by Mac Candee

Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

After receiving many questions on the topic of travel credit cards, I decided I wanted to share my experience with them. This is something that can definitely help you have a more stress-free traveling experience, while also reaping the many benefits these credit cards can offer. Of course, each one has its pros and cons, which can weigh in either direction depending on your lifestyle. This topic in itself is very subjective, so it's worth noting that you have to take many things into account before you take any advice or make any decisions. It’s very important that you understand your own needs and spending habits well, so that you can choose the option that suits you best and will bring the most value into your life.

With all that said, I want to give you all the information, so you can make a well-thought-out decision and potentially improve your lifestyle through the use of these credit card options. This is the third blog post on the subject, where I do a deep dive into different options available on the market, analyzing their benefits, as well as critically assessing which one is best suited for which lifestyle. You can check out the first one on the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the second one on the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard by clicking on the links provided.


Before we get into the topic any further, I want to give general advice to anyone who has an interest in travel credit card hacking. It is very important that if you’re carrying a balance and acquiring interest, you must pay those off in full first. Your number one goal is to always be debt free, after which you can focus on the travel rewards points. If you’re paying interest, it’s going to be between 18%-30%, which can easily get out of hand. This will completely negate the value you receive from getting points from traveling, because you’ll lose all that money in interest. As a rule of thumb, always pay off your credit cards at the end of the month. That’s why it’s really crucial to be responsible, and never spend more than you can pay back, and clear all debt before going further.

Why am I writing this post?

A quick disclaimer - I am not sponsored or endorsed by this company. Everything I’m saying in this blog post is my own personal opinion and experience. I realize this card might not be for everyone, so I’m taking a very critical approach while writing this, as to give you all the information you need in a useful way. I’m not getting any money from writing this, I’m just sharing my positive experience, because this card has saved me so much money with my current lifestyle. My motivation in writing this blog post is to tell you what the benefits are and help you make an informed decision based on your own lifestyle.

So, with all that said, let’s get into the Chase Freedom Flex. While it was a bit surprising for me at first that a new credit card came out amidst the pandemic, after looking into the benefits, I have to say - it definitely has a lot to offer. Doing a deep dive into the details led me to believe that this is an amazing card, and I’ll tell you all about why I think so. The Chase Freedom Flex is basically a new and improved version of the Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Unlimited. After having used both cards for a while now, I can confidently say I’m very happy with both and I plan on using them until something better comes along. Surprise, it just did - the Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card. It has some great benefits that my other cards also have, as well as new things that make it even more appealing. For me, it makes sense to call Chase and change my Freedom card to a Freedom Flex card, because it checks all the boxes for me. You can find out about all the benefits down below, but one thing I want to highlight is that there is a $200 bonus sign up offer when you spend $500 in the first three months. Good news is, this is a very small amount to have to spend in three months to get your reward, unlike some larger cards where you have to spend a couple of thousands.

Here are some main benefits that persuaded me to make this decision.

No annual fee - this is a no-brainer, but it costs me no money to keep the card open, so that is definitely a big bonus, since some other cards I’ve talked about in the series, including the Chase Sapphire Reserve, have a substantial annual fee.

Cashback - 5% cashback on various purchases every quarter.

The cashback benefit of this credit card is really great. Throughout the years, the category of items eligible for this benefit has changed, but I’ve always found it to be very useful and I’ve definitely gotten a lot of value off of this alone. Right now, it is on grocery store purchases, excluding Walmart and Target. Alongside this, you get a different percentage for other categories.

That is:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases.
  • 5% cash back on all Lyft rides (through March 2022).
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Zero delivery fee on DoorDash

By activating your card, you automatically get three months of DashPass for free, which allows you to receive orders over $12 with no delivery fee. While there may be other fees, this is a great benefit for everyone that uses this platform regularly and loves takeout food. After your three months end, you are automatically enrolled to the service for 50% off for the next 9 months.

Travel costs insurance

This credit card option offers trip cancellation/interruption insurance. If you use it to pay for your travel, you are eligible for reimbursement for up to $1,500 per person and $6,000 per trip for prepaid non-refundable passenger fares in covered situations, such as sickness, bad weather and others.

A useful hack to keep in mind - if you have the Chase Sapphire or Chase Sapphire Reserve you can transfer (or, as they call it in the portal - combine) points with your Chase Freedom ones. This is a great option because if you redeem your Chase Freedom points in their portal, they are worth one to one point value. If you redeem them in the Chase Sapphire portal, they are worth one to 1.25. So you’re getting a 25% increase on your points. In my particular case, I transfer them to the Chase Sapphire Reserve portal, where they are worth one to 1.5, so I get a 50% increase on my points.

For example in one quarter they give a 5% cashback for Amazon purchases. So if I make a $100 purchase on Amazon, I get $5 back. After this, I transfer the money to my Chase Sapphire reserve, and my $5 is worth $7.5 when I redeem it in the travel portal. This might not seem like much, but it definitely adds up and can help you make the most out of your money.

Final Thoughts

At first, I wasn’t really convinced I needed this card, because I have some other similar ones. But after comparing all the benefits, it became clear to me that these benefits that are offered make sense for my lifestyle much more. I called them up and asked them to just change the product I’m using, as to not open up a new account. The benefit of not opening a new card (if you already have the Chase Freedom) is that you will not have to open a new account and get a hard credit inquiry and it will keep your average length of credit on your report higher. Just be wary if this is the situation for you as well, that this will prevent you from getting the $200 sign up bonus. That’s because you’re using the same account and not creating a new one. Just put this into consideration when you decide if you’re going to open a new account or transfer your existing one.

I hope this blog post helps you in making an informed financial decision and aids you in your quest to travel the world! I would be very happy to hear any feedback or questions you might have regarding this topic or any other down in the comments.

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