The Chase Freedom Flex(sm), is a true reward optimizer. It’s a $0-annual fee cash back card that offers stellar earnings. You get 5% back in the bonus categories that change quarterly, 3% daily on dining and drugstore purchase, and 1% on all other transactions.

If the card is paired up with the Chase Sapphire Reserve(r) or Chase Sapphire Preferred(r), the cash back rewards can be converted into travel rewards, offering a lot more value.

Although Chase Freedom Flex(sm), is a complex program, the potential benefits are well worth the effort to activate and track quarterly bonuses.

These are some ways you can get the most from your card

Get the bonus offer and 0% APR

The Chase Freedom Flex(sm), a $0-annual fee card, comes with a generous sign-up bonus: You will receive $200 after you have spent $500 in the first three months. This offer may not be available if you apply through Chase directly or via a different website.

This is a significant amount of cash back with a low minimum spending requirement, which is easily accessible for most. To earn the bonus, make sure you keep track of how much you spend on your card. You’ll likely lose your bonus if you make a mistake or return a purchase included in your spending.

New cardholders will also receive the following interest rate: 0% intro APR, 15 months for purchases and balance transfers, then the ongoing APR at 19.24%-27.99% Variable. You can transfer a balance from a card that has a higher interest rate to this card and reduce the financial strain.

Maximize your quarterly 5% categories

Chase Freedom Flex(sm), which offers 5% cashback on purchases up to $1,500 each quarter in rotating categories, is available from Chase Freedom Flex(sm). If you maximize your bonus categories, that’s $300 extra in your pocket each fiscal year.

To maximize your earnings, activating them is the first step. You must activate bonus categories in your Chase account each quarter. However, you have generally until the 14th day of the previous month to activate them.

The bonus categories for 2023 include:

Chase Freedom(r), , Chase Freedomflex(sm), Bonus Rewards Categories for 2023

Q1 (Jan. 1-March 31)

* Target. * Grocery shops. * Memberships to gyms and fitness clubs.

Q2 (April 1-June 30)


Q3 (July 1-Sept. 30)

TBD In 2022: Gas stations, car rentals, movie theaters and select live entertainment.

Q4 (Oct. 1-Dec. 31)

TBD (In 2022: PayPal; Walmart).

It takes creativity to maximize this quarterly benefit. If the quarterly category is drugstores you might go to your local CVS or Walgreens to buy a gift certificate to another retailer you intend to shop at later. This will lock in the 5% reward.

Maybe fitness clubs are the quarterly category. You won’t have to pay $500 per month for even the most luxurious gyms. If your budget is available, prepaying your monthly membership could be an option.

For more value, pair it with a Chase Sapphire Reserve(r), or Chase Sapphire Preferred(r).

Although the Chase Freedom Flex(sm), is advertised as a cash-back card, it actually earns Chase Ultimate Reward(r), which can be redeemed at 1 cent per piece. Chase allows you to transfer points between Ultimate Rewards (r)-earning account that offer more lucrative benefits.

Ultimate Rewards(r), points are worth 1.25c each with Chase Sapphire Reserve(r), and 1.5c each with Chase Sapphire Reserve (r) Cards when used to book travel through Chase. Each point can still be redeemed for cashback on the Sapphire cards span>

You can also transfer your points to 14 travel loyalty programs with the Sapphire cards, including United, Southwest, Hyatt and United. Travelers who are willing to put in a little more work can get significant value by transferring to their partners.


Chase lets you combine Ultimate Rewards(r), points with one household member. For more travel value, you could transfer points from Chase Freedom Flex(sm), to your spouse’s Chase Sapphire Reserve (r).

Shop online through Chase’s shopping portal

All Chase cardholders have access to Shop Through Chase, an online bonus mall. To check if your desired retailer is included in the “mall”, before you place an order online, go to the “mall”. Click the Chase link to make your purchase.

In addition to the points you earn by charging your card, points will be earned when you shop through the portal. This one simple step can double, triple or even more your earnings. The Chase Freedom Flex(sm) will give you a standard cash back rate 1% for every day purchases

Make sure you read all the fine print. Bonus mall rewards often come with exclusions, or only apply to certain products. You can’t combine your bonus mall rewards with any other discounts. Bonus points are not available for gift cards.

You can use the card to pay for your monthly mobile phone

These days, it’s common to find a credit-card that provides insurance on your phone when you pay your bill. This coverage is more rare than a card that charges $0 per year.

Chase Freedom Flex(sm), which covers your phone in the event of a loss, damage, or theft, offers up to $800 per claim and a maximum of $1,000 per annum. To qualify, you will need to pay $50 for each claim and your monthly cell phone bill.