Editor’s note: This post has been revised with new information. This page includes information about the Discover It Cash Back that is not currently available on The Points Guy and may be out of date.
It’s easy to focus on premium travel payoffs credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and The Platinum Card( r) from American Express, thanks to outsized benefits including annual travel statement credits and worldwide airport lounge access. But don’t forget about solid rewards cards with more modest benefits and no annual rewards, including the Chase Freedom Flex and Discover it( r) Cash Back.
The information for the Discover it Cash Back has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The placard details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Not simply are they usually better alternatives for parties just starting to build their recognition, but these popular cash-back posters too render some great earning opportunities, a solid rate of return on everyday spending and 0% preparatory APR on obtains and balance deliveries for kinfolks who need a little flexibility.
New to The Points Guy? Want to learn more about credit card degrees and miles? Sign up for our daily newsletter .
These two posters, in particular, are worth comparing thanks to their( unusually) same earning structures and other benefits. Here’s a snapshot of how the two stack up.
Annual fee $0$ 0
Sign-up bonus $200 cash back after $500 in three months from detail opening
0% intro APR on acquires& offset moves for 15 months Double money back on all acquires during the course of its first year
0% intro APR on acquires& symmetry carries-over for 14 months
Making 5x on up to $ 1,500 quarterly revolving categories
5x on Lyft( until March 2022)
1x on everything else 5% on up to $ 1,500 quarterly revolving categories
1x on everything else
Redeeming Cash back or blend with other Ultimate Rewards reports for assigns Cash back simply, 1 cent per station
Other interests Trip interruption/ abandonment& lag coverage
Car rental insurance
Three months of DoorDash DashPass( activate by Dec. 31, 2021) No foreign event fees
Now let’s get into the details and discuss whom each poster is likely to be best for.
In This Post
There’s not much to talk about here- these are two of the most popular credit cards available with no annual fee. That procreates opening an history and hanging onto your card year after year inexpensive and easy, which in turn can help you build your recognition history and boost your credit tally over time.
Both cards are a great choice for young people just getting started with credit.( Photo by Hero Images/ Getty Images) Sign-up bonus
The two cards start to differ when it comes to the sign-up bonus.
The Chase Freedom Flex‘s bonus is more traditional. You’ll make $200 money back after spend $500 on acquires in your first three months from chronicle opening. But the thing is, the $200 money back comes in the form of 20,000 Chase qualities. If you exclusively have the Freedom Flex, they just redeemable in numerous cash-back forms.
The Freedom Flex is a better select if you’re looking for a starter card and plan on getting bigger and better travel rewards posters down the line. For sample, if you have a Chase card that makes transferable extents( such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve , Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Business Preferred ), you can combine the points earned with the Freedom Flex with extents from those other chronicles. You’ll then open Chase’s 10 airline and three hotel commit platforms such as United, Southwest, Hyatt and Marriott. That draws the best interests of the this sign-up bonus closer to $ 400 by TPG’s most recent appraisals thanks to the added flexibility.
It’s also worth considering that you’ll get a sizable 5% cash back on food market obtains( not including Target( r) or Walmart( r) buys) on up to $ 12,000 spent in the first year with the Freedom Flex. Additionally, the card also offers 0% APR for 15 months from chronicle opening on acquires and symmetry transfers.
On the contrary, the Discover it Cash Back has an interesting sign-up furnish that they are able pay off in spades with a little strategy. For the first year your detail is open, Discover will double all of the currency back you deserve. We’ll discuss the wages paces in the next section, but this essentially means you’ll earn 2% back on most buys and a whopping 10% back on its quarterly bonus lists during the course of its firstly time of poster membership.
The Discover it( r) Cash Back poster currently offers 0% APR for 14 months on obtains and equilibrium transfers.
Winner: Chase Freedom Flex. Its simple-to-earn sign-up bonus, 5% on groceries for the first time and slightly longer 0% APR period might make it a little easier to maximize for most cardholders. There’s room to grow with this starter card with the potential to transfer over your points to other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards. Plus, you’ll get the sign-up bonus as soon as you encounter the spending threshold, while you’ll have to wait until the end of its first year to get your Discover it Cash Back’s bonus.
The two cards are exceedingly same in terms of their earning charges — the Freedom Flex and the Discover it Cash Back are both” rotating bonus list placards .”
The Chase Freedom Flex pays 1% back( or 1 Ultimate Rewards detail per dollar) on most acquisitions. Until March 2022, you’ll pay 5% back on Lyft travels — a useful benefit if you use the rideshare service often.
