If you’re faced with a decision whether to select a no-annual-fee credit card that earns rewards on your purchases or one that doesn’t, you’d probably select the card that earns rewards. However, the decision of selecting the right credit card in this example, may not be so simple.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠, for example, offers robust rewards-earning opportunities and redemption options, while the Chase Slate Edge℠ does not even earn rewards. The Chase Slate Edge card, however, has other strengths that could still make it a good card choice.
Keeping in mind that there are various factors influencing your choice of credit cards, today’s comparison focuses on these 2 cards that are quite different from each other. Each card, however, could be the perfect choice for a particular situation, and that’s what we plan to explore.
In today’s article, we’ll expand on the details of both cards, and how each card could add value for the right cardholder.
With this objective in mind, read on as we explore our 2 featured cards.
Freedom Flex Card vs. Chase Slate Edge Card — Summary
Before we get into the details of the Freedom Flex card and Chase Slate Edge card, let’s look at a high-level overview of what each card has to offer.
|Feature or Benefit||Chase Freedom Flex℠||Chase Slate Edge℠ Credit Card|
|Welcome Bonus||Earn a $200 after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months.||No welcome offer available|
- 5% cash-back on travel purchased via Chase Travel portal
- 5% cash-back on rotating quarterly bonus categories
- 3% cash-back at drugstores and on dining
- 1% cash-back on all other purchases
|The card does not earn rewards|
- Cash-back, gift cards, shopping at select retailers
- Travel via Chase Travel
- Chase Experiences
- Pay Yourself Back
- Transfer rewards to premium Chase Ultimate Rewards cards
|Travel Benefits and Protections|
Auto rental collision damage waiver
|Additional Travel Benefits and Protections|
Trip cancellation, trip interruption
|Shopping Benefits and Protections||Purchase protection, extended warranty|
|Additional Shopping Benefits and Protections|
- Cell phone protection
- Chase Offers
- Shop With Chase
- DoorDash DashPass
|Credit Management Tools|
My Chase Plan
Chase Credit Journey
|Additional Credit Management Tools||N/A|
- Opportunity for a reduced APR, terms apply
- Increased credit limit review
Bottom Line: The Freedom Flex card earns rewards on every purchase, has several options at redemption time, and offers travel/shopping benefits. The Chase Slate Edge card’s strengths include credit management tools that can save you money and help manage your credit, both of which can deliver value for the right cardholder.
The Value of a Welcome Bonus
Most rewards-earning credit cards offer an initial welcome bonus for which you can qualify immediately after card account approval. Here’s a look at the current welcome offer, if any, on each card:
While the Chase Slate Edge card does not earn rewards, the Freedom Flex card has a robust earning structure. Rewards are earned first as Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for cash-back and more.
Here’s how you’ll earn rewards on the Freedom Flex card:
- Travel Purchased via Chase Travel Portal — 5% cash-back
- Quarter Bonus Categories — After activating the quarterly offer, you’ll earn 5% cash-back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter; rotating quarterly bonus categories have included gas stations, grocery stores, home improvement stores, Amazon, PayPal, and more
- Drugstores and Dining — 3% cash-back
- All Other Purchases — 1% cash-back
Bottom Line: Every purchase you make on the Freedom Flex card earns rewards. With bonus earnings on the Chase travel portal, at drugstores, on dining, and with rotating quarterly bonus categories, the card offers plenty of options to accumulate rewards quickly. The Chase Slate Edge card does not earn rewards.
Redemption options for the rewards earned on the Freedom Flex card are many. Here are the choices you’ll have at redemption time:
- Cash-back, gift cards, Chase Experiences, or travel via the Chase travel portal
- Pay Yourself Back
- Redeem rewards to shop at Amazon, with PayPal, and at Apple
In addition to these redemption options, one of the best ways to maximize the cash-back earned on the Freedom Flex card is to transfer rewards to premium Chase credit cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Once transferred, you can redeem for travel via the Chase travel portal for up to 50% more in value. You can also then transfer rewards to Chase hotel and airline partners for potentially even greater value.
Bottom Line: The best value for the rewards earned on the Freedom Flex card may be realized by transferring rewards to a Chase Premium card, redeeming for travel via Chase Travel, or subsequently transferring rewards to hotel and airline partners.
Travel Benefits and Protections
Both the Freedom Flex card and the Chase Slate Edge card come with the following travel protections:
- Rental Car Collision Damage Waiver — Use your card to reserve and pay for your rental car in full, decline the rental agency’s CDW/LDW coverage and receive coverage for damage and theft. Coverage is secondary within your country of residence and subject to any other insurance that may apply.
- Roadside Dispatch — For 1 flat pre-negotiated fee, you can receive roadside services that include standard winching, jump-start services, limited, towing, tire changing, and more. The fee for the service call and any additional services received beyond those provided with the coverage will be charged to the associated card.
Additional Travel Protections — Freedom Flex Card
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance — Receive up to $1,500 per covered person ($6,000 per covered trip) for non-refundable expenses when your trip is disrupted due to a covered event.
