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The Chase Freedom Flex is Offering 7% Cash Back At Restaurants -- But Only Through June

Act fast, these fantastic dining and hotel rewards are going away at the end of this month.

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Right up to June 30th, the Chase Freedom Flex℠* is offering unheard-of rates at restaurants and hotels booked through Chase Travel℠. If you’re traveling this month, the Freedom Flex might be the most rewarding card to choose for your room and board. But these rewards won’t be here forever.

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Chase Freedom Flex®
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Chase Freedom Flex®

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Intro Offer
$200 Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
Annual fee
$0
APR
20.49% – 29.24% Variable
Rewards rate
1% – 5% 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!; 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠.; 3% cash back on dining and drugstores.; 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Rewards Rate
5%
5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
5%
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠.
3%
3% cash back on dining and drugstores.
1%
1% cash back on all other purchases.

The highest cash-back credit card with no annual fee

What makes the card’s current offer so enticing is its unparalleled cash back rate at restaurants and hotels -- so long as you can book the latter through Chase Travel℠. 

The Freedom Flex typically offers 3% cash back at restaurants, but combined with its rotating 5% cash back (on the first $1,500 spent in quarterly combined purchases, then 1%) bonus categories when you activate, the Freedom Flex boosts that number to 7% cash back.

And, since the card earns 5% cash back for travel booked through Chase Travel already, combined with its current 5% cash back offering for hotels, you could earn 9% cash back on your hotel booking if you can make it through Chase. 

The math doesn’t quite add up -- if you earn 3% cash back on dining at restaurants and the bonus categories typically earn 5% cash back, shouldn’t that be 8% cash back on dining?

Here’s a breakdown of how Chase explained the rewards rates:

  • Hotels booked through Chase Travel: Earn 4% cash back from rotating rewards and 5% back from the standard bonus category -- 9% cash back total.
  • Hotels booked directly: Earn 4% cash back from rotating rewards and 1% from the card’s base rate -- 5% cash back total.
  • Restaurants: Earn 4% cash back from rotating rewards and 3% from the standard category -- 7% cash back total.
  • Amazon.com: Earn 5% cash back from rotating rewards.
  • Drug stores: Earn 3% cash back from the standard bonus category.
  • All other purchases: Earn 1% cash back.

However, there are a few caveats. First, these rates won’t last -- the Freedom Flex only offers 5% cash back at Amazon.com, hotels and restaurants when you activate from April to June 2024.

Second, the rotating reward category has a spending cap of $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases. So once you hit that limit, your restaurant rewards will fall to 3%, your Amazon.com purchases will fall to 1%, and your hotel rewards rate will fall to 5% for hotels booked through Chase Travel and 1% for hotels booked directly through the hotel brand.

How the Freedom Flex works

The Chase Freedom Flex offers rotating rewards that change quarterly, or about every three months. Its current rotating bonus categories cover purchases made at Amazon.com, hotels and restaurants. Keep in mind you’ll need to manually activate these rewards each time they change.

Luckily, you can set alerts to inform you when it’s time to activate. And, if you do forget, you can still activate by June 14, 2024. You’ll even earn retroactive rewards for any purchases made in the featured categories before you activated -- something that gives this card an edge over the Discover it® Cash Back*.

In addition to its rotating rewards, the Freedom Flex offers a few static bonus categories. These categories cover restaurants, drug stores and travel booked through Chase.

How much could you earn?

With its spending cap of $1,500 in combined purchases, you could earn a total of $75 across the quarter at the 5% cash-back rate when you activate, before it falls to 1%. 

However, even once you hit that cap, you’ll still earn 5% cash back on hotels booked through Chase and 3% cash back at restaurants, which is among the best rates found on a cash-back credit card with no annual fee.

As an example, suppose you spent $750 on both your hotel and restaurants, making a combined total of $1,500, the Freedom Flex’s spending cap:

Purchase typeCostCash-back rateRewards
Hotel$7509%$67.50
Restaurant$7507%$52.50

You could earn upwards of $120. Remember, these are merely estimates. How you spend might not be an even split, so your rewards could look different.

The Freedom Flex also features a welcome bonus -- you can earn $200 after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. Based on the example above, you’d hit the required spending threshold, adding another $200 to your rewards.

That totals $320, which should be enough to help cover some part of your travel, whether it’s a night at a fancy hotel, your rental car or a good dinner out.

What happens once the rewards rotate?

Once the Freedom Flex’s bonus categories change on July 1, you’ll still have a powerful rewards credit card to use for whichever purchases Chase decides to feature next. Past categories have included Target, fitness memberships, groceries and gas, among others.

Push your rewards even higher with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve

Chase offers the opportunity to increase how much your rewards are worth by pooling them with other credit cards in its Chase Ultimate Rewards family.

You could earn the Chase Freedom Flex’s higher cash-back rates, for example, and then pool your rewards with either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Note that both of those credit cards charge an annual fee, the Preferred comes in at $95 and the Reserve at $550. However, they both offer annual travel credits that help soften the blow of their fees. They have two other great perks -- a 1:1 point transfer rate to Chase’s hotel and airline partners, as well as a 25% and 50% point redemption bonus respectively for travel booked through Chase Travel.

It’ll take a bit more work, and an additional credit card, but if you can use the Chase Trifect strategy, you could increase the return you earn on your travel spending exponentially.

The bottom line

If you’ve got travel plans this spring, you should consider adding the Chase Freedom Flex to your card collection. 

 

Even if you don’t want to take the extra step of using it in tandem with a Chase Sapphire card, it’ll be a rewarding and inexpensive choice. You might even earn an extra $320 to spend on your travels.

*All information about the Chase Freedom Flex and Discover it Cash Back has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

Evan Zimmer has been writing about finance for years. After graduating with a journalism degree from SUNY Oswego, he wrote credit card content for Credit Card Insider (now Money Tips) before moving to ZDNET Finance to cover credit card, banking and blockchain news. He currently works with CNET Money to bring readers the most accurate and up-to-date financial information. Otherwise, you can find him reading, rock climbing, snowboarding and enjoying the outdoors.
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