August 12, 2022
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Chase has a great portfolio of credit cards that can potentially earn Ultimate Rewards points, and two of my favorites are the Chase Freedom FlexSM Credit Card and Chase Freedom Unlimited®. In this post I wanted to take an in-depth look at the two cards, and which makes the most sense based on your situation. If you want to learn more about the individual cards:

Let’s first talk about the card similarities, then about the card differences, and then about which card makes the most sense.

What Chase Freedom cards have in common

The truth is that the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited have a lot in common, from their lack of annual fees, to some of their bonus categories, to their World Elite Mastercard benefits. Let me cover a few of the key similarities between the two cards.

Overlapping bonus categories

Both the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited offer the following overlapping bonus categories on spending:

  • 5x points on travel purchased through the Chase Travel portal
  • 3x points on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services
  • 3x points on drugstores

Flexibility to earn cash back or Ultimate Rewards points

Both the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited accrue the same types of rewards:

Earn Ultimate Rewards points with Chase Freedom cards

Differences between Chase Freedom cards

There is one primary area where the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited differ, and that’s one aspect of the bonus categories. Both cards offer:

But each card has one unique bonus category:

The Freedom Unlimited offers a better return on everyday spending

Which Chase Freedom card is better?

Deciding whether the Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited makes more sense comes down to one very simple question — would you rather earn 1.5x points on all purchases (with the Freedom Unlimited), or would you rather earn 5x points in rotating quarterly categories and 1x points on non-bonused purchases?

The math will work out differently for everyone, but here are a few general considerations:

  • What card do you otherwise use for non-bonused spending, and how much do you spend in categories that don’t otherwise qualify for bonus points? If you don’t have a great card, you spend a lot in non-bonused categories, and you’re in the Chase ecosystem, then the Freedom Unlimited is the obvious choice
  • Do you have another great card for non-bonused spending but think you could get value from the 5x points categories on the Freedom Flex? Then the Freedom Flex is the obvious choice

The good thing is that you don’t have to choose — you can get both the Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited, and that’s a great way to maximize your rewards, especially since neither card has an annual fee. Personally, that’s my approach, but I also get that lots of people want a simpler credit card strategy than that.

Build up a portfolio of Chase cards to maximize your points

Bottom line

Both the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited are great no annual fee cards that can help you maximize the Ultimate Rewards points that you earn. For savvy consumers, they’re an essential complement to a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

Which Freedom card makes more sense depends on your circumstances. Personally, I think the Freedom Unlimited is the all-around more rewarding card, given that it offers one of the best returns of any card for non-bonused spending. But some may get more value out of the Freedom Flex’s 5x points categories.

The good thing is that you don’t have to choose, as you can always pick up both cards.

What’s your take — which of the two Chase Freedom cards do you prefer?

See also  Chase Sapphire Reserve Card Approval To Do List