Earn 5X Ultimate Rewards on Groceries for 12 Months with Freedom Cards

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Chase has brought back one of the best bonus offers we’ve seen on the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom Flex℠. Normally, these cards offer a modest bonus of $150 or $200 cashback. But, new cardmembers who apply now can earn a huge additional bonus on grocery spending.

New applicants can earn a $200 cashback bonus after spending $500 in 3 months. Plus, cardholders will earn 5% back (or 5X points) on grocery store purchases for the first 12 months of holding the card (on up to $12,000 in total spending for the year).

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
The everyday workhorse of the Ultimate Rewards family of cards earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day of the week. While the Freedom Unlimited earns cash back on its own, the points earned become even more valuable when you hold an Ultimate Rewards card with the ability to transfer points to partners.
  • $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99% - 24.74%.
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase
  • Earn 3% on dining at restaurants
  • Earn 3% on drugstore purchases
  • Earn 1.5% on all purchases

Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99% - 24.74%.
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Earn 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • Earn 3% on drugstore purchases
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases

Why Get a Freedom Card?

If you collect Ultimate Rewards, the Freedom cards are a great addition to your wallet. That's because they can supercharge the number of points you earn, and neither card has an annual fee.

Both Chase Freedom cards offer extra rewards in three permanent bonus categories:

  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% back on dining purchases — including dining in, takeout, and eligible delivery services
  • 3% back on drugstore purchases

The Freedom Flex also earns 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter on rotating bonus categories. The current Freedom 5% categories are grocery stores (excluding Target & Walmart) and select streaming services. You can find a list of sample merchants (and excluded merchants) here.

The Freedom Unlimited is even easier! You'll earn 1.5% cash back on every other purchase, with no limit.

Why Apply for a Freedom Card Now?

The game-changer with the Freedom cards is the chance to earn 5% back on grocery store purchases for the first 12 months you hold the card. The 5% grocery bonus is limited to a total of $12,000 spent. If you maximize this offer, you'll earn $600 cash back on groceries.

You can also earn a more traditional welcome bonus of $200 back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months on either Chase Freedom card. When you combine the two, you’ve got a chance to earn up to $680 bonus cash back (on top of what you'd otherwise earn) with either of these no-annual-fee Chase Freedom cards.

The two bonuses noted above are only available to new cardholders. Chase has confirmed that new Freedom Flex applicants will earn extra cash back on groceries from both the third-quarter bonus category and the new cardmember offer. Since the quarterly bonus categories earn an additional 4% on top of the 1% earned on all purchases, the maximum earning rate on grocery purchases in Q3 will be 9% cash back.

Freedom Card Rewards Can Be Worth More than Advertised

The Freedom Unlimited and Freedom Flex are marketed as cash-back cards, but the rewards they earn become more valuable if you hold another Ultimate Rewards card.

Chase lets you combine Ultimate Rewards points across all of your credit cards, including with accounts held by a spouse or partner. That means if you hold a premium Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, your “cash back” earned with the Freedom cards can become transferrable points.

If you’re curious about how to earn points with a spouse or partner, I wrote a detailed post on how my wife and I leveraged the Freedom Unlimited offer for our team earning strategy.

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Application Restrictions

The good news with the Freedom cards is that you can get both of them. You’re also eligible for either of these cards if you have the Chase Freedom® (which is similar to the Freedom Flex but is now closed to new applicants).

There are a couple of other general Chase rules to consider:

  • 5/24 Policy: Chase won’t approve you for a credit card if you’ve opened five or more new cards in the past 24 months.
  • 90-Day Policy: Chase will generally approve only one personal- and one business card application every 90 days. Since both Freedom cards are for personal use, you’ll need to pick the one that makes the most sense for you and wait to pick up the other.

Final Thoughts

Waiting to take advantage of a higher-than-normal signup bonus is a great way to earn more rewards. Like many cards with no annual fee, the Freedom cards aren't known for generous welcome offers—so this could be a great opportunity. That said, a big part of the potential value of these Chase Freedom offers hinges on your ability to leverage the 5% bonus on up to $12,000 in grocery spending during your first 12 months of card membership.

Chase Ultimate Rewards are one of our favorite types of transferrable points. If you already have a card like the Sapphire Preferred that lets you transfer points to partners, this offer could be worth significantly more than the cash-back value.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Our #1 recommended beginners rewards card featuring an 60,000-point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This card comes with great benefits and earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
  • 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 5X points on travel purchased through Chase
  • 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide
  • 3X points on eligible streaming services
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points on all other travel
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

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