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The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Discover it® Cash Back are designed for those who plan their purchases with bonus cash back in different categories each quarter.
However, there are some important differences between these two cards. So, here we’ll delve into the important aspects to help you decide which would be the best option for you.
Simulation: Which Card Gives More Rewards?
Although the above comparisons are important, it can be tricky to understand the actual cash benefits unless we use a direct scenario comparison.
Since both these cards are designed for everyday spending, with bonus categories, we’ll focus on the Quarter One 2022 categories and a typical monthly spending list to assess your potential rewards. Coincidentally, both card issuers offer grocery shopping as the bonus category for the first quarter, which makes the comparison easier.
However, keep in mind to adjust the numbers to your regular spending categories, which may be different – so the exact calculation depends on your personal habits.
Spend Per Category
Discover it Cash Back
Chase Freedom Flex℠
$15,000 – U.S Supermarkets
$3,000 – Restaurants
$1,500 – Airline
$1,500 – Hotels
$4,000 – Gas
Estimated Annual Value
* The both cards offers higher cash back on rotating categories up to $6,000/year. We assume full utilization, calculating the total amount under "U.S Supermarkets" category.
On the surface, the Chase Freedom Flex does offer more cash back. However, you do need to consider that in the first year, Discover will match your rewards at the end of the year.
So, while you’ll earn $490 in the example year, at the end of the year, you’ll receive another $490. This means that in real terms, the Freedom Flex provides more cash back.
Compare Welcome Bonus And Fees
This first area of comparison will be one of the determining factors for you. While Chase has a standard cash bonus when you hit the spending requirements, Discover will match your cash back bonus.
So, if you’re planning on using your card regularly throughout the first year, the Discover It Cash Back will represent a larger sign up bonus. One proviso is that Chase offers additional cash back on groceries, which could make the difference if this tends to be your largest spending area.
There are some subtle differences between these cards in a fee comparison. While neither card has an annual fee, Chase has a higher APR range for its Freedom Flex. However, although Chase offers 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, Discover only offers 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers .
So, if you want a little breathing room to organize your balance transfers, Discover may be a better option for you. Another advantage for the Discover It Cash Back is that it does not have foreign transaction fees, which could be a significant saver if you enjoy traveling.
Compare The Perks
Discover it Cash Back
- 25 card designs – the card has a variety of cool designs you can choose from.
- $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee – You're never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover Card.
- Discover Freeze it® – If you misplace your card, freeze your account on our mobile app or website.
- Free Social Security Number Alerts – get an alert if your Social Security number is found on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.
Chase Freedom Flex
- Service & Protection – Chase offers protections such as zero liability protection, 24/7 Fraud protection, extended warranty protection, purchase protection, auto rental collision Damage Waiver and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
- Free credit score with Chase Credit Journey – Credit Journey provides you with personalized insights to help you build, monitor and protect your credit health.
Compare The Drawbacks
It is important to make financial decisions based on the full picture, so here we’ll highlight potential drawbacks.
Discover it Cash Back
While Discover It Cash Back has a great introductory bonus with double cash back for the first year, there are no significant other card benefits aside from the reward system.
The bonus categories change every quarter, and while these do offer great rewards, the rewards for items outside these categories are quite low.
Chase Freedom Flex
Chase offers the best rewards when you book your travel platforms via its platform, so if you prefer to search the internet and find a bargain, you could miss out on potential rewards.
There is a cap of $1,500 per category promoted each quarter and $12k for shopping in the first year. This means that you need to keep track of your spending to maximize your rewards
While you can earn higher rate on grocery store purchases in your first year up to $12k, two of the most popular grocery retailers are not included in this promotion.
Compare Redemption Options
Chase offers several ways to redeem your rewards. These include:
- Statement credit or a direct deposit: There is no minimum to redeem your rewards in this way and direct deposits to your Chase account or most U.S checking and savings accounts.
- Amazon shopping: You can also use your rewards to pay for all or part of eligible Amazon.com orders when you link your card to your Amazon account.
- Travel rewards. You can use the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform to access a variety of travel products including vacations at the best hotels and flights.
- Gift cards: Chase has a variety of gift card options including for dining, entertainment and shopping.
The Discover It Cash Back card has several redemption options. In addition to redeeming your rewards with no minimums, you can:
- Receive as statement credit
- Deposit cash into your Discover bank account or any other eligible bank account.
- Pay for Amazon and PayPal purchases using your rewards at checkout.
You can also donate your rewards to charity, pick it up from Discover charitable partners.
How to Maximize Cards Benefits?
If you want to make the best use of your Discover it Cash Back, there are some tips to help you:
- Plan your spending according to the bonus categories. Each quarter the bonus category changes, but Discover does release the calendar for the full year. This means that you can plan your purchases to some degree to maximize the rewards.
- Max out your quarterly bonus category: Each quarter you can earn 5% for purchases up to $1,500 in total. So, aim to max out each quarter, which could add up to hundreds of dollars each year.
- Make your big purchases in the first year. Where possible, try to make your larger purchases in year one, when Discover will match your rewards at the end of the year.
If you want to make the best use of your Chase Freedom Flex , there are some tips to help you:
- Plan your spending according to the quarterly bonuses: While this can be easier said than done, where possible try to keep your purchases at certain stores and in certain categories to months included in the bonus categories.
- Don’t forget to activate the quarterly bonus categories. You need to activate them each quarter to receive the increased rewards.
Customer Reviews: Which Card Wins?
Satisfied borrowers praise the reward match in the first year. Borrowers also report that this card has a user friendly app and dedicated Identity Theft Solutions center that can help you in the event that you suffer from any fraud.
Negative reviews report account closures with little to no communication. This is obviously a poor customer service issue when cardholders are unaware for the reasons for the account closure.
Satisfied borrowers report this card offers some great rewards for everyday spending. This means that you can get great rewards without needing to drastically change your spending habits. Cardholders also appreciate the 0% introductory rate for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
Negative reviews report frustration at the lack of fee free balance transfers. The card is set up to allow you to access a 0% rate on purchases and balance transfers, but there are no fee free balance transfers. Also, there are some comments about the temporary nature of some of the card benefits.
Both cards offer some great rewards for your everyday spending, particularly as neither card charges an annual fee.
However, there are some differences between the two cards that will help you to determine which is the best option for you.
When You Might Want the Discover it Cash Back?
The Discover It Cash Back is one of the best Discover cards and can be a decent choice if:
- You are prepared to wait for a cash back bonus until the end of the first year
- You’re happy with only getting higher cash back rates in certain categories
- You travel and will appreciate the lack of foreign transaction fees.
When You Might Want the Chase Freedom Flex?
The Chase Freedom Flex Card is an excellent option if:
- You will maximize rotating categories by spending all $1,500 per quarter.
- You can leverage the decent sign up bonus it offers
- You prefer a Chase credit card and enjoy the rest of the features Chase offers.