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Both of these credit cards come from Chase, which is one of the biggest banks in the United States today. These two options have a lot of similarities, but there are some key differences that need to be highlighted before you choose one over the other.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards both offer cashback and have some great bonuses. There are also long periods of 0% APR, as well as neither charging any annual fees.
However, the main difference relates to the reward structures that are in place. That is where this review is going to focus on the most, so you will be able to see which of these credit cards is going to be the optimal choice for you.
Simulation: Which Card Gives More Rewards?
As an example, we will showcase the types of cashback rewards you can make when using each of these types of cards relating to particular sets of purchases.
As you can see, both cards are more or less equal, while the decision should be made based on your personal preferences as well as you ability to leverage the high cash back on rotating categories.
* Since Chase Freedom Flex offer rotating categories up to $6,000/year, we calculated $6,000 under "U.S Supermarkets" category with higher cashback.
Compare Welcome Bonus And Fees
Both the Chase Freedom Flex and the Freedom Unlimited cards have nice offers for new signups. You can earn additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)- worth up to $300 cash back with the Unlimited card, while the Freedom Flex card earns $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This is a decent sign up bonus, similar to other Chase cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve Bonus.
Both considered as no annual fee cards since neither of these credit cards will charge you an annual fee for using them. There is also 0% APR charged for new purchases made within 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 19.49% – 28.24% variable. However, a 3% foreign transaction fee is in place with both cards, so they will not be the best option if you are going to be doing a lot of traveling.
Compare The Perks
There are a few different benefits associated with both of these credit card options. Some of these will be common to both the Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom Unlimited options, while others will be different.
Here is a quick look at what you can expect on both cards:
Low-Cost Structure: Neither of these cards will charge an annual fee, as well as having a generous APR on new purchases.
Good Sign Up Offer: Both of these cards have the an attractive sign-up offer.
Similar Cash-Back: Both cards have the same cashback rates, covering a wide range of different categories. This includes cashback on travel, drugstore, and restaurant purchases.
However, there are some unique benefits for each card:
Chase Freedom Flex
Bonus Categories: The Chase Freedom Flex credit cards have rotating bonus cashback categories. These change on a quarterly basis and covers up to $1,500 in total quarterly purchases.
Different Networks: Chase Freedom Flex is backed by the MasterCard network, while the Freedom Unlimited Card is backed by the Visa network. Therefore, the respective network perks will vary.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Budgeting Friendly: If you are looking to budget in a more accurate manner, then the Freedom Unlimited card will be for you. There are no rotating bonuses, so you can plan ahead when making purchases and account for the consistent cashback.
Works Well With Other Card Options: This card can work well alongside other types of cards, whether they relate to gas or travel-related purchases. This is because you will not have cashback bonus categories that clash with your spending through other cards.
Compare The Drawbacks
There are no perfect financial products, so it is important to be aware of the potential drawbacks of a new credit card before you sign up.
Here we’ll highlight some of the possible negatives of both cards:
Chase Freedom Flex Card
As the bonus categories change every month, you will not be able to predict ahead of time of what purchases will get cashback. This is not very budget-friendly.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
There are other credit card options out there that have better flat-rate cashback than what you get with Chase Freedom Unlimited.
You need to pay a 3% charge when you are making foreign exchange transactions with a Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card. This is also relevant for the Chase Freedom flex card.
Compare Redemption Options
These two cards will have certain categories whereby the cashback redemption is the same. For example, you will get 5% cashback for travel-related purchases that have gone through the Chas Ultimate Rewards program. You can also link your card to your chase bank account.
There is also a rotating cashback bonus for certain categories if you are using the Chase Freedom Flex card. These bonus categories change every quarter and will cover up to $1,500 worth of total purchases during this period.
For non-bonus categories, you will get 1% cashback. For the non-covered cashback options with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card, you will get 1.5% cashback.
Chase offers several ways to redeem your rewards. These include:
- Statement credit or a direct deposit: There is no minimum to redeem your rewards in this way and direct deposits are acceptable for most U.S checking accounts.