Shopping Benefits and Protections
Both the Freedom Flex card and Chase Slate Edge card offer several shopping benefits and protections that can save you money or provide protection for eligible items purchased with your card.
- Introductory 0% APR — At various times, both cards can offer a 0% introductory APR offer. Current offers are shown in the tables above, but historically, these cards generally offer an introductory APR that can really help your business’ bottom line and avoid interest fees and payments.
- Purchase Protection — Eligible items purchased with your card that have manufacturer’s warranties of 3 years or less will receive an additional year of warranty.
- Extended Warranty — When you purchase an eligible item with your card, you could receive up to $500 per claim for damage or theft within the first 120 days after the purchase date. There is a maximum limit of $50,000 per account.
Additional Shopping Benefits and Protections — Freedom Flex Card
In addition to the above shopping benefits and protections, the Freedom Flex card offers these additional features.
- Cell Phone Protection — It’s unusual to find cell phone protection on a no-annual-fee card, but the Freedom Flex card has this benefit. Pay for your monthly cell phone bill with your Freedom Flex card and receive up to $800 per covered claim, up to $1,000 per 12-month period. There is a $50 deductible per claim and a limit of 2 claims per 12-month period.
- Chase Offers — Log in to your online Chase card account and review the Chase Offers waiting for you. You can save money via statement credits when you add the offers to your card and make the associated purchase.
- Shop through Chase — Log in to your Chase Ultimate Rewards account online and select the Earn Bonus Points option to earn even more cash-back rewards on purchases with select merchants.
- DoorDash DashPass — Receive 3 months of complimentary membership and an additional 9 months at a 50% discount when you activated this offer by December 31, 2024. DashPass offers free delivery on orders over $12.
- Instacart Benefits — Cardholders are eligible for a free 3-month Instacart+ membership plus a $10 quarterly credit. Activate by July 31, 2024.
Bottom Line: The Freedom Flex card is the better card for shopping and travel benefits/protections. One highlight of the Freedom Flex card is that it offers valuable cell phone protection. The card also comes with trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance.
Credit Management Tools
Both the Freedom Flex card and Chase Slate Edge card offer features that can help you manage your credit.
- My Chase Plan — Split up large purchases of $100 or more into manageable monthly payments with no interest charges, just a monthly service fee. The monthly service fee is waived during the introductory 0% APR on purchases period.
- Chase Credit Journey — Set real-time alerts, monitor your credit, and have free access to your credit score.
Additional Credit Management Tools — Chase Slate Edge Card
Managing credit is where the Chase Slate Edge card shines for new cardholders:
- Reduce Your APR up to 2% — Spend $1,000 or more on your card, make your payments on time, and at the first card anniversary, the APR could be reduced by as much as 2%.
- Increased Credit Limit — Spend $500 or more in the first 6 months after account opening and receive an automatic review to be considered for an increased credit limit.
Annual Fees and Authorized Users
The Freedom Flex card and Chase Slate Edge card do not charge annual fees. Also, you can add authorized users to either card for no fee.
There is no minimum age to add an authorized user on either card.
Keep in mind that the primary cardholder is responsible for any charges made by authorized users, so it is not a step to take lightly, especially when you’re trying to build your own credit.
Alternatives to the Chase Slate Edge Card
If your credit is excellent, the Freedom Flex card would be a better card choice. However, if the Chase Slate Edge card better suits your situation, here are a couple of additional rewards-earning cards to consider:
Citi® Double Cash Card
The no-annual-fee Double Cash card allows you to earn 2% cash-back rewards on every purchase: 1% cash-back when you make your purchase and an additional 1% when you pay your bill (earned as ThankYou Points). The card also offers an introductory 0% APR offer as shown in the table above.
Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card
|Credit Card||Benefits & Info|
|Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card|
- $50 Bonus after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn 1% cash back on all purchases
- $20 Good Standing Rewards after each account anniversary for up to 5 years
- Earn a credit limit increase after making 5 monthly payments on time within 10 months from account opening when meeting credit criteria
- No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
- Free credit score with Chase Credit Journey
- Annual Fee: $0
If you have little credit history because you’re a student, the no-annual-fee Freedom Student card may be a good fit. You’ll be earning 1% cash-back on every purchase you make and the card comes with a complimentary 3-month DoorDash DashPass membership. Additionally, you’ll be eligible for a credit limit increase after 5 on-time monthly payments, and you’ll receive a $20 statement credit at your card anniversary.
If you’re looking to roll over high-interest credit card balances or repay a large purchase(s) over time without interest charges, the Chase Slate Edge card could add a lot of value. The card can also help you start to build a relationship with Chase, even if your credit is hovering around a 700 credit score.
Establishing a positive relationship with a bank such as Chase can yield benefits when it’s time to apply for a car loan or take out a mortgage. Managing a Chase credit card well can help open the door to these greater credit needs and help you qualify for cards with greater benefits.
While this scenario makes a case for the Chase Slate Edge card, if you have excellent credit, the Freedom Flex card offers significantly more value. Plus, you’ll still be able to utilize any card’s introductory 0% APR, should those benefits provide value to you. Learn more about all the benefits of the Freedom Flex card in this related article.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.