020, includes benefits for purchases made using PayPal at Walmart. Benefits are niche, but generally still broad enough to make use of $1,500 of targeted spending.

Shared Perks

5% on Lyft Rides through March 2022

3 months of Free DashPass subscription with DoorDash (meaning $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees). Afterwards, 50% DashPass discount for next 9 months


Freedom Similarities

Note that Cash Back Rewards do not expire as long as your account is open. Moreover, there's no minimum to redeem for cash back. 

You'll also have access to many of the standard Chase protection benefits, including Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurances, and Travel and Emergency Assistance Services.

They do, however, both share a 3% foreign transaction fee. Thus, compared to the Chase Sapphire Cards with their $0 foreign transaction fee and global travel/dining benefits, they may not be as advantageous for serious travelers.

Overall, the Freedom Unlimited and Flex are similar in their straightforward earnings and emphasis on cash back. With no annual fees, they can be a safe choice for those just starting in the credit world, or looking for a covid-safe card that can lead to immediate benefits extending beyond travel.


Final Note

We recommend Chase for those who are serious about dining out or just major foodies in general. Chase defines dining very broadly, and includes pretty much any establishment that sells food or drinks—even bars that are drinks only. Other less conventional places you can get points include cafes, juiceries, university dining halls, vending machines, and restaurant delivery services (ex. Grubhub, but NOT Postmates).

Unlike the Chase Sapphire cards, you can have both the Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex at the same time. Additionally, keep in mind that the Unlimited is based off of VISA and the Flex is based off of Mastercard, with subtle differences in those aspects.

If you struggle to keep track of your sign up bonuses, or just can’t remember which card to use for each type of transactions, the Card Curator app can do the thinking for you. With preprogrammed data on bonuses for each credit card, you can get 5-10% back on all your spending! 


Written by Joanna Lin

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