- Amazon shopping: You can also use your rewards to pay for all or part of eligible Amazon.com orders when you link your card to your Amazon account.
- Gift cards: Chase has a variety of gift card options including for dining, entertainment and shopping. You can get and send them over Chase mobile app.
- Travel rewards. You can use the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform to access competitive rates for travel products including hotel stays and flights.
How to Maximize Cards Benefits?
If you want to make the best use of your Chase Freedom Flex, there are some tips to help you:
Utilize the Bonuses: You should always be aware of what the bonus categories are for each quarter. This allows you to maximize your cashback.
Avail of the Sign-Up Bonus: The signup bonus is very good with the Chase Freedom Flex, so you should make sure to maximize it before it expires.
Don’t Forget About Insurance: The Chase Freedom Flex offers a reimbursement of up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 for prepaid non-refundable passenger fares. Therefore, this card can be a good choice when booking this type of travel.
If you want to make the best use of your Chase Freedom Unlimited , there are some tips to help you:
Avail of the Sign Up Bonus: The signup bonus is very good with the Chase Freedom Flex, so you should make sure to maximize it before it expires.
Utilize Alongside Other Cards: You should maximize the cashback rewards you get by combining the use of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card with other rewards credit cards that might have complimentary cashback rates for certain types of purchases.
Budgeting: This credit card allows you to easily plan in advance as the cashback rates stay the same. Therefore, you can plan your purchases and figure out how much cashback you will receive when doing so.
Customer Reviews: Which Card Wins?
Satisfied borrowers report that the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a great way to minimize fees, as well as get some good cashback rewards. On the other hand, negative reviews report that the Chase Freedom Unlimited card does not have as high cashback rates as some other flat-rate cards such as the Citi Double Card, that offers 2% cash back rewards rate – 1% every time you swipe and another 1% upon payment..
Satisfied borrowers report that the Chase Freedom Flex card is a great way to minimize fees, as well as get some good cashback rewards. This is particularly the case when it comes to the bonus categories. Negative reviews report that the Chase Freedom Flex card can be confusing when it comes to activating the current bonus cashback categories.
When You Might Want the Freedom Flex Card?
The Chase Freedom Flex is a great option that could be good if you:
Prefer Rotating Categories Cashback: If you can predict your spending accurately, you will get bonus categories each month from which you can earn higher cashback than the Freedom Flex card.
Minimal Fees: If you want to pay minimal fees with a credit card, then this is a great option for you. This is also relevant for the Freedom unlimited card.
When You Might Want the Freedom Unlimited Card?
The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is a solid choice if you:
Prefer Dependable Cashback: You will have reliable flat cashback rates in place that allows you to plan ahead of time when making purchases and know what cashback you will get.
High Spender: If you have are a family or you exceed the rotating categories limit, you may prefer the Freedom Unlimited Card.
Sign Up Bonus: If you are looking to get your hands on some bonus cash, then the Chase Freedom Flex card has a lucrative offer. This is also relevant for the Freedom Flex card.
Both of these card options are good cash back cards. The best strategy if possible is to get your hands on both cards, or combine one of them with another card. Therefore, you will be able to get the best of both worlds.
This includes the bonus cashback rates available through the Chase Freedom Flex card and the better flat-rate cashback for those purchases that are not covered by bonuses.
Compare The Alternatives
While both cards offer attractive cash back rewards for rotating categories but not only, there are a couple of alternatives that you may want to take a look before applying:
All purchases earn some sort of cashback with this card. There are bonus categories through which you will be able to earn cashback rewards at a greater rate.
It is not very hard to get this type of card once you meet all of the straightforward requirements. Therefore, it can be quite an easy process for you to get up and running.
If you are looking for higher flat cashback rates. You may also travel a lot and not want to pay the 3% foreign exchange transaction charge that comes with this card.
Besides cap on higher cash back for specific categories, there is no cap on the rewards or cashback that you get with this card. Therefore, it will be ideal even for those people who use the card for a lot of purchases.