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Chase Freedom Flex vs. Discover It Cash Back

Last updated on January 24th, 2022

Finding the right credit card can be challenging at the best of times. When comparing two exceptional card offers, such as the Chase Freedom Flex and Discover It Cash Back, however, it gets a whole lot more difficult. Never fear – the BestCards team is here to breakdown these two cash back behemoths and help you find your Best Card:

Chase Freedom Flex vs. Discover It: Head-to-Head

The Chase Freedom Flex and Discover it® Cash Back are two of the most popular cash back rewards credit cards on the market today, but which is right for you? Breaking down the strengths of both cards and contrasting them with their rival offers exceptional insights into how each card is to live (and earn with) with:

5% Cash Back Categories

The first and foremost way to measure how the Chase Freedom Flex and Discover It Cash Back match up is through their 5% cash back calendars. Both cards earn up to 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in quarterly purchases in rotating categories, with 2022 looking like this:

Chase Freedom Flex 2022 Cash Back Calendar

Discover It 2022 Cash Back Calendar

As you can see, Discover does a much better job at laying out its cash back roadmap for the year compared to Chase. That said, both cards provide an exceptional array of bonus categories, as evidenced by the 2021 5% categories:

Chase 2021 5% Back Categories

  • January to March: Wholesale clubs, select streaming services, and phone, internet, & cable service providers
  • April to June: Gas stations and home improvement store purchases
  • July to September: Select streaming services and grocery stores
  • October to December: Walmart and PayPal

Discover 2021 5% Back Categories

  • January to March: Grocery Stores, Walgreens, and CVS
  • April to June: Gas Stations, Wholesale Clubs, and Streaming Services
  • July to September: Restaurants and PayPal
  • October to December: Amazon.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com

Here the real value of both cards shines through. While Chase doesn’t feature the same consistency with its categories from year to year, it does provide exceptional value for money – with this especially apparent in the Q4 2021 PayPal and Walmart categories.

Earning Rewards On Additional Purchases

While Discover might have a slight edge in the rotating cash back categories (depending on who you ask, of course), Chase’s Freedom Flex is the hands-down winner when it comes to cash back on other purchases. Where Discover offers a flat-rate 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases, Chase ups the ante with up to 5% back on other purchases:

  • 5% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% back on drugstore purchases
  • 1% back on all other eligible purchases

Welcome Offer

Both Chase and Discover feature a decent welcome offer for new accounts. However, which offer provides better value for you depending on your spending habits.

Discover’s Cashback Match is one of the more exciting sign-up offers available – and it’s easy to see why. Discover will automatically match your total cash back from year one, dollar for dollar, with no cap. If you plan on spending big, that offer has some serious potential.

Chase, for its part, offers a welcome bonus of around $200 (depending on when you apply and the offer you receive) after meeting modest spending goals. Those spend minimums are typically around $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening, making it a solid reward for minimal spending.

A Discover It cardholder would need to earn at least $100 in cash back during their first year to match Chase’s $200 welcome offer. This modest rewards haul requires at least $2,000 in spending (using only 5% back categories), making it less lucrative than Chase’s offer. That said, if you spend heavily, the sky is the limit with the Discover It.

Both cards also come with lengthy 0% APR periods on purchases. Discover offers 14 months of no interest on purchases for qualified applicants. In comparison, Chase provides an extra month (15 months total) of 0% intro APR on purchases.

Payment Network Benefits

The Chase Freedom Flex is a World Elite Mastercard, offering the pinnacle of the payment giant’s perks and protections. On the other hand, Discover uses its own payment network – one of the largest international networks (thanks to partnerships with Diners Club, BC Card, and RuPay). Here is a breakdown of the protections and benefits of each card:

Free ShopRunner Membership

Mastercard Luxury Hotel Collection

World Elite Concierge

Cell Phone Protection

ID Theft Protection

Zero Fraud Liability

Global Emergency Services

Fraud Protection

Social Security Number Alerts

Cardmember Inquiry Services

Freeze It credit lock

FICO Credit Scorecard

Spend Analyzer and Recurring Charges Dashboard

Account Alerts

No foreign transaction fees

Conclusion

In the end, there is no absolutely correct answer to the question, “Which card is better, the Chase Freedom Flex or the Discover It?” Both cards provide excellent value, and both feature no annual fee.

The very best card for you comes down to your spending habits. Discover tends to be conservative with its cashback categories, rarely changing a successful formula. On the other hand, Chase likes to experiment and provides some exceptional categories with little notice.

Related Article: Chase, Discover, & Citi 2022 5% Cash Back Calendars

Featured image by mohamed_hassan/PixaBay
About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.