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All information about the Chase Freedom Flex was collected independently by Slickdeals and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The Chase Slate family of credit cards are targeted toward those who may not qualify for some of the more premium Chase credit cards. Chase Slate cards like the Chase Slate EdgeSM typically offer benefits like automatic credit line increases, interest rate lowering and an introductory 0% APR period.

But as your credit profile improves, you may want to upgrade your Chase Slate card to a Chase Freedom® card. The Chase Freedom FlexSM and Chase Freedom Unlimited® cards not only come with no annual fee, they also give you access to the valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards® program. Here's an in-depth look at when you should consider upgrading your Chase Slate credit card to a Chase Freedom card.

Credit Card Intro Bonus Annual Fee Rewards Rate Learn More

Chase Freedom Flex℠

$200Cash Bonus More Info

Receive a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.

$0 1% - 5%Cashback More Info

Earn 5% back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in rotating categories (when you activate), 5x back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x back on dining, including takeout and delivery, 3x back at drugstores and 1x back on everything else.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

$0 1.5% - 5%Cashback More Info

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Should You Upgrade From the Chase Slate Edge to Chase Freedom?

If you’re just starting to build your credit history or have dings on your credit report, you may consider the Chase Slate Edge credit card or another card in the Chase Slate family. This is because the Chase Slate credit cards are targeted toward people whose credit health is not ideal. You don't earn rewards with Chase Slate credit cards, but there are several benefits that come with the Chase Slate Edge credit card:

  • 0% intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers, afterwhich 20.49% - 29.24% (Variable) APR applies based on creditworthiness. More Info Be aware that an intro balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, applies in the first 60 days. After that, a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, applies.
  • Automatic consideration for an APR reduction by 2% when you pay on time and spend at least $1,000 on your card by your next account anniversary
  • Automatic review for a higher credit limit when you pay on time and spend $500 in your first six months
  • No annual fee

As your credit score and financial situation improve, you may want a card with more benefits. When that happens, it may be time to upgrade your Chase Slate card to a Chase Freedom card. The Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited allow you to earn Ultimate Rewards points on your combined purchases each month. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable credit card points out there, so being able to earn them with every purchase is a major reason to upgrade your Chase Slate card.

Recommended Cash-Back Credit Cards

Credit Card Rewards Rate Intro Bonus Annual Fee Learn More

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

1.5% - 5%Cashback More Info

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

$0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

2%Cashback More Info

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

$200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

$0
Citi Double Cash

Citi Double Cash® Card

2%Cashback More Info

Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.

$200Cash Bonus More Info

Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

$0

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

1% - 5%Cashback More Info

Earn 5% cash back on your first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. It also offers you 2% cash back on your first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.

$750Cash Bonus More Info

Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening

$0

What to Know Before You Upgrade

Before you upgrade your Chase Slate card, there are a few things to consider:

  • Card benefits: You may no longer have access to benefits specific to your Chase Slate card. Once the upgrade is complete, you'll lose access to the previous card's benefits, but on the upside, you may gain increased benefits from the new card.
  • Sign-up bonus: Another thing to keep in mind is that the initial sign-up bonus for Chase Freedom Flex or Chase Freedom Unlimited is typically not available when you upgrade your card. You can find out more information about the current Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited offers in our Chase Bonus Roundup. If you're looking to make a switch, consider applying for a new Freedom card rather than upgrading directly. That will keep you eligible for the new welcome bonus.
  • Downgrade might not be available after upgrade: The Chase Slate card is no longer open to new applicants. So if you upgrade and decide you want to go back, you won’t be able to. The Chase Slate Edge credit card is currently accepting applicants, but it's a different card.
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How to Upgrade Your Chase Card

If you decide to convert your Chase Slate card to a Chase Freedom card, the good news is that the upgrade process is fairly simple: 

  1. Check if there are any upgrade offers available on your account at Chase.com. 
  2. Log in to your credit card account and check if you can upgrade your account online.
  3. If not, you can call the customer service number on the back of your credit card and ask the agent to upgrade your account.

How Does Chase Freedom Compare to Chase Slate Edge?

pumping gas with credit card
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While the Chase Slate credit cards have some benefits, the Chase Freedom cards do have some features that are missing from the Chase Slate card:

  • Sign-up bonus: The Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards both offer a sign-up bonus. If you want to take advantage of the bonus, you'll want to apply for a Chase Freedom card (typically upgrades or credit card product changes are not eligible for welcome bonuses).
  • Rewards program: Chase Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most valuable credit card points out there. With both the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited, you'll earn Ultimate Rewards points with every purchase.
  • Bonus spending: The Chase Freedom Flex card offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in every quarter's bonus categories, which include everything from gas stations to streaming services. The bonus categories change every quarter. 
  • Credit limit: Users of the Chase Slate cards have to wait for an automatic review every year in order to receive a higher credit limit, while users of the Chase Freedom cards typically find the cards already come with a higher credit limit.

No matter whether you have a Chase Slate credit card or one of the Chase Freedom credit cards, you'll still have the same customer service provided by Chase as well as no annual fee.

Here's a brief overview of the Chase Freedom family of credit cards for comparison:

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Apply Now

Secure application on issuer’s website

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work Read the review
  • APR20.49% - 29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Sign Up Bonus 1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

    Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

We like that the card offers a high flat rewards rate but also provides accelerated rewards on some common everyday spending categories. You’ll also get access to the Chase Travel portal, which allows you to use your cash-back earnings for travel rewards, gift cards and more. If you make this your primary card for most purchases you can quickly rack up a lot of rewards.

