The all-new Chase Freedom Flex Mastercard is now live.  Within Chase’s family of Ultimate Rewards cards, this one replaces the Freedom Visa.  The Freedom Visa was a good card thanks to its rotating 5X categories, but the Freedom Flex is better.  Much better.  In addition to offering 5X categories that change each quarter, the Freedom Flex offers 5X for travel booked through Chase, 5X for Lyft, 3X for dining, and 3X at drugstores.  That’s a powerful combination.

Chase is currently offering best-ever welcome bonuses for their Freedom card lineup.  Both  the Freedom Flex and the similar Freedom Unlimited offer three components to their offer: 1) 20,000 points after $500 spend; 2) 5X earnings at grocery stores for the first 12 months (on up to $12K of spend); and 3) 0% APR for 15 months.  With either offer, if you spend the full $12K at grocery stores, you’ll end up with at least 80,000 points.  It’s convenient too that the Freedom cards are great companions to the Sapphire Preferred, which is currently sporting a 80,000 point offer.  See: Chase Sapphire Preferred 80K Offer – Should you go for it?

To get the most value from your points, you’ll want to have a premium Ultimate Rewards card in your household. With the Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred you’ll be able to use points to purchase travel at a value of 1.25 cents per point.  With the Sapphire Reserve you’ll be able to purchase travel at a value of 1.5 cents per point.  With the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve you can use Chase’s Pay Yourself Back feature to essentially cash out points for 1.25 cents per point (Preferred) or 1.5 cents per point (Reserve).  With any of these premium cards, you’ll gain the ability to transfer points to airline and hotel partners.

The Freedom Flex card does charge foreign transaction fees, so leave it at home when traveling internationally. But within the US, the Freedom Card is a great choice for earning 3X to 5X rewards in selected categories.

Chase Freedom Flex Application Tips

Chase Application Tips

  • Shut-Down Caution: Signing up for new Chase cards can lead to Chase reviewing your accounts. This may lead to Chase shutting down all of your accounts if you appear to be a credit risk. See this post for details and recommendations: Why Chase shutdowns have increased and how to avoid them.
  • 5/24 Rule: With most Chase cards, you won’t get approved if your credit report shows 5 or more cards opened in the past 24 months. Details here.
  • 24/48 Month Rule: With most Chase cards, you can get the same card and bonus again 24 months after having received the bonus as long as you no longer have the card open. With Sapphire cards, you must wait 48 months. No wait is required for Chase Ink cards.
  • 30 Day Rule: It is tough to get approved for more than 2 Chase cards within 30 days
  • Get Same Card Again: You can get the same exact card and again if you first cancel the older card and follow the 24/48 month rule. Ink cards are OK to get again without cancelling previous card if you apply with a new business.
  • Better Offers: You may be able to get a better offer than the best available public offer. Details here.
  • Hard inquiries combine into 1 when approved same day (not always true when mixing business and personal)

Call (888) 338-2586 to check your application status
If denied, call reconsideration here:1-888-270-2127 for both personal and business cards

Should you apply?

In my opinion, the Freedom Flex is an excellent choice in many cases, but it’s especially good if you or a household member has (or plans to get) the Sapphire Reserve card.  Use the Freedom Flex to earn 5X for travel booked through Chase, 5X in rotating categories, and 3X for drugstores and dining.  Move your Freedom Flex points to the Sapphire Reserve account to get at least 1.5 cents per point value from all points.  When you earn 3X to 5X with the Freedom Flex and redeem at 1.5 cents value with the Sapphire Reserve, you get a 4.5% to 7.5% return on your spend.

Are you eligible?

To apply for the Freedom Flex card, you must not currently have the same card (it’s okay to have a different Freedom card), and you must not have received a welcome bonus for the Freedom Flex in the past 24 months.  Of course, since the card is new, this shouldn’t be a problem for anyone yet!

More critically, to get this card you must be under 5/24.

Chase’s 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

Application status

After you apply, call (888) 338-2586 to check your application status.

Reconsideration

If your application is denied, I recommend calling for reconsideration (1-888-270-2127). It’s surprising how often denials can be changed to…

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