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Chase Freedom Flex card launches with robust rewards and an industry-leading welcome bonus

Chase just launched the new Chase Freedom Flex credit card with no annual fee, rotating and set bonus categories, plus an industry-leading welcome bonus.

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Chase is the latest issuer to adjust its credit card lineup to accomodate consumers' new shopping habits during coronavirus.

That's why the company is launching the new Chase Freedom Flex℠ on September 15, 2020. The new card offers a competitive cash-back program with added dining and grocery rewards and marks the first time in five years that a Chase-branded card is backed by the Mastercard network.

"Mastercard and Chase share a common view about the importance of meeting the evolving needs of consumers and providing payment options that acknowledge and reward their spend and loyalty," Linda Kirkpatrick, president of U.S. issuers at Mastercard tells CNBC Select. "The compelling cash-back proposition on this product, coupled with Mastercard's World Elite benefits and Priceless Experiences, provides cardholders with flexibility to navigate their day-to-day lives more effectively."

In addition to the new card offering, the existing Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card is undergoing a refresh with new, elevated rewards categories (effective September 15, 2020) and an enhanced welcome bonus.

CNBC Select has the scoop on what you need to know about the new Chase Freedom Flex card and the changes to the Freedom Unlimited.

Chase Freedom Flex credit card

The Chase Freedom Flex credit card starts off with the rewards from the Chase Freedom® credit card: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%) and 1% cash back on other purchases. Then it adds several more categories to make this card beneficial for shoppers who want to maximize rewards on travel, dining and drug store purchases.

"The Freedom Flex card delivers value in categories that our customers have told us are important to them," BJ Mahoney, general manager of Chase Freedom, tells CNBC Select. "We think that the product is super-relevant now and super-relevant for years to come."

Here are the rewards you earn with the Freedom Flex card:

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%) — which is just like the Chase Freedom's cash-back calendar
  • 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal
  • 3% cash back on dining
  • 3% cash back at drug stores
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases — which is the same as Freedom

There is also a unique welcome bonus: Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. That's in addition to earning $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening — which is like earning 40% cash back.

And as the only Freedom card backed by Mastercard, Flex cardholders receive World Elite Mastercard benefits, including:

  • Boxed rewards: Earn 5% cash rewards on Boxed orders that you can redeem for future Boxed purchases.
  • Lyft credit: When you take five Lyft rides in a month, you get a $10 credit (maximum of $10 credit per month).
  • Fandango credit: Each time you buy two movie tickets, you’ll receive $5 off future movie tickets.
  • World Elite concierge: Complimentary 24/7 concierge service that helps you plan vacations, book dinner reservations, find gifts and more.
  • Cell phone protection: If you drop your phone or it's stolen, you may get reimbursed for up to $800 per claim and $1,000 in yearly coverage.

These benefits are in addition to Standard and World Mastercard benefits, which include a Postmates discount and a complimentary ShopRunner membership. (Learn more about World Elite Mastercard benefits.)

Beyond rewards and benefits, cardholders can benefit from no annual fee, just like the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards.

Check out our full Chase Freedom Flex card review.

Updates to the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card typically offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, but Chase added three new categories that earn more cash back. New and existing cardholders can benefit from earning 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases starting September 15.

Plus Chase recently updated the welcome bonus offer to include the same two features as the Freedom Flex card:

  1. Earn $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.
  2. Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

This bonus offer is one of the best for a no-annual-fee card.

Bottom line

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, the Chase Freedom Flex card can be a great addition to your wallet. You’ll benefit from many of the same features as the other Freedom cards, such as no annual fee, as well as an industry-leading welcome bonus and comprehensive cash-back rewards.

The additions to the Freedom Unlimited card also make it a good offering for new cardholders looking to earn more than 1% cash back on everyday purchases that aren’t included in the higher rewards rates.

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Information about the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom® has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the CNBC Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.