Overview

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is unique for a couple of reasons. First, it comes with purchase protection and extended warranty protection you don’t see with some other cash-back cards. Second, you earn cash back in the form of points (Chase Ultimate Rewards) and when paired with another annual-fee earning Chase product, you can get even more value if you love to travel by transferring to partners.

That’s because while the Freedom cards are marketed as cash-back credit cards, they actually offer points. You can use those points to book travel through Chase at a rate of 1 cent per point. But if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you’ll get 25% and 50% more value on those travel redemptions, respectively. (Plus, the ability to transfer your points, too.)

Read the review

Pros

  • No category bonuses to remember; earn at least 1.5% back on everything
  • No annual fee
  • Generous travel and purchase protection benefits

Cons

  • Can't transfer Chase points unless paired with another annual-fee Chase product

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a valuable all-around credit card with no annual fee. This cash-back card earns a rewards rate of 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Travel, 3% back at drugstores, 3% back on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services and a flat-rate 1.5% back on other purchases. There are no rotating categories to track, caps on how much you can earn or excluded purchase categories.

As part of a special offer, new cardholders can earn an extra 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) during the first year of card-membership. This brings the total potential earning power of this card up to 6.5% during the promotional period. If you plan to use this card a lot, you could easily earn enough cash back to be competitive with the best sign-up bonuses currently available. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Our Rating 4.5/5 How our ratings work
  • APR20.49%-29.24% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Sign-Up Bonus $200Cash Bonus More Info

    Receive a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.

The Chase Freedom Flex card expands on the already lucrative Chase Freedom card. The Freedom Flex also gives cardholders access to Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is arguably the most versatile rewards platform, and you’ll get plenty of redemption options at good rates. Plus, if you have one of the program’s travel cards, you can transfer points from your Freedom Flex to your travel card account and get even more value and flexibility with how you redeem.

Overview

Getting more in cash back is a clear win for anyone who is considering the Freedom Flex card. This card is ideal for anyone who want to maximize cash-back rewards with the option to get more value with travel redemptions.

Pros

  • Generous earnings on select rotating categories each quarter
  • Cellphone and trip insurance coverage
  • No annual fee
  • Ability to convert rewards to transferable Ultimate Rewards points

Cons

  • Can't transfer Chase points to travel partners unless paired with select products

The Chase Freedom FlexSM Card is an excellent cash-back credit card for people who are looking to maximize rewards. Cardholders can take advantage of its excellent rewards rate: 5% cash back on rotating categories when you activate (up to $1,500 each quarter), 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining, including takeout and delivery, 3% back at drugstores and 1% back on other purchases.

As a new Freedom Flex cardholder, you’ll also earn a $200 sign-up bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months. Read our full Chase Freedom Flex Card review.

Who Is Eligible to Upgrade From the Chase Slate to Chase Freedom Card?

Approval for the Chase Freedom card will depend on your overall credit and financial situation. While Chase does not publish the guidelines they use, typically it's more difficult to be approved for a Chase Freedom Flex or Freedom Unlimited card than it is for a Chase Slate Edge card.

To be approved for a Chase Freedom card, you'll want to have sufficient income as well as good to excellent credit scores. Both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex card are also subject to Chase's 5/24 rule. The Chase 5/24 rule says that you are unlikely to be approved if you have been approved for five or more credit cards within the past 24 months. So even if you have outstanding credit and tons of income, if you have opened five or more credit cards within the past two years, you will likely be denied for a Chase Freedom card.

Recommended Rewards Credit Cards

Credit Card Rewards Rate Annual Fee Intro Bonus Learn More

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

1x- 5xPoints More Info

Enjoy benefits such as 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases, $50 Annual Chase Travel Hotel Credit, plus more.

$95 75,000Chase Ultimate Rewards Points More Info

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. Dollar Equivalent: $1,725 (75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points * 0.023 base)

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

1.5% - 5%Cashback More Info

Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

$0 1.5%Extra Cash Back More Info

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

1x - 3xPoints More Info

Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases.

$0 20,000Points More Info

Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value. Dollar Equivalent: $200 (20,000 Points * 0.01 base)

Citi Strata Premier℠ Card

1X-10XPoints More Info

10x on Hotels, Car Rentals, and Attractions booked through CitiTravel.com 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Air Travel and Other Hotel Purchases 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Restaurants 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Supermarkets 3x -- Earn 3 Points per $1 spent on Gas and EV Charging Stations 1x -- Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on All Other Purchases

$95 70,000Citi ThankYou® Points More Info

Earn 70,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, redeemable for $700 in gift cards or travel rewards at thankyou.com. Dollar Equivalent: $1,260 (70,000 Citi ThankYou® Points * 0.018 base)

The Bottom Line

While the Chase Slate and Chase Slate Edge credit cards have their niche among credit applicants, they're not great cards to keep for an extended period of time due to the lack of rewards. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are one of the most valuable of all credit card rewards, and both Chase Freedom cards are a great way to score Ultimate Rewards points with no annual fee.

But do note that by upgrading, you may lose out on the sign-up bonuses as these are typically reserved for new applicants who have not had a Chase Freedom card in the past 24 months. So if your financial situation allows it, consider applying for a Chase Freedom card as a new applicant. Then, if you're approved, you can cancel your Chase Slate or Chase Slate Edge card if you want.

Once your credit score and financial situation are on solid ground, you can also start looking at other credit cards that provide solid cash back and travel rewards to earn a little more money for that next vacation or simply to put it back into your bank account.

DM

Dan Miller

Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a site that helps families to travel for free and cheap. He is an expert in all things personal finance, and his work has been featured in Forbes, NerdWallet, Bankrate, CreditCards.com, Rocket Mortgage and Intuit Mint. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and six kids.