Discover it® Cash Back Card
vs. Chase Freedom Flex®

Updated: June 21, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Shield Insurance

MoneyGeek partners with leading industry experts and advertisers to help you get to your financial happy place. Our content is accurate when posted but offers may change over time. We may receive compensation for partner advertisements, but our editorial team independently reviews and ranks products. Learn more about our editorial policies.

Both the Discover it® Cash Back Card and the Chase Freedom Flex® Card offer enticing cash back rewards and no annual fee, making them top contenders for savvy spenders. If maximizing cash back is your goal, the Freedom Flex Card edges ahead with its bonus categories and cash bonus for new cardholders.

However, the Discover it Cash Back offers a first-year cash back match for those looking to transfer a balance and earn rewards.

While both cards require good to excellent credit, they are accessible to a wide range of consumers. Consider Discover it Cash Back for its unique first-year bonus, but the Freedom Flex card may be the better choice for consistent category rewards.

Credit Card logo for Discover it® Cash Back Card
Discover it® Cash Back Card
Credit Card logo for Chase Freedom Flex®
Chase Freedom Flex®
MoneyGeek Rating
3.8/ of 5
MoneyGeek Rating
3.8/ of 5

  • Regular APR
    17.24%–28.24% variable
    20.49–29.24% variable
    0% APR Offer
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    Intro Offer
    Matches cash back earned at the end of the first 12 months
    Earn a $200 bonus
    Rewards Summary
    Earn 1%–5% cash back
    Earn 1– 5% cash back
    Balance Transfer Offer
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    0% intro APR for 15 months
    Balance Transfer Fee
    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)
    3% of the amount of each transfer (minimum $5)
    Annual Fee
    $0
    $0
    Recommended Credit
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    670–850 (Good to Excellent)
    Penalty APR
    None
    Up to 29.99% (variable)
    Not sure?

Which Card Is Better for You?

You might prefer the Discover it Cash Back if you value simplicity and the opportunity to double your cash back at the end of the first year. With no annual fee and a lower end of the regular variable APR range, it's a solid choice for those who want a straightforward cash back program without the need to track rotating categories.

You might prefer the Freedom Flex if you're looking for a card that offers various ways to earn cash back, especially if you spend frequently in the bonus categories. The $200 bonus after a modest initial spend is a great perk, and the card's bonus categories can yield significant rewards if they align with your spending habits.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Card Details and Features

Evaluating APRs, fees, credit requirements, rewards, introductory offers and additional features will clarify which card aligns with your financial habits. For instance, if you plan to carry a balance, the Discover it Cash Back's lower APR range may appeal to you. Alternatively, frequent travelers might favor Freedom Flex's travel rewards. Assess each card's benefits in relation to your spending patterns to identify the most advantageous option.

    discount icon

    Regular APR: Discover it Cash Back

    The Discover it Cash Back is more favorable for regular APR, with a lower APR range starting at 17.24%. The Freedom Flex Card's range starts at 20.49%.

    annualFee icon

    Annual Fee: Tie

    Both the Discover it Cash Back and the Freedom Flex offer the advantage of having no annual fee, making them equally appealing for users looking to save on costs.

    lowInterestAPR icon

    Introductory 0% APRs: Tie

    Both the Discover it Cash Back and the Freedom Flex offer a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. However, the Discover it Cash Back specifies that the balance transfer offer applies to transfers that post by a certain date. Both cards initially charge a 3% fee on balance transfers, but Discover may increase this fee for future transfers.

    coins icon

    Rewards: Freedom Flex

    The Freedom Flex card is better for rewards, offering 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter, 5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases and 1% on all other purchases. The Discover it Cash Back also offers 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter but lacks the additional categories with higher rewards rates found with the Freedom Flex.

    rewards icon

    Welcome Offers: Freedom Flex

    The Freedom Flex card outperforms the Discover it Cash Back in welcome offers, offering a $200 bonus after a $500 spend in the first three months, compared to Discover's cash back match at the end of the first year.

