Why Chase Freedom Flex is the best credit card for holiday shopping

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  • The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is part of Chase’s quarterly 5% cash-back bonus program.
  • From now through the end of the year, cardholders can earn 5% cash back on PayPal and Walmart purchases, on up to $1,500 in spending once activated.
  • The vast majority of major retailers will let you check out with PayPal online, which means many of your holiday shopping purchases will qualify for the bonus.
  • If you max out the bonus, you’ll get $75 back. If you’re a new cardholder, you can also get $200 back after you spend $500 in the first three months of account opening.
  • See Business Insider’s list of the best rewards credit cards »

While many shoppers will likely skip the annual Black Friday hysteria at brick-and-mortar stores this year, people are still going to spend plenty of cash during the holiday shopping season. In fact, Deloitte predicts that spending will increase by at least 1% in the November-to-January timeframe.

If you’re already starting to think about what you want to give your friends and family for this year’s celebration, you should know what credit card to use to make buying all those presents a bit more cost-effective.

Chase’s newest addition to its lineup, the Chase Freedom Flex℠, can help you earn as much as $75 back on $1,500 of holiday spending. That’s because the card’s Q4 bonus rewards cardholders with 5% cash back on all purchases made via PayPal, along with 5% back on all purchases made at Walmart on up to $1,500 in combined spending.

Regular APR

14.99% – 23.74%

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Featured Reward

$200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Intro APR

0% for the first 15 billing cycles

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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
    • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
    • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee.
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
    Pros
    • No annual fee
    • Generous bonus cash-back categories
    • Great welcome bonus
    Cons
    • Booking through Ultimate Rewards portal can restrict outside earning potential
    • Varying percentages and rotating calendar categories require extra attention
    • 3% foreign transaction fees

    We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

    Look for a PayPal checkout option before you buy anything online

    The PayPal bonus is the big difference-maker here. Why? Because it means that your purchases at loads of retailers will qualify for 5% cash back with the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

    According to data from Internet Retailer, more than 700 of the top 1,000 retailers online will let you use PayPal to cover your transaction.

    Thinking about helping your parents upgrade their home audio system? Check out with PayPal at Best Buy’s website. Planning to pick up something thoughtful for your significant other? Use PayPal for the purchase online at Nordstrom. And if you’re shopping for yourself to spruce up that home office where you’ve been spending way too much time, check out at Home Depot’s website with PayPal. 

    Before you begin opting for PayPal when you checkout online, make sure you log into your account, click on the Wallet tab and set your Chase Freedom Flex℠ to your preferred payment method.

    The first $500 you spend will deliver the biggest reward

    As Chase is trying to entice people to think about the Freedom Flex, there’s an easy-to-achieve sign-up offer: $200 cash back after you spend $500 within the first three months from account opening.

    So if the Chase Freedom Flex℠ seems like a good potential fit for your wallet, the math for new cardholders is simple. If you think you will spend $1,500 between now and the end of the year at merchants that accept PayPal and Walmart, you’re going to have $275 coming back to you. That’s a return of more than 18%. 

    The Freedom Flex also offers a new-cardholder bonus for groceries

    The 18% cash-back figure is based solely on holiday shopping for your loved ones and perhaps splurging on something nice for yourself. Over the next three months, though, there’s another key area where you’ll need to spend: food.

    The Chase Freedom Flex℠ comes with an additional bonus opportunity for new cardholders: 5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent on grocery shopping within the first 12 months from account opening, excluding Target and Walmart.

    Take a look back at your spending summary from Q4 in 2019 to get a sense of how much you spent. The only thing sweeter than that dish of candied yams your aunt says that you have to try is a side of cash back. 

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    Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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