I wouldn’t host with WordPress.com, even with their paid hosting. It’s challenging to use because they restrict everything, and you’ll find that they nickel and dime you to death.
I would also not use NameCheap WordPress Hosting because it’s a “white labeled” version of WordPress.com. It’s called EasyHosting and they restrict and limit the plugins and themes just like WordPress.com does.
I would go with Namecheap shared hosting, which does come with email boxes attached to your domain name from the start — you will be offered different upsells (Microsoft 365 email, Google Workspace Email) — don’t take them. Just use the shared hosting email boxes that come with the $25 per year hosting.
Jetpack is (in my opinion) not worth any amount of money. It has more features than you need, and it slows down sites to the point of frustration. The company that started WordPress bought them and they’ve tossed in a host of extra things that didn’t fit anywhere else and so it’s become what we like to call bloatware. It’s not useful.
So, Namecheap shared hosting is my preference for most authors. It’s easy, it’s less restrictive, but it also gives you some protection from bad guys since Namecheap is paying attention.
Hope that helps — let me know if you have more questions! These are great ones!