    creditApproved icon

    Recommended Credit Score: Tie

    Both the Discover it Cash Back and Freedom Flex cards require a credit score range of 670 to 850, making them accessible for consumers with good to excellent credit. This makes them equal in terms of credit requirements.

    autopay icon

    Penalties and Fees: Discover it Cash Back

    The Discover it Cash Back is better for penalties and fees, offering a first late payment waiver, no penalty APR and no foreign transaction fees. In contrast, the Freedom Flex charges up to $40 for late payments, up to 29.99% penalty APR and a 3% foreign transaction fee.

    points icon

    Issuer Satisfaction: Discover it Cash Back

    The Discover it Cash Back's issuer, Discover Bank, leads in issuer satisfaction with a rating of 4.5, compared to Chase's rating of 4.1. This suggests higher overall cardholder satisfaction with Discover's service.

    airplane icon

    Other Features & Perks: Tie

    Both cards offer unique perks beyond their rewards programs. The Discover it Cash Back assists in minimizing online exposure of personal data. The Freedom Flex offers cell phone protection and Zero Liability Protection, which means you will not be liable for unauthorized charges. Each card's specific perks appeal to different user needs.

Rewards Comparison

The Freedom Flex offers a robust rewards program with an expected reward value of $379, which is slightly higher than the Discover it Cash Back's $361. With the Freedom Flex, you'll earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠ and 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, making it a strong contender for those who spend heavily in these areas.

The Discover it Cash Back's most compelling feature is its first-year cash back match, which can double the rewards for new cardholders, but it doesn't offer higher rewards rates in as many categories as the Freedom Flex.

Both cards feature 5% cash back on rotating categories, up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter upon activation. These categories change every quarter and have included common spending areas like gas stations and grocery stores. To maximize rewards, you must stay informed about the current categories and remember to activate them.

The following table provides a visual comparison of the bonus categories for the Discover it Cash Back and Freedom Flex cards.

Category
Discover it Cash Back
Freedom Flex

Rotating Categories

5% on rotating categories each quarter upon activation, up to $1,500 in combined purchases, then 1%

5% on rotating categories each quarter upon activation, up to $1,500 in combined purchases, then 1%

Travel

1%

5% if purchased through Chase Travel℠

Dining

1%

3%

Drugstores

1%

3%

All Other Purchases

1%

1%

Redeeming Rewards

The Discover it Cash Back allows you to redeem cash back at any time, for any amount, and your rewards never expire. Additionally, Discover offers a unique first-year match on all cash back earned, effectively doubling your rewards.

The Freedom Flex allows you to use points for various options, including travel and gift cards, though redemption values may differ. Importantly, your points remain valid as long as your account is active.

Methodology

MoneyGeek evaluates credit cards like the Discover it Cash Back and Freedom Flex using a scoring system tailored to various use cases. For this comparison, we focus on the highest-scoring use case for each card: balance transfers for Discover it Cash Back and cash back for Freedom Flex.

The largest factors influencing these scores include the introductory APR on purchases, the regular APR for balance transfers and the effective reward rate and regular APR for cash back. For a detailed understanding of our process, you can review our ranking methodology.

FAQ: Discover it Cash Back vs. Freedom Flex

What are the main differences in rewards between the Discover it Cash Back and Freedom Flex cards?
Do either of the cards charge an annual fee?
Can I benefit from a 0% intro APR with both cards?
How do the introductory offers for new cardholders compare?
Are there foreign transaction fees for either card?

About Doug Milnes, CFA


Doug Milnes, CFA headshot

Doug Milnes is a CFA charter holder with over 10 years of experience in corporate finance and the Head of Credit Cards at MoneyGeek. Formerly, he performed valuations for Duff and Phelps and financial planning and analysis for various companies. His analysis has been cited by U.S. News and World Report, The Hill, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and many other outlets.

Milnes holds a master’s degree in data science from Northwestern University. He geeks out on helping people feel on top of their credit card use, from managing debt to optimizing rewards.


*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. Learn more about our editorial policies and expert editorial team.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings.com and CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.