However, each quarter, it offers 5%( or 5 points per dollar) back on up to $ 1,500 in combined purchases at revolving lists of shopkeepers. You must activate each quarter in order to receive the 5% money back. Let’s take a look at 2021′ s schedule 😛 TAGEND
January- March: Wholesale squads, internet, cable and phone services and select streaming services April- June: Gas depots and home progress places July- September: Grocery supermarkets( eliminating Walmart and Target) and select streaming services October- December: TBD
Chase liberations the rotating lists quarter-by-quarter . But based on past years, you might also expect to see things like department stores, Amazon and buys shaped through PayPal and Chase Pay. Just remember, you have to activate your card each quarter to earn the bonuses.
Both cards offer 5% back at sure-fire sellers that revolve quarterly.( Photo by Hoxton/ Tom Merton/ Getty Images)
The Discover it Cash Back makes 1% cash back on most obtains but 5% back on up to $ 1,500 in combined buys each quarter at revolving seller lists. Unlike Chase, Discover liberations its lists at the beginning of each calendar year, admitting consumers to better predict their bonus moments opportunities. Here are the 2021 categories 😛 TAGEND
January- March: Grocery collects, Walgreens, CVS April- June: Gas terminals, wholesale teams and select streaming services July- September: Eateries and PayPal October- December: Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com
Apart from registering and abiding by the quarterly restrictions, it’s easy to take advantage of either card’s bonus categories.
Winner: Discover it Cash Back. The card’s merchants are a bit broader than 2021, especially in the last quarter, with the online brokers that sell pretty much everything. Plus, Discover freeings its calendar for the entire year at once, while you have to wait for Chase to liberate its categories each quarter. Overall, Discover starts it easier for you to strategize your cash-back earning potential.
Here’s where the two cards potentially diverge dramatically. The Discover it Cash Back poster is a cash-back credit card, plain and simple. Each degree you deserve is worth 1 penny apiece toward explanation approvals on purchases, talent posters, benevolent gifts and accumulations into a joined bank account.
Theoretically, the points you make with the Chase Freedom Flex are also worth 1 cent apiece toward word ascribes, travel booked through Chase, endow placards and direct accumulations into related U.S. bank account though slightly less for Amazon.com acquires and Chase Pay redemptions.
However, as mentioned earlier, if you have another card that earns transferable Ultimate Rewards parts, you can combine the ones you earn with your Freedom Flex placard with your other histories that procreate them transferable to the Ultimate Rewards program’s airline and inn transfer spouses. It also means you are collecting the value of your points on direct travel atonements through the Chase portal. Instead of 1 cent per pitch, you can unlock 1.25 -1. 5 cents per phase( depending on the other card “youre carrying” ). That means you are potentially upping your rate of return by 25 to 50%.
Winner: Chase Freedom Flex. Although the Discover it Cash Back placard has a solid and easily calculated frequency of return, being able to get 25 -5 0% more value from your points on roam emancipations or convey to a number of different airline and inn partners when carrying a higher-end Chase card means that cardholders with the Freedom Flex can open up a lot more opportunities for using their points.
Having another Chase card can really open up your emancipation alternatives beyond simple money back.( Photo by Poike/ Getty Images) Other interests
Since it purposed many of its movement and purchase cares in 2018, the Discover it Cash Back card comes short in this category compared to the Chase Freedom Flex .
There are two major advantages that the Discover it Cash Back has. This placard has no foreign busines rewards , meaning you can take this card with you along your international travels without incurring pesky costs. Nonetheless, it’s worth considering that countless customers have reported that Discover cards have a lower agreement rate abroad than cards like Visa or Mastercard. Additionally, Discover it cardholders won’t fee a late fee on your first late fee if you can’t pay down your full balance in time.
By contrast, the Freedom Flex offers numerous value-added travel advantages that leave the Discover card in the dust. Its trip cancellation and stoppage coverage is up to $ 1,500 per person and $6,000 per tour. It also offers crash shattering insurance on car rentals that is secondary in the U.S.( so you might have to invoke your personal guarantee) but primary outside the country.
Only the Chase Freedom includes rental car coverage.( Photo by Francis Dean/ Corbis via Getty Images)
Finally, thanks to Chase’s new partnership with DoorDash, Freedom Flex cardholders are eligible for up to three months of free DashPass membership, that are typically overheads $9.99 per month and includes perks like waived give costs on orders of $12 or more.
Winner: Chase Freedom Flex, for its far broader list of perks. However, the downside is that this isn’t the best card for international jaunt as you’ll incur a 3% foreign event fee.
Given its easy-to-understand sign-up bonus, the included opennes of moment emancipations if you have another Chase Ultimate Rewards poster and its nice purchase protections, the Chase Freedom Flex is a better option for frequent travelers looking to boost their objects balance.
However, if you’re just getting started with credit and looking for a no-frills , no-fee poster with a great rate of return that won’t penalize you for a late remittance while you’re getting started, the Discover it( r) Cash Back is another excellent choice.
Application connect: Chase Freedom Flex with $200 cash-back after spend $500 in 3 month from report opening.
Additional reporting by Eric Rosen.
Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
Read more: thepointsguy.com