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Last updated on November 10th, 2021
Chase Freedom Flex World Elite Mastercard
Earn a $200 Bonus and Up to 5% Cash Back
- Regular Purchase APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Annual Fee None
- Credit Needed Excellent , Good
- Intro Purchase APR 0% for 15 months from account opening date
- Processing Network Mastercard
- Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 5% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Earn 5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
- Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Earn 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- Earn 3% on drugstore purchases
- Earn 1% on all other purchases
- Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months from account opening date
- Regular Purchase APR: 14.99% to 23.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR: 14.99% to 23.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
At a Glance
The Chase Freedom Flex World Elite Mastercard is a hybrid cash back credit card that offers something for everyone. The card earns 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, plus up to 5% back on rotating categories each quarter after activation – all for no annual fee.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Want a versatile cash back credit card that earns rewards across various categories
- Don’t mind the lower cash back rates for dining and drugstore purchases over previous Chase cards
- Prefer to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- Don’t want to pay an annual fee for premium Mastercard features
Chase Freedom Flex World Elite Mastercard Review
How to Earn Rewards
The Freedom Flex is designed to offer more flexibility than both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the standard Freedom – the card it is effectively replacing. To accomplish this objective, the Freedom Flex earns bonus cash back on set categories – as well as the usual rotating categories of the Freedom.
The Freedom Flex Mastercard earns 5% back on travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, including vacation and car rental bookings. The card also earns 3% back on dining and restaurant purchases, which also includes takeout orders and deliveries through eligible services, like Grubhub and Uber Eats. That 3% back also applies to drugstore purchases (think Rite Aid, Walgreens, CVS, etc.), which is a really nice bonus.
In addition to the static cash back categories, the Freedom Flex takes over from the Chase Freedom in offering up to 5% cash back on a rotating selection of categories that require activation before earning. While the up to 5% rotating categories change each quarter, they typically include areas such as department store purchases, groceries, home improvement, streaming services, and more.
While the earning potential of the 5% rotating categories is capped at the first $1,500 spent per quarter, the 3% back fixed categories make the Flex just as versatile as its name implies.
2021 Chase Freedom Flex 5% Cash Back Calendar
Wholesale clubs, select streaming services, and phone, internet, & cable service providers.
Applies to the first $1,500 in purchases at standalone wholesale clubs, such as Costco, Sam’s Club, or BJ’s, or select streaming services (including Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Vudu, Spotify, Apple Music, and more), internet, cable, and phone services.
Official terms: Merchants who accept Visa/Mastercard credit cards are assigned a merchant code, which is determined by the merchant or its processor in accordance with Visa/Mastercard procedures based on the kinds of products and services they primarily sell. We group similar merchant codes into categories for purposes of making rewards offers to you. Please note: We make every effort to include all relevant merchant codes in our rewards categories. However, even though a merchant or some of the items that it sells may appear to fit within a rewards category, the merchant may not have a merchant code in that category. When this occurs, purchases with that merchant won’t qualify for rewards offers on purchases in that category. Purchases submitted by you, an authorized user, or the merchant through third-party payment accounts, mobile or wireless card readers, online or mobile digital wallets, or similar technology will not qualify in a rewards category if the technology is not set up to process the purchase in that rewards category.
Introductory Bonus Offers
One of the nice features of the Chase Freedom Flex is that it gets the same enticing signup bonus as the other Freedom credit cards. New Flex cardholders can earn $250 in cash back just for spending $500 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening an account.
That cash back bonus is an industry leader, providing a considerable amount of money in return for a modest initial spend. It’s also the same bonus that Chase currently offers with the Freedom Unlimited.
The other major bonus offer with the Freedom Flex is a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases, followed by variable APR after that based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate Chase is always great at offering lengthy interest-free periods for new customers, and this is undoubtedly the case with the Flex.
World Elite Mastercard Benefits
As noted, the Freedom Flex is Chase’s first foray into the Mastercard market in five years. The addition of Mastercard to the Chase lineup opens a variety of unique features for Flex cardholders that Visa doesn’t provide.
Two of the most prominent benefits are cell phone protection and ID protection – both Mastercard staples.
Mastercard cell phone protection provides up to $800 per claim (and $1,000 per year) in cell phone protection against any theft or damage for phones listed on cardmembers’ monthly bills.
Mastercard ID Theft Protection, another unique feature, lets users protect themselves from ID fraud anywhere they go. Additionally, the service allows for easy fraud resolution and alerts via a helpful mobile app.
Other excellent features of World Elite Mastercard products include:
- Lyft: $10 in credit for every five rides taken in a calendar month. The bonus is applied to the next Lyft ride automatically (but only available once per month).
- Boxed: 5% cash rewards on eligible Boxed purchases for use on future purchases.
- ShopRunner: Free membership. ShopRunner offers free two-day shipping and returns with over 100 online retailers.
- Fandango: 2X VIP+ points for movie tickets purchased via the Fandango app or Fandango.com.
No Annual Fee
The Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited both lack an annual fee, and it’s refreshing to see Freedom Flex continue this trend. It is uncommon to see a World Elite Mastercard that doesn’t have a yearly fee, given the impressive benefits that come with it. Of course, the Freedom Flex doesn’t include many of the added perks that other premium World Elite Mastercard provides, such as lounge access through Priority Pass, travel statement credits, or TSA Precheck credits.
Beware the Foreign Transaction Fee
Chase doesn’t market the Freedom Flex as a travel credit card. Despite that, it offers 5% back on travel bookings made through its Ultimate Rewards portal. Add to that the general reputation of Chase credit cards as robust travel products, and it is a bit disheartening to see a 3% foreign transaction fee included with the Freedom Flex.
While the fee is standard, no foreign transaction fees are obviously a better deal. Still, many savvy travelers have a wallet full of Chase cards (which should include either the Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred), so it might not raise a huge problem. Still, it’s a caveat consumers should be mindful of before choosing the Freedom Flex as their primary payment form when traveling abroad.
Should You Apply for the Chase Freedom Flex World Elite Mastercard?
So, is the Chase Freedom Flex worth applying for? In most instances, the answer is yes. The card is a definite improvement over the Chase Freedom (even though that card is no slouch). The ability to earn enhanced cash back on set categories (namely, dining, drugstores, and eligible travel bookings) is welcome news to those who might not find the best value in rotating quarterly categories.
The retention of those revolving categories, however, is excellent. This one-two punch of cash back categories makes the card a versatile earner all-year-long.
The major criticism with the card is that the 3% dining and drug store purchases likely spell the end of those being part of the 5% cash back calendar. For those who live and die by their quarterly categories, receiving a lower rate for two of the most popular of those categories may be a letdown.
Overall, the Chase Freedom Flex World Elite Mastercard isn’t a game-changer. It’s not something that will redefine what a credit card is – and can be. Instead, it is a substantial improvement on the Chase Freedom concept – and one that is a welcome sight for many rewards-savvy consumers.