Chase Freedom Flex: Best First Credit Card

The Chase Freedom Flex offers serious cashback, for no annual fee, making it an easy choice for those new to credit cards. For the full guide on the best credit cards for active-duty military, check out this post!

The Best Credit Card For Beginners

Chase Freedom Flex Perks [2021]

  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR for the first 15 months
  • $200 Bonus after spending $500 in the first three months from card open
  • 5% Back on groceries (excluding Walmart and Target), for the first year
  • 5% Back on quarterly rotating spend categories
  • 5% Back on Travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 5% Back on Lyft Rides (Through March 2022)
  • 3% Back on restaurants, including takeout and delivery services
  • 3% Back on drugstore purchases
  • 1% Back on all other purchases
  • Points never expire as long as account remains open
  • $1000 per year of cell phone insurance if monthly cell phone bill is paid with card

Apply here!

Best Card Benefits

This card is great for people trying to build their credit score, while also achieving great cashback rewards and a moderate sign-up bonus.

As we discussed on our Building Credit page, it’s is important to keep your credit card accounts open, especially your first few credit cards as they strongly influence your average length of accounts. This card can be held for a long time easily since the rewards do not expire, and there is no annual fee attached to it.

Let’s take a deeper dive into these benefits.

$200 Bonus

While the $200 bonus isn’t quite as exciting as the $1,000+ bonus from the American Express Platinum Card, for a card with no annual fee, it doesn’t get much better than this. The required amount to spend ($167 per month) to reach the bonus with this card is incredibly small, so everyone can hit it.

The Chase Rewards Portal holds the most high-value points from all the banks, especially when cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve give you 1.5x the point value making the cashback from the card go even further. These are some of the best reward points to rack up.

5% Grocery Bonus

The 5% Grocery bonus is an easy way to rake in serious cashback. While the deal only lasts for the first year, it is easy to get 5% back on things you already buy (Milk, eggs, fancy cheese, and wine, you name it) as long as you shop somewhere other than Walmart or Target.

0% APR

The 0% APR is most beneficial for those individuals who are using the card for balance transfers.

In the How To Build Wealth Guide, we discuss how using credit cards that allow balance transfers can greatly decrease large amounts of debt.

By paying a 3% fee on the total amount owed upfront, you can transfer debt owed onto a 0% APR card like this one.

This becomes a great financial strategy for those stuck with large amounts of debt on high-interest cards. For instance, if you have $10,000 dollars of debt on a credit card charging 29% APR, that means every month you will be forced to pay $240 in interest payments each month alone!

By using a balance transfer, you could pay a small 3% transfer fee ($300) to transfer the balance over to the Chase Freedom Flex, and utilize 0% APR for the first 18 months. This is very useful to put a pause on the debt, allowing you to utilize the snowball or avalanche method to quickly pay off debt.

What To Do If Denied

Generally speaking, you can acquire this card with a credit score as low as 670+, but if you apply and still do not get approved it may be necessary to build your credit first with a secured card.

A secured card will allow you to begin building credit with no previous credit history, by depositing a small amount of money with the bank as your credit line.

The Credit Card to Get Next

Once you have held this card for 3+ months, you should acquire a strong credit score and a good enough relationship with chase to successfully get the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

If I could choose any credit card to be my first, it would be the Chase Freedom Flex. Apply here!

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